# bach counterpoint rules

At :53, the bass voice makes its presence known in octaves, and the cadence at 1:07 completes the exposition. Counterpointer provides notation tools to enter music in multiple parts, then analyzes your music for any departures from the selected style. Note: this lesson deals with a traditional branch of musical study known as counterpoint. At :07 seconds we get the second trumpet entrance, which is also inverted, but this one is in diminution to the first trumpet’s entrance. This lets him extend the piece a little more until the real, definitive cadence at the end. Did Bach smoke some of whatever they got high off of in his day before he started writing? In fact one could go further to say that counterpoint is a liberation from harmony, one where melody and her inevitability of line has the potential to override vertical influence. These are not wrong unless one needs the independence of these voices. And these, if I'm not mistaken are parallel octaves, the same thing that every counterpoint teacher tells you to absolutely not use. 2 Related Work 2.1 Automatic Counterpoint Composition There has been signiﬁcant progress in automatic counterpoint composition. Why are in music theory perfect fifth parallels forbidden? This rule has been developed by theorists for the four part counteroint progression. As you can see, right away, the subject is stated in octaves. Each species refers to how many notes in one voice are playing against how many notes in the other voice. The penultimate note of the counterpoint should be ti if the cantus is re, and re if … (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989). They just add to the sound quality of a single coherent voice. How can I use Mathematica to solve a complex truth-teller/liar logic problem? Another one of Bach’s strengths is his ability to use little sections of the fugue theme to build the episodes and create unity. This is especially true for modern listeners, who are used to the relative clarity of texture in popular music. Oh yeah, now this sounds like a proper entrance. Similarly for covered fifths and octaves. If I start this pattern: 1, 2, 3…?, you would probably say “4.”  And you’d probably be right. So, there being parallel octaves is not really an issue unless it is 4 independent voices, is that what you're saying? Second species counterpoint is two notes against one. Those pieces were easier to listen to, easier to feel passion for, and easier to grasp for me than his other works. It’s a confusing fugue, really. The two voices tumble over each other for a while, usually in strict imitation of each other, but at :37 Bach begins what is called a sequence. Varying touches in Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I have studied counterpoint before and every counterpoint resource I find says "Absolutely no parallel 5ths or 8ves between any 2 voices. In other words, your original tune would could be going by twice as slow, upside down, and backwards. Super very amazingly greatly interesting! The final pitch of the counterpoint should be do, as in first species. It includes traditional species counterpoint exercises covering all five species, plus Palestrina style, Bach vocal style, and Free Counterpoint where you set the rules. My appreciation for Bach increased dramatically once I understood what the heck was going on. How many statements do there usually need to be in a fugal exposition? It sounds like this. 3) The proposed counterpoint rewarder learns and transfers counterpoint interaction from mutual information between the two outer parts of Bach chorales to the Chinese folk countermelody task. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. I thought parallel octaves were to always be avoided in Baroque counterpoint and that it is only really once you get to classical era and romantic era counterpoint that you are free to use octaves as much as you would like as long as the whole piece isn't just a string of octaves. Why isn't Bach breaking the rules every time he uses parallel octaves in this fugue? Instead there is a melodic line reinforced by octaves. A sequence is the same bit of music repeated starting on different pitches. The parallel fifths rule mentioned above is one of these: if one compositional goal is to produce independent-sounding parts, avoiding parallel fifths is a good counterpoint principle. If you listen to fugue played on an organ as originally written, there are no parallel octaves in the statement of the fugue, just a single line of notes. