Counterpoint Examples

These polyphonic pieces are organized by century and style.  

16th & 17th Century

Composer

Title

Description

Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) 

Oculus non vidit (PDF) (Youtube)

2-part Motet

Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) 

Fulgebunt justi sicut lilium (PDF)

2-part Motet

Thomas Morley (1557-1603)

I go before, my darling (PDF)

2-part Canzona

Giovanni Gastoldi (1554-1609)

Bicinium (PDF)

2-part Instrumental Duet

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) 

Jesu, rex admirabilis (PDF)

3-part Motet

Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) 

Kyrie from Missa O Magnum Mysterium (PDF)

3-part Motet

Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623)

The nightingale, the organ of delight (Youtube)

3-part Canzonet

William Byrd (1543-1623) 

Benedictus from Mass for three Voyces (PDF)

3-part Motet

William Byrd (1543-1623) 

Fantasia a 3 (Youtube)

3-part Instrumental Trio

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) 

Missa Brevis Kyrie (Youtube)

4-part Motet

Jacques Arcadelt (1507-1568) 

Felice me, se de I bei un raggio (PDF)

4-part Madrigal

Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1613) 

Canzon seconda a quattro (PDF) (Youtube )

4-part Instrumental Canzona

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

The Silver Swan (Youtube)

5-part Madrigal

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) 

Canzon Terza (PDF)

Keyboard

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) 

Fantasia Duodecima quattro soggetti (PDF)

Keyboard

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

A Ground in Gamut (PDF)

Harpsichord Variations

Louis Couperin (1626-1661)

Passacaille de Mr. Couperin (PDF)

Harpsichord Variations

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)

Trio Sonata Op. 4, No. 1 (PDF)

2 violins and Continuo

18th & 19th Century

Composer

Title

Description

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 600

Gott durch deine Gute or Gottes Sohn ist Kommen (PDF) (Youtube)

Chorale Prelude, Organ

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 610

Jesu, meine Freude   (PDF) (Youtube)

Chorale Prelude, Organ

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 625

Christ lag in Todes Banden   (PDF) (Youtube)

Chorale Prelude, Organ

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 775

Two-Part Invention No. 4 in D minor (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 779

Two-Part Invention No. 8 in F major  (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 784

Two-Part Invention No. 13 in A minor (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 788

Three-Part Sinfonia No. 2 in C minor (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 790

Three-Part Sinfonia No. 4 in D minor (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 792

Three-Part Sinfonia No. 6 in E major (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 847

WTC Book I, Fugue No. II in C minor (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 1:46)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 857

WTC Book I, Fugue No. VI in D minor (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 1:40)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 861

WTC Book I, Fugue No. XVI in G minor  (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 2:09)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 874

WTC Book II, Fugue No. V in D major  (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 5:28)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 876

WTC Book II, Fugue No. VII in Eb major (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 2:22)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 988

Goldberg Variations, Aria (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 988

Goldberg Variations, Canon No. 6 (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 988

Goldberg Variations, Canon No. 12 (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) BWV 988

Goldberg Variations, Canon No. 18  (PDF) (Youtube)

Keyboard

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)

String Quartet K. 465, Adagio (PDF) (Youtube)

String Quartet

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)

Fugue in G Minor K. 401 (PDF) (Youtube

Organ

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809)

The Creation, Final Chorus “Singt dem Herren” (Youtube, begin at 0:40)

Oratorio

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809)

Opus 20, No.5, Finale  (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 21:36)

String Quartet

Ludvig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Fugue in D, Op. 137 (PDF) (Youtube)

String Quintet

Ludvig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

String Quartet No. 14 in C# Minor, Op. 131 (PDF) (Youtube)

String Quintet

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Prelude and Fugue in G major, Op. 37, No. 2  (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 3:06)

Organ

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Prelude and Fugue in D minor, Op. 37, No. 3 (PDF) (Youtube, begin at 5:20)

Organ

Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

Prelude and Fugue No. III, Op. 16   (PDF) (Youtube)

Piano

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Op. 122 (PDF)

Based on a chorale by Michael Praetorius (1609) (PDF)

Chorale Prelude, Organ

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, No. 10 “O wie sanft die Quelle”    (PDF)

SATB Choir

Camille Saint Saëns (1835-1921) 

Fugues, Op. 52 and Op. 111 (1877/99) (Youtube)

Piano

20th Century Concert Music

Composer

Title

Description

Max Reger (1873-1916) 

6 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 99, No. 4, Mvt. II. Fuge (1907)  (PDF) (Youtube)

Piano

Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) 

Fantasia Contrappuntistica, BV 256, Fugue III  (PDF) (Youtube) begin at 14:17, rnd at 20:11

Piano

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)

Le Printemps, Book 1, Op. 25 No. 2 Souple (1920)  (PDF) (Youtube) begin at 2:51, end at 4:09

Piano

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) 

Sonata for Violin and Cello, M. 73 Mvt. 3, Lent (fugue) (Youtube) begin at 7:58, end at 14:52

Violin, Cello

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Mikrokosmos, Book 2, No. 60 Canon with Sustained Notes (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 39:12, end at 39:56

Piano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Mikrokosmos, Book 3, No. 91 Chromatic Invention 1  (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 1:05:53, end at 1:07:23

Piano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Mikrokosmos, Book 4, No. 101 Diminished Fifth  (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 1:16:40, end at 1:17:54

Piano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Mikrokosmos, Book 6, No. 145a Chromatic Invention 3a  (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 2:15:50, end at 2:16:59

Piano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Mikrokosmos, Book 6, No. 145b Chromatic Invention 3b (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 2:17:02, end at 2:19:20

