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 #32 – Melody and Counterpoint Help with Diminution

Similar to augmentation where the rhythmic value ratios of a melodic line are uniformly multiplied, they can also be reduced.

This would be the process of diminution. So by reducing every value in half; a whole-note becomes a half-note (duh), a dotted half-note becomes a dotted quarter-note, an eighth-note becomes a sixteenth-note, etc.

Take a look at the example below:

Here you can see a lot of example of diminution. The first half of the second measure is a diminution of the entire first measure. Same goes for the first half of mm. 4 being an octave transposition and diminution of the full mm. 3.


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