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Textbook on the technicity of late classical/romantic styles


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Hello everyone.

I wanted to learn counterpoint, and I have tried out different resources, and finally settled for a book I find great called "Counterpoint in the style of J.S. Bach" by Thomas Benjamin. I personnaly find its approach much more enjoyable, clear and efficient than the Fux treatise that is still so widely recommended.

Studying a precise style (here, Bach's) as a guideline seems to me like a great way to understand how the "tools" we're learning are actually used in music and what kind of effect they create. Although Bach seems like a great starting point pedagogically because he's so consistent and "technical", it is definitely not my personal favorite.

Therefore, my question is the following: do you know of any great resource that takes a similar approach but, instead teaches the technicity behind the style of the late classical period (specifically Beethoven) or romantic period? After some time of practise with the Bach's textbook, I would love to study those periods more in depth, guided by a coherent textbook 🙂 

Edited by Coxi
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On 9/15/2020 at 9:43 AM, Coxi said:

I wanted to learn counterpoint, and I have tried out different resources, and finally settled for a book I find great called "Counterpoint in the style of J.S. Bach" by Thomas Benjamin. I personnaly find its approach much more enjoyable, clear and efficient than the Fux treatise that is still so widely recommended.

Fux's counterpoint book is based on vocal palestrina-style counterpoint, which is quite far removed from Bach. "Counterpoint" isn't a monolithic thing, it's barely even a style really. There are way too many counterpoint books when in reality all you need to do is just copy what others are doing (Fux and Bach themselves did exactly this.) Not saying the book you mentioned is bad or anything, I have no idea.

On 9/15/2020 at 9:43 AM, Coxi said:

instead teaches the technicity behind the style of the late classical period (specifically Beethoven) or romantic period?

That's a problem since that's, what, over 100 years of musical styles which can be drastically different from each other? The best thing you can do is study one specific composer you like. My favourite theory book is Harmonielehre from Diether de la Motte, which I'm sure you can find in english somewhere (I have it in German and Spanish, curiously.) The main thing about that book is mostly the historical approach to theory concepts, which I think makes a lot of sense.

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Rather than buy books to study, buy the scores of the composers you seek to emulate, initially choose one and analyse it.

Dover publish a good many scores of Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, Bruckner, etc. including the symphonic stuff. You learn a lot more this way including a classical approach to orchestration. Unfortunately if a composer seeks to control what they're doing it takes work.

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