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Getting a good mark in Bach chorales

These are the things that will make a difference and, unsurprisingly, they are hard work. Practice doing them now and you will do them better in the exam

  • be systematic, starting with cadences then modulations, then fingerprints, then simple primary chord bass line and then refining before putting in inner parts (in other words, follow the method on ChoraleGUIDE)
  • make sure your bass line has plenty of passing notes and is, as far as possible, a nice shape and that there are NO PARALLELS WITH THE SOPRANO
  • use Fingerprints as often as possible
  • add Bells and Whistles where you can, but don’t go too bonkers
  • check it all very thoroughly, including the bass against the soprano again for parallels and be prepared to make radical changes if necessary
  • check for ACCIDENTALS and where you put them in late, check they don’t create augmented intervals or mess up pivot chords
  • play through each line separately to check for problems and if possible play them in pairs too, particularly the soprano and the bass