On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Myleene Klass 10pm - 12am
19 February 2020, 09:14 | Updated: 19 February 2020, 09:16
Johann Sebastian Bach memes, to help you get your head around some of the foundations of music theory and write better chorales.
Just like Doge is the master of the meme.
Introducing your new favourite form, the four-part chorale. As you can see, it was also a favourite of Bach’s, so you’re in good company. Master it, and it will help unlock a world of good harmony and counterpoint, no matter what you’re composing.
Guys, when penning the harmonisation of your four-part counterpoint chorale, no consecutive octaves, or parallel fifths.
This is when pitch resolves – or *leads* – to one semitone higher or lower, creating great shape, contour and tension in your part-writing. Toddler-Bach knows it sounds awesome, so do it!
Good counterpoint is also about the motion of the parts within those harmonic rules. Contrary motion – where lines move in different directions to each other – should dominate, thus:
A picardy third is when a piece in a minor tonality ends on a chord with a major third. At the strike of the chord, dark clouds part, and light and warmth stream through stained-glass windows (or so it sounds). As this meme suggests, Bach used this often – to great effect.
Bach was the master, but he was a pro at breaking the harmonic commandments for expressive effect. Following the rules doesn’t create great art, so trust yourself, be creative, inventive, and...
Go forth and write, and make JSB smile.