MUS 311 Counterpoint

Composition Assignment

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The (original) composition will count 10% toward your final grade.

The piece must be written in Fifth Species (a combination of the first four species--florid).  For example, there should be some instances of 2:1, 3:1 (opt.), 4:1, and syncopation--a suspension or two would be lovely.  The pieces will be performed in class on the due date.  If you cannot perform your own (keyboard) piece, hopefully, a class member bearing keyboard skills will volunteer.  (You may sequence-record your composition and bring a tape to class.)  Please complete the composition early so the performer may have a chance to briefly practice.  You are encouraged to submit this project on time to avoid a late penalty.

The work may consist of either two- or three-voice counterpoint.  There is also the possibility of a two-voice work with added tones at appropriate junctures.

In terms of selecting a composition type, you may choose from any studied in the course, such as:  (page numbers for examples are given)

  • Canon (p. 91 ff.)

  • Binary-form Dance Suite (p. 79 ff.)

  • Invention (p. 126 ff.)

  • Fugue (p. 205 ff.)

  • Prelude (p. 163ff.)

  • Opera (just kidding)

Length of the composition will be at least 32 measures.  You may use repeats if characteristic of the form you choose.  (For example, the dance suite on page 79 would be considered 32 measures because of the repeats.)

  • The completed manuscript must be legible!  (Finale, anyone??)  

  • If you use pencil, please use soft lead.  

  • Please number each measure, and provide a chord analysis.

  • Make several copies so the class may follow along during the performance.

  • And, above all, no profanity during the composition process.  :-)

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