FOUR PART WRITING
Let's travel back in time and explore the Chorale writing of J. S. Bach - a time of strict part-writing rules.
Keep the common tone from one chord to the next.
Move stepwise in each voice (SATB) from chord to chord whenever possible.
Double the ROOT of the chord in Root Position.
Double the SOPRANO as a 1st choice in 1st Inversion. Double the Bass as a 2nd choice.
Double the BASS pitch in 2nd Inversion.
AVOID leaps in each voice of a fourth or greater.
NEVER DOUBLE THE LEADING TONE!
AVOID PARALLEL OCTAVES & FIFTHS!
AVOID VOICE CROSSING!
Keep and octave or less between Soprano and Alto; Alto and Tenor
The vii° may also function as a V chord.
Helpful Hint. Once you've determined the key of the exercise, take the time to create a chart of the letter names for each key/scale, including accidentals, and place the Roman Numeral Analysis below each letter. You'll find the speed with which you analyze these Chorales will greatly increase! Here are two examples:
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb g a Bb c d Eb F# g
I ii iii IV V vi vii° I i ii° III+ iv V VI vii° i