Counterpoint

“Counterpoint is like the coronavirus: everyone talks about it, but nobody has seen it. What exactly is counterpoint?”

Ruedi to go

In these quick explainers, our conductor Ruedi Lutz gets straight to the heart of a variety of musical concepts. Clear, concise, entertaining. Simply “Ruedi to go”!

Counterpoint

“Counterpoint is like the coronavirus: everyone talks about it, but nobody has seen it. What exactly is counterpoint?”

Rudolf explains that counterpoint could be defined in many different ways. It is actually a Latin word: punctus contra punctum – note against note. It’s all about adding a second voice to a previously given voice. So it is also about polyphony (several voices sounding simultaneously). The second voice can be a little freer or a little independent from the first one. Rudolf then plays an example based on a cantus firmus (Veni, creator) and adds a second voice that sounds simultaneously.

Counterpoint is, of course, not just a feature of baroque music. It can be found in any kind of polyphonic music.

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