Counterpoint, the study of the ways independent melodic lines can be joined in music, has been essential to musical and compositional instruction for centuries. Counterpoint was taught by Mozart, studied by Beethoven, and to this day remains an integral part of compositional training. The course will introduce students to species counterpoint in two and three voices–exercises that develop discipline in polyphonic writing, hearing, and thinking-and will illustrate how such contrapuntal discipline is manifest in music from Palestrina and Bach to Brahms and Debussy. The species exercises will lead to a final composition project, such as emulation of a motet in sixteenth-century style or a fugue.
The Class: Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on written exercises and emulation projects
Prerequisites: Music 103 or permission of instructor
Distributions: Division I