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Satb Chorales

Satb Chorales

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Published by: yakoomis on Feb 24, 2010
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Forty Bach Chorales
 Johann Sebastian Bach
 Arranged by Peter Billam for keyboard 
©Peter J Billam, 2006
This score may be freely photocopied, and redistributedin paper form.It may be freely performed to live audiences;performing rights are waived. Itmay not be redistributed inelectronic form, and all other rights, such as those of recordingand broadcast, remain reserved by the arranger,Peter Billam,GPO Box 669, Hobart
7001, Australia.
This printing 8 October 2007.
Forty Bach Chorales
It is the chorales, not his trademark fugues, that lie at the heart of Bach’stechnique.Wolffrefers to Bach’s
collection of 370 four-part chorales that charted the course for tonal harmony.
Donald Francis Tovey observes:
Counterpoint, the art defined by Sir Fr ederickGoreOuseleyasthat of ’combining melodies’. . .This definition is not quitecomplete.Classical couterpoint is the conveying of a mass of harmony by means of acombination of melodies.Thus the three melodies combined by Wagner in the Meistersinger prelude do not makeclassical couterpoint, for theyrequireamass of accompanying harmony to explain them.
Forkel recounts, in Ernest Newman’stranslation:
 Bachbegan teaching composition not with dry counterpoint that led nowhere, aswas the way with other music teachersofhistime ; . . .He went immediately to purefour-part thorough-bass, laying muchstress onthe setting-out of the voices, since in this way the conception of the purepro gression of the harmony was made most intelligible.Fromtherehewent to the chorale.Intheseexercises he himself set the original bass, and made his pupils add only the alto and thetenor.Gradually he let them makethe bass also.Everywhereheinsisted not only on theutmost purity of the harmony in itself,but also on naturalness of progression and amelodic flow of all the separate voices.
Bach, in other words, based his technique at the frontier between voice-leading andharmony; on howvoice-leading should be done so as to create harmony. The importanceof this approach is that it is not limited to Bach’svoice-leading rules, orharmonic style.The forty chorales offered here transcribed for keyboard are a small selection from the388 Bach has left us.The selection is arbitrary,determined largely by easy page-layoutwhen in alphabetical order,and biased towards the grander settings and the stand-alonechorales independent of cantatas.The words are mostly omitted for space reasons,though theydodetermine manydetails of melodic gesture or harmonic movement. Thewords can be found at www.uvm.edu/˜classics/faculty/bachMusically there is so much of interest here; the chromaticism of 
 Es ist genug
willreappear in Berg’sviolin concerto, the extravagant voice-crossings in
Christum wir sollenloben schon
,the two-and-a-half-bar phrases of 
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele
and the five-bar phrases of 
Uns ist ein Kindlein heut geborn
,the lovely tune and fluent bass-line o
Sollt ichmeinem Gott nicht singen
,and much else.These pieces can be used for a variety of musicianship exercises, such as keyboard sight-reading practice, singing one voice and playing the other three, transposed sight-reading,and so on.Forthis reason, apart from the easily-printable
format, these pieces arealso available in
format so that you can generate, for example, midi versions fordictation, or soprano-bass-only versions for voice-leading practice, etc.
BWV 26Ach wie üchtig, ach wie nichtig4BWV 262Alle menschen müssen sterben4BWV 104Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr5BWV 4Christ lag in Todesbänden 5BWV 274Christe, der du bist Tag und Licht6BWV 121Christum wir sollen loben schon6BWV 288Das alte Jahr vergangen ist7BWV 18Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt 7BWV 303Ein Feste Burgist unser Gott8BWV 43Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist8BWV 145Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag 9BWV 306Erstanden ist der heilige Christ9BWV 155Es ist das Heil uns kommen her10BWV 310Es wird schier die letzte Tag herkommen 10BWV 60Es ist genug11BWV 32Freu dich sehr,omeine Seele12BWV 315Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille12BWV 318Gottes Sohn ist Kommen 13BWV 330Herr,ich habe misgehandelt13BWV 371Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit 14BWV 228Lobt den Herren, denn er ist sehr freundlich16BWV 376Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich16BWV 245Machs mit mir,Gott, nach deiner Güt17BWV 378Mein Augen schließ ich jetzt17BWV 382Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin18BWV 386Nun danket alle Gott18BWV 387Nun freut euch, Gottes Kinder all19BWV 307Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gemein19BWV 62Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland19BWV 390Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren20BWV 396Nun sich der Tag geendet hat21BWV 400OHerzensangst, o Bangigkeit und Zagen21BWV 402OMensch, bewein dein Sünde groß22BWV 394OWelt, ich muß dich lassen23BWV 180Schmückedich, o liebe Seele23BWV 413Sollt ich meinem Gott nicht singen24BWV 414Uns ist ein Kindlein heut geborn25BWV 248VonHimmel hoch da komm ich her25BWV 437Wirglauben all an einen Gott26BWV 178Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält27
Peter J Billam,www.pjb.com.au

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