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ChoraleGUIDE: writing four-part harmony in the style of Bach

Method - Check 3

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The following gives some examples of the sort of errors that might creep in when you add the inner parts (the numbers correspond to the blue numbers on the example). Click on the links to read more about each type of error. It is common, as on this example, for one mistake to lead to several more - they tend to appear in clusters. The only solution is to check you work thoroughly using the Double SLAP.

  1. Spacing: the inner parts are unnecessarily low - the largest gap is between the soprano and alto
  2. Leaps: the tenor part leaps a sixth up and back down - this is far too big a leap and can easily be avoided
  3. Doubling: second inversion chords should have the fifth doubled (D) not the root of the chord as here (G)
  4. Passing seventh: at a cadence the passing note should be the seventh of the dominant chord - in this case C rather than E
  5. Suspensions: the suspended D in the II7b chord needs to resolve downwards by step to C#
  6. Leading notes: the seventh degree of the scale (here D major) must not resolve to the third as it does here - it should either resolve to the tonic (D) or the fifth (A)
  7. Parallels: there are three consecutive parallel fifths between tenor and bass.

Version with errors

Corrected version

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© Copyright Thomas Pankhurst