• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Topic: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

  1. #1

    Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    From the other counterpoint thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by pull_plug
    ...I still very much struggle with including counterpoint practically in my compositions. That is to say balancing it all out within an orchestral/homophonic framework if that makes sense.
    Instead of completely hijacking that thread, I decided to start a new one, since we are going off topic.

    I find almost all of my works, including some highly chromatic orchestral and even my rock songs very much influenced by my counterpoint studies. None of them strictly follow species counterpoint rules (few even come close to that mark), but after fully grasping the intent of the exercises, I find the spirit of good contrapuntal writing is with me in everything I do.

    Here's an example from my own repertory:
    Epidemic - 1.91 MB

    Section I (0:00-0:30)
    Listen to the three main lines: Oboe plays the melody while pizz basses and cellos play the bass line. There is a slow inner line in arco violas. These three voices (ignore the harp and flute parts for the moment) are very closely aligned to species counterpoint, though I am fairly liberal in my personal interpretation of dissonance and consonance.

    Section II (0:30-1:00)
    Here the main contrapuntal trio is played by two bassoons (upper lines) and a bass clarinet (bass line). Ignore the other instrument textures. The two bassoons play rhythmically together, and the bass clarinet plays off of them. The bassoons follow traditional voice leading between themselves (including "horn fifths"), but the clarinet sets against them in places creating 7ths and 9ths. I decided for this section to consider these intervals *sometimes* consonant; my personal extension to Fux for these measures

    Section III (1:00-1:18)
    Here we have a classic duet between oboe and bassoon, very contrapuntal in nature. I again am a little liberal with the use of 7ths and 9ths. I recall writing this section and having species counterpoint very much in my head. Though it breaks away from it much in the harmony, the melodies and voice leading is still following guidelines suggested by our good friend Fux!

    Section IV (1:18-2:00)
    Repeating section I, with a few additional instruments. The main melody is now doubled at the octave in the piccolo. Note the new melody added by the quiet glockenspiel, turning the three-part theme into a four-part. Later the oboe joins the other winds in a short chorale (with Fuxian voice-leading!) while the piccolo goes off on a melodic fragment of its own.

    Please feel free to ask any questions you like. If people are interested, I can post an example from my rock music, or something else of good contrast to this one.

    - Jamie Kowalski

    PS - I'd love to see/hear anyone else's examples, if they care to post them!
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Ooooo! I have some good ones. I would like to hear yours, but I'm at work and the lowsy PC here has no ears!
    I give you my Sinfonietta: Listen here

    Here is the score:Score

    I can't do a good breakdown like above because I am at work, but the score should clearly illustrate my contrapunal writing throughout, even though the rules of dissonance are streeeeeeeeeeeetched! (a lot)

    Note the faster section around page 25, rehearsal letter F. This part is written canonically and is the part I am most proud of.
    Every note of every bar is written using a type of counterpoint writing. I just use looser rules, different scales and tonalities, etc. I do observe contrary motion as possible because I believe that creates a stronger piece. It also creates more interesting parts for the individual instrumentalists to play.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  3. #3

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Thanks Jess,

    it's a very pretty piece of music, your sinfonietta

    Thanks Jamie,

    I enjoyed your Epidemic, beautiful melodies

    Good work, contrapuncters!

    Punctus contra punctum

  4. #4

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Hi All

    I thought I'll share my way of using counterpoint. Contrapuntal writing is everywhere in my piecies and I guess, without my own studies of Fux, none of it would have made any sense to me. This little Concertino for two Oboes, strings and continuo is a good example of how I employ all the rules in my own way.

    You can listen here and look here.

    Kind regards


  5. #5

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Excellent stuff!! All the examples so far are terrific. Here's a little from a rock'n'roll point of view... I work a lot of somewhat contrapuntal sounding stuff into pices when I can, though it's usualy short repetative bits. And while there are generally several opposing melodies there's generally chords behind it.

    Here's two bits though- the first is a short (2:00) interlude section for a long piece. It starts out as a fake fugue but quickly becomes a jam and some solos

    Shapes of the Morning

    The second is two excerpts from a song that starts out with many opposing parts layering on each other, then has a vocal section from later in the song.

    Tales Excerpts

    Kind of basic I know but fun for a band to play! Some day I want to try and write a real, disciplined contrapuntal piece of music...

  6. #6

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Very slick, Fred! I have a soft spot in my heart for music such as from the bands, Yes, King Crimson, ELP, and others my old brain can't think of at the moment.
    So, does your band play these pieces I downloaded?

  7. #7

    Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daag Nabbott
    Very slick, Fred! I have a soft spot in my heart for music such as from the bands, Yes, King Crimson, ELP, and others my old brain can't think of at the moment.
    So, does your band play these pieces I downloaded?
    Thanks! We've played the second one live, never did the first (except for the recording...)

  8. #8

    Smile Re: Counterpoint - How does it affect ME? (Examples)

    That's excellent. The rock I like!!! It reminds me of some Yes and Gentle Giant.
    Pierre Laroche

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts