Tempo (New Series)

Research Article

A 20th–Century Approach to Heterophony: Mark Kopytman'S ‘Cantus II’

Nancy Uscher

Plato discussed the term ‘heterophony’ in his Laws, Part VII, The technique was widely in use by the Notre Dame school of composers in 12th-century Paris. Much of the indigenous music of the Near East and Africa is rich with it. Indeed, there is an important example in the Credo of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. The Israeli composer Mark Kopytman has in recent years transformed this ancient term into a vital 20th-century technique, and made it the language of some of his important compositions. One of these, Cantus II for violin, viola, and cello (1980), will be performed at the ISCM World Music Days during March in Budapest.

Nancy Uscher recently returned to New York after living in Israel, where she was principal violist of the Jerusalem Symphony for several years. She currently divides her time between performing as a concert violist, writing articles, and finishing her book, A Critical Guide to Music Schools and Conservatoires Throughout the World.