Tip #35 – Incorporating Double Canons into Works

Before explaining how to build a double canon into a work of music, one needs to know the definition of one.

Simply, it is when two canons (including their own pair of leader and follower) are played at the same time.

Similarly, when there are three different unique canons playing at the same time, it is called a triple canon; and so on, and so on.

Try building one canon. Once that is done, find out what best compliments the two running melodic lines. Next, get creative with the second canon while keeping in mind how each part sound to one another.

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Tip #34 – Finding Creative Counterpoint in Reflection Treatment

Take a look at the example below:

Here we see two melody lines that look different, but are actually very similar. Notice how the rhythm is similar, as well as the size of the intervals in the melody. Plus, there is a retainment of certain degree of pitches. This is called a mirrored reflection treatment in counterpoint.

To write something like this, pick a “point of reflection;” here, middle C was chosen because it happens to be in the middle of the grand staff. Now, any note above the “point of reflection” music be copied down, containing the same interval quality. Vice versa: any note below must be reflected above.

Be sure to be mindful of harmony, as using this process tends to bring out some dissonant intervals.

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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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