Tip #33 – Using Skills to Build a Mensuration Canon

Take a look at the example below and try to find commonalities between each melodic line:

You might have noticed that these melodic lines are augmentations or diminutions of each other in some form. Also, they all start at the same time. This is called a mensuration canon.

To build one, experiment with different rhythmic ratios and intervallic transposition between each voice of the canon. Typically, the voices start on either the tonic or dominant, but that is now always the case.

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Tip #31 – Melody and Counterpoint Help with Augmentation

One way to spin out another melodic line that can be used as its own theme, or as a cantus firmus for counterpoint, is the use of augmentation.

Augmentation is the act of multiplying in ratio to the original line, the rhythmic values of the melody. So, a quarter-note would become a half-note, and a dotted eighth-note would become a dotted quarter-note.

Take a look at the example below:

Here at mm. 3-4, there is an augmentation and octave transposition of the first measure. Least to say, possibilities are endless!


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