counterpoint music

Festival season is right around the corner! Better start preparing!

Festival season is right around the corner! It’s my favorite time of the year. (: If you’ve never been to a music festival where you camp and stay for a week, I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s an incredible and life changing experience. I’ve spent some time and have come up with a list of some essentials to have for those who haven’t been or are going for the first time. Although it says Electric Forest Essentials, most of this stuff applies to all festivals. I hope you enjoy my list and that it helps! Positive vibes to everyone. (:

Electric Forest Essentials

By: Isabel Leite

  • $$$$$$ BRING MONEY $$$$$$
  • *HYDRATION PACK* (any sort of backpack with the refillable water pack. STAY HYDRATED PLEASE)
  • Disposable cameras (it’s super awesome when you get the pictures developed)
  • Canopy
  • Tapestry or sheet (wrap around the canopy sides to keep the sun out)
  • *Shower bag*
  • Chairs
  • Small table (not necessary but it’s nice to have a place to roll and put food and things that you don’t want on the ground)
  • Picnic blanket (or something big to lay down on the ground to sit on)
  • Tent (duh)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Blankets (it gets COLD at night so bring warmer clothing too, *light jacket*)
  • Pillows
  • Lantern
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • External battery pack for your phone
  • Pipe, grinder, rolling papers,lighters
  • Simple first aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • *Toilet paper*
  • Facewash, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush
  • Tampons or pads (just in case)
  • Hair ties and headbands
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Rain ponchos
  • Glow sticks! (any glow toys/apparel you have too)
  • Cooler
  • Water bottles
  • Gatorade or Powerade
  • Food (we’re bringing mostly breakfast stuff and munchies for late at night. there’s lots of good food inside)
  • Gum
  • ENO hammock (not essential but VERY recommended. doesn’t have to be ENO, just make sure it’s easy setup)
  • Big 2 gallon bucket (this is ratchet and not necessary, but we used this to pee while at camp. for girls obviously: sitting on the bucket is easier and better than squatting on the ground and pissing all over your feet lol)
  • Clothes: you can literally wear anything you want! Everyone is smelly and gross and on drugs, so nobody cares. I think it’s better to overpack and have too much than not have enough. Bring a swimsuit. Skimpier and breezy is better. It’s pretty hot during the day but it gets cold at night. Bring jackets, some pants, and long sleeves. Lots of underwear to help keep the stank to a minimum lol. I recommend making kandy to trade with other people.
  • Drugs: it’s smarter to just bring lots of money and buy drugs there instead of bringing them. Seriously, there are A LOT of drugs there. It’s fine if you bring a lil bud for the trip, but don’t risk bringing too much because if you get pulled over THEY WILL SEARCH YOU. If you smoke in the car make sure to bring febreeze or ozium to get rid of the smell immediately.  
  • Stay low-key and don’t write on your car. The cops are on high alert on the way to the festival. Don’t make it apparent that you’re going to a drug festival lol. DON’T SPEED!!! Pack all your paraphernalia deep in your shit, the forest people kinda search before you go in the festival but not really. They won’t allow glass items in.
  • Make sure to get there early! The earlier you get in line, the closer your campsite will be to the forest. That makes a HUGE difference when you’re walking back to camp tired as shit from dancing all day. Have a full tank of gas before you go in.
  • If you forget or need anything,there’s a store in the forest with essential shit but it’s expensive. Usually you can literally ask any of your neighbors or anyone, and everyone is so nice and willing to share and help in every way possible.
  • And most importantly, don’t forget to bring your positive vibes!

