This video talks about guidelines for successful partwriting and counterpoint
Produced for WHS AP Music Theory http://goo.gl/vr5mA

David Bennett Thomas



– Composer: Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 — 28 December 1963)
– Performer: Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
– Year of recording: 1985 (live at “Fêtes Musicales en Touraine”, France)

Ludus tonalis, cycle of 25 pieces for piano, written in 1942.

00:00 – 01. Praeludium
04:45 – 02. Fuga 1. in C major (Slow)
07:49 – 03. Interludium (Moderate, with energy)
09:13 – 04. Fuga 2, in G major (Gay)
10:50 – 05. Interludium (Pastorale)
11:52 – 06. Fuga 3, in F major (Andante)
15:33 – 07. Interludium (Scherzando)
16:46 – 08. Fuga 4, in A major (With energy)
20:05 – 09. Interludium (Fast)
21:14 – 10. Fuga 5, in E major (Fast)
22:36 – 11. Interludium (Moderato)
23:53 – 12. Fuga 6, in E flat major (Quiet)
25:57 – 13. Interludium (March)
28:04 – 14. Fuga 7, in A flat major (Moderato)
30:35 – 15. Interludium (Very broad)
33:12 – 16. Fuga 8, in D major (With strength)
34:09 – 17. Interludium (Very fast)
35:46 – 18. Fuga 9, in B flat major (Moderato)
37:58 – 19. Interludium (Very quiet)
40:37 – 20. Fuga 10, in D flat major (Moderately fast
42:24 – 21. Interludium (Allegro pesante)
44:30 – 22. Fuga 11, in B major (Slow)
47:33 – 23. Interludium (Valse)
49:39 – 24. Fuga 12, in F sharp major (Very Quiet)
52:45 – 25. Postludium

The role of the composer in modern society had been a concern for Hindemith even before he explored it dramatically in the operas Cardillac (1926) and Mathis der Maler (1938). Hindemith’s “Gebrauchsmusik” (“utility music,” a term the composer disliked), written to fill a need for high-quality music that could be performed by talented amateurs, was one manifestation of his concerns; another was his interest in the teaching of music, as evidenced in his efforts toward the organization of music education in Turkey, at the behest of that country’s government, in 1937. Hindemith demonstrated his beliefs regarding the politico-ethical responsibilities of the composer when he chose to leave Nazi Germany at the end of the 1930s, eventually settling in the United States as a professor of music at Yale University.

In Ludus tonalis (“Tonal Games”) for solo piano, Hindemith wove together the varied strands of his professional and artistic life up to that point. Hindemith’s subtitle for the work, “Studies in Counterpoint, Tonal Organization and Piano Playing,” perhaps carries a deceptive connotation of dryness or academicism. But Ludus tonalis ranges well beyond the stated intent of its heading, exploring matters of technique, theory, inspiration, and communication. It is in effect, a veritable catalogue of the composer’s mature style, expressed in lively, imaginative, compact vignettes. While a complete performance requires nearly an hour, none of individual parts is longer than four minutes.

Ludus tonalis is ingeniously arranged, its 12 fugues connected by interludes that modulate from the key of one fugue to that of the next. The interludes also serve as a means of thematic modulation; each propagates thematic “cells” that anticipate the material of the succeeding fugue. While the fugues are entirely contrapuntal — often ingeniously so, as when Hindemith creates the effect of three-part polyphony with just two voices — the interludes are homophonic, taking harmony and variety of expression as their major concerns. Framing the whole is a Praeludium and a Postludium; in keeping with the playful suggestion of the title, the latter is a retrograde inversion of the former.

