Author Topic: The counterpoint challenge  (Read 373 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Uhor

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 184
The counterpoint challenge
« on: April 15, 2020, 01:05:17 PM »
The challenge is to write a short piece using your own more or less strict made up counterpoint rules.

As an example, this work:
https://soundcloud.com/richannes-wrahms/unfolding
follows the rules:

Melodically dissonant interval leaps are prohibited, so is the leap of a sixth except a minor sixth upwards.

Voices enter at a constant interval with respect to the other voices.

Direct and parallel fifths and octaves are prohibited.

Soft dissonant intervals are approached by contraty or oblique motion. Hard dissonances only by oblique motion.

A voice may not be dissonant with the same other voice consecutively.

The interval of a fourth is considered a dissonance only when it happens between an upper voice and the bass.

Dissonances resolve between voices by contrary or oblique motion into a consonance.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 01:13:30 PM by Uhor »

Offline TMHeimer

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Location: Nova Scotia
  • Currently Listening to:
    professional clarinetist
Re: The counterpoint challenge
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2020, 06:32:39 PM »
I remember well doing this quite a bit during my B. Music degree in the 70s. I got pretty good grades, but never really figured out the point of it. As a school band director and prof. clarinetist I can't recall ever needing this knowledge. Not sure how it relates to contemporary music (20th century, etc.). I wrote out a lot of jazz solos for my school jazz bands, which only required a knowledge of chord progressions and a good ear.
The Most Advanced Clarinet Book
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom
(click on book image, PDF samples)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet solo
(Sheet Music Plus)

Offline Crudblud

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 590
  • Location: Multiple Fridge-Freezers
Re: The counterpoint challenge
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 01:43:13 AM »
This idea interests me but at first glance I don't think I'd be any good at it. I will think about it though, it could be a good way to stretch myself.

Offline Uhor

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 184
Re: The counterpoint challenge
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 08:31:11 AM »
This idea interests me but at first glance I don't think I'd be any good at it. I will think about it though, it could be a good way to stretch myself.

It's a good idea to improvise a little at first, to see what works and what doesn't. You can even do some simple species counterpoint to try it and get the hang of it.

I would be very interested to see what rules people come up with, how they define and treat dissonance and which restrictions do they follow on their melody writing. Do they make a distinction between upbeat and downbeat, etc.

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: The counterpoint challenge
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 06:48:32 AM »
I just noticed this thread - if I'd seen it before it might have given me an incentive to keep my latest piece short. I can't say I made up any counterpoint rules for it, mostly followed the traditional ones but not dogmatically - accidentally broke the parallel fifths rule a couple of times and also accidentally hit on a short (two note) consecutive unison sequence that works so well I really don't care if there's a rule against it.

It's an interesting idea though and I'll have to give it some thought...