Even the sun goes down
Heroes eventually die
Horoscopes often lie
And sometimes “y”
Nothin’ is for sure
Nothin’ is for certain
Nothin’ lasts forever
But until they close the curtain
It’s him & I

The name is Big Boi Daddy Fat Sax
the nigga that like them Cadillacs
I stay down with these streets
‘cause these streets is where my folks at
Better know that some say we pro-black boy we professional
we missed a lot of church so the music is our confessional
Get off the testicles & the nut sacks
you bust a rhyme we bust back
Get get back for real niggas that’s out here tryin’ to spit facts
You hear dat can’t come near dat maybe you need to quit
because Aquemini is Aquarius & Gemini runnin’ shit like this
Yea yea yea yea

My mind warps and bends floats the wind count to ten
meet the twin Andre Ben. welcome to the lion’s den
original skin many men comprehend
I extend myself so you go out & tell a friend
Sin all depends on what you believing in
Faith is what you make it that’s the hardest shit since MC Ren
Alien can blend right on in wit’ yo’ kin
look again ‘cause I swear I spot one every now & then
It’s happenin’ again wish I could tell you when
Andre this is Andre y’all just gon’ have to make amends


Mahler - Symphony no.5

Has there been any composer who wrote a bad fifth symphony? I can’t think of any. In 1901, Mahler had to be briefly hospitalized for intestinal problems [nothing serious], and as a get well present one of his friends got him the score of a new edition of Bach’s cantatas. Looking through Bach’s scores, Mahler was enthralled by the master’s ability to thread melodies together. The counterpoint was so impressive and influential, he gained a new interesest in writing absolute music, instead of writing programatic symphonies with extra-musical ideas. His next three symphonies would be purely instrumental, save the programatic title of the seventh [but even then, the seventh only holds an evocative title and nothing more]. The fifth is in three parts, and opens with a horn call, the “Fate” pattern of Beethoven’s fifth, a nod to that composer, but at the same time a nod to his previous symphony [the same passage in the same key can be heard a little more than half way through the first movement of the fourth], and we are thrown into a dark and deep funeral march, contrasting between a languid pace and a dramatic wind flourish. The middle section throws us into a storm with a bouncy rhythm, and near the end of the music, everything trails off beyond the horizon. The next movement is another stormy scherzo, that tosses around a bit and holds up the weight of the first “part”. In the second half of the scherzo, a new theme is introduced, a heroic one, light coming out of the darkness, that builds up and up before falling away in a let down, and slipping back into the roughness of the scherzo’s main theme. This heroic theme is alluding to the eventual heroic climax of the entire piece. The second part is the third movement, another scherzo, but instead of darkness, there is sunshine. It sounds like music from mountain climbers, a waltz or ländler. The cheeriness is paired with a bit of a sinister fugato that cuts into the mountain song every now and then. The middle of the movement tones down to an incredible passage on plucked strings. The clashing of Austrian countryside folk music and the upper-middle class Viennese waltz soon cumulates in a gargantuan orchestral explosion that transcends human allusions and nature. It is like standing at the top of a mountain, being overwhelmed by the sun. Before we know it, the music falls back to the charming dances before its happy coda. The third part opens with the fourth movement, the Adagietto that is probably Mahler’s most popular piece, one that is often put in compilation discs of “dinner music” or “classical love” CDs. From listening to it, it’s easy to tell why. The melodies are so beautiful, and the simplified orchestration, strings and harp, create such a passionate work, it’s almost like a poem. Of love, of regret, nostalgia, emotions that are hard to explain that may sometimes scare us. It’s claimed that Mahler wrote it as a love letter to his soon-to-be wife, Alma Schindler, though I don’t know much about the validity of that story. No matter what, it is definitely one of the more gorgeous things Mahler wrote. The last movement opens up quietly, playing around with the key of D, before going into a beautiful pastoral melody. It is then paired with a very complex fugal section, and after a bit of development, the main melody of the Adagietto comes back, this time with added voicing and counterpoint. The music builds up into a fake climax, dies down, and then speeds into the coda, which uses the “heroic” melody from the end of the second movement, and this time pulls through with its promise of grandeur, and sends us into an orchestral climax that feels beyond this earth. Is that getting too much? I really love this symphony, ok? And it’s hard to describe how the music makes me feel when my feelings are over the top. Listen for yourself, see how the music transports you! As Herbert von Karajan said, while listening to the fifth, "you forget that time has passed. A great performance of the Fifth is a transforming experience. The fantastic finale almost forces you to hold your breath.“


[Part I]

1. Trauermarsch

2. Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz

[Part II]

3. Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell

[Part III]

4. Adagietto. Sehr langsam

5. Rondo-Finale. Allegro - Allegro giocoso. Frisch


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming this evening to bring you one of the most amazing thing to ever grace our ears. 

