Xx Tutorial 3: Using the Canon Tool By Len Sasso and Eric Wenger

Xx provides interactive tools for composing Canons. A Canon consists of several voices playing the same theme which is offset in time and in pitch. Typically, the first voice enters at the fundamental, and the second voice enters a fifth or an octave higher and a half or whole measure later.

In our example, we are going to compose a canon starting with two voices and ending with three.

Step 1: Set up the scale, instruments and tempo.

Step 2: Set up the Canon tools

Now we are ready to start.

Step 3: Composing section A

The first part will be a slow movement using only two voices, tracks 1 and 2.

The first section will end up on the fifth, B. The end of voice 2 was fixed manually to conclude both voices at the same time.

Step 4: Composing section B

The second section will employ faster melodic movement using 3 voices. The difficulty is increased when composing canons with 3 voices since the overlapping of delayed and transposed melodies does not necessarily yield harmonious juxtapositions. Xx shows all voices as they are entered. This allows you to see harmonic relationships and tweak the canon accordingly.

Step 5: Fine Tuning