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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Counterpoint
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bachus



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Traditionally, little phrases or motifs are passed from one voice to the other either verbatim or modified.


Sorry, I gota get picky on semantics here Smile It is a very common technique but I don't think it warrants the term "Traditionally." One can think of any number of pieces or movements from virtually any period in which counterpoint was practiced where this is not the case.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So,
counterpoint is when one melodic line plays something different to the other/s. An octave away is not something different, I know that. There's no need to state the obvious.

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opg



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, OK, simmer down now........No need to duel over counterpoint Smile

There have been so many books written on the subject and so many "styles" of counterpoint that you could almost compare it with number theory regarding prime numbers. You could look and look within it to find a definition (a pattern), but all you will find are lots of little patterns (Ulam Spirals). I think the best way to define such a big area is to say what counterpoint isn't.

But then, can't counterpoint be subjective? If we say that it is simply two or more melody lines playing simulateously, than what happens if on a few of the beats each melody line plays the same note? STRIKE THEE DOWN! I think reading about the old styles from the 1600s or whatnot is useful, but just because what 2 melody lines you put together don't match up to one of those "styles" doesn't mean it's not counterpoint.

Oh, and watch the movie Pi.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
So, counterpoint is when one melodic line plays something different to the other/s. An octave away is not something different, I know that. There's no need to state the obvious.


No offence intended at all. I simply fell into being too literal minded; a common fault on my part. My apologies.

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Krunkus, you can always try a define: counterpoint on google for more views on it. I'm not trying to defer the discussion to google, I just find the 'define:' directive helpful sometimes.

And all do as opg sez: watch the movie Pi.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Okay Bachus,
alternate arppegios at ten paces.
Shall we say 6am.
Your time or mine! Laughing

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Really, I feel I have a good idea what counterpoint is now. Even if that is mostly 'not easy to define'. I'm so thankful for this forum.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
Okay Bachus,
alternate arppegios at ten paces.
Shall we say 6am.
Your time or mine! Laughing

Sorry, out here we only duel with cow-pies. Shocked Laughing

Edit:
But I guess kangaroo poo would do too.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
mosc wrote:
Traditionally, little phrases or motifs are passed from one voice to the other either verbatim or modified.


Sorry, I gota get picky on semantics here Smile It is a very common technique but I don't think it warrants the term "Traditionally." One can think of any number of pieces or movements from virtually any period in which counterpoint was practiced where this is not the case.


Picky, picky, picky... Rolling Eyes

OK, you are right. A better choice of words instead of "Traditionally" would have be "Often", or "Frequently", or "Relatively frequently", or "Based on my limited exposure to all examples of music written throughout history, it is my observation that on occation", or maybe "At least once or twice".

Now, back to basics. It would be fun to write a program or make a G2 patch or something that given an input MIDI stream, it would generate a voice or two of counterpoint. Anyone done that?

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bachus



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Picky, picky, picky... Rolling Eyes


Yea sorry been thinking about why that bothered me and I guess it's that the technique you mention is pretty much limited to a single species of counterpoint while the history and practice of counterpoint is much more interesing and diverse than that.

And yea, back to basics. So what are people here doing with counterpoint? Maybe even those of us not blessed with G2s Wink

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If I could encode MP3s (my LAME licence ran out (how lame!)) I would show you more of my stuff. I'm starting to think everything I've written is counterpoint of some form or another! Cool Smile
I found a completely free (endless) MP3 encoder the other day. I think I'll have another look for it right now.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I can't believe it!
I've been using SoundForge for 7-8yrs and I just found out that you can save whatever you want as an MP3 straight out of there.
Unbelievable!!!
There should be a load of Uncle Krunkus tracks appearing in the Online Music section soon. Now I should be able to find out if I know anything about counterpoint or not! Cool

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
There should be a load of Uncle Krunkus tracks appearing in the Online Music section soon.



too much coffee too much coffee too much coffee too much coffee too much coffee too much coffee

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Doobah



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmm....

Is this contrapuntal?

I don't think it changes key, and it's quite sketchy to say the least. I've panned it to make it a bit easier to hear the separate parts.


cello.mp3
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  cello.mp3
 Filesize:  909.39 KB
 Downloaded:  237 Time(s)

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know if it's contrapuntal. (as I only just discovered this term!) I do know it's got counterpoint!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What does that mean?

ie, Is counter point contrapuntal? or is contrapuntal something else.


fuck it, who cares, if it's music it must be good...
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It basically just means that one line is playing something different (usually not un-related though) to the other one. It means that the whole becomes greater than its parts. I think.
They could be the same. I'm not sure.
Your last comment however ("if it's music it must be good") might spark a debate bigger than I can imagine! Laughing

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bachus



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I’d like to suggest an analogy. Consider a loose ball of wire as analogous to a musical composition and a flashlight as analogous to a theory of counterpoint (or harmony, or whatever). The contrapuntal analysis of the composition would then be a shadow cast by the wire when a flashlight of contrapuntal analysis casts its beam through the wire. Though the shadow does not describe the ball of wire it contains real and potentially useful information about it. The shadow is not part of the ball of wire. It’s not even implicit in the ball of wire outside of a context that includes the flashlight. All of which is by way of justifying an assertion that counterpoint, harmony etc. are no more than artifacts of analysis.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Doobah wrote:
Is this contrapuntal?


Yep.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like the analogy of the shadow which is not even implicit in the ball of wire outside of a context that includes the flashlight. Of course there are many ways to interpret the shadow, with the possibility of disagreement.

Doobah wrote:
Is this contrapuntal?


Yep. Smile

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opg



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice arrangement!
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Doobah



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
Yeah, I do.
I'm not classically trained, but from what I've worked out counterpoint is any situation where a melodically important instrument (in my case the bass) plays a note which digresses from the expected.
For example if the chords were C(M), A(m), F(M) and the bass played C, A, A then the last A is a counterpoint. Is that right?
Actually, it might be when you use the A to go into the key of A(M).
A cello by any other name would sound as sweet!
Looks like I'm about to learn something new from this forum again! That's why I love hanging out here!! Smile


In that context, does counterpoint demand multiple parts, or could a solo be contrapuntal?

[Where do I post my songs, I have some contrapuntal bits and some other bit's and pieces I would love you to hear...]
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Genereally speaking, counterpoint requires more than one voice, but you can have contrapuntal writing for solo violin or cello. You can play multiple voices on many solo instruments.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Genereally speaking, counterpoint requires more than one voice, but you can have contrapuntal writing for solo violin or cello. You can play multiple voices on many solo instruments.


In fact, the cello is very popular for this. What a great instrument!
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Doobah



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Aha...

so is this contrapuntal?


no.mp3
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Download
 Filename:  no.mp3
 Filesize:  4.73 MB
 Downloaded:  227 Time(s)


Last edited by Doobah on Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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