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

MA (Oxon), MA (Leeds), FRCO(CHM), FLCM, ARCM
Gareth achieved his first musical diplomas at the age of fifteen. Three years later he collected the Dixon and Turpin prizes for FRCO and was already engaged as a recitalist around Europe. He held Organ Scholarships at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; Worcester College, Oxford University; Canterbury Cathedral. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Music at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield, leaving in 1990 to pursue his free-lance interests as a recitalist, conductor, accompanist, adjudicator, composer and ABRSM examiner. Gareth is also now an ABRSM moderator, trainer and an international co-ordinator. He has released various recordings, both as a soloist and accompanist, and his musical endeavours have taken him as far a field as America, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Singapore. With over 35 years of experience as a private teacher he tutors students across the U.K. and throughout the world, his video courses are highly acclaimed. He's committed to developing the all-round integrated skills that equip every musician.

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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