Jump to content


Old Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Matthaeus last won the day on June 9 2013

Matthaeus had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

16 Good

About Matthaeus

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Interests
  • Favorite Composers
    Matthaeus Pipelare (15th cent.) and many others...
  • My Compositional Styles
    modal and tonal counterpoint/simple homophony
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Finale Notepad, Forte Notensatz, abcm2ps, Anvil Studio
  • Instruments Played
    singing only (bass)
  1. Hello! I'm not sure, what your question really is, posting a score would be more useful than these midis. Generally speaking, syncopation "steals" (shifts) accent from the next accented position (see attachment), so it happens earlier. It's not an exact definition, but I hope it helps. Happy holidays! Máté
  2. Hello, To make things clear, instead of modern major/minor 7-degree scales, old music used three overlapping 6-degree scales: 1.) normal hexachord: C ut, D re, E mi, F fa, G sol, A la 2.) soft hexachord: F ut, G re, A mi, Bb fa, C sol, D la 3.) hard hexachord: G ut, A re, B mi , C fa, D sol, E la "Mi contra fa" was considered bad, and usually avoided between different hexachords, both melodically and harmonically: E mi contra Bb fa, B mi contra F fa, B mi contra Bb fa. (Note that C, D, G and A exist in all hexachords.) E-Bb and B-F are diminished 5ths (or augmented 4ths) while Bb-B is an augmented prime. So while they were bad intervals, I think 7th was not, especially when using slow (long) notes. Here is an example of a Ionian cantus firmus outlining a major 7th (lower notes in capital): C, G, A, G, F, G, c, e, d, c About your second cantus... In later music (~1600-) diminished intervals and 7-degree scales became more and more common, so later theorists usually allow those intervals. They sound better in downward direction, and can be resolved by a rising semitone, as in Salzer's Aeolian cantus. Anyway, "strict rules" are very arbitrary and differs from theorist to theorist. Good luck! Máté PS.: Please use cut time for Fux's examples, otherwise 2nd species won't work (no weak beats).
  3. I've attached the first 100 notes of the harmonic series and their relation to the closest equal tempered note. You can calculate cent values for the Nth harmonic using this equation: CENT = 1200 x log N (base 2) Máté harmonics.xls
  4. Hello, and welcome to YC! The text you've linked is very unfair. Comparing Rameau's Treatise on Harmony to the composition style of Bach is nonsense. Harmony is only a part of a composition, there are also melody, counterpoint, form, orchestration, etc., too. Rameau's treatise is not a "How to compose?" textbook. So my answer is no, Rameau should not be avoided, however you should avoid texts with such sentences: "The ensuing history of music has been a war between the continuators of the Bach tradition, and the followers of Rameau..." (in this sentence Bach/Rameau can be replaced with tonal/atonal, classical/romantic style, etc. - just use your imagination) Máté
  5. There's a java app, you can try out 1st species cp. with it, both standard and strict styles. It's not the best, but at least you'll get some idea about the difference between the two styles. The rules are a bit arbitrary, though, some of them seems too rigid to me, while others are too loose even in "strict" style: http://www.emusictheory.com/practice/counterpoint.html Máté
  6. Hi! You can find the theme "Gliding Dance of the Maidens" in the (b) section on this sheet: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/BorPolDancesThemes.png The main part of the theme is a simple sequence: F#-D / E-C# / (D)-B. Since the melody is is mostly pentatonic, D and G# are only used as auxiliary notes, and often replaced by their stronger neighbour as you can see in the 3rd bar (D replaced by F#). Anyway, the piece is a part of the opera "Prince Igor", and without actors and text it is REALLY boring. I can't say anything about the opera, since I haven't seen it, yet. Máté
  7. The F in the 11th bar is in harsh relation with the F# in the 13th bar because one intervening note (I guess it's the G, since you've said it goes up) is simply not enough for the ears to forget. Moreover, F is a "fa" note while F# is a "mi" note producing the "mi against fa" effect, which considered bad in that time, both melodically and harmonically. So this is bad: F G F# G If you lead F (fa) down, the situation is better, but still bad: F E F# G The solution of the student is ok, but still produces a poor melody I think: F# G F# G Try singing(!) your countermelody and you will know if it is melodically bad or good. About the 10th->8ve, it's simply a false cadence, I think, because it mimics a 3rd->unison cadence at an octave distance. You can avoid using it in 2 parts. The best to approach a 8ve is oblique motion or contrary motion from the 6th. Máté
  8. Sounds like a submarine sonar to me :smithy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwc0shJ2aYc
