Newsletter - point / counterpoint

published22 days ago
2 min read

This is an exciting week, as it marks the launch of my Practical Counterpoint course, as I have already announced. BTW, that link includes the special discount good for this week, but I'll let you in on a secret - the coupon code COUNTERPOINT-LAUNCH is actually good for all of my courses. So feel free to browse the catalog and stock up - just be sure to use the coupon code at checkout!

Meanwhile, let's get on with the rest of the week's news!

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, it is time for our first-Wednesday "Ask Me Anything" series, so join us live with your questions! If you think I will need to see your score in order to help, please post it to the Conversation space within my Community site.

Tip of the Week

For as long as I've been involved with MuseScore - over a decade now! - by far the most common questions we get on the support forums have to do with using multple voices. In particular, if you don't know the term for this, you'll have a hard to time finding information on it, so people often don't now how to get started. So let me fix that!

In a nutshell, multiple voices are the musical term for when you have two different independent rhythms happening at the same time in the ssme staff. Like, a quarter note being played at the same time as two eighths:

The relevant section of the Handbook is called Voices, and you'll find more details there. But the short answer as to how to create this notation is, enter the top voice (the one with stems up) normally, then without leaving note input mode, use the cursor keys to move back to the beginning of the measure and switch to voice 2 using the controls on the main toolbar:

You can now enter the notes of voice 2 normally, and the stem directions take care of themselves automatically.

There is much more to working with multiple voices, and the lesson in my online course gives you an excellent demosntration of the techniques in just a few minutes.

Music Master Class

This week will feature a very special "counterpoint webinar" edition of the Music Master Class! I'll give you a tour of my new online course Practical Counterpoint, walk you through some of the music I created for it, discuss some student submissions, and answer your questions about counterpoint and the course!

In Theory

I've made a number of the lessons from the Practical Counterpoint available as free previews. Perhaps the one that best sums up why I am so giddy about this course is this one on canon construction:

The method I lay out here is known to be one used by Renaissance and Baroque masters, but it's not one you see discussed much in counterpoint texts today. And that's a real shame, because it's an amazingly powerful technique that is well worth the time it takes to learn.

Of course, this video assumes you are already familiar with the concepts discussed, and if you haven't already studied counterpoint to any extent, don't worry if it all sounds confusing. But it won't if you take the full course and work your way up to this! The point is, this really is a method that you can learn, and it will allow you to easily create canons like the one you hear at the 0:45 mark, and chances are, you won't learn this anywhere else.

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