Fifteen Two Part Inventions

Fifteen Two Part Inventions

The ten bar piece applies several contrapuntal conventions. The start of the extract is also C major, which has neither any sharps or flats but then are examples of modulation such as bar 4 (G – F#) then on bar 9 returns to it’s former key of C major

The first bar gives a great example of exact imitation (Exact imitation is when a melody is repeated with the same notes and same rhythmic structure) where the treble clef plays the 1st idea and the bass clef repeats this but at a later time, 2 beats into the first bar. The first motif is the first seven 16th notes ending on the G 8th note and indicated by the phrase line.

Contrary motion and melodic inversion are shown in bar 3 & 4 (Bars 3 & 4 is an augmentation of only the first 4 notes of the motif.) , the contrary motion is show between the bass and treble clef as the melody is going down on the treble clef, its going up on the bass clef. Contrary motion is a movement of opposite directions so one would be going up in pitch while the other is going down in pitch. The melodic inversion is the two movements using the same intervals to travel, the treble clef is travelling down in seconds where the bass clef is travelling up in seconds. Melodic inversion is a form of imitation.

Augmentation is when notes are doubled in value I.E 16th notes made into 8th notes. (Also a type of imitation – the same melody played again)
The bass clef on bars 3 and 4 is an augmentation of the motif, its a diatonic augmentation to a point but when it reaches the F# it modulates into the key of G major making the whole augmentation non-diatonic. Bars 5 and 6 repeat the last 4 notes of the motif going up in thirds rather than going down in thirds, this pattern is repeated 3 times going up in thirds from E to C ending on the third of C giving an octave of E. On bar 5 the bass clef plays the motif but a tone up from the origin, therefore giving us the F# as a tone up from E is F#, this will make the modulation from C to G sound almost natural as it’s repeating a pattern previously heard.

There’s similarity between bars 7 & 8 to bars 1 & 2 but this time the bass clef is starting the idea and the treble clef is making an exact imitation, coming in after 2 beats of the bar. At the end of bar 8 the bass clef becomes a treble clef, melodic Inversion is also then shown on bars 9 & 10 in which the bass clef plays by starting the idea whilst the treble clef plays the melodic inversion by harmonizing the idea by playing a perfect 5th harmony over the top. Bars 9 & 10, the tune goes up a tone (major 2nd) modulating into D minor.


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