The Three Voices Singing Together At The Same Time In This Excerpt Form Vertical Sonorities, Called

If you are looking for an understanding of vertical sonorities, or chords, created from three voices singing together, then you have come to the right place. This article will provide an overview of how vertical sonorities are created, when three voices singing together form a chord, and the differences between voiced and unvoiced sonorities. Additionally, this article will explore the effects of vertical sonorities on musical form and provide examples of how this concept is applied in practice.

What Are Vertical Sonorities?

Vertical sonorities are chords created from combining two or more voice-parts when they sing together simultaneously. When all the notes of a chord are sounded together, it creates a rich and full sound. This sound is naturally fuller than any single note played by itself. Sonorities are created when either one or two notes are held continuously while the other voice-parts move around them. This combination of notes produces a unique sound.

Difference Between Voiced And Unvoiced Sonorities

When the notes of a chord are held simultaneously by more than one voice-part, we call this a voiced sonority. If all the notes of the chord are sounded simultaneously, this is known as a full chord. Alternatively, an unvoiced sonority is when one or more of the notes of the chord are held while the other notes move around them. Voiced sonorities are ideal for creating a rich full sound, whereas unvoiced sonorities can be used to create movement and suspense within a piece of music.

The Effects Of Vertical Sonorities On Musical Form

Vertical sonorities have a profound effect on the musical form. By combining two or more simultaneous voices, vertical sonorities provide a support structure for the music. This support structure allows the music to progress at a faster pace than it would if the music was simply made of single notes or unvoiced chords. Furthermore, vertical sonorities can be used to create tension and suspense in a musical piece. This is achieved by building the tension by combining different notes and using different chords. The effect of this tension is often resolved by using a full chord to create a sense of resolution at the end of the piece.

Examples Of Vertical Sonorities In Practice

Vertical sonorities are often used in classical music. In works such as Bach’s Mass In B Minor, vertical sonorities are used to create a sense of grandeur and tension. In the works of Charles Ives, the use of vertical sonorities creates a unique sound that cannot be achieved with the use of single notes only. Additionally, vertical sonorities are widely used in jazz and pop music.


This article has provided a comprehensive overview of vertical sonorities, when three voices singing together form a chord, the difference between voiced and unvoiced sonorities, and the effects of these on musical form. Additionally, examples of this concept being applied in practice have been provided. Vertical sonorities can be used to create tension, suspense, and a sense of grandeur in musical pieces. Understanding how to use vertical sonorities effectively can elevate your music to the next level.

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