General Instructions for Species Counterpoint (thing)
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Fri Jan 19 2001 at 8:04:27
Species (or strict) counterpoint should ideally be written in the vocal clefs:
. You may, while learning the very first basics of counterpoint, write in only the
, but it is important for any good
to be able to read every clef at sight.
Only the following harmonies are allowed:
in root position
first inversion of major triad
minor triad in
and the first
Only one harmony is permitted within each measure, so each note must be:
of a single
or a prepared
Melodic movement is the motion of each individual part. Each part may only move at the following intervals, ascending or descending:
The melodic movement of the
must always be arranged so that the note immediately preceding and following the octave lie within it.
No chromatics are allowed.
s should be avoided.
Movements of a seventh or greater in two skips are forbidden.
A note may not be successively repeated in the same part.
should be as scalewise as possible, although no single
scale should be more than an eleventh in total range.
Both the major and melodic minor scales should be employed.
Harmonic movement (or how the parts move together) is the true struggle of counterpoint. Movement is possible between any two parts in four ways and preferable in the first two:
movement, in which the parts move in opposite directions
movement, in which one part moves while the others stands still
movement, in the parts move in the same direction but not at the same interval
movement, in which the parts move in the same direction at the same
The parallel or contrary movement of
fifths or octaves is strictly forbidden.
5ths or octaves which are arrived at by the direct motion of two parts are
must be approached by contrary or oblique movement except in two part first species: in this it is limited to the first and last measure.
More than 2 parallel 6th's or 3rd's are forbidden between any two parts.
s are not allowed, as they degenerate the philosophy of coutnerpoint.
No modulation which entails an accidental may be used.
The lowest voice must always begin and end on tonic.
The harmony of the first and last measure must always be
Never double the
Dissonances must be approached and prepared by contrary or oblique movement.
Never use a melodic formula twice in succession.
Don't cross the voices. Sometimes voice crossing may be permitted but the
must never ever cross an upper voice with the
voice; to do so would grant the upper voice an harmonic function, which it never has.
I like it!
Two-Part First Species Counterpoint
January 19, 2001
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