I know what you’re thinking:
“Why doesn’t it get boring?”
Some have taken an a mathematical approach to this question. Although these answers demonstrate a raw numerical reason, they offer little musical insight.
The problem is that their premise — “only 12 notes” — is a lie.
Why do altos and tenors often get saddled with parts like this?
Don’t composers know that singing the same two notes over and over again is boring?
To understand what composers are possibly thinking, let’s dive into some music theory . . .
“The four-bar phrase has had a bad press in our time,” writes Charles Rosen. But for all the denigration, four-bar phrases are ubiquitous. Read more