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EpISODE 35 COUNTERPOINT PT. 2

HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips

 

TYPE- Theory

 

DURATION- 44:22

 

BUMPER MUSIC- "The Hornet's Nest" (Area 47 Music)

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe

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DESCRIPTION

Continuing our discussion from episode 34-Counterpoint Pt.1, we will now discuss species counterpoint. We have already built our cantus firmus. Now, we will add a voice, using first species counterpoint. We will then take a stab at second species counterpoint. The challenge awaits! Do join us.

KEY WORDS MELODY- A succession or arrangement of notes forming a distinctive sequence or theme, often repeated or revisited through out the piece. The melodic line works within the horizontal aspect of music. COUNTERPOINT- The combining or intermingling of two or more independent melodic lines as well as the set of principles that accompany this process. CANTUS FIRMUS- The original melody, upon which the counter point is built. These were often based (loosely or directly) on the traditional plain chant melodies that were written for worship in early church services. SPECIES COUNTERPOINT- Also known as "strict counterpoint", SPECIES COUNTERPOINT refers to the approach music students are given to write counterpoint while observing a number of conventions. These conventions are made to ensure each melody it's own independence. 1st SPECIES COUNTERPOINT- This occurs when the added voice, above or below the cantus firmus, follows at a 1:1 ratio, rhythmically. So if the cantus firmus consists of 4 half notes ( h ), so will the added melody, in 1st species. 2nd SPECIES COUNTERPOINT- This occurs when the added voice, above or below the cantus firmus, follows at a 1:2 ratio, rhythmically. So if the cantus firmus consists of 4 half notes ( h ), the added melody will consists of 8 quarter notes ( q ). 2nd species counterpoint will involve 2 notes for every 1 of the cantus firmus. EXAMPLES Our CANTUS FIRMUS
1st Species Counterpoint 1:1

1st SPECIES RULES

 

We want to add a note with the same NOTE VALUE to each note of our CANTUS FIRMUS.

 

 1. Use only consonant intervals (P5, P8, m3, M3, m6 and M6). No 2nds. No 4ths.

 

 2. P4 is considered a dissonance in 2 part (2 voice) counterpoint.

 

 3. PU is intended for only the BEGINNING and END of each phrase.

     It's best to avoid this interval within the body of the phrase.

 

 4. The perfect intervals (PU, P5 and P8) should ONLY be approached by CONTRARY or OBLIQUE

     motion. They should NOT involve  PARALLEL or SIMILAR motion.

 

 5.  Parallel UNISONS, 5th or 8ths are no good, even when approached by contrary motion.

 

 6. The one exception is the HORN 5ths. This is when an interval of a 3rd descends to a P5.

      Also when a 3rd ascends to a P5.

 

 7. If the top voice moves by step and by similar motion into a perfect interval, with the top voice leaping,

     results in DIRECT or HIDDEN intervals. Avoid these!

 

 8. Voices should NOT overlap or cross.

 

 9. Avoid more than 3 parallel 3rds and 6ths in succession.

OUR 1st SPECIES COUNTERPOINT

Below, you will see our original CANTUS FIRMUS, in the lower voice, and our

1ST SPECIES COUNTERPOINT, in the upper voice.

2nd Species Counterpoint 2:1

2nd SPECIES RULES

 

 We want to add TWO notes of counterpoint at 1/2 the value, against each note of our

CANTUS FIRMUS. In this example, we will assign two 1/4 notes to each

1/2 note. Beat 1 is stressed. Beat 2 is unstressed.

 

 1. The STRESSED note MUST be consonant.

 

 2. The UNSTRESSED note can be consonant or dissonant.

 

 3. The only acceptable dissonance in 2nd species would be that of the PASSING TONE.

 

 4. A PASSING TONE can be either consonant OR dissonant.

 

 5. The UNSTRESSED note can be a consonant NEIGHBOR NOTE.

 

 6. If the 2nd UNSTRESSED 1/4 note is consonant, it should stay within the triad implied by the

     preceding 1/4 note.

 

 7. Avoid parallel 5ths and 8ths between strong beats.

 

 8. A PU is acceptable on a weak beat but NOT on a strong beat. It's tolerable but not great.

 

 9. Avoid repeated notes in the 2nd species counterpoint.

 

 10. You MAY begin the CP with a rest that is 1/2 the value of the corresponding notes of the

        cantus firmus.

 

 11. The LAST TWO notes of the CP, in the CADENCE, may have the same note value as the

       corresponding notes of the cantus firmus.

OUR 2nd SPECIES COUNTERPOINT

Below, you will see our original CANTUS FIRMUS, in the lower voice, and our

2ND SPECIES COUNTERPOINT, in the upper voice.

THINGs TO REMEMBER

-1st species counterpoint follows the cantus firmus, note for note, rhythmically.

 

-2nd species counterpoint follows the cantus firmus at a 2:1 ratio. That's 2 notes,

 at 1/2 the length, for every 1 note of the cantus firmus.

EPISODE MUSIC

 

 "The Hornet's Nest"

  (Area 47 Music)

 

  Brian Maloy: drums

  Jeremy Burns: bass, rhythm guitar

  Jerome Chapman: lead guitar

 

MUSIC STUDENT 101

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