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Request for brutality honest constructive feedback on counterpoint exercises

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Bjarke Tan, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Hey this is my first time where I decided to deliberate practice counterpoint so I am very much a beginner in counterpoint. One thing I noticed my self is that it's perhaps not the most interesting pieces but I would like to get some feedback on it on how to make it better. Mostly feedback on the counterpoint however feedback on everything else is also welcome.(But know that the pieces are meant as exercises to practice counterpoint not as complete pieces)

    Sheet music: (in the sheet music the title says "kontrapunkt øvelse" which is danish for counterpoint exercises just saying if anyone is wondering what the title means)

    exercises 1:

    exercises 2:

    ecercises 3:

    Thanks in advance.
    Kind regards.
    Albert de la Fuente likes this.
  2. But are the pieces wholly original, or were you given the soprano line?
  3. Just focusing on the first one, and assuming we leave the soprano intact in m.1-4, I see that the 3rd beat of m.1 you have a 5th over 2 non-primary notes of the key, a bit weak IMO. Remember, 5ths and 5ths sounds hollow, 6ths and 3rds are fuller. This isn't a rule at all, but those hollow 5ths sound better if one or both notes are important in the scale, i.e. D, G and A.

    In m.2 you double the C#, the leading tone, and it sounds very weak. Duplicating the leading tone is a big no-no in common-practise harmony, unless it's something fortuitous as in contrary motion. I'd harmonize the C# with a 3rd or a 6th.

    M.2 the E and B form a 4th, i.e. a 2nd inversion chord. That should be resolved, and it sounds weak. the D in the bass is a dissonance which you don't resolve (if you had B-C# D, the D could be a passing tone).

    the E minor outlined in m.3 is fine, but the F#-C# diad weak, because the mediant chord is weak.

    Measure 4 is fine, but maybe I'd switch the C# and the A , because a chord in root position in a stronger beat is... stronger.

    M 5-7 are the same assuming you do the invertible counterpoint thingy.

    In m.8, I'd end the piece in a perfect cadence, i.e. the bass doing an A-D motion. Here you must avoid parallel 8ves, but direct 8ves and 5ths from contrary motion are allowed in perfect cadences.

    I've done like Mike and toyed with your material a bit, and let's see if that gives you ideas. First is your melody with my bassline, and then inverted. Then I made a different continuation to your theme to give it more momentum.

    My version is built in period form with 4+4 measures. Also, each 4-measure half is a sentence, i.e. I have your idea in m.1, I vary it in m.2, and then I create a phrase that's 2x longer and that develops the same idea. Also notice how the melody goes higher and higher to have mini-climaxes. Melodies that have mountain or valley form are especially effective.

    I might be breaking some baroque counterpoint rules bc I used a more 19th century approach tho

    Doug Gibson and Bjarke Tan like this.

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