The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux Home Study Course - Complete Edition

SKU CptFux-Course-Complete


  • Product Delivery:Digital Download (download links expire 30 days after purchase).
  • Download Size:About 469 MB compressed / 484 MB decompressed (4x zip files containing your course videos, PDF lessons and PDF eBook / 1x PDF file).
  • Author/Instructor:Peter Lawrence Alexander
List Price $79.90
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What’s an Instant Composer? A songwriter or composer who can create music on demand without breaking a sweat. And you can learn those starting techniques in The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux

Initially created for a 7-week online class mentoring program, you can now get in a single package: the PDF eBook edition of The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux PLUS The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux Home Study Course. The course includes 14 lesson PDFs and approximately 2 hours of supporting video lectures guiding you through the Counterpoint by Fux book, so you can have this advanced study option to do at your own pace. These fourteen lessons and material in the book are roughly the equivalent of a semester's worth of work in college, again, that you do at your own pace.

Principles You Can Apply To Any Style Of Music

The Instant Composer: Counterpoint By Fux Home Study Course does not take an academic theoretical approach. Initially, you'll do all your work with just the Dorian mode. From there, all the remaining modes are open to you.

The course does not teach rules! It teaches principles that you can apply to any style of music. Once you've learned to apply these principles, you then have the skill to write music on demand - in as many different music styles you know: classical, jazz, rap, you name it!

That's why this is a practical course for songwriters, arrangers, and composers who can read music and who want to:

  • improve their melodic skills;
  • expand their melodic language by learning to write modally;
  • learn how to harmonize their song;
  • learn how to create a starting bass line;
  • learn how to create a counterline above and below the melody;
  • learn how to create interesting harmonizations;
  • learn how to improvise;
  • (for jazz players) learn how to apply chord scales in jazz and other styles.

You will:

  • write and record all your work;
  • apply concepts with exercises;
  • apply concepts to a maximum of five different songs of your choice, preferably from different styles.

You will need:

  • to be able to read music notation (especially piano);
  • to ideally budget 2-4 hours per week, but you can set your own pace;
  • preferably have sequencing or notation software with vocal, strings, and piano samples to record your work. If you only have access to a piano, that's OK.

Included in the Complete Edition Course:

  • PDF eBook edition of The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux, 561 pgs.
  • 14 Lessons in PDF format.
  • Approximately 2 hours of supporting video lectures (.mov format for Mac and PC).

LESSON PLAN - The Instant Composer: Counterpoint By Fux Home Study Course

As mentioned above, the course was originally structured for a 7-week class, but you can work through the lessons at your own pace.

Week 1
Lesson 1: Understanding The So Called "Rules" Of Counterpoint
Lesson 2: Modes and Chord Scales

Week 2
Lesson 3: Harmonizing The Melodic Line
Lesson 4: Harmonizing The Melody - The Next Step

Week 3
Lesson 5: Dorian Bass Line - Note Against Note
Lesson 6: Creating A Counterline Above The Melody

Week 4
Lesson 7: Dorian - Two Notes Against One Note
Lesson 8: Dorian - Two Notes Against One Note: Counter Theme Below

Week 5
Lesson 9: Dorian - Four Notes Against One Note: Counter Theme Above
Lesson 10: Dorian - Four Notes Against One Note: Counter Theme Below

Week 6
Lesson 11: Dorian - Syncopation And Suspensions
Lesson 12: Dorian - Syncopation And Suspensions: Below The Melody

Week 7
Lessons 13-14: The Whole Pie

ABOUT THE BOOK- The Instant Composer: Counterpoint By Fux

Counterpoint by Fux was originally published at the expense of the royal crown in 1725 as Gradus ad Parnassum (Latin for Steps to Parnassus) by Johann Joseph Fux, court composer for three Hapsburg emperors in Austria. It's the book that trained Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and many other distinguished and successful composers.

With Gradus ad Parnassum, Fux created a self-directed method for the young person wanting to learn music, but who couldn't afford music lessons. Compositionally, Fux's training goal was to teach the student how to write in each mode. He accomplished this instruction by giving examples in each mode along with specific cadential endings. By the end of three-part counterpoint, you’ve actually learned to reharmonize in each mode.

About the Alexander Edition of Counterpoint By Fux

In 1742, just a year after Fux's death, Lorenz Mizler, a student of Bach, translated the original from Latin into German directly under the eye of Bach, so stated Bach biographer Phillip Spitta.

This Alexander edition was created from a new translation commissioned in 1990 of the 1745 Mizler edition. Revised by Peter Lawrence Alexander, author of the Professional Orchestration. series, this edition is a modern, easy-to-read English translation with an all new layout and re-engraved music examples. It moves in a direction different from that of Alfred Mann’s 1965 translation.

