Questions tagged [counterpoint]

Questions relating to the uses, history, types, or analysis of counterpoint.

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How to make a chordal analysis when you only have 2 voices?

In my textbook Harmony and Voice Leading 5th edition I am to complete an exercise using 2 voices and wanted to make an analysis first of what chords were implied by the bass and soprano. Can someone ...
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3part counterpoint 4th species fusion resolving note appearing in other parts

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 ...
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Are voices that have very big pitch difference always independent and less dissonant?

Voices can be "blended" or be independent. Independent voices are very distinct, the listener can hear each voice separately. On the other hand, "blended" voices are those which ...
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Why is this augmented 4th bad ? 16th century counterpoint

I'm studying 16th century counterpoint. My book says, when writing a melody for second species, augmented 4th or augmented 5th shouldn't occur between strong beat and a strong beat. But this is not ...
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Does the needed accompany notes on 3 part 4th species rule also apply on 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion?

At the 2nd measure, is the sustained note 4,7 resolving to 5,3 ok ? while doing 3 part 4 species there was explanation that when using 7-8 resolution the the 5th note needs to accompany but I don't ...
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Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? 16th century counterpoint 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion

This is my exercise on 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion 16 century counterpoint. Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? (At measure 5,6 between the soprano and ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Can a Round Modulate?

I've been messing around with simple 2-part rounds recently, and also with modulation. The question occurred to me, can a round modulate? Initially I though not, since it would involve having parts in ...
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2 votes
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What intervals does the "consecutive interval" comprehend?

I'm studying 16th century counterpoint. I'm reading 3part counterpoint with 2 species and 3 species mixed chapter. I read that consecutive intervals must be avoided in certain situations. Ok I get ...
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Is there something wrong with this counterpoint practice?

I've been studying 16 century counterpoint through a book myself. I just got into 3 voice 3 species and its a little confusing. This is a part of a 16 centrury counterpoint practice I did. I'll like ...
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the cadence in 3rd species counterpoint with 3 voices in the Phrygian mode

When the Cantus Firmus is in the 1st or 2nd voice, the bass is suppose to play the 5th note of the mode in the 2nd last bar. In the case of E Phrygian, the 5th degree is B which has however a ...
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2nd species counterpoint in 3 parts, is it ok?

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 https://flat.io/score/61d7e420658ae700133b1e72-c?sharingKey=...
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Help with 2nd species counterpoint in 3 parts

I am reading the Gradus ad Parnassum chapter on 2nd species in 3 species, and am finding the use of ligatures, and the cadences confusing. In most of the examples, the 3rd and 2nd last bar have a ...
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Did Stravinsky ever work backwards?

I've always been intrigued by this little passage in Stravinsky's "Fireworks" (op. 4). It seems to me to be many things all at once, each masterfully handled. It's a nifty little canon, a ...
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What are some strategies one could use to put as many suspensions as possible in a chord progression?

I ask this question in the context of strict (florid) tonal counterpoint as taught, for example, by Albrechtsberger and many later writers. Fux in his Gradus ad Parnassum recommends putting many ...
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4 part counterpoint to chordal harmony transition [closed]

In one of my first solo piano pieces(a Rondo)the A theme is stated, ending on a Picardy third to transition to the second, B theme in the parallel major, which starts in a 4 part counterpoint, and ...
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Can V65 or V6 move down to V7 or do they usually resolve to I?

I understand that the bass of V65 or V6 wants to move up to I. My text book does have some double neighbor figures where V65 goes to V43 before resolving to I or I6. However, I am unable to find an ...
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Is/Are there standard approaches to teaching/learning fugal writing?

I am intimidated by the idea of writing fugues. ...but I would like to do it. I have in mind the style exemplified by Bach. In a collegiate "Counterpoint" class (or book, or private ...
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4 votes
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Does V42 only resolve to I6 or can it move to V7 forming a stepwise bass?

