Suggested Learning Resources


2) Video Lesson: YouTube InMusicTheory Channel

Note: When watching the video, look at the Soprano and Bass lines, ignore everything else (ignore roman numerals and alto and tenor)

3) Online Reading: WikiPedia Lesson

Bonus Reading: Dave Smey Counterpoint First Species (Voice Exchange on Page 10)

4) Interactive Lesson: 

Music Theory QuickThink: 

-          While diatonic half steps are allowed in counterpoint exercises, chromatic half steps are not.

-          The most common place where this error is made is in minor modes when approaching the final tonic note.

-          If last three notes of the counterpoint are scale degrees 6, 7, 1, then 7 should be raised to the leading tone, and 6 should be raised to the raised submediant.  What should NOT happen is for note preceding raised 6 to be the lowered 6th (example   le, la, ti, do).  Le to La is considered the chromatic half step error.


-          A cross relation is the same concept as the chromatic half step error, except where Le is followed by La, but in separate voices.


-          Voice exchange occurs between two voices when, over the course of three notes, the lines move in contrary motion and the ending two pitches are a “flip” or “exchange” of the two starting pitches.  (ex. Upper voice moving down by step  D, C, B and the lower voice moving up B, C, D: the resulting series of intervals is 3,8,6) This is considered a strength in counterpoint.


-          NOTE: Why are we learning counterpoint?  - Some Theory texts do not cover counterpoint in the Theory 1 scope and sequence. Advanced counterpoint study is often offered at University as an entire separate one or two semester following Theory 4.  We are learning the topic because

(Laitz's The Complete Musician covers 1st and 2nd species counterpoint, Francoli's Harmony in Context covers 1st through 4th species, and Clendinning's The Musician's Guide covers 1st through 5th.  Kostka's Tonal Harmony does not formally introduce counterpoint).  

Objective 11.2: Examples in Music: YouTube

Objective 11.2: Identify the occurrence of a chromatic half step error, a cross relation error, and a voice exchange (strength) in regards to counterpoint