Thinking about consonance within Renaissance counterpoint, I recognize a problem that confronts the modern musician:  We tend to hear and tune harmonies even within contrapuntal textures, thereby simplifying the music.
An alternative is to tune consonant intervals (octaves, say) within and around which dissonance may flow without danger of displacing the consonant octave.
Granted this requires split-second reflexes from the singers.  But doesn't all music require responses that fast?  
It's just that we need some notion to ground our responses.


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