If the chordal 7th needs to resolve down by step then I understand why V42 should move to I6 but cant chords be expanded and the dissonant 7th in a 7th chord move to another voice for example from the ...
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5 votes
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When realizing a basso continuo, should the realization avoid consecutive fifths and octaves with the written parts?

Many continuo manuals (both historical sources and modern treatises) are careful to point out that a continuo realization should be contrapuntally correct, i.e., one ought to avoid parallel fifths and ...
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1 vote
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On which beats should a composer avoid consecutive perfect intervals?

In an exercise in a grade 5 textbook, I am asked to write a bassline to a given melody. I am told to avoid consecutive parallel intervals but I am not told if that means on beat 1 of each bar or on ...
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Are consonant skips allowed below and above the notes of resolution of a suspension in 5th species counterpoint?

In my textbook and most places I could find online it shows consonant skips as a way to decorate suspensions in 5th species counterpoint. The consonant skip always happens below the suspended note. ...
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1 vote
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Why can't suspensions be prepared on beat 4 in 5th species counterpoint?

Since a mixture of note values is used in 5th species can someone please explain why this is not permissable in 5th species writing? Preparing a suspension on the 4th beat is very common in real music ...
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Writing an invention [closed]

I am an amateur piano player without systematic musical education. I love listening to and playing 18th-century contrapuntal music especially written by JS Bach. Recently I decided to deepen my ...
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Is partimento a good way to learn how to write a Baroque trio sonata in the style of Corelli?

Who I am: I am 16 years old and I play violin. I am a music student and I consider myself to have a very good ear and understanding of music theory. My piano-playing is however not very good. I really ...
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6 votes
2 answers
605 views

In counterpoint, is there a name for when a single voice can be understood as multiple different voices?

In French Suite II, Air (mm. 3) it sounds like the upper voice can be separated into two parts: the upper part being Eb up to G, down to F; and the lower part being C down to Bb, down to Ab. In ...
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4 votes
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What is the order of operations for writing half notes against whole notes in three parts?

FYI, I am referencing The Study of Counterpoint (Alfred Mann's translation of Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum) When writing in two voices, I understand the standard procedure to involve writing a ...
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Where can I find related materials in connection with Johann Joseph Fux's The Study of Counterpoint?

Allegedly, Beethoven condensed Fux's work into a "cheat sheet" version for ready reference (from the back cover of the Alfred Mann translation), and Mozart apparently annotated his own copy (...
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What interval sequences "defined" Fux's counterpoint?

Motivation When Fux laid out his rules for counterpoint, he did so primarily in terms of melodic (horizontal) movements within each voice and secondarily in terms of harmonic (vertical) relationships ...
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Why might two jumps in contrary motion be avoided? [duplicate]

The goal is to write a well-constructed and easily singable melody. There is a motif in my melody that outlines a C major triad like this: E4 G4 C4 (in that order). Why might it not be wise to have ...
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How to evaluate a counterpoint?

I am currently studying counterpoint in order to prepare my first year in a Faculty of music. I have diverse ressources at my disposal like The Complete Musician (Laitz), and online ressources. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
111 views

Are the rules of voice leading and the rules of counterpoint ever at odds with one another?

I was practicing composing in an SATB setting. I had the chords voiced the way I wanted to, but there was not much rhythmic interest (everything in whole notes). So, I began subdividing the notes ...
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4th Species Counterpoint in Triple Time

I'm experiencing a lack of clarity on this. Now, understanding 4th species in duple time is a matter of understanding Fux's text and seeing it in actual use. In 4/4 for example, it is easy to see the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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What is wrong about this counterpoint?

I am using a counterpoint rules plugin on MuseScore, and I am having trouble understanding the issues with my music. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong or if I am not interpreting the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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how do I add voices to compound species lines?

Update, TLDR: given multiple semi-written lines of music, which line should be deemed the cantus firmus before working on the counterpoint of the other lines? Given a "free" (?) soprano ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Four part Writing: When must a perfect fourth be resolved?

