If someone would be willing to point out errors I'm making with this species, before I continue on to the others, I'd be grateful


I'm not sure how cadences work in this species; if someone could explain them, I'd be grateful

  • Friendly advice: ditch the Fux book! I find that it doesn't explain things as clearly as could be. Go for Jeppesen's "The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century" instead. It's a much longer and more difficult read, but you will leave it actually knowing how to write counterpoint! I've never heard anyone make the same claim of the Fux... Also, it's cheap. I think my copy was. $10
    – nuggethead
    Jan 10, 2022 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


What I notice isn't really an error, but a picky detail, and if you want to study species counterpoint, I think the point (bad pun) is to be picky about details.

At bar 5 you start using the ligature, tied note or dissonant anticipation, and that is really fourth species.

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If you look at Fux's example of second species, two or three parts, that kind of dissonant anticipation is not used. In second species the dissonant tone must resolve by a step. That sets up the ligature as a different species.

Mixing species like this comes up in the section about "florid" counterpoint.

The gradual and categorical structure of species counterpoint make the process especially about discipline. The reason to stay strictly in one species or another is to show you can control your various musical elements. It's not a time to "get creative."

  • I disagree that it fits his description of how to handle dissonance. If memory serves, the second half can only be dissonant if it resolves by step in the same direction on the next beat. So, that C is correct only if Bb is consonant with every other voice, which it is not.
    – nuggethead
    Jan 10, 2022 at 18:02
  • @nuggethead, yeah, you're right. I revised accordingly. I thought the wording was along the lines of second note can be dissonance but must move to a consonance (of some kind.) But, Fux does specify resolving by step. Jan 10, 2022 at 18:40

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