In the Praeludium Hindemith “signs in” with cascading toccata figurations, followed by a meditative arioso and a solemn conclusion of imposing chords over a bell-like descending figure in the bass. This introduction is also a bank of the work’s thematic material, which Hindemith explores throughout with great inventiveness and facility. The Interludes, virtually character pieces, are marked by individual, distinctive personalities. The third, a scherzo, is a funny promenade with a prominent, cheeky Scotch snap; the eighth is notable for its fast, chordal, hand-over-hand pianism; the ninth is quiet and introspective, recalling the composer’s works of mourning. There is also a noteworthy resourcefulness in the fugues, a restrictive form that poses challenges in creating variety. The second fugue is based on an insistent repeated note from which the theme suddenly launches upward, while the jaunty ninth fugue juxtaposes an assertive grace note figure with a motive of four thirty-second notes


Spem in alium, by Thomas Tallis, performed by the Taverner Choir, accompanied by an animated graphical score.

Q: What’s the best way to watch this video?
A: This video was designed to work best with Chromadepth 3D glasses. You can learn more about these glasses here:
Other videos I’ve made using Chromadepth 3D are posted on this channel:
To get the best effect, play the video in full-screen mode and stand back from it.

Q: Where can I learn more about this piece?
A: Here:

Q: What do the colors and shapes mean?
A: The 40 voices in this piece are divided into eight choirs of five voices each. In this video, the notes for each choir have a different color, a different size, and a different depth, with the first choir being small, red and in front, and the eighth choir being large, blue, and in back.

Q: Could you please do a video of _______?
A: Please read this:

Byron Weigel Music Theory


Jake Hertzog

Hey Jazz Guy discusses the subject of jazz counterpoint. As seen in Guitar Player Magazine.

PDF example and text can be found at http://www.heyjazzguy.com



– Composer: Béla Viktor János Bartók (25 March 1881 — 26 September 1945)
– Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
– Conductor: David Zinman
– Soloists: Nelson Freire and Martha Argerich (pianos), Jan Labordus and Jan Pustjens (percussion)
– Year of recording: 1985

Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra, Sz. 115, BB 121, written in 1940.

00:00 – I. Assai lento – Allegro molto
13:31 – II. Lento, ma non troppo
20:45 – III. Allegro non troppo

The composition date given in the headnote is slightly misleading: yes, Bartók produced this effort in 1940, but it is an arrangement of the 1937 Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion. While for some time the chamber version may have been the preferred one, especially among critics, the orchestral rendition eventually became the more popular choice in concert halls and the recording studio.

Bartók had originally conceived the work for solo piano and percussion, but felt a second keyboard would supply sufficient sonic heft to provide the proper instrumental balances. Largely because of the work’s success at its debut on 16 January 1938, the composer decided to arrange it for orchestra, changing relatively small portions of the piano and percussion scoring.

– The first movement opens mysteriously (Assai lento), the pianos introducing the cryptic, terse main theme, or motif. As the music builds via intervallic accumulation, there are explosions from the percussion, and after an imaginative march-like episode on the pianos the tempo changes to Allegro molto. The colors brighten here and a brilliant, rhythmic theme, growing from the opening motif, is given by the pianos, later to be played colorfully by the xylophone. A second theme of less-aggressive character appears, and there follows an imaginative and complex development section. In the latter part of the first movement a brilliant fugue is given, wherein the piano writing is quite virtuosic, hands going in opposite directions on the keyboards, notes filling the air with tension and momentum. A dramatic coda, itself roiling in tension, closes the movement with emphatic resolution.
– The second movement is an elegy whose mesmerizing music, marked Lento ma non troppo, recalls the middle movement of the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1 from 1926 (uploaded on this channel), also a percussion-laden affair. The middle section here breaks from the elegiac mood of the opening and closing with agitated music, offering fine contrast to the nostalgic main theme.
– The third movement is a rondo, marked Allegro non troppo, that features two quite memorable themes. The first has an arched contour, rising and descending jovially on the keyboard, while the next one is presented emphatically by the xylophone, sounding humorous and intentionally stiff in its march-like manner. There is a brilliant but terse development of the main theme in a fugato episode, and the work ends with a subdued coda.

