Continuing along with our study of early 70’s music, here is one I’m sure you’ve heard before. This took a long time for me to transcribe into mp3 format because the sheet music was wrong in a few sections. It turned out to be a great learning experience because I was able to figure out what the wrong notes were, and changed them accordingly.
If you were around in the 1970’s you might remember that this song was played non-stop on the radio. Back in those days we had four ways to listen to music: A Turntable, an AM/FM Radio, an 8-track player, or a cassette player.
This song got lots of airplay back then. Like so many songs by Chicago, this one always uplifts me. Turn it up, real loud!
I’ve been making music all day long My back feels like I’m sitting wrong The song is mellow, it doesn’t rock And that’s because it was written by Bach
It’s actually several Chorales put together. How many, you ask? You will have to listen and find out.
A chorale is metrical hymn tune associated in common English usage with the Lutheran church in Germany. From early in the Reformation, chorales were to be sung by the congregation during the Protestant liturgy. Unison singing (everyone singing the same note) was the rule of the reformed churches, both in Germany and in other countries. Early polyphonic (multivoiced) versions may have been intended for a choir singing only the melody while the full version was played on the organ.
You thought I was done with the music lessons, didn’t you? You were so wrong….
Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706) was a German composer, organist, and teacher who brought the south German organ schools to their peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.
Pachelbel’s music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D; other well known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.
And here is my take on it:
And the list of Bach Chorales is growing. Here are nine chorales, harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach. Whether or not he wrote all of the music is a question I guess only he can answer. I find it very comforting to listen to.
And now for something completely different.
In music theory, we are taught to use “smooth voicing” when changing chords. That involves moving as few notes as possible. This little musical experiment has all dominant chords, ascending and descending by minor thirds. The melody contains the notes of the chords, called arpeggios. For example, the first four chords are G, B-Flat, D-Flat, and E. The root moves up a minor third each time. Do you understand?
I knew you would.
To move a chord up by three half-steps (a minor-third): Lower the root by one whole step, and lower the third by a half-step. The fifth doesn’t move and it becomes the third of the new chord. For example G B D, or G Major, becomes F B-flat D, or B Flat Major.
If you want to move a chord down by a minor third, you raise the root a half step and raise the fifth by a whole step. The third stays the same and becomes the fifth of the new chord.
For example G B D Becomes G# B E.
And that concludes today’s music lesson.
The following examples use the above mentioned technique and go through all 12 keys. The beautiful thing about music, at least for me, is the fact that there are no rules.