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Practicing the Bach Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier, by a process of chord blocking (Video)

Blocking out the lush harmonic progressions of Bach’s C Major Prelude is an important first step in learning it. A melodic line that sings through these sonorities, albeit, in waves of broken chords, is the composer’s stroke of genius. The chord inversions are perfectly in place to flesh out a divinely “voiced” melody in the treble.

In the attached video, I focus on the value of listening from chord to chord; being sensitive to relationships between them as Dominant to Tonic, or to a Deceptive harmonic event, among others— “feeling” resolutions, modulations, suspensions, sequences, etc. that are part of the “Harmonic Rhythm.”

Shaping lines, in part, according to rhythmic flow enriches a player’s understanding of the composition, giving insights about its phrasing and interpretation.




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