Dictionary

1counterpoint

noun coun·ter·point \ˈkan-tər-ˌpint\

music : a combination of two or more melodies that are played together

: a melody played in combination with another

: something that is different from something else in usually a pleasing way

Full Definition of COUNTERPOINT

1
a :  one or more independent melodies added above or below a given melody
b :  the combination of two or more independent melodies into a single harmonic texture in which each retains its linear character :  polyphony
2
a :  a complementing or contrasting item :  opposite
b :  use of contrast or interplay of elements in a work of art (as a drama)

Examples of COUNTERPOINT

  1. The guitar and bass are played in counterpoint.
  2. The dressing is a refreshing counterpoint to the spicy chicken.
  3. The painting is a pleasant counterpoint to his earlier works.
  4. The music works in counterpoint to the images on the screen.

Origin of COUNTERPOINT

Middle English, from Middle French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin contrapunctus, from Latin contra- counter- + Medieval Latin punctus musical note, melody, from Latin, act of pricking, from pungere to prick — more at pungent
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

2counterpoint

verb

: to put two things together in a way that shows how different they are from each other

Full Definition of COUNTERPOINT

transitive verb
1
:  to compose or arrange in counterpoint
2
:  to set off or emphasize by juxtaposition :  set in contrast <counterpoints the public and the private man — Tom Bishop>

Examples of COUNTERPOINT

  1. The violence of the movie is counterpointed by ironic humor.

First Known Use of COUNTERPOINT

1875

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue
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