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Short keyboard counterpoint


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This is a nice attempt at counterpoint. The theme is pleasant and provides opportunity for development, and you capitalize on that somewhat. However, here are the problems with your counterpoint as I see it.

  1. Harmonic motion is too parallel. There are a couple of instances where the first and second voices use contrary motion, but the rest are completely parallel. If you listen to counterpoint by "the greats," such as Bach, you'll notice that his voices use much more contrary motion. Why? Because it provides us with a sense of vocal independence. It shows us that the voices are unique, that they have their own ideas and aspirations. So, to address this, your statement needs to have rising motion as well as falling motion. Yours employs rising motion only in the first beat. After that, it just continues to fall. Try to obtain a better mixture of the two.
  2. Unison. Many of your harmonic statements end in unison. While this isn't forbidden, it does take away from the listener's enjoyment. If you must have two voices in unison, try to limit it to just the tonic (in this case, F notes only).
  3. No harmonic progression. There is no variation here; we begin in F and we stay in F the whole time. Your counterpoint is a closed loop and you need to think of ways to allow that loop to expand. Minor key or related modulations are good places to start.
  4. Unconvincing cadences. Your cadences are not well placed, often occurring on the next-to-last beat of the measure when they should appear on the last measure. For example, in M6 you have a cadence (imperfect) on the 3rd beat and the tonic on the 4th beat, which is followed again by the tonic on the 1st beat of the next measure. Try throwing in some half cadences (dominant chord) on the 4th beat so that the return of the tonic is more convincing.

Hope this helps!


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I understand your intention here but there are some things mixed up. 

The piece seems to be a fugue, but it also looks like canonic (not strict). I think one of the issues is that from measure 5 on the bass takes a non-melodic role, but as an instrument to reinforce the harmony and the cadences is weak (except in m. 6 where the bass can be interpreted as the middle voice) it moves very little.

Yes, the cadences are not as powerful and clear as they should be in counterpoint. Cadences may end in weak moments, many type of compositions ask for it (the Allemande, etc...) But the cadence has to be constructed strongly, with a perfect authentic cadence in the end.

Baroque counterpoint is huge.... And the line between it and rococó (galant style) is thin.

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