Street Smart Guide to the Bach Chorales - PDF eBook



  • Product Delivery:Digital Download (download links expire 30 days after purchase).
  • Download Size:About 64 MB compressed / 64 MB decompressed (1x zip file containing PDF eBook).
  • Author:Peter Lawrence Alexander
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The Street Smart Guide to the Bach Chorales is a new presentation of all 389 chorales from the 1898 Bachgeselleschaft edition, complete with lyrics.

Unlike other editions of the Bach Chorales, the Street Smart Guide to the Bach Chorales comes with introductory chapters giving you notes on how to analyze the chorales to understand their harmonic structure. This book does not analyze each chorale for you. You're expected to apply the analysis guidelines to the chorales for yourself.

In the book's introduction, you'll learn that the Bach chorales are all four-part choral arrangements of both original and popular hymn tunes of the day. You'll then learn the Street Smart way of how to study them and immediately apply what you learn, including tips on how to record them. Also included is a template for printing out your own blank sheets of music paper.

How to Learn From a Bach Chorale - example taken from the book

Includes Indexes by First Line and by Theme

At the back of the book are two helpful indexes, the first of which lists the chorales alphabetized by their first line and indexed by their chorale number. The second is a thematic index that lists the chorales according to their use in the liturgical calendar. The Thematic Index gives you a handy guide to quickly locate which chorales to use for specific services like Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, etc., plus chorales suited for funerals, praise and thanksgiving, songs of consolation, and more!

The Street Smart Guide to the Bach Chorales is a must for any musician's library that you'll use for years and years to great benefit. The chorales even gave Mozart a boost, and he was pretty good!

272 pgs.

Do You Know Harmony and Chord Types?

A good grasp of harmony and chord types as taught in Applied Professional Harmony 101 and 102 is recommended to get the most out of applying the analysis guidelines in this book.

Endorsements: Street Smart Guide to the Bach Chorales

Review by David O'Rourke, jazz guitarist, conductor, and arranger
This publication of the Bach Chorales will be of terrific use to the jazz arranging student who has been immersed in the style of writing using block harmony and 'drop' voicings. When the subject of open voicing is introduced in the genre the relationship between the two outer voices is emphasized as the point of departure in one's study of open or spread voicings. Incidentally, some refer to drop voicings as 'semi-open voicings'. One of the greatest solo jazz guitarists, the late Ted Greene released one album that displayed the heavy influence of the chorales on his unique jazz guitar style. He confirms their importance to him in his books as well as in a few arrangements he did for solo guitar which are now shared with the world by his widow and former students.

Mr. Alexander shows points of resolution (he calls them hit points) and suggests working backwards from those as many jazz arrangers do in their writing. He goes on to isolate the two outer voices, then adds alto and tenor but not before he analyzes the intervals along with their relationship to the bassline. By using these approaches as well as others he suggests, he gives the student a template for how to:

  1. carry out their own analysis of these works, or any multiple voice writing for that matter.
  2. by separating the voices he also gives a key to getting these works under the fingers for those who play keyboard at a basic level, or as some in the business say, those who play 'arranger's piano'.

Some may be initially disappointed that he didn't analyze each of these works and spoon feed us with the fruits of his labor - at the end of the day, the student will be more likely to internalize most of what he learns if he does the work himself. What the author has done is given you a number of refined paths to use when approaching these chorales.

Finally, by creating this 'street smart guide' Mr. Alexander has taken some of the intimidation out of studying these works, which are IMO the musical equivalent of the Shakespearean Sonnets to a student of Shakespeare's oeuvre. This book belongs in any arranger's or composer's library!

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