I want to write more complex pieces and improve my harmony and voice leading, most people say the same thing when I ask this. They complain about the american way of studying harmony which places too much emphasis on the vertical (I'm from england but go to an american conservatory) and they say I should focus more on the horizontal and counterpoint. Now I've studied counterpoint as far as 2 part species and invention / fugue writing. I'm aware that I should incorporate counterpoint in my works and have done so, but I don't understand how learning harmony a different way would change my compositional process. I guess what I'm asking is:
1) How do they teach harmony outside of the united states, if not harmonizing chorales etc.
2) Am I supposed to come up with a melody then harmonize it one contrapuntal line at a time?
3) Isn't there such a thing as too much counterpoint?
4) I've taken 1 semester of counterpoint, 1 of invention writing and 1 of fugue writing and (not to show off) I excelled in all, which has me wondering is there something i've missed? is it meant to be so straight forward and grasped so quickly?
5) We don't learn 3 and 4 voice counterpoint aside from fugue writing which is an art on to itself, is there a book you can suggest for this, I've read the fux, well like half of it, but I really honestly hate the sound modal countepoint, I do like my V-I and as I'll be writing mainly tonal point I would like to deal with that.
6) With the study of counterpoint, when applying it to real life, are we to assume that our composed melody is the cantus firmus to which we are writing to?
7) Which Tonal harmony books would you recommend? I've read: The complete musician by steven laitz, the kostka/payne, aldwell and schacters, and am considering the contemporary harmony book by ludmila ulhela being a massive fan of rachmaninoff's harmony (I know you'll all say to go read his scores, but I found that score reading made more sense when I pinpointed what it was I liked and knew what to look for)
Here is a string quartet I wrote, please take a look and offer suggestions on writing etc, there are definitely influences of jazz though: