I started doing the 2:1 exercises over the weekend. Fux is hard core – he allows for passing tones (diminutions of a third) but not for neighbor tones. That hurts, J.J., that really hurts. On the other hand, he is a lot more permissive about leaps and Joseph’s counterpoints spring around like a gazelle on meth (lots of leaping but still very graceful). On the plus side, you can arpeggiate a triad and you don’t have to compensate for the leaps at the end. That was a big plus.
My strategies for these exercises was to start on the beat with one counterpoint and off the beat with the other.
2:1 Above Cantus
What I like: My peak note comes late in the game and I like the shape of the ascending line that begins all the descending lines (if that makes sense, look at mm. 1, 3, and 5 for the high notes). I also like the compound line created between the two beats in measures 8-10 (E-D-C sharp, B-A-B).
What I don’t like: The opening half dozen measures kind of noodles around in a limited range. Joseph manages to fit a descending D minor scale in the same space. I think Aloys likes him better than me.
2:1 Below Cantus
What I like: Boom! We are off like a rocket and a seventh away from my starting tone by measure 3. I think this counterpoint has a more varied contour than the upper voice counterpoint.
What I don’t like: The counterpoint hits its head against the ceiling of C4 for quite a while before I break through to the peak. On the one hand, I hear that as a good thing. On the other hand, I wish I could have broken through sooner. Having the peak note as the last note, in unison with the CF, really detracts from the high point of the counterpoint.