The Craft of Modal Counterpoint
Routledge – 2005 – 202 pages
"The Craft of Modal Counterpoint" is the companion book to Benjamin's "The Craft of Tonal Counterpoint," recently republished in a second edition by Routledge. Modal counterpoint is the style of composition that was employed until the "tonal" revolution pioneered by Bach; it is the basis for most Early Music.
Benjamin, a composer and pedagogue, offers a complete analysis of this important musical style. He begins by covering general aspects of the style, then covers in detail two, three, and four-part counterpoint. The Motet, an important form of vocal composition in this period, is studied separately. The book concludes with a brief anthology of key scores, 15 in all, for the student to study further. Also includes 132 musical examples.
"Here, at last, is a book that dealt with the modal contrapuntal style in a musical and compositional way… the emphasis is always on the music itself and… on the craft of composing in this style. This is a very significant addition to the library of books on modal counterpoint." -- Dr. Robert Nelson, Professor of Music Theory and Composition, University of Houston
"The author is quite well-respected in the field, known as a composer but even more particularly as a teacher devoted to issues of effective pedagogy. This is a thoughtful and significant contribution to the study of Renaissance (or modal) counterpoint." -- Dr. Sharon G. Levy, Professor of Theory and Composition at Peabody Conservatory