Presentation and Texture

Soggetto

A melodic idea, usually setting a discrete segment of verbal text. It may be interlocked with itself or combined with a countersubject, thus forming a contrapuntal module that can be repeated at the same pitch or in transposition. A soggetto may also be stated as a singleton, that is, with the accompaniment of free melodic lines whose combination does not repeat.

Cantus firmus

A pre-existing melody that is quoted or paraphrased in its entirety throughout a complete piece or section of a piece.

Homophony (Hom)

Homophony is a generally non-repeating presentation type that occurs when two or more voices tend to move in the same rhythm and are often synchronised with the tactus. They are frequently syllabic, but can also be of a freer nature, with desynchronised syllabic articulation, and ornamented sparingly. See an Example here.

Modifiers include:

- Homorhythmic. All voices move in the same rhythm and following prosody in delivering the text, even if this causes the disruption of the tactus; when used, ornamental figures are commonly restricted to the approach to cadences. See an Example here.

- Staggered. A number of voices move in more or less strict coordination and a further voice enters slightly before or after them. See Examples here and here.

In analysis, homophonic patterns are characterised by all participating voice-parts, from top to bottom, as in "SATB".

Contrapuntal Duo (CD)

Any pair of voices in counterpoint. Although there may be contrapuntal duos in succession, they are always thematically unrelated. Contrapuntal duos may overlap with no cadence in-between, and be subsumed into a three- or more-voice texture.

Modifiers include:

- Homophonic. When the two voices move in the same, or nearly the same, rhythm.

- Imitative. When the same soggetto is heard in both voices, like in a Fuga cell. See Examples here, here, and here.

- Non-imitative. When the pair of voices consists of soggetto and countersubject.

In analysis, a Contrapuntal Duo is characterised by the order of voices, if imitative or non-imitative (for instance: "BT"), or the intervening voices from top to bottom, if homophonic (for instance: "SA"). For imitative and non-imitative contrapuntal duos, the interval of entry and the time interval of entry of the second voice should also be recorded.

Free Imitation (FrIm)

Any set of entries of the same soggetto, where the soggetto does not interlock with itself or a countersubject. Thereby, there will be no modular repetition of vertical intervals. Sets involving such modular repetition are, instead, Imitative Duos, Periodic Entries, or Non-Imitative Duos. (Free Imitation is labelled Fuga in the CRIM project.)

Modifiers include:

- Flexed. Entries in which melodic or rhythmic contours are modified.

- Flexed tonal. Entries in which 4ths and 5ths are exchanged in accordance with the modal division of the octave.

- Inverted. Entries in which the successive voices are diatonic inversions of each other.

- Isochronous. Entries that are regular but without modular repetition of contrapuntal intervals. (Otherwise, the pattern will be properly classified as either an Imitative Duo or a set of Periodic Entries.)

- Retrograde. Entries in which a successive voice is another voice in reverse.

- Stacked. Each new voice enters at the same interval relative to the last, for instance, successive 5ths instead of alternating 5ths and octaves. (A four-voice exposition with entries in three different notes that repeats one of the notes of a previous entry is, nevertheless, classified as stacked as well.)

- Strict. Entries with identical diatonic melodic intervals, that is, with the same interval categories, and without substantial rhythmic change.

See Examples of Free Imitation with different modifiers here, here, and here.

In analysis, Free Imitation is characterised by: the order of voices (for instance, "BTSA"); the intervals of entries; the time intervals of entries.

Non-Imitative Duos (NIm)

Any pair of voices in counterpoint that come in sets of at least two pairs, with the same soggetto in one of the parts of each pair and a countersubject (which can be homophonic) in the other part. When the second duo repeats the first verbatim or with minor variation, there is modular repetition of the same, or nearly the same, vertical intervals.

Modifiers include:

- Flexed (see above).

- Flexed tonal. Entries in which either one interval is adjusted in order to permit modular repetition of vertical intervals or 4ths and 5ths are exchanged in accordance with the modal division of the octave.

- Invertible counterpoint. Any contrapuntal combination in which the top and low voices are exchangeable.

- Overlapping. Paired duos in which the subsequent duo overlaps the precedent duo before its conclusion.

- Stacked (see above).

- Strict (see above).

- Subsumed. When the duo, or its repetition, is subsumed into a three- or more-voice texture.

See an Example here.

In analysis, Non-Imitative Duos are characterised by: the order of voices in each duo, from high to low (for instance: "TBSA"); the intervals of entries (relative to the uppermost voice of the previous pair, repeated as needed); the time intervals of entries (relative to the first voice of the previous pair).

Imitative Duos (ID)

Any pair of voices in which the same soggetto is heard successively in each voice part. The entries come in sets of at least two duos, and thus involve the modular repetition of the same, or nearly the same, vertical intervals.

Modifiers include:

- Flexed (see above).

- Flexed tonal (see above).

- Invertible counterpoint (see above).

- Overlapping (see above).

- Strict (see above).

- Subsumed (see above).

See an Example here.

In analysis, Imitative Duos are characterised by: the order of voices in each duo (for instance: "STAB"); the intervals of entries (relative to the previous voice, repeated as needed); the time intervals of entries (relative to previous voice; for instance: "B1/4/1").

Periodic Entries (PEn)

A regularly-timed series of at least three adjacent entries of the same soggetto, where the soggetto is longer than the time interval between entries. Each voice enters after the same time interval, creating modular repetition of the same vertical intervals. (If there is no overlap between the voices there will be no modular repetition, and so the pattern is properly a set of isochronous entries in Free Imitation.)

Modifiers include:

- Flexed (see above).

- Flexed tonal (see above).

- Invertible counterpoint (see above).

- Stacked (see above).

- Strict (see above).

See an Example of Periodic Entries with different modifiers here.

There may be an:

Additional entry. A voice that shares the same soggetto as the Periodic Entries, but that complicates the regularity of the pattern. Additional entries sometimes anticipate the main series of Periodic Entries, or interrupt it in some way. See an Example here.

In analysis, Periodic Entries are characterised by: the order of voices; the intervals of entries; the time interval of entries.

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