Writing Counterpoint

Transform your composition and harmony by learning how to write really effective Counterpoint.

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Homophonic music is organised vertically e.g. a melody with chordal accompaniment. Polyphonic music is organised horizontally i.e. with one melodic line layered on another. Most people are happier writing the former so this course is focused on the latter. In particular it covers the essentials of writing Counterpoint, where one part imitates another - an essential technique for any composer or for anyone trying to understand contrapuntal music.

Starting with short musical ideas (called ‘points’), the course explores how to write polyphonically, in such a way that the parts imitate each other while retaining harmony that works well. It then progresses from starting in upper parts to starting in lower parts and guidance is given about extending and developing points, as well as balancing melodic conjunct movement with disjunct movement. The next stage of the course deals with longer points and how to write Counterpoint in more than two parts. Following a section learning how to combine homophonic and polyphonic writing, specific contrapuntal devices are explored in turn, such as Counterpoint in inversion, retrograde, retrograde inversion, augmentation and diminution.

Many students of Counterpoint find learning all this from text books rather dry and challenging. Because this course explains things step by step, with participants able to see and hear examples being written and constructed, the whole topic is presented in a practical way that is so much easier to grasp.

In no time at all you will be transformed by writing and appreciating Counterpoint as never before. Enjoy!

Your Instructor

Gareth Green
Gareth Green

Hi, I’m Gareth and I'm passionate about developing ‘the all round musician’.

Nearly 35 years of music examining with ABRSM, work with the BBC on Radio and TV, experience on the international concert platform, as a published composer and arranger, have brought rich resources to the 40 years of teaching in which I've engaged.

Scholarships at The Royal College of Music, Oxford University and St. Paul’s Cathedral gave me fantastic opportunities to learn from the best musicians, scholars and teachers. Working as Director of Music at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School then provided a wonderful opportunity to develop my teaching skills.

Teaching individuals and groups of all ages, and at all stages of development have refined a teaching approach that I hope is fun and engaging, and focused on explaining things clearly and logically. And that is what these courses are all about - understanding the basic principles with clarity, then going deeper, applying them to your musical life and liberating yourself as a musician.

It’s a rich and amazing journey, and I can’t wait for you to join me today!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
It is a completely self-paced online course! Watch and replay lessons as you wish - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you'll have unlimited lifetime access to this course, across any and all the devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us and we'll be sure to quickly resolve any issues you might have.

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