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Old 12-30-2012, 01:35 AM   #21
crazysam23_Atax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keth
Everything from Bach is counterpoint, really. In fact, his works for solo instruments (even forgetting about keyboards here) are the pinnacle of counterpoint.

Well, I knew this to a certain extent. I always enjoyed Bach's harmonies for this reason.

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Originally Posted by National_Anthem
They both refer to different things... The inversion of a melody is one where the contours are reversed: a rising 5th would be replaced be a falling 5th, and so on - in other words a mirror image of the melody.

Invertible counterpoint is where two lines can be swapped around in the texture and still work as a counterpoint. It relies on the inversion of intervals, for example, the inversion of a 5th is a 4th, a 6th is a 3rd, and that both intervals will be consonant in both "contrapuntal inversions".


Ah, ok. That makes sense.

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This just reminded me, there's a Bach fugue where he has an invertible counterpoint which works with subject in the Prime (I know it's not the right word for non-serial music, but tired and can't think of the right word atm), and inverted positions
What a bastard
Well...sounds like I shouldn't start off with that fugue.

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Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
there's a difference between "i understand the information just fine" and "i own the information". a few classes doesn't really get you to a level of proficiency. i was a music major and it took me quite some time to really be able to look at a score and analyze it on sight. continue developing your proficiency.


I'm sure that I can always continue to develop my proficiency. Hell, there's ALWAYS room for improvement, as the saying goes. That said, I get your point.

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or you can choose to flaunt your ego, tell me that i don't have a handle on what i'm talking about, and that's fine - you'll be left to your own devices. but you'll find that you'll be completely floored by counterpoint.


I really don't know how you would know me well enough to say that. Yes, I shouldn't start out with the complex stuff, but I wasn't planning to anyway. Start out simple, as you said. But yes, I probably would be overwhelmed, if I started off with the most complex stuff.

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start with bach's 2-part keyboard inventions. palestrina, despite having come earlier than bach, has a style of more graceful counterpoint, but it's pretty difficult to analyze. you can try a few chorales if you like.


Thank you! Will do.
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Last edited by crazysam23_Atax : 12-30-2012 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:24 AM   #22
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man I'm way confused in this thread...

Joe: that P, RI, etc thing...never heard of it being called invertible counterpoint. That whole thing is just part of matrix set theory, and is known as operations...counterpoint doesn't really apply here

National Anthem basically has it right. Invertible, or double counterpoint, is when 2 voices can be flipped (high becomes low, low becomes high) and their tension/resolutions between the intervals remain "correct".

A great basic example is Bach's Invention no. 2, c minor.

This piece basically has 2 sections, both using the same counterpoint material. Halfway through the piece, the 2 voices modulate to the dominant key AND switch roles:
here's the score

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Old 12-30-2012, 02:36 AM   #23
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With that said, I'm still not exactly sure what you're trying to learn.


Counterpoint has 2 tiers of understanding:

-the easy way: 2 or more lines have independence in their movements, rhythmically and melodically speaking. With that in mind, you can do whatever the hell you want.

-the hard way: a very specific language of tonal classical music regarding the way in which 2 or more lines interact with each other. The way they interact with each other is almost like atoms in chemistry: depending on the condition, the protons and electrons will react in different ways. Same principle with the musical language here. This can be learned through textbook "rules", like the ones you'll find in species counterpoint based on Palestrina. But I firmly believe that way doesn't really yield any good musical results...in other words, useless. I've found that the effective way is to treat it like learning a language (just like everything else in music). You have to completely immerse yourself in it: actively listening, singing and feeling the intervallic interactions, intuitively picking up on the idioms, etc. Only then can you start to use counterpoint in a musical way, and not some textbook convention snoozefest.


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Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
as for brahms? xiaoxi knows him far better than i do - hunt down xiaoxi and ask him for detailed examples of brahms' contrapuntal technique. i'm sure he'd be glad to help you.

This is an easy one one to answer.

"Study Bach. There you'll find everything." - Johannes Brahms
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:45 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by National_Anthem
This just reminded me, there's a Bach fugue where he has an invertible counterpoint which works with subject in the Prime (I know it's not the right word for non-serial music, but tired and can't think of the right word atm), and inverted positions
What a bastard

Not sure what you mean here...

Fugues inherently contain invertible counterpoint because most entries of the subjects are accompanied by countersubjects, both of which keeps being stated by different voices. Invertible counterpoint itself is not a highly technical feat.

But if you meant that he came up with a subject that works with an inversion of itself, that's another story. And yea he has a couple of those in the art of fugue and others.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:57 AM   #25
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Xiaoxi:


1) In regards to the layers of understanding counterpoint that you mention, is it accurate to consider the "easy way" as counterpoint proper? Would that general description hold the name of polyphony better, or do I have my wires crossed here? My secondary thoughts are that polyphony is a simple type of musical texture and counterpoint is a technique with certain idioms and characteristic devices which can be contained within the broader terms of polyphony. I also understand counterpoint to be in conjunct with a certain economy of material, in that voices imitate and echo each other in a number of ways (interchange of parts, melodic inversion and retrograde melodies, sequences, etc.), whereas polyphony would include concurrent melodies which do not share prominent figures and material.

