Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Music Of, relating to, or incorporating counterpoint.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to counterpoint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or according to the rules of, counterpoint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, pertaining to counterpoint, or in accordance with its rules; having an independent motion of the voice-parts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having two or more independent but harmonically related melodic parts sounding together
  • adj. relating to or characteristic of or according to the rules of counterpoint

Etymologies

From obsolete Italian contrapunto, counterpoint : Italian contra-, against (from Latin contrā-; see contra-) + Italian punto, point, note (from Vulgar Latin *punctum, from Latin pūnctum; see punctual).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin punctus contra punctum (“note against note”) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Music written entirely by the rules of counterpoint is called contrapuntal music; that written otherwise is known as free harmonic music.

    Music Talks with Children

  • It will pass to the subsequent _Figures of Earth_ and, after showing how the greater gravity of this volume is accompanied by a greater profusion of poetry _per se_ it will unravel the scheme of Cabell's fifteen essays in what might be called contrapuntal prose.

    Gallantry Dizain des Fetes Galantes

  • Even if I have different objects interwoven or crosscutting one another or in a certain kind of contrapuntal configuration, the clarity is really important to me.

    NewMusicBox

  • Much of this involved hairline gradations of delay: lagging one contrapuntal strand just behind the others to draw the ear to it, shaping a lyrical line with slightly sticky rubato to encourage the brain to fill in the decay.

    Authentication keys

  • Foss, though, would go through and say no, this note should be up an octave, you need to clean up the voice leading from this harmony to this harmony, this chord should come a beat later, you should separate these contrapuntal lines into separate octaves, etc., etc.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Grodecki, who sometimes wore her Roland keyboard around her neck, played a few contrapuntal synth riffs, but they weren't integral to the sound.

    Concert review: Vanity Theft at U Street Music Hall robs punk of its spirit

  • Written at a time when busily contrapuntal late-baroque composition was giving way to the pared-down elegance of the emergent Classical style, Gretry's opera-comique occupies an intriguing middle ground.

    Music review: Opera Lafayette's 'Le Magnifique'

  • DAVID FOLKENFLIK: The language is alliterative, the cadence contrapuntal.

    Kennedy Aide Ted Sorensen Dies At 82

  • Without these papers, he says, "much of what we associate with the late 1960s youth rebellion—its size, intensity, and contrapuntal expressions of furious anger and joyful bliss—might not have been possible."

    Let's Print It, Man

  • Julien has certainly done something innovative with the moving image here: the relationship between each of the screens is redolent of that between orchestral instruments, allowing for contrapuntal effects as well as variations on and restatements of earlier themes.

    Isaac Julien's angel of Morecambe

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Comments

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  • The Renaissance Latin noun is "contrapunctus", but the OED does not recognize "contrapunctal" as an alternative spelling.

    August 26, 2008