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Counter Point basics

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by walters, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    What is Counter Point? its made up of intervals
    just sounds like intervals to me

    How do i write a Canon?
    It seems like i Shift or nudge the melody line
    and start the second melody one note from
    the starting note these creates Delays?

    How do i write a imitation?
    i just start a 5th down from the starting note?
  2. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    What are some basic Counterpoint concepts ?
    example i play a C major scale C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,
    counterpointer: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D
    canon: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C

    See how's its "Delay" by a interval note
  3. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    If my melody line is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C how would i write a "Canon" for this melody line?

    If my melody line is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C how would i write a "imitation" for this melody line?
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    saying it ver ybasically counterpoint is nothing more than two(or more) melodies that share harmonic relationships moving against each other.

    Species counterpoint is where you would want to begin to learn counterpoint.
  5. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    So how do you write a countpoint line from a basic melody ?
    What are the Basics of countpointing methods?
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    are you familiar with voice leading ? when two chords are put next to each other in a musical setting there are conventions as to where and how each note moves to the next one; it is by no means haphazard.
  7. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    voice leading would be the resolving stepwise,skip,lead
    to the notes

    counter point is based around Intervals mostly

    voice leading in 4 part chordal writing yes they are seperate
    the bass,tenor,alto,soprano voices and try to make the
    have voice leading and movement

    what about just basic counterpoint like 1:1,2:1,3:1,4:1
    is based about intervals

    I'm tring to write a Canon how do i start with a basic c major
    scale melody line?
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    ok so you are familiar the basic conventions. remember to avoid the P5 and the octave. As for writing a counterpoint, figure out the harmonic movement of your melody, plot that, and then compose a counter melody accordingly.

    btw, while it seems the easiest 1:1 species counterpoint is the hardest...
  9. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    Thanks DZ for the information

    How do i write a counter melody for a canon function?

    A really Basic Melody line

    C-D-E-F-G-A-B Counter Melody?

    Is this the way to do a canon?

    How would you write a canon counter melody what are the basics to do this?
  10. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    A Canon Has three "counter melodys" how do you make these counter melody's ?
  11. walters


    Apr 21, 2005
    All the voices of a canon have the same melody, beginning at different times.
    In counterpoint, a melody that is repeated exactly by a different voice, entering a short interval after the original voice.
  12. You guys should take this act on the road....
  13. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    A canon does not have to be 3 part, it does have to be at least 2.

    thank you...try the salmon...I'll be here thru Sunday.
  14. Is there something wrong with the veal?

    -Daniel Y
  15. stagger lee

    stagger lee

    Jul 11, 2004
    have i got this right: a counterpoint melody is a copy of the original melody but starting from a different note? does the counterpoint melody move in the same intervals as the original or would it be like playing C major in diatonic thirds for example?

    i'm pretty stable with canons, we've been doing a lot of work on them at school, just for verification a canon is an imitation of the melody but starting while the original melody is still playing?
  16. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    no, a counterpoint is an independent melody that fits harmonically like a puzzle piece with other melodies.

    Walters, if you want to learn counterpoint pm me and we can set up some email lessons..gratis of course...
  17. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Okay, okay, step aside!
    Here's the definition of "canon", from The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Mass. : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1986) (p. 128):
    "Imitation of a complete subject by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch and time. If each successive following voice follows the leading voice in every detail, the canon is strict; if, however, [it] modifies [the leading voice] by minor changes in accidentals, the canon is free... Canons may be self-contained entities or may ooccur within larger pieces (canonic imitation). They may also be combined with independent lines (mixed or accompanied canons) or even with other canons (group or compound canons)."
    "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Frere Jacques" are examples of canons (specifically, "perpetual canons at the unison").
    J.S. Bach, of course, was the all-time canon master. Back in his day, composers used to amuse themselves by doing things like writing complex canons that would sound the same when read upside down or rightside up, etc., etc.
    Hope this helps.
  18. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    HDM ain't gonna teach you counterpoint, neither is a book. IT requires pencils, paper, and LOTS of erasers....
  19. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    True, true...
  20. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Here's a "quick and dirty" lesson in counterpoint, dug out from my memories of elementary counterpoint in music school, 30 [choke] years ago.
    This is basic counterpoint, not canonic writing.

    1) Start with a "cantus firmus", a melody of maybe 8 to 10 notes. C up to C (the original poster's example) isn't exactly very melodic, but I guess it could work.
    2) Write a line against it, following these rules:
    Absolutely no parallel 5ths or octaves. Parallel 4ths are in bad taste.
    No direct 5ths or octaves (in other words, the secondary line makes a big jump and lands on a note which is a 5th or an octave from the cantus).
    2nds, 4ths and 7ths are okay in passing... no more than one note.
    No leaps bigger than a major 6th.
    Parallel 3rds and 6ths are very nice, but probably not for more than two successive notes.
    Strive for contrary motion (the cantus goes up, the secondary line goes down, and vice versa).
    Finally, try to make the secondary line "melodic" in its own right.
    I'm certainly open to correction and elaboration if anyone else would like to jump in.