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So, I am working on a set of canons as a prelude to the fugue. No, not literally, as in I would put these before the fugues I write. No, what I mean is that I view the canon as being simpler than the fugue in all sorts of ways and thus as a preparation for fugue writing. I aimed for a more Bach like feel to this canon than the Pachelbel like Canon in Bb that I composed for woodwind quartet. I even went so far as to write it for harpsichord instead of piano to further get that Bach feel to it. Now, why am I mentioning Bach? Well, he is the composer that keeps encouraging me to go ahead and write a fugue.

I put some text in the score related to keys and counterpoint. Now I have been told that my canon is really a canon at the sixth. Alright, I'm fine with that. I have also been told that my canon is full of dissonant strong beats and just in general, unresolved dissonance. Here is the first canon in my set of 48 canons. What do you think of it? Does it sound Baroque in its nature? Where are my counterpoint errors exactly? And what are those errors? Do you think I should add a bass line to this?

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Most of your problems arise from it being two voices. Some would otherwise be okay, like the direct, but a lot of these strange parallels hurt the composition.

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22 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Most of your problems arise from it being two voices. Some would otherwise be okay, like the direct, but a lot of these strange parallels hurt the composition.

 

Well, then it looks like I'm going to have to tweak the melodic structure of my canon. And I figured that in my canon set, the first canon should be for 2 voices. That doesn't necessarily mean no bass line, as you can have a canon with a ground bass(Pachelbel's Canon in D is an example of a ground bass canon). But that does mean that only 2 voices are involved in the actual canon part of it(the melody against itself). 

When you say that the voices are too close, what does that mean? I mean, they are about 2 octaves apart in bar 16 where you say that the voices are too close. Those 2 voices have certainly been closer than 2 octaves apart. Wait a minute, maybe that isn't referring to octave distance but scale step distance. Let's see, C and D are 1 scale step apart, C and C are 0 scale steps apart, D and B are 2 scale steps apart, and D and C are again 1 scale step apart. Well, that can't be the reason the voices are said to be too close because there are a lot of moments where the notes in the 2 voices are 1 or 2 scale steps apart and you don't say the voices are too close in all those moments. So what does it mean for the voices to be too close?

And, how am I going to get a convincing cadence without direct fifths and direct octaves? Because I know I have to end on the root for it to sound convincing. But then it sounds like the direct octave is mandatory for a convincing cadence in 2 voices.

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With the voices: maybe I missed some, but the issue there was that there were too many close intervals in a row. Even with the octave displacement, it ends up sounding very unplanned.
With the cadences: since you're already in free counterpoint by the end, you might look into using more fourth species. Most of it has been confined to the first three. It's not a great one, but see the attached for an example.

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 10.54.05 AM.png

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I think there might be a problem of concept. If you want to write baroque counterpoint you must follow its rules. You can do any kind of counterpoint, but don't pretend to write in baroque style being out of it. I don't mean it's wrong, just a matter of what you want to do and .... doing it.

One thing I see in this example is more parallel than contrary or oblique motion.

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