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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.
Format: lecture; Hybrid--lectures will be a mix of pre-recorded video content, and working through sample exercises in person or online as conditions require.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
written exercises and emulation projects
MUS 103 or permission of instructor
Music majors and those with previous music theory training