Music of Alan Belkin; online courses by Alan Belkin. Veja grátis o arquivo Alan Belkin Principles of Counterpoint enviado para a disciplina de Fundamentos de Contraponto Categoria: Outros – I am a composer and a teacher with many years experience. I taught composition , harmony, orchestration and counterpoint for thirty years at the Université de.

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This is especially flagrant when they leap. As will be nelkin later, this is the main use for invertible counterpoint at the tenth: The composer’s problem is to add to existing music, and that requires a different kind of thinking. This is an area where the standard species approach fails pitifully. Beethoven wrote dozens of pieces in sonata form, but what makes them all different from each other?

In the proposed variant, the dissonant F and its resolution are doubled at the 6th in the middle part, creating a much richer effect, more in tune with the style of the opening bars. Please contact me at: In the second example, this accent is somewhat weakened by the contrary motion of the bass.

This is what this course will explore. By rigorously avoiding parallel motion, such counterpoint guarantees that adding such doublings will not create parallel 8ves and 5ths. If the various lines regularly meet at metrical points of reference, it is hard to impute to them complete independence.

The fact that the tied F in the alto progresses by leap suggests that it is a chord tone; the fact that the lower parts do not move to a clear consonance make it difficult to consider them as just passing tones.

Perhaps more than any other musical discipline, counterpoint has bred ingrown academic traditions whose relevance to musical practice often seems painfully limited.

As a composer, I want to know these things, since they help me with my own composition: The ear is thus not encouraged in any way to associate these octaves. In the first example, the similar motion between soprano and bass creates a strong accent on the tritone in bar 2.


In the first, the arrival on the major seventh in bar 3 second beat is very harsh since the upper parts move in similar motion. But the accented first beat octaves are still very salient.

My own goal is to arrive at the same harmonic resources as in a course of chromatic harmony, by the end of four part contrapuntal study. This largely results from harmonic and rhythmic coordination. Patreon U Creator Coaching. Alan Belkin, composer alanbelkinmusic gmail.

Counterpoint – Harmony | Alan Belkin Music

A pdf version of this book is available for download here. The problem is not that analysis as currently taught is bad, but that it is often not asking the questions a composer needs answered. Why analysis for composers? What were the alternative solutions?

However, cointerpoint parallel 5ths and 8ves, although prohibited in conventional species counterpoint, are quite innocuous, even unnoticeable. But this kind of knowledge can only come from asking these questions. counterpoit

To hear other examples of my counerpoint, please visit the worklist page. Why did the composer make the specific choices we see in the music? I am a composer and a teacher with many years experience. In short, the information presented is unclear, and leaves the listener trying to puzzle out the harmony from conflicting cues.

Alan Belkin Principles of Counterpoint

And there are many artistic advantages to be gained from fine control of harmonic tension and direction. It may seem odd to move from a discussion of line directly to one of harmony, while postponing discussion of the ways in which lines interact; however, harmony is best understood as the integration of simultaneous musical lines into a coherent ensemble. Pedagogically, it is more useful to discuss why certain cases are less disturbing than some others. Otherwise the altered note would be doubled, creating harshness as well as a weak resolution.

Because many analysis courses these days, taught by theorists and musicologists, are not always that useful for a composer. For those having problems with the plug-in required to hear the examples, Riccardo Distasi kindly wrote a script adding plain links for each example. We will not repeat, in detail, information easily available elsewhere. If the modulation is not to seem confused, this line must be in the foreground.


This series is dedicated to the memory of my teacher and friend Marvin Duchowone of the rare true scholars, a musician of great depth and sensitivity, and a man of unsurpassed kindness and generosity. Particularly with accented dissonances, the underlying harmony can easily be obscured.

At times decisions about orchestration, articulation, tempo, etc. The 7ths sound rough, and what follows sounds empty. I plan on starting this new course before the end of January, However, due to the unsatisfactory sound of current choral simulations, they have been rendered with organ sounds.

The former are general principles, which cannot be avoided if the music is to be performable at all; the latter are, by nature, provisional rules of thumb designed to avoid common elementary problems, or to force the student to concentrate on a particular problem and to avoid others that might be confusing.

Principles of Counterpoint

Nor can one hear them out of their harmonic context, at least as long as they are being played together. But at worst, the student is constrained by a hodgepodge of inconsistent rules, and wastes a great deal of time struggling to avoid situations that are musically unobjectionable. Here we will take a similar approach to counterpoint, treating it as an aspect of composition training and not as an independent academic discipline.

If the counterpoint is not to sound haphazard or rough, the harmony needs to be as rich as possible.

Thanks again for your interest and support! The material may be used free of charge provided that the author’s name is included.