[Smt-talk] Improvised Canon

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Wed Oct 10 13:35:06 PDT 2012

Dear Prof. Schubert,

That is really a wonderful activity and it keeps the performers alert! I realized that when a three-part cannon is being performed, if the entrances are strictly introduced from top to bottom or vice-versa there is no invertible counterpoint involved, but if they are crossed (middle-bottom-top; middle-top-bottom, etc.) there will be an invertible counterpoint.

In your improvisation you chose a crossed entrance and your directions led to the natural application of an invertible counterpoint at the 12th (the girl imitated you a fifth above, and the boy imitated her at an octave below, then they changed). I was wondering if you have tried a cp at the 8-ve, where the restrictions will be a little less than in the cp at the 12th. For instance, she could imitate you at a fifth above, and he could imitate her at a fourth below. Thus the entrance tones will be do-sol-re. Other possible entrances in a cp at the 8th could be 7+2 (do-re-mi) or 6+3 (do-mi-sol) etc.

Also, I was wondering if you have tried an imitation that comes after a few beats. In the recording they imitated themselves after a beat of waiting time.

I am asking you these questions to learn more on what problems you and your students may have encountered, and also to see how far such a process can stretch in a 16th century style without writing a single note on paper.

Thank you very much!


Dr. Dimitar Ninov, Lecturer
School of Music
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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