Recent articles on the analysis of contrapuntal repertoire

I am pleased to announce the recent publication of two articles that explore my interests in Renaissance and Baroque counterpoint. Both studies adopt analytical frameworks that are informed in part by pioneering work by other scholars over the last two decades but also by the generally neglected theories of the turn of the twentieth-century Russian composer, performer and pedagogue, Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev. In their different ways, my two publications bring into focus the need for identification and precise description of procedures for which modern scholarship often has no names but that seem to have been common currency in the past.

My article published in the December 2018 issue of Acta Musicologica focuses on compositions by Josquin (the canonic five part chansons Incessemant livré, Douleur me bat, Plusieurs regretz), Willaert (the motet Congratulamini mihi omnes) and Ockeghem (“Et resurrexit” from Missa Prolacionum). I offer ways to reconcile Taneyev’s theories with current directions in Renaissance scholarship so that we can arrive at deeper understandings of underlying contrapuntal mechanisms at work in this rich and beautiful repertoire.

My article in the December 2018 issue of Music Theory Online focuses on two triple fugues from Bach’s Art of Fugue. I argue how Contrapuncti 8 and 11 are interrelated not only through three shared fugue subjects but by specific contrapuntal techniques that serve to articulate sectional relationships both within and across these two wonderfully intricate compositions. I harness theories of formal structure in Bach’s music proposed by Joel Lester along with Taneyev’s ideas about contrapuntal interplay of melodic lines at different temporal offsets.

Collins, D. 2018. “Approaching Renaissance Music using Taneyev’s Theories of Movable Counterpoint.” Acta Musicologica 90/2: 178–201. Subscriber access here.

Collins, D. 2018 “Horizontal-Shifting Counterpoint and Parallel-Section Constructions in Contrapuncti 8 and 11 from J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue.” Music Theory Online 24/4 Open access here.

My research was supported in part by a Discovery Project from the Australian Research Council.