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Composing counterpoint

How to start composing counterpoint

To learn how to compose counterpoint, it is recommended to start with 2 voices:

  • Compose in first species
  • Compose in second species
  • Compose in third species
  • Compose in forth species
  • Compose in fifth species

For each species:

  • Start with shorter cantus, then compose with longer.
  • Start with cantus firmus in lower voice, then compose with cantus firmus in higher voice.
  • First start with major key C, then try other major keys. After that compose in minor key Am, then try other minor keys.

Here is a collection of cantus firmus that you can use to compose. Each cantus firmus can be used for any of species:

Recommendations

If you need to learn how to compose a first species counterpoint, you can start with the links:

Some known books about Counterpoint:

  • Noel-Gallon / Bitsch Marcel - Traité de Contrepoint (french)
  • Charles Koechlin - Precis des Regles du Contrepoint (french)
  • Танеев - Подвижной контрапункт строгого письма

Examples of first-species counterpoint

Example:

Example:

Examples of second-species counterpoint

Example:

Example:

Examples of third-species counterpoint

Example:

Example:

Examples of fourth-species counterpoint

Example:

Example:

Examples of fifth-species counterpoint

Example:

Example:

See more examples in Examples section.