idea behind species counterpoint is that we add new layers of
possibilities as we progress through the species. Here we start
to manage dissonance.
Thus, less new rules, but the textures become more complex.
Second species counterpoint is when we have two notes to every note in the cantus firmus.
these are usually all of the same length, they may from time to
time have varied lengths. This is sometimes called expanded second
Two new terms:
the accompanying voice returns to the same note with only one note in
between (ie DCD). This figure can only be used when it is consonant
with the cantus firmus.|
|passing tone||stepwise move between notes a third apart. These may be dissonant when not accented.|
New rules which we add on top of first species are:
- we can start on an upbeat
- accented beats must always be consonant
- unisons are permissable on unaccented notes but must be approached and left by step.
- do not jump onto or out of a dissonance
- no sequences
- try to minimise successive accented perfect fifths and octaves.
- avoid leaps of more than a thirds at the beginning of a bar. Follow all such leaps with a change in direction.
- large leaps can be broken up into smaller ones. After doing this though you should change direction.
- sketch in the climax and endings before writing the rest of the piece
the intervals between your notes and note whether they are consonant
and dissonant. Also look at existing examples (a page of examples will
be added to this site in due course) and do the same.
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