counterpoint

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v counterpoint write in counterpoint "Bach perfected the art of counterpointing"
    • v counterpoint to show differences when compared; be different "the students contrast considerably in their artistic abilities"
    • n counterpoint a musical form involving the simultaneous sound of two or more melodies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Counterpoint A coverlet; a cover for a bed, often stitched or broken into squares; a counterpane. See 1st Counterpane. "Embroidered coverlets or counterpoints of purple silk."
    • n Counterpoint An opposite point
    • n Counterpoint (Mus) The setting of note against note in harmony; the adding of one or more parts to a given canto fermo or melody "Counterpoint , an invention equivalent to a new creation of music."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n counterpoint A coverlet; a counterpane.
    • n counterpoint An opposite point.
    • n counterpoint An opposite position or standpoint.
    • n counterpoint In music: The art of musical composition in general.
    • n counterpoint The art of polyphonic or concerted composition, in distinction from homophonic or melodic composition.
    • n counterpoint Specifically, the art of adding to a given melody, subject, theme, or canto fermo, one or more melodies whose relations to the given melody are fixed by rules. Strict or plain counterpoint, which began to be cultivated in the thirteenth century, and attained great extension and perfection in the fifteenth, is usually divided into several species: note against note, in which to each note of the cantus is added one note in the accompanying part or parts; two against one, in which to each note of the cantus two notes are added; four against one, in which four notes are added; syncopated, in which to each note of the cantus one note is added after a constant rhythmic interval; florid or figured, in which the added part or parts are variously constructed. The melodic and harmonic intervals permitted in each species are minutely fixed by rule. Counterpoint is two-part when two voices or parts are used, three-part when three are used, etc. It is single when the added part uniformly lies above or below the cantus; double when the added part is so constructed as to be usable both above and below the cantus by a uniform transposition of an octave, a tenth, or some other interval; and triple when three melodies are so fitted as to be mutually usable above and below one another by transposition. Among the forms of counterpoint, the canon and the fugue are the most important. (See these words.) Next to a pure and natural use of melodic intervals, various kinds of imitation between the voices are specially sought, such as augmentation, diminution, inversion, reversion, etc. (See these words.) The practice of counterpoint was specially prominent in the Gallo-Belgic school of musicians from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, and it has been a part of musical training and accomplishment ever since. It is a necessary basis for all polyphonic composition, although in modern music the strictness of its early rules has been much relaxed.
    • n counterpoint A voice-part of independent character polyphonically combined with one or more other parts.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Counterpoint kown′tėr-point (mus.) the art of combining melodies: the setting of a harmony of one or more parts to a melody: the art of composition
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. contrepoincte, corruption of earlier counstepointe, countepointe, F. courtepointe, fr. L. culcita, cushion, mattress (see Quilt, and cf. Cushion) + puncta, fem. p. p. of pungere, to prick (see Point). The word properly meant a stitched quilt, with the colors broken one into another
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—contre, against, point, a point.

Usage

In literature:

Out of which Butler used to do his counterpoint exercises.
"The Samuel Butler Collection at Saint John's College Cambridge" by Henry Festing Jones
It needs no very intimate acquaintance with Nevin's music to see that it is not based on an adoration for counterpoint as an end.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
He explained to me that counterpoint is a microcosm.
"Castellinaria and Other Sicilian Diversions" by Henry Festing Jones
From that day on and for three years Daniel visited Spindler twice a week, and was most thoroughly grounded in counterpoint and harmony.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
Thy counterpoint the crystal snow.
"Bird Stories from Burroughs" by John Burroughs
Gluck, indeed, has even been considered weak in counterpoint and fugue.
"The Merry-Go-Round" by Carl Van Vechten
Cherubini's voluminous compositions reveal him as one of the great modern masters of counterpoint.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
I consider him the greatest master of the mysteries of counterpoint since the heyday of classical polyphony.
"Great Pianists on Piano Playing" by James Francis Cooke
Vendors of all kinds uttered their nasal or raucous cries, in counterpoint to the treble screams of little boys and girls.
"The Dust Flower" by Basil King
Dannreuther, eulogy on Beethoven, 159; comment on Berlioz's counterpoint, 209.
"Music: An Art and a Language" by Walter Raymond Spalding
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In poetry:

Hugues! I advise Me Pn
(Counterpoint glares like a Gorgon)
Bid One, Two, Three, Four, Five, clear the arena!
Say the word, straight I unstop the full-organ,
Blare out the mode Palestrina.
"Master Hugues Of Saxe-Gotha" by Robert Browning

In news:

Counterpoint to Jan 7 editorial.
Counterpoint Books is a cool and quirky used bookstore and record shop that has been around for 30 years on the Franklin Avenue strip in Hollywood.
Point- counterpoint on California's bag tax.
Point/ Counterpoint : Georgetown's Campus Plan.
Point/ Counterpoint : Should we legislate where sex offenders can live.
Point/ Counterpoint : Which party is Wall Street's lackey.
Counterpoint and Welcome, Christmas.
Point/ counterpoint Private-Label vs Mass-Marketed Contact Lenses Keep patients in the practice with private-label contact lenses.
Point/ Counterpoint IS - 5 SN - 0740-7459 SP78 EP81 EPD - 78-81 PY - 2000 VL - 17 JA.
Editor's note: See the counterpoint to this article, "Research Basis for Applied Kinesiology," also in the June 14, 1999 issue of DC.
For the last few months, random postings kept appearing on internet newsgroups and in my e-mail box: "Anybody know what happened to Counterpoint ".
Song of Myself and Other Poems by Walt Whitman, selected and introduced by Robert Hass Counterpoint, 260 pp.
This week, the counterpoint has started to come into play: What will Democrats swallow on spending cuts .
The McRitchie Ring of Fire (both Sean and Patricia McRitchie are fans of Johnny Cash and this song) is the counterpoint to a red blend mentioned here previously (River Run).
Point/Counterpoint: Hemp will spur job growth.
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In science:

The counterpoint to reductionism is System Theory, that states that a system very often organizes itself into patterns that cannot be understood in terms of the laws governing the single elements.
From Knowledge, Knowability and the Search for Objective Randomness to a New Vision of Complexity
The answer is not straightforward, at least for the case of optional patterns and its relational counterpoint, the left outer join.
Semantics and Complexity of SPARQL
As a counterpoint we consider stability conditions on the coherent derived category of P1 in §3.2.
Stability conditions, torsion theories and tilting
We ask them here in the spirit of discussion, and to emphasize the counterpoint that the astronomer provides to the statistician (and no doubt vice-versa in other papers in this conference).
Discussion on "Techniques for Massive-Data Machine Learning in Astronomy" by A. Gray
In traditional contrapuntal music, voice leading is typically derived from the rules of counterpoint, which is the relationship between two or more voices that are harmonically interdependent but independent in pitch contour and rhythm.
Music in Terms of Science
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