SOUND PATTERNS

A Structural Examination of Tonality, Vocabulary, Texture,
Sonorities, and Time Organization in Western Art Music

by PHILLIP MAGNUSON

THE ABC's OF CHORALE SETTING

Chapter 25. C is for COUNTERPOINT

Chapter 23. A is for ANALYSIS
Chapter 24. B is for BASS LINES
.
Chapter 26. D is for DIVERSITY
Chapter 27. E is for EMBELLISHMENT
Chapter 28. F is for FINISHING

25.1 PART WRITING

Once the bass line with the implied harmony is finished, adding the alto and tenor is (as Mozart said in the movie Amadeus) "just scribbling and bibbling"...as long as a few basic principles are observed.

  1. The alto and tenor lines must resemble good inner voices, which are generally of a low melodic profile (i.e., quite flat).

  2. They must conform to the basic tenets of part-writing (Chapter 12), which are

  3. No false intervals may be used (e.g., A2nds or d4ths) in any voice.

  4. They must be correctly positioned between the soprano and bass; that is, adjacent voices may not cross and they generally should not be further apart than an octave.

  5. The resulting progression must be in a recognizable and logical harmonic structure.

25.2 EXAMPLE OF PART WRITING

Below is the soprano and bass line from the previous chapter with the alto and tenor added. The structural analysis is given; provide a Roman numeral analysis:

ASSIGNMENTS:

ANALYSIS

Provide a Roman numeral and structural analysis for each of the analysis projects from the previous chapters. The odd numbers give answers (after you work on them) and the even numbers are for you to do on your own.

Counterpoint 1: Nun ruhen alle Walder
Counterpoint 2: O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort
Counterpoint 3: Wie schoen leuchtet der Morgenstern
Counterpoint 4: Jesu, meine Freude
Counterpoint 5: Vater unser im Himmelreich
Counterpoint 6: Wo soll ich fliehen hin

PREPARATION FOR THE FINAL PROJECT

Correct your soprano/bass construction from the previous chapter for the final project. Then project the implied harmony from the two lines.


Links to chapters in this unit:
Chapter 23. A is for ANALYSIS
Chapter 24. B is for BASS LINES
Chapter 26. D is for DIVERSITY
Chapter 27. E is for EMBELLISHMENT
Chapter 28. F is for FINISHING

Link to previous unit: CHROMATIC PROCEDURES I: Moving from the Global Key

Link to next unit: LARGER PERSPECTIVES


Copyright 2008-2009 by Phillip Magnuson.

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