2) Do you have any preference for stretto fugues, such as the Fugue in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier, either as prime examples of counterpoint or as otherwise materials for study over fugues which do not demonstrate significant use of stretto entries?


National_Anthem:

If you're staying in a simple or narrow tonal field, you can easily employ inversion of a subject simply by moving it around to a different point in the scale and flipping it upside-down; (forgive the mode-speak) the Dorian mode inverts to itself, and is thus symmetrical; the Ionian inverts to the Phrygian, the Mixolydian to the Aeolian, and the Lydian to the Locrian. Thus, you can state real inversions of a subject easily on different scale degrees depending on the initial degree - or you can just invert the subject and roll with it where it is.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:34 AM   #26
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I think National_Anthem might be talking about the B-flat minor fugue from WTC II, it has the subject (harmonized) with the inverted subject played as a harmonized stretto.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by AETHERA
1) In regards to the layers of understanding counterpoint that you mention, is it accurate to consider the "easy way" as counterpoint proper?
Not at all. But I put that out there as a practical way for people who don't really have the means or have the actual needs to study real counterpoint. Your average rock music guy might just have fun with that simple concept and probably wouldn't/couldn't use real counterpoint in his music anyway.

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2) Do you have any preference for stretto fugues, such as the Fugue in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier, either as prime examples of counterpoint or as otherwise materials for study over fugues which do not demonstrate significant use of stretto entries?
I don't have a preference for anything technical like that. Priority #1 is being musical and artistically meaningful.

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(forgive the mode-speak)

I cannot!!! Never EVER use modes when talking about counterpoint. Counterpoint is developed through real-time relationships between the voices. Modes/scales are meaningless in this context and actually hinder understanding because they are essentially sets of vertical available notes, as opposed to the adaptive horizontal movements in intervals. They should never enter the equation here, even to explain something like what you're talking about.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
Not at all. But I put that out there as a practical way for people who don't really have the means or have the actual needs to study real counterpoint. Your average rock music guy might just have fun with that simple concept and probably wouldn't/couldn't use real counterpoint in his music anyway.

I don't have a preference for anything technical like that. Priority #1 is being musical and artistically meaningful.


I cannot!!! Never EVER use modes when talking about counterpoint. Counterpoint is developed through real-time relationships between the voices. Modes/scales are meaningless in this context and actually hinder understanding because they are essentially sets of vertical available notes, as opposed to the adaptive horizontal movements in intervals. They should never enter the equation here, even to explain something like what you're talking about.

Slightly off-topic, but I've started working on a transcription and analysis of Bach's Invention No. 2 in C Minor and I wanted to know if I could PM it to you in the next few days to see if I'm on the right track.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #29
crazysam23_Atax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
Counterpoint has 2 tiers of understanding:

-the easy way: 2 or more lines have independence in their movements, rhythmically and melodically speaking. With that in mind, you can do whatever the hell you want.

-the hard way: a very specific language of tonal classical music regarding the way in which 2 or more lines interact with each other. The way they interact with each other is almost like atoms in chemistry: depending on the condition, the protons and electrons will react in different ways. Same principle with the musical language here. This can be learned through textbook "rules", like the ones you'll find in species counterpoint based on Palestrina. But I firmly believe that way doesn't really yield any good musical results...in other words, useless. I've found that the effective way is to treat it like learning a language (just like everything else in music). You have to completely immerse yourself in it: actively listening, singing and feeling the intervallic interactions, intuitively picking up on the idioms, etc. Only then can you start to use counterpoint in a musical way, and not some textbook convention snoozefest.

I pretty much would use "the easy way" in my own compositions. I tend to follow a very loose set of personal rules (to avoid getting very dissonant sounds, unless there's a specific reason for dissonance). I admit that I basically make one somewhat complex riff be the counterpoint to another somewhat complex riff by nature. I've always sort of layered guitar parts, trying to get interesting harmonies/"fake chordal tones" and such.

However, I think studying "the hard way" would be a good thing to do, because, as you said, it's basically a very specific musical language. Increasing overall musical understanding obviously leads to greater understanding of music as a whole, after all.

Edit:
Also, as an aside, I think I'm going to study that Brahms link in your sig when I have time.
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Last edited by crazysam23_Atax : 12-30-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:46 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by TheHydra
Slightly off-topic, but I've started working on a transcription and analysis of Bach's Invention No. 2 in C Minor and I wanted to know if I could PM it to you in the next few days to see if I'm on the right track.

sure

it's my favorite invention
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
Not sure what you mean here...

Fugues inherently contain invertible counterpoint because most entries of the subjects are accompanied by countersubjects, both of which keeps being stated by different voices. Invertible counterpoint itself is not a highly technical feat.

But if you meant that he came up with a subject that works with an inversion of itself, that's another story. And yea he has a couple of those in the art of fugue and others.


Now I've slept and I'm sober, let's try that again The subject and counter subject work together, whether or not either or both are inverted (either in the texture or melodically).
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:15 PM   #32
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Inverted canon is where it's at.
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