In keeping with the spirit of Fux for providing basic instruction, the first section of this book adds a Music Basics section written by Peter Lawrence Alexander, which is a condensed version of the first 23 chapters of Peter’s book Applied Professional Harmony 101. For those who have limited music theory knowledge, this section will take you through the basics of reading music notation by covering note values, scales, chords, key and time signatures, modes, etc., so you have a good grounding for studying Fux's method.

Instead of being a direct translation of Fux's work, Fux’s guidelines have been outlined in a simple, step-by-step, easy-to-read approach that teaches you compositional techniques that you apply in each mode: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Ionian. By the time you’ve gone through three-part counterpoint, you’ve learned how to reharmonize in each of these modes!

In this present edition, you’re given a clear didactic approach based on Fux's modal examples. The book also contains pieces to study after a majority of the lessons. Everything you need is in this one volume.

How to Study

When applied to songwriting, Fux gives you guidelines for crafting out melodies that are still used in today’s pop music.

You’re encouraged to both write and record your homework with vocal samples. Later, you can go back and record them with solo strings and sectional strings, thus helping to build your string writing techniques, too.

Each mode presents its own set of writing challenges (especially Phrygian!) that appear even in music today.

TABLE OF CONTENTS - The Instant Composer: Counterpoint By Fux

Lesson 1: The Value of Reading Music Notation
Lesson 2: Note Value
Lesson 3: Pitch and Note Value (Clefs)
Lesson 4: Intervals
Lesson 5: Linear Intervals
Lesson 6: Vertical Intervals
Lesson 7: Where Chords Come From
Lesson 8: Rhythm and Time Signatures
Lesson 9: Modes
Lesson 10: The Major Scale
Lesson 11: Major Scale Keys and Key Signatures
Lesson 12: Chords In the Major Scale
Lesson 13: Chords and Chord Scales
Lesson 14: Three Minor Scales and How They Grew
Lesson 15: Chords In The Minor Key
Lesson 16: The Mystery Scale
Lesson 17: Other Names for Notes
Lesson 18: Ground Rules for Creating Melodies
Lesson 19: Technique #1: Tutti Writing
Lesson 20: Technique #2: Two Voices Against One
Lesson 21: Triplets and 3/4 Time
Lesson 22: Technique #3: 4 Notes Against 1
Lesson 23: Technique #4: Syncopation and Suspensions
Lesson 24: Technique #5: The Whole Pie
Lesson 25: Overview and Use
Lesson 26: Technique #6: Tutti Writing with Three Voices
Lesson 27: Pieces for Analysis
Lesson 28: Technique #7: Two Voices Against One
Lesson 29: Analysis for Technique #7
Lesson 30: Technique #8: Four Notes Against One
Lesson 31: Analysis for Technique #8
Lesson 32: Technique #9: The Ligature
Lesson 33: Analysis for Technique #9
Lesson 34: Technique #10: The Whole Pie
Lesson 35: Analysis for Technique #10
Lesson 36: Final Thoughts

561 pgs.

About Peter Lawrence Alexander

Peter Lawrence Alexander was the first American to create in English the multi-volume Professional Orchestration. Series which has been endorsed by winners of the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and BAFTA Awards. He’s also the author and teacher of Visual Orchestration, Scoring Stages, How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite, The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux, Writing For Strings, Applied Professional Harmony 101 and 102, How MIDI Works, Street Smart Guide to the Vienna Instruments Player, Street Smart Guide to Logic 8 and 9 and many more. He was also Film Music Magazine’s award winning Music Technology Journalist.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston with a BS In Music Composition, he studied counterpoint privately with Dr. Hugo Norden of Boston University, and orchestration with Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Albert Harris. He was the music tech to film composer and songwriter Henry Mancini, and understudied with film composer Jerry Goldsmith.

He coordinated beta test teams for the Vienna Symphonic Library and co-produced the Modern Symphonic Orchestra orchestral sample library for Creative Labs. As a media researcher he produced studies showing geodemographical radio station listening patterns by day segments, and in working with renowned radio programmer Jack McCoy’s RAM Research he laid the research foundation for what later became Arbitron Information on Demand.

Maintaining Peter's Teaching Legacy: Since the sudden and unexpected passing of Peter Lawrence Alexander in 2015, his music books and courses, along with this website, are now maintained and updated by his wife and long-time business helpmate, Caroline Alexander. Caroline holds a Master of Arts Degree in Music Design for Film and TV.

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