Today I've been sight-reading some two-part counterpoints by Tomas de Santa Maria (1510-1570), a Spanish Renaissance music theorist, organist and composer, author of The Art of Playing Fantasia (1565) which is a comprehensive treatise on playing keyboard instruments and improvisation of polyphonic fantasias.
On these two pages there are 7 two-part counterpoints:
1. Counterpoint in C with half notes against whole notes.
2. Counterpoint in C with quarter notes against whole notes.
3. Counterpoint in d with eighth notes against whole notes.
4. Mixed counterpoint in d with imitations between the voices (quarter notes against half notes).
5. Mixed counterpoint in d with imitations between the voices (eighth notes against half notes).
6. Counterpoint in d with sixteenth notes against half notes.
7. Counterpoint in C with eighth notes against quarter notes.
I hope you will enjoy playing these lovely pieces as much as I did. Here is the PDF score. Watch out for No. 6 (fast running notes in the right hand part). Nos. 3, 4, and 5 may also present some difficulties because of imitations and change of faster notes between the hands. Choose articulate legato touch.
PS If you want to create such counterpoint yourself, here are some rules: aim for consonant intervals between the two parts: perfect octaves, perfect fifths, major and minor thirds, major and minor sixths. Avoid two consecutive fifths and octaves. Use contrary motion as much as possible.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.