Three Systems of Constraints

At this point you can think of writing counterpoint as having to fulfil three separate systems of constraints:

  1. Harmonic constraints – either given by a bass and figures, or one you create out of standard baroque progressions (Cadences, Sequences, Rule of the Octave)
  2. Diminution constraints – using diminutions that would be acceptable in this style
  3. Motivic constraints – once a motive is introduced (either by you or by the partimento) it is favored to be used again and again

These constraints can help you check your work.

  1. If anything sounds ‘wrong’ – check the harmonic constraints
  2. If it sounds out of style – check the diminution contraints
  3. If it sounds scattered or not coherent enough – check the motivic constraints

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *