chapter  III
13 Pages


IN the preceding chapter we saw that the first known example of true polyphony, as opposed to the pseudo-polyphony of the church musicians, came from these islands, and all the indirect contemporary evidence at our disposal, such as it is, seems to suggest that this is no mere accident or coincidence, but that the origins of contrapuntal practice are to be sought in the northern rather than in the southern or central parts of Europe. This conclusion, which is unanimously endorsed by the most eminent modern authorities, is further substantiated by the fact that, throughout the whole course of musical history, northern composers in general have always displayed a more marked predil~ction for polyphony and a greater mastery of contrapuntal resources than those of the south, who, with few exceptions, incline rather in the direction of harmonic and homophonic forms.