“Species” counterpoint is the traditional method for learning how to write contrapuntal music.
The species counterpoint method dates back several hundred years, but it’s still taught in Universities and music schools across the world today, because of its simplified, step-by-step approach.
The problem is that most species counterpoint textbooks are outdated, dry and confusing. (If you have ever tried to read Johannes Fux’s treatise you will know what I mean!) Many texts insist on using obscure or extinct clefs, which means reading the examples is both challenging and confusing for the modern music student. And in any case, the best way to learn about counterpoint is by hearing what you see.
- If you need to study species counterpoint as part of your music course, this video course will be a life saver for you!
- If you are learning for your own pleasure, you’ll find this course is accessible and practical, and will open the door for you to more in-depth study of counterpoint.
This course will give you a thorough preparation in two-part species counterpoint. You will learn how to effectively write counterpoint in the five distinct species:
Some of the topics you will become confident in are
- distinguishing harmonic and melodic intervals,
- the classification of consonances (perfect and imperfect) and dissonances,
- the correct preparation and resolution of dissonances,
- the use of tritone, ligature and cambiata
- the three types of motion: similar, contrary and oblique
The course includes a downloadable PDF with lesson notes, musical examples and practical exercises for you to work through yourself.
- You should be well grounded in music theory
- You must be able to read the treble and bass clefs
- You should have a good understanding of chords, intervals, keys and scales
- Understand what species counterpoint really is and how it works
- Be able to write species counterpoint in two parts
- Be able to tackle species counterpoint exercises with more confidence
"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.