Re: RARA-AVIS: Murderous geniuses

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 09 Apr 2004

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mario Taboada" <>
> We don't know who invented certain essential and highly
> nontrivial things, but if we did, we would probably call
> the inventor a genius. It may not have been a single person
> but a series of them --this is common. I don't think a
> single person invented harmony, or counterpoint.

Harmony almost certainly derived from the inability to pitch properly. That's why early harmony is nothing more than the original melody sung in a different key (usually at intervals of a fourth or a fifth. Rare instances of a third have been found, but rarely in early secular music).

As for counterpoint, well... Give a couple of kids a couple of guitars and sooner or later they'll start playing different tunes. Getting the melodies to fit, that takes some skill. But to 'invent' the idea is pretty facile.


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