CPEB:CW Counterpoint Contest


Compose a piece of music using the fragment pictured above.


• The “B–A–C–H” motto can be used either as the starting point for a work, or as its culmination (with appended conclusion).

• The style of the composition is left to the competitor, but keeping the submission within the vocabulary of the eighteenth century would be welcomed. The finished work should stay within the bounds of tonality.

• The composition must be finished in modern vocal open score.

• The finished entry must be a complete piece, between approximately 32 and 64 measures long. Slightly shorter or longer entries will be accepted at the discretion of the contest committee.

• The deadline for submitting an entry is Saturday, December 15, 2018. Please submit your entry in PDF or XML format. Only one entry per person will be accepted.


• The contest winner will receive our grand prize, a complete edition of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Complete Works (approximately 125 books valued at more than $3000). The winning entry will also be posted on the edition’s website.

• Runners-up will receive a copy of C.P.E. Bach’s Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (volumes VII/1–3).

• All competitors will receive a complimentary copy of Cadenzas, Embellishments, and Compositional Studies (volume VIII/1).

To Enter:

Click below to download the fragment in SCORE, Finale, or Sibelius. Send your completed file to [email protected], and include your name with contact information in the body of the e-mail. Entries will be reviewed by the contest committee, with final selection by Robert D. Levin, Chair of the CPEB:CW Editorial Board.

B–A–C–H fragment in Score

B–A–C–H fragment in Finale

B–A–C–H fragment in Sibelius

Click here for a PDF of the complete contest guidelines.

Winner announced by January 15, 2019