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. The exercises will focus on the constraints of sixteenth-century vocal polyphony (music of Palestrina and Lassus) but will illustrate how such contrapuntal discipline is also manifest in music of Corelli, Bach, Brahms and Debussy. The species exercises will lead to a final composition project, such as the emulation trio sonata in seventeenth-century style.
The Class: Type: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on written exercises and emulation projects
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: MUS 103 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Music majors and those with previous music theory training
Distributions: Division I;