One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of or in counterpoint.
- ‘Generally, they are more lyrical and less contrapuntal than their German counterparts.’
- ‘The motets, however, represent the zenith of Brahms's contrapuntal art.’
- ‘This symphony is, if anything, contrapuntal, and the first movement a stunning exemplar.’
- ‘The final movement has some pounding drums with trumpets and some more contrapuntal blending of melodic lines.’
- ‘One finds this mirrored in the antiphonies between orchestral groups in a huge, highly contrapuntal gigue.’
- ‘One would expect this in something like the early Passacaglia, a contrapuntal Baroque form in which a set of variations occurs over a repeating bass.’
- 1.1 (of a piece of music) with two or more independent melodic lines.
- ‘He had trouble with highly contrapuntal music.’
- ‘This is a tall order indeed, yet performers wishing to play contrapuntal music well have to master this juggling act.’
- ‘In contrapuntal music the phrases of the various melodic voices overlap except at the most important cadences.’
- ‘The architecture of contrapuntal music was gloriously celebrated by Palestrina in Rome, Lassus in Munich, and Byrd in London.’
- ‘The dominance of contrapuntal music or the ‘first practice’ was, however, already threatened by developments occurring elsewhere on the peninsula.’
Mid 19th century: from Italian contrapunto (see counterpoint) + -al.
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