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.
What will we cover?
• Analysis of contrapuntal scores in tonal and non-tonal styles
• Identify differences in modal, tonal, and non-tonal styles of counterpoint
• Explore functional and non-functional harmony
• Understand stylistic uses of consonance and dissonance in different style periods
• Practical exercises in developing contrapuntal technique.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Analyse melodic, harmonic and rhythmic aspects of contrapuntal music
• Identify the mechanics of contrapuntal music in different style periods
• Understand stylistic uses of consonance and dissonance
• Apply contrapuntal techniques in practical exercises and own compositions in two or more parts.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Students should have attended the second term of the course or have done some previous study of counterpoint.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The classes will include analysis of and group discussion on specified musical scores, as well as individual feedback and group discussion on student exercises. You will be expected to complete homework tasks.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Manuscript paper, notebook, pen, pencil and eraser.
Other materials will be supplied by the tutor.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
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.