Name: Contemporary Counterpoint
Writter: Beth Denisch
Publisher: Berklee Press in 2017
Edition: 1st Edition
Available versions: Hardcopy + Kindle
Number of Pages: 187
Price: Around 24.99$ on Amazon
Book includes audio
This book is a delight to read and to follow for the intermediate level musician, especially for those who pursue the path of better part writing. The book touches the subject of counterpoint in a much clearer and easier way than similar books I read on the subject.
With that said, the book doesn’t deal with specific situations you will encounter in species counterpoint and the ways you can solve them by following the rules of counterpoint, and this is an important part of understanding the nature of counterpoint.
This book is a long awaited one for me, it explains the dynamics of counterpoint with quite a simplicity while paying attention to details which helps see things clearer and put this knowledge into use.
The book touches the subjects of:
- Counterpoint basics
- Two voice counterpoint
- Motive manipulation
- Creating a simple canon
- Motivic Imitation
- Inverted canon & double canon
- Advanced canons
- Rhythmic augmentation & diminution
- Application & combination of contrapuntal techniques
This book was hard to get for some time if you were to order the kindle version, but now it’s available and I couldn’t help myself but buying it in the minute it was available. Why? for 3 reasons:
- Come on, it’s from Berklee – it’s one of the most renowned music schools in the world.
- It’s counterpoint that expands beyond the basics.
- With the included sound examples I could learn how things sound even if I didn’t have my piano nearby.
It costs around 24.99$ but there are sales on amazon throughout the year so you can sometimes find the kindle version as cheap as 15.99$. Is it worth it?
Well, it depends…
For me it was very fun to read and easy to follow even on the more advanced topics, as with most books from Berklee, they are usually easy to understand and introduce great tools for actual music writing, so if you want to improve your part writing skills and you have minimal experience with counterpoint (at least know a bit about species), I would suggest getting this book and trying everything you read there.
If you are an advanced musician, you won’t find a lot of challenge in this book and I would go for something more in-depth about counterpoint writing, and there are quite a few books that I recommended, I will make sure to add their reviews as well.