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I am currently studying counterpoint in order to prepare my first year in a Faculty of music. I have diverse resources at my disposal like The Complete Musician (Laitz) in addition to online resources. Unfortunately, no one in my surroundings can help me evaluate the work I do.

Therefore, my question is twofold:

  1. How does a professor evaluate a student's counterpoint?
  2. How can a student evaluate his/her own counterpoint in order to improve his/her skills on this particular exercise in an academic context? Is it sufficient to follow rules and guidelines or do we have to take musicality into account? What would be a good strategy to train on this topic?
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  • Are you asking about basic species counterpoint exercises, or about a full counterpoint composition course?
    – Aaron
    Jun 11, 2021 at 16:39
  • I'm asking about a full counterpoint composition course. I assume that the strategy to evaluate a counterpoint is the same for all species, the only variable being the rules that are specific to a species. (Though, I might wrong about this)
    – Overasyco
    Jun 13, 2021 at 15:49
  • It's unclear whether the OP is preparing to teach and evaluate student work, or to prepare themselves for studying counterpoint and wondering how their teacher will evaluate their work. What specifically does the OP mean by "faculty?"
    – nuggethead
    Dec 10, 2022 at 15:20
  • It seems to me bizarre that you have no one near who can advise you on this, yet you'll be tested on this. Can you clarify? Feb 20, 2023 at 22:07
  • I'm sorry if I cannot answer this question by developing a sudden bout of Matthew Perry syndrome, but you judge a piece of counterpoint the same way you judge any other piece of music. By how it sounds. There may be some theoretical basis for it being good or bad, but mainly all music is judged by how it sounds.
    – Neil Meyer
    Feb 1 at 10:01

1 Answer 1

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Maybe I'm a little late, but whatever. My opinion is based on my musicology studies and the music theory classes I attended. Since there have been many different rules and conventions about counterpoint throughout history, our professor explained to us the peculiarities of the styles of the different eras.

  1. Our professor evaluated counterpoint primarily according to the rules of the time and paid attention to things that were "forbidden" or not allowed at that time. Musicality was a pure plus in this case. We also didn't have to write counterpoint from scratch in our exams, but practiced it in our exercises.

  2. I think it would be helpful to talk to someone else about your counterpoint creation. Maybe there's some sort of discord or forum for sharing ideas. But it would also be good to follow basic guidelines and check your own work against those guidelines.

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