Modes Cheat Sheet +

Modes Cheat Sheet + - student project

A cheat sheet for modes, etc.

Also some notes:

Step: A half step or a whole step interval.
Skip: A third interval is a skip.
Leap: Any interval that's a fourth or bigger.

Rules of First Species Counterpoint- (For melody, not harmony)
Melodic intervals larger than step must be consonant.
Intervals of minor sevenths, major sevenths or tritone are prohibited.
Do not have a note repeated more than once. (As in repeated back to back)
Everything should be steps and skips with not more than one leap.
Begin and end on tonic. (for First Species only)

If you're in a minor key, raise your seventh to a melodic minor. (to make it a strong leading tone)
Avoid chromatic half steps.

Homo rhythmic and poly rhythmic.
Homo rhythmic-Unison rhythm. Two or more lines having one rhythm. ie same kind of notes in each line.
Poly rhythmic- Lines having different rhythm than the other. ie different kinds of notes in each line.

While noting down intervals, any compound intervals will be reduced to less than an octave.
For example, a ninth will become an interval of seconds.

There are four kinds of motion.
Contrary motion: One voice moves up, while the other moves down.
The result of a contrary motion has to be a chord or a harmony.

Parallel motion: Going in the same direction by the same interval. (whether up or down)
It is allowed only between imperfect consonance, but not with perfect consonance.
Hence, you cannot do parallel motion with fifths.

Oblique motion: One part is not moving, (it is either repeating the note or sustaining it) while the other part jumps by a step, skip or leap.
It is allowed but not great, should be avoided.

Similar motion: Both parts move in same direction but at different intervals. It is allowed if you don't land on a perfect fifth. If you land on a fifth, then the upper voice movement should have been that of a step, either up or down.

Parallel octaves sound crude and are a big no.
Parallel fifths are a big no as well.
Hidden octaves and fifths are not to be used as well.

Start on unison
End on unison, with contrary motion leading to it.

Simplified notes for writing 1st counterpoint:
-Contrary motions are good.
-Harmony isn't that important as long as you stay in key, and stay away from seconds and sevenths.(dissonance)
-Avoid parallel fifths and octaves.
-In general, avoid octaves or unisons other than in the beginning or the end.

Rules for First Species Counterpoint:
1. For the opening harmonic interval, write an octave or unison or a fifth, the latter only with contuse (tonic) on the lower voice.
As in, the first interval could be a fifth as long as the tonic is in the lower voice.
2. For the closing harmonic interval, write a 3rd > unison (closing) or 6th > octave (opening)
In minor, raise flat 7 (make a leading tone) and raise flat 6 if proceeding flat 7 to avoid augmented 2nd. Don't use raised 6th if creates a cross relation.
3. Write mostly contrary motion for the parts.
4. Avoid parallel octaves/fifths by parallel/contrary motion.
5. Approach perfect intervals by contrary motion or in similar motion with one going by a step.
6. Don't write more than 3 parallel imperfect consonances in a row (3 - 3rds or 3 - 6ths).
7. Include a mix of perfect (octaves and 5ths) and imperfect (3rds and 6ths) consonances with more imperfect than perfect.
8. Avoid dissonate harmonic intervals, including perfect 4ths and accidentals other than at the cadence (ie the approach to the end, the resolution to the end) - Do it if you need to get the best cadence!
9. Avoid dissonant melodic intervals.
10. Write leaps sparingly - set in contrary motion, have a step in opposing part. Don't have a leap against another leap.
11. Give melodic line an interesting contour - not static, repeating, or circling around one note (don't focus on a note, change it up). Keep ranges distinct, don't cross voices.
12. Aim for mostly step motion with no more than 2 skips and leaps in a row.