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Questions tagged [counterpoint]

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

19
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4answers
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Is counterpoint still used today?

I was wondering if counterpoint is still used today or was it something that was just used by Bach? Does modern music like pop songs use it?
4
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3answers
125 views

Will this help me avoid parallel octaves in future fugue attempts?

So, I wrote a canon before I was even thinking about writing a fugue and I found it to be trivially easy. But then again, I did take the Pachelbel approach, decide on a bass line and then make ...
4
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1answer
44 views

How exactly is climax defined?

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. ...
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2answers
38 views

What can be “two horizontal intervals of equal distance and discordant” on diatonic scale?

I keep reading this set of rules for counterpoint. The rule number G5 states: If there are two horizontal intervals of equal distance and discordant, the next interval must differ. I try to ...
5
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4answers
752 views

Is one octave above tonic also considered as tonic?

I try to learn rules of counterpoint. Yesterday I got this nice source of rules. The second rule there states: The 7th degree must resolve to the tonic, or it can descend stepwise if the ...
5
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1answer
70 views

Should we avoid two consecutive leaps forming triads in cantus firmus?

Currently I am reading this set of rules used for creation of cantus firmus. The rule VII.E states: Avoid two consecutive leaps forming triads Is this rule correct? I am in doubt since I thought ...
1
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0answers
133 views

Irregular resolution [closed]

What are the primary conditions concerning the IRREGULAR resolutions of the following harmonies in common practice music?: -Dominant chords -Auxiliary Seventh chords (chords of sequence) -...
1
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3answers
310 views

What is “leading note” and what does it mean to “raise a note”?

I try to learn rules of how basic melody ("Cantus Firmus") should be built. At the moment I read this document. The second rule there is: The penultimate note should go to the final in a stepwise ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Simple explanation of counterpoint?

Wikipedia defines counterpoint like this: In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are interdependent harmonically (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour. What ...
10
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3answers
519 views

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint?

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint? I ask because in the first measure of Bach's Invention No. 1 the upper voice and lower voice have an interval of a minor seventh (the upper voice ...
5
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4answers
443 views

Counter-example of counterpoint technique?

I'm trying to fully understand the concept that "Counterpoint" entails... but I can't seem to think any situation in which a counterpoint is not present on a song/piece/whatever. If counterpoint is ...
2
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1answer
34 views

Do parts need to overlap in order to be considered as imitation?

I understand that imitation is repetition within a polyphonic texture...so my understanding is that for example, when the trumpet part repeats the string part at 0:21 in this piece by Handel ( ...
2
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0answers
52 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. ...
5
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5answers
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Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor breaks the “no parallel octaves” rule?

I notice in his BWV 565, more well known as Toccata and Fugue in D minor, what looks like a lot of parallel octaves in the fugue. I have studied counterpoint before and every counterpoint resource I ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Would the melodic leap of the opening phrase of Mozart's K545 be considered dissonant?

The Complete Musician by Steven Laitz states that melodic intervals larger than a fifth are considered dissonant and should be avoided. It also states that two leaps of a third are fine, provided you ...
7
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2answers
90 views

How to identify modes in Medieval counterpoint?

I am reading through Alfred Mann's Translation of Gradus Ad Parnassum (The Study of Counterpoint), but one thing confuses me. In the first species, this counterpoint is shown to be correct: But this ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Close transposition but want to avoid dissonance

So I had this idea to have a march in canon. So I would have a rhythmic cell like this: to give a march-like feeling. I have decided on 6 rhythmic cells before a note change and going up 1 note and ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Parallel Fifths in Pachelbel's Canon in D?

The other day, I was watching a scrolling score of Pachelbel's (in)famous Canon in D on Youtube, when I noticed something interesting. In the excerpt below, shouldn't the the circled notes in the 1st ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Melodic lines are diatonic, harmony doesn't seem to be

Okay so this is something that I came across as I was writing my canons and analyzing the harmony to try to figure out which canon is best for my symphony. There is a section in one of my canons where ...
4
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2answers
64 views

How to realize the figured bass of the second movement of BWV 1014?

I am planning a performance of the second movement of Bach's violin sonata BWV 1014 in B Minor. The beginning of second mvt, Allegro is shown below. As you can see there are some figured bass below ...
1
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2answers
163 views

How to keep going in the fugue

So I decided to start over my fugue writing. I had a good subject but it was overwhelming to compose it and I forgot so much about the fugue that I am restarting it. I have been doing all these ...
2
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0answers
68 views

Countersubject strategy, is my strategy a good one? [closed]

Introduction So, I have always been kind of on and off about writing fugues. Bach keeps encouraging me to write a fugue and when I am in fugue mode, Bach is all I listen to. After all, who better to ...
1
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1answer
48 views

In Second Species Composition, how do you traverse an octave between downbeats

From what I understand you can have an octave leap from one downbeat to the next in first species as long as it rebounds with a step in the opposite direction. However, in programming second species,...
2
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5answers
2k views

Why do I need to learn counterpoint if I know harmony?

When I search for differences between harmony and counterpoint I usually read that in the end there's harmony in counterpoint. Can't I learn just harmony and get the same results ?
7
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3answers
4k views

What's the difference between sixteenth century counterpoint and eighteenth century counterpoint?

What's the difference between sixteenth century counterpoint and eighteenth century counterpoint? Is sixteenth century counterpoint melody or modal based (as this answer suggests) and eighteenth ...
4
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3answers
611 views

Dissonances and harmony

When I listen to Bach, Handel or Vivaldi (especially Baroque composers) every single note seems to fit there perfectly I mean pretty consonant to their location. As I was trying to learn tonal ...
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0answers
60 views

How to go about writing a second countersubject?

