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Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:20 am
by djdillyc
Hello,

Thanks so much for all your help. This is my last counterpoint question. I am doing a counterpoint for alto sax and piano. I had the piano line in bass clef. But I think the ranges were weird and incorrect. So, I transposed the bass notes to treble. Now I am second guessing myself and wondering if the voices are crossing.
Counterpoint 1 .musx
(105.8 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:17 pm
by Nick Mazuk
The voices aren't crossing at all in the file you attached.

However, for much of the counterpoint, the voices are very far apart. Typically, unless one line is the bassline, you want the parts to be within an octave of each other. An octave and a 3rd is pushing it. And an octave and a half is about the limit. There are many places you have an octave plus a 6th or more. That's going to make it sound thin.

You may or may not know this, but Finale lets you view the parts in concert pitch (Document > Display in Concert Pitch). Then you won't need to mentally transpose anything.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:28 pm
by Nick Mazuk
Here's also some other things to watch out for. I know you didn't ask for them but thought I'd offer.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:32 pm
by motet
I think you're forgetting the transposition there, Nick.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:37 pm
by Nick Mazuk
Is this what you're seeing?

Transposed
Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 11.35.16 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 11.35.16 AM.png (45.94 KiB) Viewed 1513 times
Concert Pitch
Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 11.35.21 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 11.35.21 AM.png (45.29 KiB) Viewed 1513 times
I was referencing everything in concert pitch. Alto Sax is down a m6.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:20 pm
by motet
Sorry--I misread your annotations. Nothing in herently wrong with parallel thirds, I don't think, but I do think more contrary motion would be better.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:36 pm
by Nick Mazuk
No worries, motet.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with parallel thirds at all. However, it's best to not have as many. 6 parallel thirds in about 8 bars is a bit much.

When writing in 5th species counterpoint (which this is), you have to look at the voice leading right before the barline, from measure to measure, and often from beat 3 to beat 1.

Though keep up the practice and good work, djdillyc! Counterpoint is very good to learn, and the only way to learn is practice. As a composer myself, I've done hundreds of counterpoint exercises to really make it intuitive. (hundreds may be extreme for most people, but I typically do things to the extreme).

Keep doing more, and keep getting feedback, and you'll master counterpoint in no time.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:20 pm
by Djard
I agree with Motet. I think the music will be even better with more distinct counter motion, but not too independent rhythmically.

Re: Last Counterpoint Question

Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:22 pm
by Djard
I agree with Motet. I think the music will be even better with more distinct counter motion, but not too independent rhythmically.

"No worries." From the land down under?