Arranging music is like designing a building: different materials, shapes, patterns and configurations all make a critical difference. In this first video of the season, we’ll break down well known tracks to see how you can arrange several simultaneous lines of melody. It’s easier than it sounds.
In this video we’ll show you when, where and how to apply counterpoint in a range of genres – with references from famous Artists such as Stevie Wonder, White Stripes, Missy Elliot and Bob Marley to Amy Winehouse, Buena Vista Social Club and Corelli.
Featuring interviews from Tehillah Alphonso, Yazz Ahmed, Tristan Landymore, Errolyn Wallen and Isobel Waller-Bridge.
What is counterpoint?
Two part counterpoint – a busy part over a simple loop
Lines agreeing with the Chords
Each Line can have its own distinctive rhythm and fill in different gaps
The bassline is a hummable tune
Each line can have its own distinctive melodic shape
Different lines may start on different beats
Lines can get introduced gradually – one by one
Block chords can busk along with your lines (continuo)
Doubling or stacking one part to create parallel lines
Unpitched spoken lines
Counterpoint with more than two parts
Lines can sometimes tangle and ‘mask’ each other
Four part counterpoint
Busy arrangements (that still work)
Music with very clear lines
Defining lines with articulation and space
Counterpoint that doesn’t focus on chords
Music with no pitched lines
Remember these are tools not rules
Listen to our playlist example on counterpoint and thinking in lines.
Watch our video on stripping back your music to make your best ideas shine here.