This is a practical course, in which you’ll learn how to write Baroque and early Classical-style counterpoint from a modern approach.
This course is not about "Species Counterpoint", which is a very theoretical approach and is based on an earlier, Renaissance style. This course looks very briefly at how species counterpoint works, but focuses mainly on writing in the later, more creative Baroque and early classical style.
You’ll first understand the elements that go into creating an effective solo melody line, and then add a second part while looking at how the parts combine with each other in terms of melody, rhythm and harmony.
You’ll also learn about three- and four-part counterpoint, invertible counterpoint, and some of the typical composition forms like the fugue and the trio sonata.
You’ll find this course in-depth and both accessible and practical, and by the end you’ll feel confident composing your own contrapuntal music in a Baroque style.
Counterpoint, or the art of weaving together multiple melodies, began in the Renaissance era but flourished in the Baroque, when Johann Sebastian Bach was at his height.
From that time on, counterpoint has been a composition technique used throughout all the eras and it's still a hugely important skill today.
The course includes a downloadable PDF with lesson notes, musical examples and practical exercises for you to work through yourself.
- You should have a good knowledge of music theory
- You should understand the concepts of key, chords and intervals.
- You will be able to write polyphonic music in up to four voices.
- You will be able to tackle forms such as the fugue with more confidence.
- You will have a good understanding of the principles behind contrapuntal music of the Baroque/early classical style.
- You will know how to construct invertible counterpoint.
"This course was absolutely first rate in every way. Ms. Williams presented the material clearly, thoughtfully, and with an obvious love of teaching. The only way this could possibly have been any better is to have had the privilege of studying with her in person. I'm amazed by how much information I learned and in such an enjoyable way! Ms. Williams is someone who not only has a deep understanding of music theory, but a rare and wonderful creativity that makes her such an effective teacher of it. Bravo and thank you!"
Victoria graduated from the University of Leeds in 1995 with a BA Honours in Music, specialising in Musicology. She also holds the AmusTCL and LmusTCL diplomas in Music Theory, from Trinity College London.
Since 2007, Victoria has been teaching music theory online and by email via her acclaimed website MyMusicTheory, offering free music theory tuition following the structured syllabus of the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music).
Victoria teaches all ABRSM levels, from grade 1 (beginner) up to grade 8/diploma (undergraduate level) and has an in depth knowledge of both the syllabus requirements and examiners' marking schemes. As well as teaching the ABRSM syllabus, Victoria is equally at home preparing students for the Trinity Guildhall exams, the Australian AMEB exams and the AP Music Theory exams taken in the USA.
Victoria's lessons break the tricky concepts of music and music theory down into easy-to-understand steps. She approaches teaching from the learner's point of view, building up on existing knowledge little by little, and avoids the “baffling with detail" stance taken by traditional music theory text books. She has an outstanding track-record with her students' exam successes, with the vast majority gaining top rated “merits and distinctions" from the ABRSM.
Victoria is an accomplished pianist and clarinettist, holding ABRSM grade 8 in both, and also composes in her free time. She has three children and two crazy cats.