  9. First of all, welcome to YC! If I understand well, your problem is that you cannot express your emotions through music, and don't know why. Imagine, that you want to write a love poem in Spanish, but you know nothing or only a little about the Spanish grammar. Well, music is some sort of language, and if you don't know its grammar you can't express yourself through it. ( <-- it is my personal opinion, many have different thinking about this, but please, do not start an endless "What is music?" thread again. We are here to help, thank you.) Ok, here are some practical suggestions how to improve your melodies: 1. Learn rhythm and meters. Rhythm is the primitive level of music, it is vital to understand different note values and meters. 2. Learn scales, minor and major at least. Learn key notes like tonic/1st, dominant/5th, subdominant/4th, and tendency tones (leading note/7th , supertonic/2nd, ...). There are stable notes and less stable or unstable ones, the latter need some sort of resolution. 3. Learn phrasing. Make short phrases instead of a very long melody line (In other words, try using "simple sentences" instead of one long "compound sentence"). Try to build short phrases purely by different rhythm values / or purely by different pitches with same note values. 4. Learn cadences. Listen to the difference between ending on the 1st degree of the scale and ending on the 2nd, 3rd... etc. degree. Experiment with cadences and listen how they sound. 5. Study scores of great composers. Listen to parameters listed above (1-4.) Good luck! Máté
  10. I am not a pro in this subject but I try to share my ideas. I think you are only asked to make 2 separate countersubjects. They don't need to be invertible by each other but only with the subject (two double cp. instead of one triple cp.) Anyway, writing a triple (invertible) counterpoint is far more complicated than a double one but provides 6 different positions instead of 2. If I were you, I would use very long notes for the 2nd countersubject to avoid parallels more easily. Máté
  11. The first 30 sec is clearly in D minor, with a D major tonic. Such use of the picardy 3rd is unusual, but it works well. The piece continues in D major. Modulations are not always necessary, you can switch to a new (usually a 5th, 4th or even a 3rd related) key after a cadence.
  12. My browser (or my computer?) possibly hates the static background. The page scrolls awwwfully slooow.
  13. In 1:1 (first spec.) counterpoint, textbooks usually allow to use only one note value, except the final one (which can be longer), and no repetition of notes. There's a tradition to use whole notes only, but it's a bit confusing now since whole notes was much shorter (4 or even 6 times!) at the time of the first "species CP" textbooks. So you should stick to quarters. However, to emphasize the Phrygian character of your melody, you may need longer notes (Notes longer than a beat are almost always accented even if introduced on a weak beat). The attached example shows the difference between two Phrygian melodies which differs only in the length of the last 3 notes. Try to sing (or play) them in a convenient (80-90) tempo. If you listen carefully, you may notice that while the first one sound a little "unfinished", the second one is much more complete. In place of long notes, you can use note repetition, too. (See the 1st example from Palestrina, bar 3, in voice T2.) Hope it's clear now. Máté
  14. In Phrygian, ending on perfect 5th often sounds better than ending on 8ve or unison, but it's just my personal opinion. If you have 3 or more voices, you can end on both (5th and 8th). The posted example is actually the last few bars of the piece. You may strenghten ionian (C ) or aeolian (A) character in the middle of the composition but you should return to phrygian at the end. That's why Palestrina avoids using full close (clausula vera) here on C. Yes, exactly! However you can't really emphasize that movement in classical "species" counterpoint, because you are allowed to use same note values everywhere. In real compositions, longer note values or note repetition are used, especially near cadences. Yes, it is a little "bybass" in the lower voices, while the sustained E on the top helps to stabilize the final. Descending order of importance, of course. However you can push the composition towards C or A, but you should return to the original final E at the end of the piece, as I have mentioned above. Having a teacher is good, but if you don't have one, you should use the best textbook you can access at least (local or school's library, internet...). Knud Jeppesen's book is a relatively good one, but a bit old. I'm sure that there are better books now.
  15. There is nothing wrong with your ears. Writing a good phrygian counterpoint is very difficult, just ending on E does not make your melody phrygian sounding. There are other characteristics of the mode which you must care about. You probably know that each mode has a "final" and a "tenor" (reciting) note. For phrygian melodies, the final is E and the tenor is C. However, in polyphonic compositions the harmonic interval between E-C is a minor 6th, which is an imperfect consonance, the less perfect consonance in truth. For this reason the perfect 5th is used instead, either above the final (B) or below (A). B-F is a diminished interval so it is not used (In modern terms: the mode does not have a dominant harmony, only a subdominant). Look at the attached examples. The first one is from a phrygian mass by Palestrina. In the middle of bar 2, the composer avoids using a perfect close on C, he uses E (minor 6th) in the lowest voice instead, to avoid "mode of C" sounding you have complained about. The transition from bar 3 to 4 is also very common. An upper voice ("A") ascends from D to E while a lower voice ("T2") descends from F to E. You can find it in many counterpoint textbooks as "phrygian cadence". However Palestrina lenghtened the cadence here by a plagal movement in bass, possibly to avoid D-E parallel octaves with the Alto voice. The second attachment is a simplyfied version of the first, without the plagal movement. So to make your counterpoint more phrygian sounding: - try to emphasize notes E, B, A and C (in descending order) - use the perfect 5th between E and B more (both harmonically and melodically) - emphasize F -> E movement - use note C as an upper neighbouring note (B-C-B) Usually textbooks that have examples from real compositions are much better than those that have random examples by the author. Good luck!
  • Create New...