In addition to the rules regarding dissonant and consonant intervals, there are rules concerning the placement of perfect consonances, unisons, octaves and fifths. The reasons behind these rules are as follows: (1) Voices sounding in unison or at an octave and to a lesser extend a fifth, sound very much like the same voice, so that only one voice is perceived where two were written. (2) Octaves and unisons usually occur at cadences; placing them carelessly will make the ear perceive a cadence where none was intended. (3) Counterpoints which overuse the perfect intervals will sound too uniform and will not offer enough variety to the ear. To this end, our forefathers have wisely given us rules for the placement of perfect intervals.
These rules are a matter of style. The restrictions are relaxed and the composer is given more freedom in the case where the composer is writing a fugue. These rules may also be occasionally violated for deliberate effect.
Onward to: Chapter 11: The Rules Regarding the treatment of the Fourth (Diatessaron and Tritone).
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