Questions tagged [counterpoint]

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

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3 answers
128 views

How to study part-writing as a self-taught musician?

I've recently picked up Schoenberg's "Preliminary Exercises In Counterpoint" after reading most of "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" as he indicates there and in other texts ...
2 votes
2 answers
769 views

Key modulation in a fugue, how to not lose sight of the tonic?

Now I'm having some more trouble with my fugue. But this time it has to do with key modulation. I feel my fugue is becoming too jazzy thanks to the modulation. There are the primary modulations(from ...
2 votes
1 answer
60 views

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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
694 views

What is the difference between a double fugue and a fugue with multiple countersubjects?

The double fugue is apparently a type of fugue with two subjects. What I don't understand is what differentiates a second subject from a countersubject, and why a so-called double fugue cannot be ...
3 votes
2 answers
78 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
113 views

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 ...
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

What's "species counterpoint"? Are there any other types of counterpoint?

I believe the title says it all. On Wikipedia it shows the five species but I have the idea that there is another type of counterpoint not based on those species. Is that vague idea of mine correct? I ...
4 votes
3 answers
322 views

consonant skips in 2nd species counterpoint

From The Complete Musician by Laitz Consonant skips are motions by a third. Well, I think we have a confusion here because by saying 'consonant' I suppose Laitz implied that both vertically and ...
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

Harmonic Voices Alongside Counterpoint

I'm writing a piece for a rather large ensemble: full string section SATB choir plus soloists 2 of oboe, bassoon, and trombone c-g timpani In one of the sections, the chorus sings a fugato while the ...
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Are octave leaps in counterpoint subject to the same rules as if the leap never happened?

If I had a V - I progression with ^5 in the soprano the counterpoint would be 8tv and 5th which would be fine because you are moving between two perfect intervals in oblique motion. But I am writing a ...
0 votes
0 answers
45 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

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=...
4 votes
4 answers
298 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
150 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
58 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
13 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
107 views

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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
70 views

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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

What makes a good fugue subject?

Realization I think I might have found my weakness in fugue writing, and it is one that isn't easily helped by all the counterpoint studies that I have been doing. That is the part of the fugue that ...
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Meaning of "Battuta" in Counterpoint

What is Battuta and does it only apply to voice leading by contrary motion? For example, in treble clef, if going from "E-G" (major-tenth - that is, the "E" is in the bass and the "G" is in ...
0 votes
0 answers
31 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
297 views

Is there a rhythmic counterpart to voice leading? Is counterpoint supposed to fulfill this role?

I have been studying voice leading and I feel like rhythm is unaddressed in voice leading theory. Here's an example of the types of voice leading rules I'm referring to: Resolve 7->1 in a V chord ...
3 votes
0 answers
111 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
246 views

Kinetic Rhythm in Pop Music

This is something I've noticed that I don't hear anyone really talking about... Essentially it's the way that separate rhythmic elements of most pop songs interact in a kinetic way with one another. ...
0 votes
1 answer
281 views

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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
67 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
754 views

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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
215 views

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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
122 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

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. ...
1 vote
0 answers
115 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
227 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
630 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
205 views

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 (...
4 votes
3 answers
141 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
233 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
95 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
74 views

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 ...
4 votes
0 answers
79 views

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. ...
3 votes
1 answer
116 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
203 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
145 views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
159 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
334 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
142 views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
228 views

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 ...