species counterpoint


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

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First Known Use of species counterpoint

1947, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

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

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