I am learning rules of counterpoints using this source. One of the rules there states:

The CF must have a unique culmination (climax).

I would like to be sure that I understand climax properly.

Does it only mean that there should be only one highest (or lowest) tone? Or the rule states more than that?

  • 1
    I'd give you the advice not only to read this theory but to load down some gregorian chants (the rules for the cantus firmus are adapted from them) and there are many examples by Fux and other counterpoint theorists ( even by Haydn and Mozart) e.g.this mymusictheory.com/learn-music-theory/reference/579-counterpoint May 3, 2019 at 13:21
  • That article seems to assume readers will be familiar with treatises from Fux, Jeppesen, etc. You need to read those books first before reading this article. Especially, if you are trying to learn traditional counterpoint, that article isn't the place to start. May 3, 2019 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


When I looked up for cantus firmus and climax I got this link. It says quoting Jeppesen:

A good cantus firmus has a unique high point or a unique low point called a climax. A climax is a point of rhetorical forcefulness (e.g. “the climax of his speech...”), the point of highest dramatic tension (e.g. “the climax of the movie...”), or simply the culmination of a series of events.

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