Books Classical Guitar Counterpoint Uncategorized

The Art of Canon: 254 Two-Part Inventions in Five Volumes

The Art of Canon: 254 Two-Part Inventions in Five Volumes

(Available versions: for Solo Guitar, Two Guitars or Flute/Violin & Guitar, and Guitar & Cello/Bass or Solo Piano)

Volume 1: 54 Two-Part Inventions in C Major / A Natural Minor
Volume 2: 45 Two-Part Inventions in G Major / E Natural Minor
Volume 3: 57 Two-Part Inventions in D Major / B Natural Minor
Volume 4: 44 Two-Part Inventions in A Major / F# Natural Minor
Volume 5: 54 Two-Part Inventions in E Major / C# Natural Minor

The Art of Canon is a collection of two-voice modal counterpoint containing 254 two-part inventions in five keys derived from combining transformations of an original theme.

This five-volume collection of pieces is a rich source of material for sight-reading practice, ensemble playing, teaching, and concert repertoire.

The Art of Canon explores canonic techniques associated with the polyphonic vocal music of the Renaissance (including prolation/mensuration canons, diminution canons, crab canons, mirror canons, etc.) and was written in the spirit (though not in the style) of the immortal masters Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Josquin des Prez.

Performers are encouraged to bring their personality and characterization to the pieces, to discover and elucidate the unique affect of each canon. Tempo, dynamics, expression, accent, and articulations are all areas in which freedom and creativity are encouraged.

Time signatures were omitted because, depending on the desired tempo and spirit of the interpretation, performers may wish to feel the pieces in 2/2, 4/4, or 8/8. Likewise, there are no dynamics included in the scores but will be present in any convincing performance.

Suites and longer compositions may be assembled by combining the canons and exploring the myriad key relations and voice combinations within the five volumes.

Performances should unfold in a lyrical style – sempre cantabile – aiming to evoke a contemplative atmosphere. 

-Dan Cosley

  Kyoto, 2022

$14.99 per volume.

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