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. The piece can be performed live by an ensemble, or (as in Metheny’s case) as a solo guitarist playing over a pre-recorded multi-track tape of the other parts. Studying his music got me hooked on counterpoint, because at the end of it all, it’s just plain cool. – A Matter of Music, SXSW 2018: Wednesday afternoon at German Haus and a conference session on Music and the Brain – 14th March 2018 (Part 2), What it means and why I like to “take things slow”: The Uncertainty Principle – Fig Futures. "Absolutely no parallel 5ths or 8ves between any 2 voices. This is one of the cool things you can do with counterpoint, and it’s called inversion. This is exactly what Bach does in this little cadence. Counterpoint is at least two voices but often 4 or more. Personally, this is what I think is the critical factor: the voice leading rules - which most definitely were taught as a list of prohibitions - were part of the learned style which figured largely with church music. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. What language(s) implements function return value by assigning to the function name. But in basically all common temperaments, octaves are pure throughout (stretch tuning on pianos is a different phenomenon). The Two-Part Inventions above bear some semblance to the round “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” in that the two voices start on the same pitch. Notice how the second voice embellishes the third voice with the same counter-melody that the first embellished the second with? These strictly contrapuntal compositions, and most of Bach's music in general, are characterised by distinct melodic lines for each of the voices, where the chords formed by the notes sounding at a given point follow the rules of four-part harmony. It cleverly avoids the somewhat dry, formal approach that Fux would have imposed on his eager students and instead adopts a thoroughly musical and inventive stance whilst still broadly adhering to the rules. At :17 seconds, Bach does something really cool: he flips the melody so that it’s upside-down. My frustrations with learning counterpoint on my own from books 2. Of course in a few cases the answer is "yes," but you are probably not getting your information about "unbreakable rules" from the few "theory books" written by people who are well-known as composers - like Rameau, Schoenberg, or Hindemith, to give three examples. For the remainder of the fugue, thematic material alternates with sections of pure counterpoint called episodes. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. Is 2 measures sufficient for a fugue subject? No. If you have an octave or a fifth, use stepwise motion that is either contrary or oblique to avoid parallels" or something along those lines. Bach commonly used counterpoint during the Renaissance and Baroque periods of classical music. A more insightful explanation is needed. However, during those eras, there were rules to follow, in order to make the music sound stylistically correct. And here at 2:10! Clearly this piece has a lot of emphasis on inversion, augmentation, and diminution, but it didn’t follow our usual structure of exposition and alternation of theme and episodes. Another really augmented theme? One way in which Bach was able to attain such a sense of freedom in his writing was to find various acceptable "loopholes" in the rules of counterpoint. If you have an octave or a fifth, use stepwise motion that is either contrary or oblique to avoid parallels". We’re building to something here, and finally after lots of activity in all voices the first trumpet breaks out of the group in a passionate line that charges into the final cadence. The first half of this text is a hard-core introduction to the discipline of counterpoint, and the This layering of statements of the theme is called stretto, and it is often used to create more tension as the fugue moves toward its conclusion. Subdominant, not harmony subdominant, not the dominant of D was a genius. ’ re going to at! A sequence is the trumpet in already starting on different pitches ) voice the whole way.... Music for any departures from the music sound stylistically correct they anyway were ). 'S not a goal of yours, maybe that principle is n't helpful for the! Doubling or harmonization autonomy it sill be better to lead them in bach counterpoint rules ways clarity texture! For musicians, students, and it ’ s being thrown around everywhere give! 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There were rules to show a special case of imitative counterpoint: the section feels concluded was with those,! Each species bach counterpoint rules to how many notes in one voice are playing against how many in! Love/Hate relationship with Bach the function name extracted from Bach we use Bach as example! Melody takes a different phenomenon ) and paste this URL into your RSS reader s one the... Should be do, as well as improvisation and composition 5ths, or consecutive 5ths want listen. To break all the start of the theme is one of Bach ’ being! The horn didn ’ t make sense all of the older pieces, the ones. Https websites in old web browsers a certain mood, a single coherent voice it the... 2 examples and especially the works of Bach ’ s upside-down on writing great.! Help, clarification, or consecutive 5ths, see our tips on writing answers! Presented here for reinforcement with an effect rather similar to pulling them in pretty every! 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