Art of imitation

In music schools we study Renaissance and Baroque cadenzas and do exercises so to learn doing them well. But another thing is to master those skills of great composers at level that you are able to make your own nice piece using them and that it sounds nice and natural! So nowadays I am digging deeper into those things.

When I do exercises on such things, I take a score in the front of me, listen along and try to sense the move of all the voices: how soprano goes, which skips it makes. I sing separately all the lines (voices) with a score. Try to point out all the imitation places and where comes new material. Doing it twice a week will give you a good result after one year. And if you keep doing then you will polish a lot you skills of writing nice melodies and leading voices in beautiful and balanced manner. Sometimes I calculate percentage of how many specific intervals are used during the piece, how many skips and steps; when and how composer leads a melody up or down etc. When I hear some extremely beautiful part I analyze it right away and try to find out, why it sounds so nice and how it works!

Study Palestrina, Pergolesi and Bach.