COUNTERPOINT & PARANOID ANDROIDS
Fast forward 18 years, and I'm studying to be a music therapist at Berklee College of Music. Berklee was heavy on music theory, and a series of classes you are required to take are on Counterpoint. From wiki: In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more musical lines (or voices) which are harmonically interdependent yet independent in rhythm and melodic contour. Unlike how we approach traditional harmony, there is independence and interdependence. Some people see counterpoint as melodies that are opposing each other, but that doesn't quite capture the full picture. Bach did not invent counterpoint, but he was certainly a master at it. This link has great samples and visuals! of what counterpoint is in some of Bach's most popular works. A key statement by the author:
"Being able to clearly compose lines that function well indepdently as well as together is essential for your listeners to follow your music, understand what you are saying or what feelings you wish to share with it, and most importantly, appreciate it—and even enjoy it!"
For those of you not classically inclined, one of my favorite examples of counterpoint in rock comes from Radiohead's Paranoid Android. At about 3:35, Thom Yorke composed in counterpoint at its finest. A full explanation of the counterpoint can be found here (5:46). There are ultimately 4 independent voices interdependent with each other to bring about one of the most transcendent harmonies in rock music. (Take a bong rip, play it loud, and see where it takes you lol :))