Counterpoint in Composering: Assignment 1

The assignment for my counterpoint class was simple: compose 3 note-against-note counterpoints. Two of these are in two voices (one above the CF, one below) and a three voice example with both new voices on top of the CF. The students chose their own CFs for the 2 voice examples and we all used the same CF for the 3 voice.

Here are mine. I have temporarily given up on Lilypond, just because I needed to actually get these things done in a timely manner.

1:1 Above Cantus


Generally speaking, 2 voice exercises don’t give me much trouble. This one, though, was tricky and I think it is the only time I felt like I HAD to start on the 5th. Working from the octave was no good. Yeah, I have a 12th between the 2 voices. You want to make something of it? I tried not to do it but I couldn’t get a peak note in this short of a time without resorting to something like this.

1:1 Below Cantus


Measure 6-7 was tough. There didn’t seem to be a way to reach the peak A without repeating the D. The CF is nicely balanced with leaps in the first half and steps in the second. This feels like a good bass line, though.

3-voice (1-1-CF):


I am not overly proud of this but it will do. Yes there is a 10th(!) between the middle voice and the soprano in measure 6. What else could I do? The soprano was leaping so if the middle voice was moving in similar motion it would need to move by step. Sure, that would put the voice on a D, which is no big deal, but then what? Repeat the D? And then move to C-sharp and repeat it? Too static. The middle voice doesn’t peak, either. I couldn’t come up with a better solution without repeating a whole lot of notes in the middle voice.

I lack the fluency in 3 voices that I have in 2. But that is why I am doing this,right? If I don’t do it, I won’t learn nuthin’.

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One Comment

  1. Jack
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Try this under \layout in Lilypond:

    \context {
    \remove “Time_signature_engraver”

    I have a load of other snippets and such in case you’d like to peruse what I’ve done so far.

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