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




Method - Step 3a: Fingerprints

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I use the term fingerprints to refer to particular harmonic progressions and voice-leading that Bach uses particularly frequently in his chorales. By absorbing and copying these characteristic fingerprints, you can really start to make your harmony sound like Bach. Unless you can find a specific cadential fingerprint that Bach uses, you should keep all cadences as perfect or imperfect in root position.

There are no notes on fingerprints in this section. You are expected to discover them for yourself by by working through the resources section of the website.

In the example below, two characteristic cadential progressions are substituted for the primary chord harmonisation in the last three notes of each phrase:









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