Piano

Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

Concerto for Orchestra (brass fugato (Youtube) Begin at 7:12, end at 8:10

Orchestra

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Fuga 2 in G (Gay) (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 4:35, end at 6:09

Piano

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Fuga 5 in E (Fast) (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 6:11, end at 7:31

Piano

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

Six Chansons, A Swan (Youtube) Begin at 1:22, end at 3:27

Choral

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) 

Double Canon for String Quartet (1959) (PDF) (Youtube)

String Quartet

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) 

Symphony of Psalms, Mvt II, (Double Fugue) (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 3:23, end at 10:04

Orchestra

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) 

Suite for String Orchestra in G Major, Overture (fugue) (Youtube) beginning to 6:06

String Orchestra

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) 

Pierrot Lunaire No. 18. Der Mondfleck  (Youtube) Begin at 28:54, end at 29:42

Chamber Ensemble

Anton Webern (1883-1945)

Variations for Piano, Op. 27, No. 2 (PDF(Youtube) Begin at 1:35, end at 2:08

Piano

Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953) 

Sonata for Violin and Piano, Mvt. 2 (1926)  (Youtube) Begin at 5:11, end at 8:20

Violin/Piano

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) 

Preludes and Fugues for Piano, Op. 87, Fugue No. 6 in B Minor (1951)  (Youtube) begin at 9:17, end at 12:55

Piano

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) 

Preludes and Fugues for Piano, Op. 87, Fugue No. 23 in F  (1951) (Youtube) begin at 41:50 to end

Piano

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) 

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34, Fugue (Youtube) Begin at 14:27 to end

Orchestra

Elliott Carter (1908-2012)  

Piano Sonata, Movement II, Allegro giusto (1946) (Youtube) Begin at 14:14, end at 18:08

Piano

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)  

Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 26, Movement IV, Fuga (1949) (Youtube)

Piano

Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006)  

Musica ricercata. Number VII, Cantabile, molto legato  Piano  (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 11:39, end at 14:30 

Piano

Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006)  

Musica ricercata. Number XI, Andante misurato e tranquillo Piano  (PDF) (Youtube) Begin at 18:54 to end

Piano

John Cage (1912-1992)

Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Sonata V   (Youtube)

Piano

John Cage (1912-1992)

Living Room Music (Youtube)

Assorted noise makers 

20th & 21st Minimalist & Popular Music

Composer

Title

Description

La Monte Young (1935)  

Trio for Strings (Youtube) Begin at 3:25 to end

Violin, Viola, Cello

Terry Riley (1935)

In C (1964) (PDF) (Youtube)


Terry Riley (1935)

A Rainbow in Curved Air (Youtube)


Steve Reich (1936)

It's Gonna Rain (Youtube) Beginning to 7:47

Dual Tape Recorders

Steve Reich (1936)

Clapping Music (PDF) (Youtube)


Steve Reich (1936)

Drumming (Youtube)


Steve Reich (1936)

Piano Phase (PDF) (Youtube)


Steve Reich (1936)

Music for 18 Musicians (Youtube)

Mixed Chamber

Steve Reich (1936)

Desert Music  (Youtube)

Mixed Chamber

Philip Glass (1937)

Mad Rush (1979)  (Youtube)

Piano

Philip Glass (1937)

Glassworks (1982)  (Youtube)

Mixed Chamber

Philip Glass (1937)

Einstein on the Beach, Dance 2 (Youtube)

Opera

John C. Adams (1947)

Shaker Loops (1982) (Youtube)

John C. Adams (1947)

A Short Ride in a Fast Machine (Youtube)

Orchestra

John C. Adams (1947)

Naïve and Sentimental Music (Youtube)

Orchestra

Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

De Staat (1976)   (Youtube)

Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

De Stijl (1985)   (Youtube)

William Duckworth (1943-2012)

The Time Curve Preludes (Youtube)

Piano

Klaus Schulze  (DATES)

Timewind (Youtube)

Synthesis and Recordings

Klaus Schulze  

Into the Blue (Youtube)

Synthesis and Recordings

Klaus Schulze  

Sense (1980 live) (Youtube)

Synthesis and Recordings

Vangelis (1943-2022)  

Soil Festivities, Mvt. 1 (Youtube)

B. B. King    (DATES)

I'm a Blues Man (Youtube)

George Gershwin (1898-1937)

The Man I Love (Youtube)

George Benson (1943)

This Masquerade (Youtube)

Antonio Carlos Jobim (1997-1994)

Triste (Youtube)

Benny Golson (1929)

Killer Joe (arr. by Q. Jones) (Youtube)

Paul McCartney   (DATES)

Blackbird (Youtube)

Paul McCartney   (DATES)

For No One/Eleanor Rigby (1984) (Youtube)

Stevie Wonder    (DATES)

I Wish (Youtube)

Stevie Wonder    (DATES)

Superstition (Youtube)

Stevie Wonder    (DATES)

Boogie on Reggae Woman (Youtube)

Stevie Wonder    (DATES)

You and I (Youtube)

Michael Jackson   (DATES)

Billie Jean (Youtube)

The Temptations

Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Youtube)

Tower of Power

What is Hip? (Youtube)

Sting 

Every Breath You Take (Youtube)

Nas

Hate Me Now (featuring Puff Daddy) (Youtube)

Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Hittman 

Forgot About Dre (Youtube)

The Game, 50 Cent

Hate It Or Love It (Youtube)

JAY Z and Kanye West 

Otis (Youtube)

John Legend 

Love Me Now (Youtube)

Beyonce, featuring JAY-Z,

Childish Gambino, Oumou Sangaré

MOOD 4 EVA (Youtube)

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