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(811 words)

According to its medieval derivation, counterpoint denotes composition of “tone against tone” (Latin punctus contra punctum), that is, homophony (“unity” of voices). However, from the 15th century its meaning shifted more towards polyphony (“plurality of voices”; Setting, musical). In the broadest sense, counterpoint encompasses the entire technique and theory of musical composition, in particular that of voice-leading, and in the stricter sense especially polyphonic setting. Counterpoint can also mean a “countermelody” or “cou…

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Daniel, Thomas, “Counterpoint”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 09 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_022580>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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