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practice drills.

Instructions

Getting started

  • Click "Settings..." to change the way the drill works — you can choose "Standard" or "Strict" counterpoint rules (details below), whether to enter your counter-melody above or below, what key signatures to allow, and if sounds will play.
  • Click "Start Drill" to see your first question. You'll see the cantus firmus displayed on either the bass or treble part of the staff, and you'll need to enter your counter-melody on the other part. The given melody may be in either a major or minor key.
  • To add a note, just click on the staff. The note will be added in the given key. Altered notes aren't allowed except for using the raised leading tone in a minor key. To do that, click "Sharp next note" before adding the note.
  • When you're done working, click "Stop Drill".

Counterpoint Rules

If you chose "Standard" rules:

  • The interval between the given note and the note in your counter-melody should be consonant (major/minor 3rd or 6th, perfect unison, 5th, or octave, or a compound form).
  • If the counter-melody is above the given melody, then the last note of the counter-melody should be in the tonic chord.
  • If the counter-melody is below the given melody, then the last note of the counter-melody should be the tonic or third of the tonic chord.
  • Parallel fifths: if the previous harmonic interval was a fifth, your next note should not create the same harmonic interval again.
  • Parallel octaves: if the previous harmonic interval was an octave, your next note should not create the same harmonic interval again.
  • Direct octaves or fifths: if both voices are moving in the same direction (and the upper voice by jump), they should not move to a vertical octave or fifth.
  • Avoid the tritone — the diminished fifth or augmented fourth interval — both melodic (between notes in your melody) and harmonic (between your note and the given note above or below it).
  • Avoid augmented 2nds, both melodic (between notes in your melody) and harmonic (between your note and the given note above or below it).
  • Use notes in the key signature only. The only exception allowed is a sharp for the leading tone in a minor scale.
  • Leading tone resolution at cadence: if your second-to-last note is the leading tone, you should resolve that up a half-step to the tonic at the cadence.
  • Your counter-melody should move in steps, or in leaps of a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th.
  • Your counter-melody should not contain multiple successive large leaps (5th or 6th) in the same direction.
  • Your counter melody should not contain more than 3 leaps in a row.
  • Avoid simultaneous leaps in the same direction.
  • Simultaneous opposite leaps are only allowed if both voices leap by a third, or one voice leaps by a third while the other voice leaps by a fourth.

If you chose "Strict" rules:

  • If your counter-melody is above the given melody, the interval between the given note and the first note in your counter-melody above should be a perfect unison, 5th, or octave, or a compound form.
  • If your counter-melody is below the given melody, the interval between the given note and the first note in your counter-melody below it should be a perfect unison or octave, or a compound form.
  • The last note of your counter melody should form a perfect unison, octave, or double octave with the given note above or below it.
  • The second-to-last vertical interval should include both the supertonic (second note in the scale) and the leading tone (...so the interval will be either a major sixth or a minor third).
  • For all other notes in your counter-melody: all vertical intervals should be larger than the unison, and consonant (major/minor 3rd or 6th, perfect 5th or octave, or a compound form).
  • Parallel fifths: if the previous harmonic interval was a fifth, your next note should not create the same harmonic interval again.
  • Parallel octaves: if the previous harmonic interval was an octave, your next note should not create the same harmonic interval again.
  • Direct octaves or fifths: if both voices are moving in the same direction (and the upper voice by jump), they should not move to a vertical octave or fifth.
  • Avoid the tritone — the diminished fifth or augmented fourth interval — both melodic (between notes in your melody) and harmonic (between your note and the given note above or below it).
  • Avoid augmented 2nds, both melodic (between notes in your melody) and harmonic (between your note and the given note above or below it).
  • Use notes in the key signature only. The only exception allowed is a sharp for the leading tone in a minor scale.
  • Repeated note: don't use the same twice in a row in your counter-melody.
  • Your counter-melody should move in steps, or in leaps of a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th.
  • Your counter-melody should not contain multiple successive large leaps (5th or 6th) in the same direction.
  • After a melodic leap, your counter-melody should move a step in the opposite direction, except:
    — after a leap of a 3rd, you can move a step in the same direction, leap back a 3rd, or leap back a 4th.
    — after a leap of a 4th, you can leap back a 3rd.
  • Avoid simultaneous leaps in the same direction.
  • Simultaneous opposite leaps are only allowed if both voices leap by a third, or one voice leaps by a third while the other voice leaps by a fourth.

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