I'm very excited to introduce to you my course on analyzing Bach chorals. These are wonderful four-part choral harmonizations that Bach's students Agricola, Kirnberger and his second eldest son C.P.E.Bach collected from his cantatas and published them after Bach's death in a separate collection called "371 Chorales". This course is based on 10 different chorales from this collection.
My goal is to help people understand their internal structure, chords, cadences, modulations and tonal plan, suspensions, passing tones, neighbor tones, and other harmonic ideas that Bach used in these chorals.
If you want to understand Bach's music, how it's put together, then this course is really for you. It will not teach you the basics of tonal harmony and theory - what is tonic, what is dominant, what is modulation, what are four-note chords - I have other courses for that.
Instead, we will look deeply into each of these 10 different chorals and try to unlock their hidden secrets. We will try to think as Bach himself did, when he took a Lutheran choral melody, placed it in the soprano and supplied the three lower parts - alto, tenor and bass.
Here are the chorale harmonizations that we will analyze in this course:
1. Aus meines Herzens Grunde 2. Ich dank Dir, liebe Herre 3. Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein 4. Es ist das Heil uns kommen her 5. An Wasserflussen Babylon 6. Christus, der ist mein Leben 7. Nun lob', mein' Seel', den Herren 8. Freuet euch, ihr Christen 9. Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist 10. Aus tiefer Noth schrei' ich zu Dir
Usually these wonderful four-part choral harmonizations were put at the end of his cantatas. Unfortunately, many of his cantatas are lost, but what remains are his chorale harmonizations. So, if you are into the music of Bach and want to start thinking like Bach himself did and try to analyze Bach's music but you are stuck - I will help you understand these chorals and help you advance in your tonal and harmonic thinking.
I hope that after studying the videos in this course, you will start looking at any of his compositions with different eyes and start seeing modulations, chords, various kinds of cadences, suspensions, and other harmonic devices that make his music so colorful and his voice-leading so independent (and maybe you will try your hand at harmonizing various hymns and chorales in the style of Bach).
It's like four different people are singing together, four different instruments playing together. Although we will be playing on one instrument with or without the pedals, yet his writing is so superb that each line is so meaningful - like a separate character in a play.