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Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best
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#beginquote# You can think of counterpoint as a tool for composition (among many tools). If you are studying the music of a certain time period, it is important to understand what was happening and why. If you are composing in the style of a particular composer (or group of composers) you should attempt to follow the "rules" developed from the study of their music. Not to do so would lead to unauthentic sounds. If you are in a college theory class and the teacher wishes you to understand baroque counterpoint, and then demonstrate it is your own writing you should "follow the rules for sure". Great music is great for good reasons. By learning the way great composers created contrapuntal lines in different eras you can better express your own ideas effectively. I would say you should learn the rules before you set out to break them. As craneclassical said, the rules were developed by later study of great music and are essential to the sound and function of that particular music. Some rules have stood the test of time and should be followed in most cases. As you grow as a composer you may set out to break the rules only to discover that it has already been done and that and it has become a "rule" of another period. In the Renaissance tritones were strictly avoided, but many Baroque composers thrived on the tension/release they provided. Good Luck! GOOOOOOROOOOOO #endquote#
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