species counterpoint

noun

Definition of species counterpoint

1 : a traditional method of instruction in 16th-century counterpoint based on five increasingly demanding types of two-voice contrapuntal writing based on a preexisting cantus firmus The discipline of species counterpoint was first put forth by Johann Joseph Fux in Gradus ad Parnassum (1725) as a tool for teaching composers.— Markand Thakar, Counterpoint, 1990

called also strict counterpoint

— compare first species, second species, third species, fourth species, fifth species
2 : counterpoint that follows the rules of species counterpoint More recently, Schubert's exercises in species counterpoint and fugue for Salieri and Sechter have attracted attention …— R. Larry Todd, Mendelssohn's Musical Education, 1983

called also strict counterpoint

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of species counterpoint

1947, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about species counterpoint

Time Traveler for species counterpoint

Time Traveler

The first known use of species counterpoint was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Statistics for species counterpoint

Cite this Entry

“Species counterpoint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/species%20counterpoint. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Comments on species counterpoint

What made you want to look up species counterpoint? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!