Reddit Reddit reviews Contemporary Counterpoint: Theory & Application (Music Theory: Counterpoint)

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Contemporary Counterpoint: Theory & Application (Music Theory: Counterpoint)
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2 Reddit comments about Contemporary Counterpoint: Theory & Application (Music Theory: Counterpoint):

u/WorkedInTheory · 7 pointsr/drumcorps

Without question, the best way to learn how to arrange is to put in the work transcribing some of your favorite arrangers and dissecting the way they approach things.

Study the chord progressions they use and analyze their voicing. Break down how they use counterpoint vs. countermelody. Pay attention to how they use every single voice, common articulations, and where in the range do they have each part "live" (1st vs. 2nd vs 3rd).

Write down what you observe about how they do things, try to put it into words. Compare/contrast between arrangers. This will help you better internalize what they are doing and help you to find your own style.


Before doing any of this, however, I suggest to read, read, read. Here are a few books to get your started:


The Study of Counterpoint - Johann Joseph Fux


Contemporary Counterpoint: Theory & Application - Beth Denisch


Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony - Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky


Principles of Orchestration - Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov


Essential Dictionary of Orchestration - Dave Black & Tom Gerou


Treatise on Instrumentation - Hector Berlioz & Richard Strauss


Arranging for Horns - Jerry Gates


Another excellent resource is Bandestration -



Another great read that is HIGHLY applicable to writing for marching music is:


Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics


If you are interested to explore interplay between wind/percussion arranging and electronics:


Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer - Andrea Pejrolo


u/onlyforjazzmemes · 2 pointsr/jazzguitar

I've played a decent amound of rock, (mostly into Wilco, Sufjan type stuff) and I feel that playing Bach helped me a lot for writing memorable parts with good voice leading. It's mostly about giving yourself a solid harmonic framework to go off of. Like building a house... you can kinda do whatever you want with the decorations, but the framework and structure has to be there. Bach gives us that framework, even for rock/pop/jazz (to an extent).

Some things of his that might help you for guitar parts: his solo violin (and solo cello) stuff. He was able to coax polyphonic sounds and a sense of harmony out of two instruments which are mostly monophonic, and you really learn how to write a good melody. For two-part structure (bass+melody, the most important voices), check out his Inventions, and for 3-part, check out the French Suites. For heavier stuff, check out the Well-Tempered Clavier or B Minor Mass. It's mostly about being aware of how you're moving the voices, and how your parts are moving melodically... thinking of harmony as melody.

Obviously, there's a huge difference between Bach and something like funk or afrobeat, which are groove-based, but I think studying him is really helpful for writing parts that "just fit" with the rest of the band, or knowing how to keep strong harmonic structure with minimal instrumentation (solo, duo, etc).

Some other books to maybe consider:

Exploring Jazz Arranging (He also talks about Bach)

Contemporary Counterpoint

Tonal Counterpoint for the 21st Century Musician

Voice Leading: The Science Behind a Musical Art