Monday, September 24, 2007

P is for Point-Counterpoint

For my next class, one of the assignments is to bring a definition of counterpoint. Well, that should be simple enough. After all, counterpoint is not a new word to me. Our contemporary choir at church is named Counterpoint; some of the music we listened to Saturday was referenced as counterpoint; counterpoint is typically thought to be connected to music and most of us are familiar with the political opinion debate termed as Point-Counterpoint.

Then I started reading about counterpoint and my mind started spinning.

Chou Wen-chung describes it as "the play between deliberateness and swiftness, and the constant expansion and contraction in the relationship between ink and space." I have always thought the phrase "disciplined freedom" said it all but, wow, this guy takes it several steps further. You have basic strokes as a principal tone, then the initial caps are the auxiliary tones; boom, a flourish and you have operatic vocals.

Rise and fall, sparse and dense, delicate and stressed, straight and slanted, thick and attenuated, vertical and horizontal. It is all rhythm and movement.

I just thought I knew about counterpoint.

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