counterpoint

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Melodic material that is added above or below an existing melody.
  • noun The technique of combining two or more melodic lines in such a way that they establish a harmonic relationship while retaining their linear individuality.
  • noun A composition or piece that incorporates or consists of contrapuntal writing.
  • noun A contrasting but parallel element, item, or theme.
  • noun Use of contrasting elements in a work of art.
  • transitive verb Music To write or arrange (music) in counterpoint.
  • transitive verb To set in contrast.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A coverlet; a counterpane.
  • noun An opposite point.
  • noun An opposite position or standpoint.
  • noun In music: The art of musical composition in general.
  • noun The art of polyphonic or concerted composition, in distinction from homophonic or melodic composition.
  • noun Specifically, the art of adding to a given melody, subject, theme, or canto fermo, one or more melodies whose relations to the given melody are fixed by rules.
  • noun A voice-part of independent character polyphonically combined with one or more other parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A coverlet; a cover for a bed, often stitched or broken into squares; a counterpane. See 1st counterpane.
  • noun The setting of note against note in harmony; the adding of one or more parts to a given canto fermo or melody.
  • noun The art of polyphony, or composite melody, i. e., melody not single, but moving attended by one or more related melodies.
  • noun Music in parts; part writing; harmony; polyphonic music. See polyphony.
  • noun obsolete An opposite point.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music a melody added to an existing one, especially one added to provide harmony whilst each retains its simultaneous identity; a composition consisting of such contrapuntal melodies
  • noun any similar contrasting element in a work of art
  • verb transitive to compose or arrange such music

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

  • verb write in counterpoint
  • noun a musical form involving the simultaneous sound of two or more melodies
  • verb to show differences when compared; be different

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From counter- +‎ point, Middle French contrepoint.

Examples

  • The term counterpoint originated in the fourteenth century, though the art designated by it had been practiced for several centuries previous.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • By the second act you get a good feeling for the characters 'personalities, and seeing them around the same table, arguing in counterpoint, works well.

    Theatre Review: "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard

  • So, in counterpoint to what Steph said, fiction does often beget the act of poetry for me – it happened all through 2003, when I was producing stories that were simply not very good and failing to finish stories in general and despairing of my ability to plot.

    Why I write poetry | The Long Write

  • So, in counterpoint to what Steph said, fiction does often beget the act of poetry for me – it happened all through 2003, when I was producing stories that were simply not very good and failing to finish stories in general and despairing of my ability to plot.

    2009 November 26 | The Long Write

  • By the second act you get a good feeling for the characters 'personalities, and seeing them around the same table, arguing in counterpoint, works well.

    Theatre Review: "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard

  • His hands, one grasping a withered stick and the other a bag filled with old bones, moved in counterpoint to his words.

    Caribou House « A Fly in Amber

  • So, in counterpoint to what Steph said, fiction does often beget the act of poetry for me – it happened all through 2003, when I was producing stories that were simply not very good and failing to finish stories in general and despairing of my ability to plot.

    2009 November | The Long Write

  • I think an interesting counterpoint is the bilingual program in the community of Madrid.

    S is for “Strategies” « An A-Z of ELT

  • She has suggested also Mexican dishes wth rice in counterpoint to the paella which is Spanish which could be interesting.

    Cooking classes

  • She has suggested also Mexican dishes wth rice in counterpoint to the paella which is Spanish which could be interesting.

    Cooking classes

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