MUSI2074 Introduction to Contrapuntal Techniques and Styles
Course Type: core/compulsory for music majors, free elective for others
Prerequisite: MUSI2070
Instructor: Professor Daniel CHUA
Semester: Second Semester 2023/24
Time: 10:30am – 12:20pm, Wednesday
Venue: CRT-11.01 Seminar Room
This course examines the principles of linear structure and voice-leading through an intensive study of species counterpoint in two and three parts. This will help students to understand the logic of music – how notes fit together, their implications and resolutions. In turn, this will provide students with a solid basis for analysing and composing music.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • apply basic techniques in species contrapuntal writing;
  • compose simple examples in two-voice contrapuntal writing in various styles.
Coursework  80%
At the end of the course, you will be asked to submit 3-6 specific pieces of work as your portfolio of exercises. Make sure that you have done all the work, for if you have not done a particular exercise that the portfolio requires, you cannot replace it with something else. All work submitted in the portfolio must be marked by your tutor. You should correct any errors that your tutor has pointed out to you before you submit your work. You need to be consistent and regular in your work. Counterpoint is not something you can cram for. Your coursework mark will take into account the quality of your work, your attendance and your progress.

Two In-class Tests 20%
These are short tests designed to focus your mind on mastering the discipline as you progress through the semester. It is imperative that you turn up to the test.
  • Species Counterpoint in two and three parts. We will cover cantus firmus, species 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
  • Fux, Johann Joseph. Gradus Ad Parnassum, translated by Alfred Mann as The Study of Counterpoint.
  • Saltzer, Felix and Carl Schachter. Counterpoint in Composition.