Music theory: counterpoint 1
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MG427A
Duration: 11 sessions (over 12 weeks)
What is the course about?
Counterpoint is the art of writing two or more independent melodic lines that combine to create effective music. This course explores the principles of contrapuntal technique, providing students with both an insight into this compositional style and practical skills in composition.
The course will combine analysis of scores from a variety of musical periods, and practical exercises which will be reviewed and discussed in class.
- Lassus: Oculus Non Vidit
- Morley: I Go Before My Darling
- Morley: Fantasia Il Doloroso
- Palestrina: Missa O Magnum Mysterium (Benedictus).
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Analysis of pieces from contrapuntal repertoire, ranging from Renaissance to 20th Century
- Similarities and differences in contrapuntal technique between different style periods
- Modal and tonal practices in melodic and harmonic contexts
- Contrapuntal devices including imitation and canon
- Applying contrapuntal techniques in composition exercises.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Gain understanding of a linear approach to composition
- Analyse contrapuntal music using technical terms
- Develop awareness of differences between musical styles and periods
- Develop knowledge of modal and tonal landscapes and explore consonance and dissonance
- Write two-part pieces in contrapuntal style.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course requires a good understanding of music theory (equivalent Grade 6 level or above) and some skills with performing on an instrument or voice.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course you will need a computer or tablet with a webcam, microphone and reliable internet connection to take this class. We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks. We use ZOOM for live classes via webcam.
Your tutor will use a variety of techniques:
- tutor explanation and demonstration via webcam / shared screen
- short revision videos and/or audio files (posted in Google Classroom)
- worksheets (posted in Google Classroom)
- group performing and individual demonstration tasks (e.g. playing your completed ex on the piano or uploading a photo/pdf of your work for the whole class to see).
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Manuscript paper, notebook, pen, pencil and eraser. Internet access. You may work in Sibelius software if you prefer. Other materials will be supplied by the tutor.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Music theory: counterpoint 2 follows in the same time slot next term.
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
Selena began her musical career as a composer, gaining a Dutch Government scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague with Louis Andriessen. As a student she won numerous prizes including BBC Young Composers, resulting in a commission for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Radio 3 broadcasts. She has wide musical interests ranging from Renaissance counterpoint and the origins of tonality to twentieth-century composition techniques and electronic music. Selena performs in an experimental electronic music duo KOGG with Cerys Hogg. They create music by sampling vocals, sound objects, and home-made instruments, combining composed and improvised material. They have performed live and are producing an album. Selena has a keen interest in music pedagogy, particularly the social and cognitive benefits of music education, and is a specialist Kodály practitioner. She is also advisor in further education for the British Kodály Academy. Selena holds BMus (Hons), MMus and PGCE degrees, has held positions at Goldsmiths and Middlesex University and currently teaches at City Lit and Morley College.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.