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That is, some chords are dissonant, but in the right progression they sound good. Basically, the best counterpoint is good harmony in which all the notes are part of nice, clearly independent lines. The FUX rules arent there to trip you up, but to give you simple choices. If you can write better music without them, then ditch them. A lot of Opera where you have singers singing different things. Beethoven 9th FInale, where the 4 soloists interwine and do their own thing.

Basically anything where you hear two or melodies simultaneously. I am planning a big set of posts on counterpoint in the relative future, as I am doing very in depth study on the subject. I just like to know if counterpoint is used to help make beautiful compositions. I heard the Beatles studied counterpoint. One thing I know about Music History is that composers like Bach obviously , Beethoven, Mozart, and many others, all studied counterpoint and these are great composers.

Kitson C H - Counterpoint for Beginners

I want to improve in my melody writing, so does counterpoint lead you to write beautiful compositions? I think the question you are asking is not quite the right question. What is a beautiful composition? It is purely in the ear of the listener. A composition may be beautiful to you, and sound terrible to someone else. Instead I would ask, will counterpoint improve my ability to realize the music that I hear in my mind?

The answer then is yes, it will. Counterpoint is really about melody, and I believe melody is the key to great music. Counterpoint will give you a deeper understanding of melody and how melodies fit together to create music. Your teacher is smart for making you learn counterpoint. Read the first few chapter and it looks quite accesible. The TOC quite promising and has morivated me to study cpt.

I just thiught I share it:. I would like to point out that practicing something to the effect of mastering it is only helpful if your practicing the right way. His style is very fascinating. Here are some observations of basic concepts to concentrate on:. Both classical and jazz counterpoint avoid use of consecutive octaves and perfect fifths although Juarez uses side-slipping to great effect. Learn the four common types of motion: parallel, similar, oblique pedal point , and contrary. Hope this helps.

This form completely disregards the harmony. I just finished listening to the Octet. Very nice. I have an idea. I studied at university a graduation in graphic design and the way I learned do draw something that is good for me was to understand the gradual developping of the drawing of children and the analogy with the developping of perspective and painting in the medieval age to renaissance and in the same time I studied the theory of visual composition based on Gestalt psychology.

I have studied and sung gregorian chant for some years and I made some compositions for singing in portuguese that have the same modal structure of the original. Later I want to add a third voice and later to use rhythmic modes, few possibilities of some rhytmic figures combined in a way that all combinations have the same duration. Later to try canons combined with some parallel movement of 3ths and 6ths overlapping. And so on. Excuse me if my english is bad. I like what you are doing for people and wish you well in your composing efforts.

When I was younger I am soon to be 69 I was passionate about music, first flamenco guitar then classical piano then trying to figure out how classical music works. I got into a masters program in music in graduate school—they waived the undergraduate degree.

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I did have one good teacher. He had traveled around Hungary with Bela Bartok collecting folk music. I am not sure that the left brained approach to music that is taught in school really helps. I used to read large amounts of theory books but found just looking at scores much more helpful. I read once that when someone took a composition to Brahms that he covered up everything except the melody and the base. I thought about that for quite awhile and realized that that is what moves the music through time. Try looking at music that way—strip off everything except the functional melody notes and the functional base notes and I think you will learn quite a bit.

Another idea is to take a piece of music, circle the critical melody and bass notes then write a different composition using these notes as an underlying structure. These two idea have helped me more than anything I ever learned in school. In time, I came to understand that while music is very profoundly moving, it is really nothing but patterns.

Some people, those with genius, are able to create new patterns that move other people deeply and so they are remembered.


Once you get so you feel you can compose then start altering the parameters of the music and try to develop your own style. If you always use a tonal alberti bass your music will sound like something written in the classical period. Debussy is credited with moving seventh chords in parallel motion a mainstay of his style but I found Chopin in one of his Mazurkas moved seventh chords in parallel motion! A friend told me once there is a work by Mozart that sound atonal. So perhaps Debussy, who loved Chopin, came across the parallel sevenths and incorporated them into his style.

I study it like I did music and find it totally fascinating and financially rewarding.

