Baroque Counterpoint

Revised and Expanded Edition

By Christoph Neidhofer & Peter Schubert

Subjects: Music - Textbook, Music
Paperback : 9781438493251, 502 pages, December 2023

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Table of contents


Part I: Strict Style

1. Introduction

2. Melody or Harmony?

3. Harmonizing a Subject in Simple Counterpoint

4. Melodic Embellishment in Strict Style

5. Variation Techniques

6. Imitation at the Unison or Octave

7. Imitation at the Fifth

8. Remodulation and a Third Entry

9. Fugue Exposition

10. Tonal Answer

11. Thematic Presentations

12. Sequences and Episodes

13. Laying Out a Whole Piece

Part II: Free Style and Advanced Techniques

14. Advanced Embellishment—Free Style

15. Chromaticism and Sequences

16. Multiple Counterpoint

17. Writing an Original Subject

18. Stretto

19. Other Techniques

20. Overall Design and Layout of a Fugue


The classic text on Baroque Counterpoint, enlarged and revised, drawing from the master composers of the era.


This book teaches Baroque compositional techniques through writing and improvisation exercises and analysis of repertoire examples. It provides readers with a historical outlook by focusing largely on principles taught in treatises from the period 1680–1780. This expanded edition includes new sections with keyboard exercises that provide training in Partimento performance as it was practiced at the time, helping students master Baroque style from the inside. While the focus of the book is on fugue, it also treats chorale preludes, stylized dances, inventions, and trio sonatas. The volume is divided into two parts—basic and advanced— which could be taught in a two-semester sequence. There are various options to introduce material from Part II into Part I for a one-semester course.

Christoph Neidhöfer is Associate Professor in the Department of Music Research at McGill University. Peter Schubert is Professor in the Department of Music Research at McGill University.