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Thread: Did Bach ever use chords in the left hand

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109

    Did Bach ever use chords in the left hand

    Dear all

    Please forgive my ignorance but did Bach ever just use basic style chords in the left hand, the root note of which was played in the bass (I'm guessing this is the simplest way of playing the organ - bass root note in pedals, chord in left hand and main tune in right?)

    I'm basically after advice on how to quickly form a chord comprising of (to start with) 2 notes and then progressing onto 3 in the left when i'm improvising and if it can have a baroque like sound then all the better.
    Are there any rules such as "thirds always harmonise" or "fifths always harmonise" or "Bach used to typically use thirds or fourths" etc?

    Bit of a confusuing question I know but any help would be appreciated!

    thanks
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  2. #2
    Ensign, Principal
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Worcestershire UK
    Posts
    68
    Hi BM,

    Bach did write a couple of chorales in the style that you noted, but mostly, they were a mixture of harmony and counterpoint. It is worth noting that Bach didn't really think in those terms, that is just the way that his compsoitional methods have been broken down over the years.

    If you are looking for two-note harmonies, I would suggest looking at the 'Two Part Inventions' some fantastic music that actually works quite well on the organ. One of my old tutors, Malcolm Boyd, wrote two excellent little books on the subject, giving the student 'rules' to follow based on a statistical approach. e.g 'If X is happening then generally Bach would do Y' (This is a very simple explanation!!)

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    109
    hey thats great thanks for your help :-)
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

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