A bit confused at the moment regarding when a perfect fourth is classed as a consonance, and when it is classed as a dissonance. I have read here on Stack Exchange, that perfect fourth intervals are ...
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1 vote
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which pair of notes can't be parallel in Counterpoint

Lets say i have a 4 voice texture. The first chord has a 5th between the soprano and bass but then in the second chord there is a 5th between bass and tenor. That would be parallel 5ths or no? do I ...
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1 vote
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sharp ii dim 7th: How to use?

Still here and working on part-writing. I have used a sharp ii dim7th chord, straight after iihalfdim7- leading to V. Is this actually the right place to put it in terms of chord sequence/harmonic ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Can you leap to a 4th on weak beats in 3rd species counterpoint

I am doing a 3rd species 4:1 counterpoint exercise and I was told that on weakbeats you could use consonant or dissonant intervals. If the intervals on the weakbeats are consonant then the melody can ...
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When did 4 part writing allow 2nd inversion chords

In 4 part counterpoint in the strict old-fashined style, the 2nd inversion chord was not allowed but in todays compositions the 2nd inversion chord is a staple so when did this rule change and at what ...
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3 votes
4 answers
141 views

Are certain 4 part writing rules contradictory?

I am told that I cannot double the 3rd when constructing a 4 part triad but at the same time I am told that the only note that can be omitted is the 5th. So in a triad, if I omit the 5th, then all I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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how to know which tones to double if you are writing counterpoint in a mode?

I have a Cantus Firmus in D dorian mode that I am trying to write a 4 part counterpoint exercise with. In my textbook it says that since we have 4 notes per triad I need to double a note per triad to ...
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2 votes
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Four part writing: How to voice augmented 6th chords?

I have recently started adding augmented 6th chords to my part writing. As far as I can tell, I have not broken any harmonic rules in the displayed voicing, yet it does not sound right to me. Just ...
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1 vote
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How much oblique motion is allowed in 3 part counterpoint

I have done a new counterpoint exercise today using 3 parts but I ended up with quite a lot of oblique motion and it got me thinking that I actually don't know what the restrictions are on using ...
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Counterpoint: Do parallel 5ths and Octaves count even if they are not from the same voices [duplicate]

I tried to do another exercise today and I really liked what I had done but looking back I noticed what could be parallel 5ths. If you look at the following exercise, you can see the 4th and 5th ...
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2 votes
2 answers
160 views

Are parallel 10ths ok in 3 part counterpoint?

I am learning 3 part counterpoint and am doing an excersize where I am using the CF as the middle line and composing a melody above and below the CF. If you notice towards the end (chords 7 - 10) ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Four part writing: How to voice diminished 7th chords?

I am currently doing part writing, and have come into a bit of a conundrum. I want to use a sharp 4 dim 7 (Fsharpdim7), to link up my IV chord (FM) to my V7 chord (G7). I know that 7ths should usually ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Four part writing problem: tripled root solution. what is best practice here?

I have hit a problem with this chord change in my four part writing. We are in A minor. The VI chord is in first inversion, so A must be in the bass. (I have made a mistake in the figure. the VI ...
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How to use counterpoint to write melodies over chords

In counterpoint pedagogy harmonic dissonance and consonance is taught with one note as the "Cantus Firmus" against one or more other notes. How does this knowledge of consonance or ...
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5 votes
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How do you define Harmonic Retrogression with regard to intensity?

I was doing some practice problems in the AP Barron's Music Theory book, and one of the practice problems asks: “When harmonies within a phrase move from a strong intensity to a less strong intensity [...
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1 vote
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Forbidden/shunned harmonic progressions in 18th cent. counterpoint

I'm going through Kent Kennan's book on 18th century counterpoint, and early on he touches upon some finer points concering agreeable or not-so-agreeable chord progressions. Only a handful of ...
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