The Counterpoint of J.S. Bach

Topics: At a Glance

Return to: MUSC 726C

Below you will find an overview of the main topics covered in the course, along with links to definitions in the Harvard Dictionary of Music {HD} and historical articles in Grove Music Online {Grove}. In addition to the course readings, I have used the following three contemporary counterpoint textbooks as references for counterpoint terminology:

1. Thomas Benjamin, The Craft of Tonal Counterpoint (Benjamin 2003)
2. Robert Gauldin, A Practical Approach to Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint (Gauldin 2013)
3. Kent Kennan, Counterpoint (Kennan 1999)

Since the Music Library provides electronic access to the Benjamin, via EBSCOhost (Eh) and ProQuest's Ebook Central, we will use it as our primary reference text. Direct links to the Benjamin chapters are provided via the "Eh" links below.

  1. Counterpoint & Harmony
  2. Canon {HD; Grove}
    Benjamin 2003: Ch. 6 Imitation; Canon {Eh}
    See also: Gauldin 2013, Ch. 10 & 16; Kennan 1999, Ch. 8
  3. Invention {HD; Grove}
    Benjamin 2003: Ch. 7 The Two-Voice Invention {Eh}
    See also: Gauldin 2013, Ch. 10; Kennan 1999, Ch. 10
  4. Fugue {HD; Grove}
    Benjamin 2003: Ch. 10 Fugue I {Eh} & Ch. 11 Fugue II {Eh}
    See also: Gauldin 2013, Ch. 17 & 20; Kennan 1999, Ch. 15-17

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Benjamin, Thomas. 2003. The Craft of Tonal Counterpoint, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge {GB; Full text: Ebook Central; EBSCOhost}

Gauldin, Robert. 2004. "An Introduction to Species Counterpoint." In Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, pp. A14-25. {GBd}

_____________, 2013. A Practical Approach to Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint, Revised Edition. Long Grove: IL, Waveland Press. {GB; Table of Contents: GB}

Kennan, Kent. 1999. Counterpoint, 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. {GBd; Table of Contents:}

Updated: May 23, 2022

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music