Counterpoint (Bridge): Chapter 7

Two notes are here written throughout one of the counterpoints to every note of the cantus firmus, with the exception of the first and last bars. The additional part, in this and the other species of three-part counterpoint, commences with the cantus firmus.

The unison and doubled major third should be avoided at the accented beat, but both, particularly the unison (between two of the parts only), may be used at the unaccented part of the bar in this and the remaining species of three-part counterpoint.

Consecutive fifths and octaves upon accented beats should be avoided. They may occasionally appear between the counterpoint moving in half notes and one of the other parts, when one of the two is an inner part. Even in this case, which is not recommended, we should endeavor to separate them by a skip of at least a fourth in the part containing the two notes in a bar (Ex. 73).

The cadences are various, those most in use being formed by the aid of syncopations (Ex. 74) as in this species of two-part counterpoint, with the addition of course of a third part, completing the harmony.

Ex. 75: The fifths in bars 4 and 5 being on unaccented beats are unobjectionable, especially as the G in bar 4 is a passing note, and because of the contrary motion.

Ex. 76: The lower part entering on the second beat causes the example to begin with a sixth. This is quite correct; the student must, however, be careful not to let an exercise begin with a fourth (as in Ex. 77), this interval being a discord between the lowest and an upper part (see Definitions). Some canti firmi begin upon the dominant (see Ex. 78); if placed in an inner part, with the second species in the bass, care must be taken not to commence with an implied 6/4 FIXME as in Ex. 78.

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