This concerto has attained a measure of popularity, but still remains largely on the fringes of the repertory, owing in part to the two-piano scoring. Relatively few virtuosos from any period devote their time to works like this unfortunately; this superlative performance by Freire and Argerich is one of the few.


Ludwig van Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Fourth Movement, with a graphical score.

Q: What do the shapes indicate?
A: The shapes are assigned according to instrumental group:
rectangle: brass (also timpani)
octagon: clarinet
ellipse: flute
inverted ellipse: oboe and bassoon
rhombus: strings

Q: What do the colors indicate?
A: There are two versions of this video; in this one …
… the colors are assigned to pitch, in a technique described here …
… and in this one …
… the colors are assigned by instrument (and are thus somewhat redundant with the shapes).

Q: Where can I get this recording?
A: From Magnatune:

Q: Could you please make a video of ________?
A: Please read this:


Six-voice ricercar from J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering, BWV 1079

Q: What is a ricercar?
A: See:

Q: Is this the most significant piano work of the last millennium?
A: At least one person thinks so:

Q: What instrument is that?
A: It’s two instruments, actually: a harpsichord and an organ. The harpsichord is Atema’s “Pristine Harpsichord” (with all stops on); the organ is two Ahlborn-Galanti Archiv modules, using the following stops (in order from the top voice):
Prinzipal 8′
Cor Anglais 8′
Quintade 8′
Flauto Mirabilis 8′
Prinzipal 8′ + Gedackt 8′
Ophicleide 16′ (up an octave so that it’s at pitch)

Q: Where can I get the sheet music for this?
A: Here is Bach’s autograph …
… and here is a modern version …


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Performer & Album Info – 1:26:01
Keyboard Reduction at: http://youtu.be/UgmpBHAwFLk
Contrapunctus 1 – 0:30
Contrapunctus 2 – 3:38
Contrapunctus 3 – 6:29
Contrapunctus 4 – 9:08
Contrapunctus 5 – 12:37
Contrapunctus 6 – 15:18
Contrapunctus 7 – 19:38
Contrapunctus 8 – 22:58
Contrapunctus 9 – 28:11
Contrapunctus 10 – 30:42
Contrapunctus 11 – 34:15
Contrapunctus 12 – 39:42
Contrapunctus 13 – 44:03
Contrapunctus 14 – 48:07
Contrapunctus 15 – 53:31
Contrapunctus 16 (rectus) – 1:01:29
Contrapunctus 16 (invertus) – 1:04:09
Contrapunctus 17 (rectus) – 1:06:04
Contrapunctus 17 (invertus) – 1:08:29
Contrapunctus 18 (rectus) – 1:10:30
Contrapunctus 18 (invertus) – 1:12:39
Contrapunctus 19 – 1:14:30
Chorale: Von deinenThron tret ich hiermit – 1:23:12

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The Vibrational Architecture of Living Together in Harmony.
A talk given at the 27th Annual Conference of the Seven Ray Institute and the University of the Seven Rays.
— “I want to demonstrate to the world the architecture of a new and beautiful social commonwealth. The secret of my harmony? I alone know it. Each instrument in counterpoint, and as many contrapuntal parts as there are instruments. It is the enlightened self-discipline of the various parts, each voluntarily imposing on itself the limits of its individual freedom for the wellbeing of the community. That is my message. Not the autocracy of a single stubborn melody on the one hand, nor the anarchy of the unchecked noise on the other. No, a delicate balance between the two – an enlightened freedom. The science of my art. The harmony of the stars in the heavens. The yearning for brotherhood in the hearts of men. This is the secret of my music.”
~ JS Bach

Harold Grandstaff Moses, Honorary PhDE in Musical Cosmology from the University of the Seven Rays, Director of the Institute of Harmonic Science in Phoenix, Arizona. Harold is a composer, orchestrator, violist, educator, choral director, musical cosmologist, and vibrational theorist. As an experienced guide into the world of sound, music and healing, Harold uses descriptive metaphors and new science examples to reveal the majesty and mystery of vibration, resonance and harmony.

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