Grant Woolard has created a mashup of 56 different classical works by 33 composers, all woven into one giant masterpiece. 

Bless this music nerd, somebody get this man a Grammy.

Counterpoint example
Counterpoint example

I just put this together quickly to help explain the idea of counterpoint in music to a friend on twitter, so I figured I’d put it here as well!

You’ve probably heard musicians talk about “counterpoint” at some point or another, and if you’ve ever wondered what it means, look no further;

“Counterpoint” refers to when two or more melodies are happening at the same time, which fit together melodically but not necessarily rhythmically, and are of equal importance to one another (meaning one does not dominate the other, and they rely on one another to create a texture).

so in this example, there are 3 parts.  

  • The first part is a single instrument playing a melody by itself, a.k.a. “single voice”.  
  • The second part has two instruments together, which are playing the same notes as each other at the same time, and that’s called a “monophonic texture”.  
  • The third part has the same two instruments playing together, but they aren’t playing the same notes, yet still seem to work together melodically. That’s called a “polyphonic texture”, and “counterpoint” is sort of an umbrella term used to describe all the different sorts of polyphonic textures that exist.  

This is a very abbreviated explanation, but hopefully some of you find it useful!



[noun, adjective des-kant; verb des-kant, dis-] 

1. Music.
    a. a melody or counterpoint accompanying a simple musical theme and usually written above it.
    b. (in part music) the soprano.
    c. a song or melody.

2. a variation upon anything; comment on a subject.


3. Music (chiefly British).
 a. soprano:    
     a descant recorder.
    b. treble:
     a descant viol.

Verb (used with object)

4. Music. to sing.

5. to comment or discourse at great length.

1350-1400; Descant is derived from Medieval Latin discantus, “a refrain,” from Latin dis-+ cantus, “song,” from the past participle of canere, “to sing.”

“These to their nests,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung.”
- John Milton, Paradise Lost

When my synesthesia is in high gear, music with many-layered independent counterpoint is among the best to listen to. It makes some of the most beautiful spacetime patterns, these wonderfully intricate fantasia shapes of liquid light that I see hovering in my mind, overlaid on top of reality, as if being seen by a different eye that is on a different plane of existence.

 julia  was  a  classically  trained  singer  first.  she  likely  didn’t  have  formal  singing  training  due  to  the  fact  that  she  grew  up  in  a  mostly  middle-class  ohio  family,  but  she  spent  most  of  her  time  listening  to  classical  music  &  broadway  cast  albums.  she  didn’t  learn  to  sing  swing  until  she  started  dating  michael  &  started  performing  with  him.

Nothing makes counterpoint feel ridiculous like trying to explain it to my roommate the psych major

“What are you doing?”

“Well they gave me these whole notes, and I have to put other notes over here.”

“Why can’t you use that note?”

“I just can’t.”

“It sounds bad?”

“No it sounds fine, I’m just not allowed.”

“But now you’re using it!”

“Yeah it’s a different bar.”

“A bar, there’s a good idea.”

She is a melody unsung
A harmony unheard by you
She is music when she laughs
All tinkling keys and bassy blues.
The rhythm in her movement
As she walks across the floor
Swaying softly to herself
To a song only she can hear.
She’s a symphony in her chaos
And when she threatens to fall apart
It stills the demons in her soul
And keeps a beat within her heart.
She’s a classic in the making
With a fine composers eye
She’s a crescendo of affection
A maestro of her own salvation
She orchestrates her own happiness
Softly threading in the winds of change
The strings of her heart
Playing their own haunting tune
She’s counterpoint to madness
This beautiful philharmonic soul
She’s a walking rhapsody
Waiting to be discovered
By one who will hear the music in her silence.

© Courtney Turley 2016