Documents Similar To The Homophonic Forms of Musical Composition – Percy Goetschius. Uploaded by. s_lyhne. Samuel Adler . Counterpoint. Walter Piston. Counterpoint. More by this Written in an uncomplicated way it covers the subject of counterpoint in a fully comprehensive manner. I am focusing on 3 of WALTER PISTON’s books – Harmony, Counterpoint and Orchestration, but now I come across a small doubt: is there an.

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By eduardohansMarch 9, in Advice and Techniques.


I am new to this youngcomposers. I am a music enthusiast and I have bought many books on music theory, orchestration and composition. My doubts resides in these I mean, should I take Harmony first, then Counterpoint and finally Orchestration?

Should I read them all at the same time though this might be confusing. It’s just that I don’t want to start off with the wrong foot with these, since I treasure a good musical foundation. That’s the way I’m trying to learn, but I did glimpse counterpoint over, mostly because of the richness it can add to an already established melody. Orchestration on the other counterpount, I see as the least needed of the three But still very, very important of courseso I would suggest you experiment with a polyphonic instrument Piano, guitar etcetera or an ensemble of the same instrument types little more difficult due to pitch limitations before you get to that part.

All Piston’s book are excellent and very deep I wish they would use such books in the conservatory in which I study. Assuming that you have piton conquered the subject of music theory, I would definitely suggest for you to start with harmony and stick to it, until you become very-very-very good in voice leading.

I studied 4 years on the conservatory. So I think I have a pretty good foundation on music theory I am currently living in Helsinki and since I do not speak finnish yet! But you know what they say: So I’m sticking to books and counterppoint courses I have. The thing is I need to know what is the best method to study these topics counterpoint, harmony and orchestration as to not get confused at some point.

I’ll stick to Harmony, giving some glances at counterpoint. I think it would be important, since harmony and counterpoint go hand in hand or so I feel, please correct me if I’m wrong. After grabbing a good understanding of harmony, I’ll counterpint on to studying counterpoint seriously and finally and hopefully orchestration. ;iston find this an excellent approach. You can start checking out orchestration now. The first few chapters if I remember correctly cover instrumentation and you would have no walterr understanding and waltfr them.

Enjoy your music journey. I’d do it the other way around – counterpoint first, then harmony. It will build your respect for the interconnection of melodic lines that creates harmony.


IMy doubts resides in these I mean, should I take Harmony first, Yes, it will save you alot dounterpoint frustration by doing harmony first. Orchestration aside – once you do harmony you will fit your counterpoint to it, and by it, if you choose to follow the “rules” of good harmony. Doing it the other way around is frustrating in my experience. I’d go along with Mr Dunn-Rankin – because harmony is counterpoont inevitability of good counterpoint For orchestration, you need the basic stuff in the first part of the Piston, then just study scores.

You can buy textbooks with CD examples but scores and the relevant CDs are the way forward. You need pistln choose your pieces carefully tho. Don’t jump straight in with The Rite! If you want to write atonal it won’t hurt to study traditional harmony because the notions of progression and good control still apply, so you’ll be able to know better what you’re doing My books collection includes these three books by Piston.

I used them later in my theoretical studies. And I think they are very intelligently written, although one could find that in some places there is a lot of text, sometimes too philosophical.

I think that the Piston’s book on Counterpoint is more thought-provoking and shows specific moments, while Kennan’s is more suitable for learning the essence and counterplint rules – they are more clearly and straight present in the Kennan’s book.

In century counterpoint, you should also observe the harmonic progression, that’s why it is logical to learn harmony ppiston. But before harmony you can learn century counterpoint. I think coujterpoint will counterpint in developing better eye and feeling in horizontal aspect which is important.

Several times, Piston reminds us in his Harmony book that harmony is actually formed by simultaneous sound of the melodic lines, water is something that must not be forgotten. As for the orchestration, it comes after harmony, counterpoint and forms. In my humble opinion, Piston’s book is more about instrumentation. First you learn chords. I dont know what some of these people are smoking.

Counterpoint | W. W. Norton & Company

Piston recommends a year in a harmony class, but the material presented within require even more, I believe! The book by Berlioz and Richard Strauss is a great read, but it remains a relic and musical instruments have cojnterpoint a long way since then.

I recommend for orchestration that you check out the very popular, Sameul Adler’s “Study of Orchestration” a very helpful read and for the most part Study of Orchestration, Third Edition: Counterpoint counterppint really that complex, when one voice stops moving, or is holding a tone longer than the basic rhythmic subdivision, you let another voice start moving The harmonies that are created by the counterpoint, or the harmonies that you need to create, won’t be easily discerned by you, or you won’t understand them, or you won’t fully know what to employ etc.


I was referring to Piston’s approach to counterpoint. He approaches counterpoint through both harmonic and contrapuntal dissonances.

He is particularly interested in the harmonic rhythm. You can’t study and understand these without already knowing harmony. Your definition of counterpoint is at best simplistic.

That might be the case for some pseudo-contrapuntal two-part pieces. That is hardly what counterpoint is about, I believe. First you learn “Stairway to Heaven,” then you watch Wayne’s World. Realizing you’re a miserable sinner, you then smash your guitar a-la Hendrix style and beg forgiveness for not being able to play Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” by your second lesson.

The order you have them in 1st Harmony 2nd Counterpoint and 3rd Orchestration is the order Id read them in.

Counterpoint by Walter Piston

That is usually the order in which you learn as you progress through music theory. Harmony is usually referd to chords counterpoint is also harmony for the melody As you learn how to use chords you progress to broken chords and how they can create counter melody.

Then As you deside what instuments you’d like to play what you progress to instrumentation and orchesteation which will tie all 3 together! If you play piano, guitar, any fully ‘homophonic’ instrument, counterrpoint with Harmony. If you play a monophonic instrument try Counterpoint.

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Already have an account? Advice and Techniques Search In. Prev 1 2 Next Page 1 of 2. Posted March 9, Should I read them all at the same time though this might be confusing It’s just that I don’t want to start off with the wrong foot with these, since I treasure a good musical foundation. Please help me out here, guys and girls! Musically yours, Eduardo Hans. Share this post Link to post Share on other sites. Harmony first, then Counterpoint and finally Orchestration. Hi, Eduardo, what kind of musical education do you already have?

Posted March 10, Posted March 11, Posted March 16, Posted March 18, I am sorry, I cannot give an adequate answer to your question, because I have not read the book.

I think it’s more than one volume. Posted March 20, First you learn scales and keys, then chords. Then you smoke dope. Posted March 22, Forsyth’s equivalent is nice too. I prefer Adler’s myself though. Posted March 23, I would definitely study harmony first, and then counterpoint. Posted April 12, Posted July 21, Posted July 30,