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This is 16th century 3 part 3rd and 4th species fusion counterpoint.

At the second measure, there's C, The first note on the soprano.

In the bass, there's sustained D, which will resolve to C.

The problem is, my book said: The to be resolved note should not appear in any other parts ( Soprano's C ).

I believe there is some exception to that rule going on here..but I don't know.

I will really appreciated if somebody could help me what's going on here.

( The Alto part is on Alto clef..just in case anybody is confused )

  • My memory of the rule is that the note of resolution should not appear simultaneously in another part. However, my memory is shaky. I mention it, because you might check your book again with that idea in mind.
    – Aaron
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 22:08
  • It also might be helpful to know what book you're using, what page the exercise appears on, and what page the rule you cite is on.
    – Aaron
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 22:12
  • @Aaron Hi. The book I'm using is, Handbook of modal counterpoint (16th cen) by Stella Roberts, Irwin Fischer. I just checked the book and the examples indicates that its still bad when the to be resolve note comes out more early on other parts. Just like what I said on the post. Commented May 28, 2022 at 12:16
  • 2
    Clef, please!!!
    – nuggethead
    Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


As I see it, your bass in fourth species is suspended and only reaches its C on the second half of the bar. The restriction about having the note appear in another part is also sometimes waived if the suspension is going to resolve to the root of the chord, which it does. Also, as Aaron mentioned (and different sources do treat this differently and even inconsistently within the same book), sometimes the rule holds during the suspension and sometimes during the resolution.

  • "sometimes waived if the suspension is going to resolve to the root of the chord" this makes sense, but do you have a reference? I don't suppose it would have been expressed as such in Palestrina's day.
    – phoog
    Commented May 28, 2022 at 11:25
  • But that's too much of a vague answer...Arn't there any certain rules for these exceptions out there ? Commented May 28, 2022 at 12:20
  • I'm sure there is a more thorough explanation. I'll research it and write back
    – nuggethead
    Commented May 28, 2022 at 17:34

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