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Modal Counterpoint: "Kyrie [L'homme Armé]" - Need help with some stuff


Olov
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Hello!

As you can see the form of this piece is:

1. Counterpoint/imitation - Kyrie Eleison
2. Free counterpoint with Cantus Firmus - Christe Eleison
3. Imitations again or more homohonic texture? Kyrie

 

  • Am I breaking any of the hard rules of renaissance polyphony?
  • Is the form okay
  • What to do next?
  • I can't call it Missa L'homme Armé since it's only one part of the liturgy, so what should be the name?


 

 

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  • Olov changed the title to Modal Counterpoint: "Kyrie [L'homme Armé]" - Need help with some stuff

I think it sounds as renaissance polyphony would be expected to sound although I am far from knowledgeable on that subject much less vocal music in general!  Any particular reason or purpose why you are trying to emulate renaissance polyphony?  Will you be having this performed?  I know that even during those times in was not uncommon for some very dissonant passing harmonies (Monteverdi) to be utilized which you don't seem to do.  I love choral/vocal music though that introduces and resolves some beautiful dissonances.  Thanks for sharing!

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's a long time since I've had anything to do with strict counterpoint but without a very detailed look at your score everything seems ok.

The strict rules are about intervals and the moving of parts. You've achieved renaissance polyphony because each part is a part in its own right and I can see no "illegal" intervals or movements.

However, it sounds liturgical and is a solemn (if pleasant sounding, atmospheric) Kyrie.

So, answering your questions: The form is ok; you don't seem to be breaking any rules; What next? I'm only familiar with the Anglican service and unless I'm mistaken doesn't a Gloria in Excelsis follow?

Why not just call it a Kyrie (if you intend to produce a full service)?

All good.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/14/2021 at 1:43 AM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

I think it sounds as renaissance polyphony would be expected to sound although I am far from knowledgeable on that subject much less vocal music in general!  Any particular reason or purpose why you are trying to emulate renaissance polyphony?  Will you be having this performed?  I know that even during those times in was not uncommon for some very dissonant passing harmonies (Monteverdi) to be utilized which you don't seem to do.  I love choral/vocal music though that introduces and resolves some beautiful dissonances.  Thanks for sharing!

 

Hi Peter! I just saw these messages when browsing through my old post, not sure I wasn't notified in the bell icon with any of the forum responses whatsoever? I used to get both emails and bell notifications before.

Anyway...Thanks a lot for taking time listening and commenting! The reason for renaissance polyphony is that I studied renaissance polyphony and had written and recorded a choral before, a motet. So I kind of wanted to do the composer's benchmark, writing a kyrie, just once in my lifetime. And I'm also a lutheran christian enjoying the liturgy of the mass, I love the sound of the earlier flemish composers like Josquin, and I think it's an important predecessor to so many compositional styles. It doesn't seem to be many of us who writes in that style, so that makes it more interesting.

I also found a performer which has a love for renaissance, and she's going to record the piece, that was the crucial part actually.

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:36 AM, Quinn said:

It's a long time since I've had anything to do with strict counterpoint but without a very detailed look at your score everything seems ok.

The strict rules are about intervals and the moving of parts. You've achieved renaissance polyphony because each part is a part in its own right and I can see no "illegal" intervals or movements.

However, it sounds liturgical and is a solemn (if pleasant sounding, atmospheric) Kyrie.

So, answering your questions: The form is ok; you don't seem to be breaking any rules; What next? I'm only familiar with the Anglican service and unless I'm mistaken doesn't a Gloria in Excelsis follow?

Why not just call it a Kyrie (if you intend to produce a full service)?

All good.

 

Thanks for taking time evaluating my music. Nice that you checked the intervals and I'm glad that you find it solemn.
I'll probably call it just Kyrie, good point! or Kyrie L'Homme Armé since that's the Cantus Firmus in one of the voices later on.

Bless

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Hi! In the 21st century, I'm not usually too concerned about the "rules" of polyphony. But since you're trying to write in the Renaissance style, there were just 2 "violations" I noticed that made it sound less convincing. Both were in mm. 41-42 between the alto and tenor.

-You resolve a tritone to a perfect 5th in the bottom voice. This would not be idiomatic for renaissance counterpoint unless you added another voice on a C somewhere, since the only bottom-voice suspension used in this style is 2-3.

-There are parallel 5ths when you resolve into m. 42!

I can't see any really simple solutions to this (because, for example, changing the E in the alto to E-flat would cause other problems). But I think it's challenges like this that make counterpoint fun! Here, you could experiment with more consonant leaps and/or adding another voice to smooth things out.

On that note, I also think it's more idiomatic for Renaissance music (and more enjoyable for the whole group to sing!) if you have at least 3 (if not all 4) voices singing for more of the piece.🙂

 

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