Apr 02, 2022
In BACH CHORALE
Rules 1. A Cadence consists of three chords i.e. Ic – V – I. 2. About 78% of Bach’s cadences are perfect (V-I) and about 20% are imperfect ending on V, usually I-V or even better Ib-V) 3. Do not use plagal （progressing from the subdominant chord to the tonic） or imperfect cadences (very rare) 4. Do not use 2nd inversion chords unless it is in the cadential progression Ic-V-I or passing 6/4 5. The 7th of a chord MUST ALWAYS FALL. 6. The leading note MUST ALWAYS RISE to the tonic (except in a few cases of cadences)Nb – the leading note is the 7th note in your key i.e. in the key of C the 7th note is B – this is the leading note. The 7th of a chord is the 7th note in your chord so (inthekeyofC)the7th noteofaGchordisanFandshouldrise. 7.Avoid leaps in any parts that are of an augmented interval – remember the chorales are meant to be sung. Conventions The most common perfect cadences (think Bach harmonic language) are the following: ii7b – V – I (39% of all Bach cadences) Ic – V – I / Ic - V7 – I (also known as cadential 6/4) Ib – V – I IV – V – I Vocal Range Make sure you keep the four parts within their ranges and remember that the Bach Chorale is meant to be sung not played on the Piano. It is easier to play the top three parts (SAT) with the right hand and the bass parts with the left hand – so keep the tenor part high. Part Writing Generally keep the alto and tenor parts quite static – repeat notes or move by steps, if you do jump it should be very small jumps. The only large gap should be between the tenor and bass. The bass parts can leap more usually by 4ths or 5ths. Do not overlap parts i.e. Parallel 5ths/8ves Between 2 parts i.e. alto and tenor avoid having 5ths/8ves from one beat to another Exposed 5th and 8ves This is when the soprano lines leaps and the bass moves in the same direction (whether by step or leap) and the parts arrive on a perfect 5th or 8ve. Passing Notes: This is the most common and basically is what it sounds like a note that passes between two harmony notes – usually used to fill gaps of a third. Can also include semiquaver movement to fill a gap of a fourth. Refrence: (18), Rhapsody. "Bach - Chorales: A Guide". Classic FM, 2022, https://www.classicfm.com/composers/bach/guides/chorales-guide/. Bach Chorales: A Guide.