|First Species Counterpoint|
|In First Species exercises you'll write note-to-note polyphony: the notes all move together. The voices are rhythmically identical, but aim for independence in their melodic lines. Traditionally these exercises are performed using whole notes, like this exercise in two parts:
In his Modal and Tonal Counterpoint, Harold Owen suggests that one could usefully expand first species by allowing different note values, so long as each pitch has only one counterpart pitch in the other voice or voices; he even allows repeated pitches in any voice. You are free to write exercises of that type in the free practice window - just modify the rule about repeated pitches and otherwise keep to first species rules. But to keep things simple we'll make these exercises all in whole notes.
The usual way of proceeding is to write your counterpoint to a cantus firmus (a fixed melody) that is supplied for you. Later you can try writing your own cantus firmis, but Counterpointer can generate them for you and also contains the library of cantus firmi found in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum.
How to write in First Species
Table of Contents
©2009 Ars Nova Software, LLC