I have written a subject and countersubject. Here is how I went about writing the countersubject: 1st iteration: Restricted to D, G, and A(answer is is D major), all quarter notes 2nd iteration: A ...
0
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2answers
86 views

Interval analysis, augmented 5th or a 6th?

I am doing interval analysis as I am writing a countersubject(working on the harmony for it right now). But I have a bit of trouble here. I have 3 note choices for any given quarter note. The spot I ...
5
votes
3answers
680 views

How to apply counterpoint to my own compositions?

I recently learned the five species of counterpoint, but feel like I am not grasping the significance of counterpoint in music. I get the feeling these principles may be used to write a bass line for ...
4
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3answers
58 views

What does Satb theory say about moving octave C into a perfect fiftth?

On a piano you could play octave C moving to G-D. The high C moves up to D and the lower C moves up to G. X:1 L:1/2 M: K:C %%score B V:B clef=bass % 1 [V:B] [C,C] [G,D] What would four-...
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0answers
165 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 ...
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0answers
204 views

Why is writing in free counterpoint so hard? [closed]

I have had this overwhelming feeling for weeks. 1 day I even had to listen to Mozart just to go to sleep because I was feeling so overwhelmed. I have tried everything I did in the past for composer's ...
6
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1answer
258 views

Is 2 measures sufficient for a fugue subject?

I know what a fugue is. I also have been reading up on the form of the fugue and how to write in counterpoint. I wrote a canon and I have written a sonatina using sonata form. So theoretically a fugue ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Gradus ad parnassum: what does “seven must be set with third” mean?

So I came around this example in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum (p.98) The purple dot marks bar 6. Joseph considers it an error, as explained here: What does "the seventh must be set with the third" ...
1
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1answer
148 views

How to write in counterpoint for a sonata? [closed]

So yeah, just as it sounds like, I will be composing a sonata. It will be in the style of Beethoven. The first movement will be slow and quiet mostly. Of course I will be using dissonance such as a ...
6
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1answer
151 views

Are same interval leaps consented in second species counterpoint?

I've been told that, in second species counterpoint, presenting the same interval in 2 consecutive bars is an error. What then if the intervals skips in opposite directions? Like this: Is this ...
11
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3answers
667 views

Are augmented fourth allowed in second species counterpoint?

I'm trying to learn counterpoint with the help of the Gradus. I think I've made many mistakes but I'm not sure if they're allowed or not. At bar 62 (upbeat) you may see an augmented fourth, used as ...
2
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1answer
129 views

In species counterpoint, what is “an unprepared and unresolved double leap”?

A video tutorial I have seen speaks of an unprepared and unresolved double leap. Can someone explain what this is please?
5
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1answer
177 views

Counterpoint (Fux): 3rd species, 3 voices, closing formulas

I am working my way through Gradus ad Parnassum (Mann translation). The chapter is: third species in three voices. At page 92, I see an example (Fig. 130) that ends like this: I cannot understand the ...
4
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1answer
151 views

Rules of rhythm (especially in regards to Palestrina-like counterpoint)

I've read a bunch of books and websites on florid counterpoint in 2-4 parts, but it seems like, while there are tons of rules for deciding which tones are okay in which context, very little has been ...
7
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1answer
197 views

Linear Harmony = neo-medievalism?

How much can linear harmony (the Tonnetz, Neo-Riemannian theory) be explained, more than a century later, as a correction from overly vertical (chordal, Roman numeral, late 1700's) organization to ...
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0answers
80 views

Books on composition as insightful as Goeschius [closed]

I've been a magpie for books on composition/orchestration, and it seems to me that the books written by Percy Goeschius are the best, most insightful and well-written that I've come across. Hia ...
1
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1answer
341 views

jazz counterpoint [closed]

Lately i've become interested in counterpoint composition within a more contemporary jazz tonality framework (20th century and beyond) for two or more voices. How would you go about accomplishing ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Is there a standard non-Fux counterpoint method?

The OP for this question refers to a rule for second-species counterpoint which isn't mentioned in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. The answer confirms it, and adds yet another rule, referring to "strict ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Are consecutive 3rds allowed in harmony?

In harmony, is it okay if there are consecutive 3rds in ii-V progression in two different bars?
4
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1answer
86 views

Questions about hexachord on p.31 of the Study of Counterpoint

p. 31 of The Study of Counterpoint by Johann Joseph Fux (translated by Alfred Mann) says: I don't understand what this page is telling us. I understand what a hexachord is. However, why note is G not ...
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3answers
942 views

Can modal counterpoint be studied without studying harmony? Where to start?

I have a background 1 year of harmony study and I'm now taking a non-western modal approach to music (trough Indian Classical Music, which is mainly monophonic and have no concept of harmony). I have ...
3
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1answer
205 views

Why do the examples in Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum contain a G clef immediately after a C clef?

If the G clef ends up overriding the C Clef, why include the C clef in the first place? Questionable image quality, but I couldn't find a legible example. I'm aware that it's a dumb question, but I ...
1
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1answer
56 views

How is this bar an example of the rule given in Tonal Counterpoint text?

The rule given in Green and Jones' The Principles and Practice of Tonal Counterpoint is: The seventh may move into another voice before resolving, but when the harmony changes it will almost ...
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2answers
542 views

What determines if counterpoint is good or bad?

I am currently reading through the Complete Musician and the current subject is second species counterpoint. I've written about 5 or 6 counterpoints so far in first and second species. That said ...