- Music. the art of combining melodies.
- Music. the texture resulting from the combining of individual melodic lines.
- a melody composed to be combined with another melody.
- Also called counterpoint rhythm. Prosody. syncopation(def 2).
- any element that is juxtaposed and contrasted with another.
- to emphasize or clarify by contrast or juxtaposition.
Origin of counterpoint
Related Words for counterpointinverse, contradistinction, antithesis, disagreement, contradiction, opposition, differentiation
Examples from the Web for counterpoint
Contemporary Examples of counterpoint
Reprinted by permission of Soft Skull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint.Living Black & Gay in the ’50s
December 3, 2014
He hopes it will stand as a counterpoint to the divisiveness of extremism.Inside North America’s First Islamic Art Museum
September 16, 2014
In some respects, Yale presents a counterpoint, where secret societies are not a huge party scene and keep a low profile.Ivy League After Dark
Rebecca Davis O'Brien
March 21, 2011
But his many piercing performances provide a counterpoint to his embarrassing legal troubles.Randy Quaid Is a Genius Actor—Honest!
July 1, 2010
Historical Examples of counterpoint
Gluck called on Handel, who told someone that he knew no more of counterpoint than his cook.Handel
Edward J. Dent
To my Misfortune, I asked one of this sort, from whom he had learned the Counterpoint?Observations on the Florid Song
Pier Francesco Tosi
Meyerbeer, it is said, was also weak in counterpoint and fugue.
Gluck, indeed, has even been considered weak in counterpoint and fugue.
William Smith Rockstro, who used to teach Butler counterpoint.The Samuel Butler Collection
Henry Festing Jones
- the technique involving the simultaneous sounding of two or more parts or melodies
- a melody or part combined with another melody or partSee also descant (def. 1)
- the musical texture resulting from the simultaneous sounding of two or more melodies or parts
- strict counterpoint the application of the rules of counterpoint as an academic exercise
- a contrasting or interacting element, theme, or item; foil
- prosody the use of a stress or stresses at variance with the regular metrical stress
- (tr) to set in contrast
Word Origin for counterpoint
Word Origin and History for counterpoint
early 15c., of stitching, from Old French cuilte contrepointe "quilt stitched through and through," altered from coute pointe, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta "quilted mattress," from Latin culcita "cushion" + puncta, fem. past participle of pungere "to prick, stab" (see pungent).
Of music, mid-15c., from Old French contrepoint, from Medieval Latin cantus contrapunctus, from contrapunctum, from Latin contra + puncta, with reference to the indication of musical notes by "pricking" with a pointed pen over or under the original melody on a manuscript.