Composing Canons

Copyright Justin Henry Rubin © 2005


Two-Part Canons (Continued)

C. Two-part inversion canon at the octave

D. Two-part augmentation canon at the octave

AUDIO and MIDI files can be listened to on this page or downloaded separately here.

C. Two-part inversion canon at the octave

1. One of the basic manipulations of melodic material that can be implemented in order to achieve a new and distinct contour is the inversion.  As we have seen before, it is sometimes necessary to make chromatic and other minor alterations in order for the new line to conform to the tonal space it has been accorded.  However, as with the previous canons, the approach to its composition is not all that different.  In step one, we have provided the two bar introduction of the dux material (treble voice) followed by its inversion in the comes (bass voice).


2. Next, we continue to compose as previously described.  In this example note the climax occurs at the octave leap in bar four (dux) which becomes the dominant in the penultimate bar (comes).

mp3 download (clarinet and bassoon arrangement)

D. Two-part augmentation canon at the octave

Although used less often, another transformation that supplies the composer with a unique approach to canonic composition is rhythmic augmentation.  In its simplest form, the durations of the dux are increasing proportionally in the comes.  Unlike our previous canonic works, this change in the basic impulse creates an opportunity for the composer to explore a dux contrapuntal line with more fantasy and activity, both in terms of range and decorative aspects.

mp3 download (flute and harp arrangement)

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