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Thread: I am working on a three voice counterpoint exercise

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    Default I am working on a three voice counterpoint exercise

    Hello,

    I am working on a three-voiceScreen Shot 2021-03-07 at 4.01.52 PM.jpg counterpoint exercise. The top line was given to me. I am not sure if I did it correctly. What would you do to fix what I did wrong?
    Last edited by djdillyc; Mar-07-2021 at 22:08.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    In the style of what century are you supposed to be writing? Whichever it is, you have more than one instance of parallel perfect intervals, all voices moving in the same direction, and an anomalous dissonant interval with no justification. It's going to require a comprehensive rewrite to correct these errors. Better to start over than to futz with this version.

    Presuming this is 18thc counterpoint, I would suggest that when you start over, you begin by first writing a solid bass line using lots of contrary motion with respect to the cantus firmus. When the cantus firmus moves up, favor moving the bass line down, when it moves down, favor moving the bass line up. Obviously, you can't do this all the time. The point is that contrary motion in the outer parts is generally strong and satisfying. Another thing to consider when writing the bass line is to think harmonically, trying to use the roots of triads at important points. Doing these things maximizes the options for the inner part. Write the inner part after you've finished a strong bass line.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-08-2021 at 16:59.

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    also the top 2 voices repeatedly cross one another, and the lack of a leading tone in the final cadence is awkward. The 2-1 in the soprano makes it difficult, so putting the leading tone in the bass (no reason for a perfect cadence here) would work.
    Last edited by Bwv 1080; Mar-08-2021 at 18:31.

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Just for laughs, here is a possible solution. Been forever since I did one of these, was kind of fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
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    Just for laughs, here is a possible solution. Been forever since I did one of these, was kind of fun
    Not sure I get the humour in this solution. Is it the conssecutive oblique motion in the alto of m.3? I was thought oblique motion was often favorable.

    I think they're fun too! It's like solving a puzzle and it's so satisfying when you crack the code. And even though they're just exercises and not real music, they can make some pleasing melodies and counterpoint sometimes!

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GucciManeIsTheNewWebern View Post
    Not sure I get the humour in this solution. Is it the conssecutive oblique motion in the alto of m.3? I was thought oblique motion was often favorable.

    I think they're fun too! It's like solving a puzzle and it's so satisfying when you crack the code. And even though they're just exercises and not real music, they can make some pleasing melodies and counterpoint sometimes!
    No, was an attempt a legit realization, not a joke

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Write the inner part after you've finished a strong bass line.
    Yep! The only thing I'd add is stay away from second inversions unless you know it's one of the few "correct" type (ie. cadential, passing or auxiliary)
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    I can never resist these exercises either. I wrote this before my initial response to the OP but withheld it because I didn't want to do his homework for him. Since that boat has sailed, here it is. I tried for canon between alto and soprano. The first bar almost worked at a one beat interval but I had to shift to a two beat interval in the second before it fell apart:

    B-flat.jpg
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-09-2021 at 17:04.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    ...Hell, why not, it might be good for the OP to see some alternative solutions. Like Bwv, it's been a long time since I did this sort of exercise and so as I'm in friendly and pleasant company.
    I cheated and turned the last note into a dotted minim, please don't mark me down...

    (The alto quaver obscures the soprano dotted minim in the last bar. I know there's a keyboard move in Sibelius to deal with this, but couldn't immediately recall it).


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    Last edited by mikeh375; Mar-13-2021 at 11:38.
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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    You and your fancy quavers. I think we're supposed to be on first species, Mike.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    You and your fancy quavers. I think we're supposed to be on first species, Mike.
    LOL...oops I should have realised. My bad.... I jumped unthinking into a sort of automatic Riemenschneider mode so I hope I've managed to rectify it somewhat below...

    species1 - Full Score.jpg
    Last edited by mikeh375; Mar-14-2021 at 11:21.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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