Counterpoint for beginners kitson c h

I hope the above might help you in some way. Keep up what you are doing and keep sharing what you learn with others. Thanks for the excellent advice. I have been working much more with music recently than with theory books, although I must admit that I still dabble in the theory more than I should. I guess I am still in the stage right now where I am trying to assimilate past composers more than innovate in my own work. It seems to me, what makes the greats great, is that they make it through all three stages, but no one can really skip the first two.

Its good for me as well. When I do, believe me, you will hear about it. It kinda works out for me. So in addition to my harmony and counterpoint studies I have to keep up with my reading and writing skills as well as my keyboard playing skills which are both superficial. Before falling in love with music I only played electric guitar, also self-taught. Greetings from Uruguay! I am on the journey of self study myself and I found Fux a great resource in learning counterpoint. As others have said if it was good enough for the masters it is good enough for me. I also have done some work with Counterpoint in Composition by Saltzer and Schachter.

It is nice to find others who are one the self study path.

I am finding more and more value, in releasing one rule at a time, and learning by making mistakes. I actually purchased a program recently called Counterpointer.

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After using it for a while now, I find that it is really helping a lot, because it immediately points out your mistakes. Ernst Krenek published a small book on what is basically tone counterpoint, although not strict style. I found its conciseness helpful. Also, Schoenberg wrote a nice introduction to counterpoint. Paul Hindemith also wrote several more up to date treatments of harmony and counterpoint. His second book focuses on two voice writing, but it covers it thoroughly in a more contemporary style. The scary part is he expects you to be competent with it before using his other works.

It is comforting to know that Haydn is said to have studied counterpoint without a teacher. If Haydn could do it, we all can if we work hard! I am currently working through the exercises in the Gradus- and it is going better than i thought it would. However, I am not sure how I can use all the strict rules in my compositions. Michael, Thanks for the encouragement. I have to admit, I put the counterpoint down for a while. But I am back at it in full force. I am using several books, to try and get different viewpoints.

First, Fux is on the reading list, because I figure if it was good enough for Bach, Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, not to mention tons of others, then it is good enough for me. Something about the Socratic way it is written is just appealing to me. What I am finding is it takes about two readings per section to really get down to the meat of what is being said. As far as practical goes, the Fux is simplest, in terms of the way he describes things, which lets you get down to practicing more counterpoint.

I plan on doing a big post about my progress in a little while. Hi , I was googling 20th century ctp and I came across this blog. I am also a composer teaching myself but I did go. To college and studied ctp and still have no glue in how to use it in my own music. I studied bach s ctp and I recently became curious about rebsissancd ctp because of the way it glows freely it seems more free. A good teacher I mean , they are scarce. English composers were masters of rhythmic intricacy In the music. I also like Marin marais a lot. His Pieces for viola da gsmva go right to your soul.

He has recordings of Marcel Dupre improvising a passacaglia and fugue, and a passacaglia and double fugue.

Keep up the good work with this awesome site. I love your site. I wish everyone as knowledgeable as yourself was as helpful. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Frustration of Learning Counterpoint This article talks about: My frustrations with learning counterpoint on my own from books Some facts and assumptions about learning counterpoint My first counterpoint lesson hint: it involves your input to make it work If you want to skip to the first lesson, just scroll to the bottom of the article.

Want my best stuff on composing? I've created a lot of resources on composing since , and I want to share them with you. My best videos, podcasts, and articles, with goodies only available on the mailing list. We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Comments Hi. All best, Ben. Bach had the Latin edition, which was published in Bach was 40 in Did he learn counterpoint at 40? Now towards last chapter of life, I would like to go back to older ways with all the restrictions many here discard mistake on their parts — limitations are helpful Is there a way, a method, a book you recommend?

Thank you John G. How is this book? Did you enjoy it an did it teach you enough? Thinking of getting it myself. Composition improvement, here I come! Contrary motion, as much as possible! Love your thoughts on composition. Hi Jon Let me know when your course on counterpoint is up and running. Kind regards, Kamen. Last year I found a great book by De La Motte. Does anyone know this book anc can tell me something about it? Hello, Counterpoint is only 4 part writing where you would erase some notes. Hi Jon, I got this information somewhere on the internet about counterpoint.

I have found several videos that would be great additions to the playlist. Hey Jon, I just like to know if counterpoint is used to help make beautiful compositions.

Here are some observations of basic concepts to concentrate on: a. It is my pleasure.

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