Counterpoint #2

Use of counterpoint in the bass line

By far the most frequent use of counterpoint in Gil’s music (that contains a different rhythm from the ensemble) is in the bass line.

Gil uses it to add interest and forward momentum to areas of little melodic activity.

BTW, if you are new to counterpoint in this type of music, check out my first post about it here.

Audio examples below.


Miles Ahead – bars 6-11

I love this bass line from Miles Ahead. It adds so much to the phrase. Gil includes some mild dissonances that resolve, and plenty of rhythmic activity. And as any good counterpoint should be, it is an interesting line on its own.

Counterpoint2MilesAhead1

Note how smoothly the bass line “rejoins” the ensemble in the last bar with contrary motion. It gives extra weight to the figure and prepares the listener for the next section.

In this example from the same piece, the bass line drives the music forward toward the cadence.

bars 16-17

Counterpoint2MilesAhead2


Moon Dreams – bars 8-13

This example from Moon Dreams contains a harmonized ensemble figure in the bass (b.9-12), and a bass line that transforms a bar which would otherwise have a static harmony (b.13).

Counterpoint2MoonDreams2

Again, observe the use of contrary motion bolstering the weight and importance of the figure.


 

Got questions or comments? Drop me a comment below.

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