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Texture is described in the text book (The Enjoyment of Music page 22) as an interweaving of lines of melody and harmony. Just like threads being made into fabric; a thread will go horizontal and another one will go vertically (The Enjoyment of Music Glossary). The same goes with melody and harmony. The different types of texture in music is monophonic which is single line, heterophonic which is elaboration on a single line, homophonic which is single line with accompaniment, or polyphonic which is many voiced (The Enjoyment of Music Glossary).

A single line or voice in music that is without an accompaniment is called a monophony. It can be one person signing or more than one person signing the same lines and as an example the Armenian Choir of Sofia signing the Armenian Liturgical Chant – “Holy, Holy Lord”. A very beautifully and spiritual sounding piece. It can be listened to on YouTube at the following link: Armenian chants are used in Armenian Apostolic Churches which is the national church for Armenian. It is the first country to make Christianity as their religion sometime in the early part of the fourth century (Armenian Apostolic Church. Encyclopedia Britannica).

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Another texture is heterophony were two or more signers or parts are played at the same time but each one varies some element of the song or piece (The Enjoyment of Music page 23).  For this example; listen to Louis Armstrong – When the Saints Go Marching In and was found on YouTube for anyone to listen to and enjoy. This one will make you want to move. Here is the link: No one is sure of who wrote this song but it does gets confused with the song “When the Saints ARE Marching In,” which was written by James M. Black and Katherine Purvis (Story behind the Song: “When the Saints Go Marching In.” St. Augustine Record).

Homophonic is a single line with accompaniment. When many voices come together but the melody will stand out from the other voices that will make up the background of subordinate accompaniment. A beautiful example of this one is The Royal Choral Society preforming ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s Messiah. This is the link to hear it: Many people do not know that this piece was not written to be played at Christmas. It was written for Easter but it became a popular piece instead at Christmas (5 Things You Might Not Know About Handel’s Messiah by Ricky O’Bannon).

Polyphonic is many voiced meaning that two or more different lines are united. It is based on counterpoint which is one voice or music line is set against another voice or music line. Bach – “Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring” from Cantata, BWV 147 Organ Arrangement. Performed by Michel Rondeau – Aline Letendre will be used for this relaxing and harmonious example. It can be listened to at this web link: This is one of Bach’s most everlasting works and was written in Leipzig, Germany during his first year there in 1723 (”Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring” from Cantata, BWV. 147). It was written from music Bach had wrote in 1716 (Bach – Cantata No. 147).

Texture plays a big part in making melody and harmony in music. It creates many different styles of music and voices that play a big part in what was listened to in the past and what is listen to today. Like thread making a piece of cloth; texture weaves together the music to create the many different and beautiful pieces of music that can be heard all around us if we just look for it and take the time to listen and enjoy.

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