[Pt. III Proj.2] – A Bach Sonata – Exercise: 3.4.b – 200 word reflection on writing a Baroque sonata.

[Pt. III Proj.2] Exercise: 3.4.a – A Bach Sonata – – Compose music influenced by Bach’s sonata: Using the given chords in the key of G minor, and choosing your own tempo, compose a passage of music comprising a keyboard texture and a melody for violin, influenced by Bach’s sonata. Create a distinct theme for the violin and clearly articulated chords in the accompaniment. Include the occasional written out ornament in the violin part, basing it on the kinds you have discovered in this chapter so far. An audio example of the chords is included with this course. If you like you can extend the passage to include a second phrase. 

Exercise: 3.4. b. Reflect briefly on this experience in your learning log, writing around 200 words. Did you enjoy the process and why, and what did you learn?

Personal 200-word reflection of the exercise :

This was one of my favourite exercises. It gave me the opportunity to put my knowledge to the test and see if I had really grasped writing in this style. I discovered that I had gaps in knowledge and that there were areas (such as the rhythms used) where I needed further clarification. I could then discuss these with my tutor. Trying to compose with predetermined parameters made me really appreciate just how innovative and ingenious Bach’s compositions were. I have a long way to go before I master his ability to keep a melody interesting for such a long time. I’ve had to learn to resist the temptation of overusing the Baroque ornaments in the place of a nice flowing melody. The ornaments are sonically addictive, and it is easy to stray into clichés. Many of the other composition techniques from the Baroque style will also translate nicely into modern compositions. Arpeggiation is a technique frequently used by electronic keyboard players, but Bach’s figures were more interesting than the usual run of the mill ‘broken chord patters’ one sees in pop music. I will no doubt use what I’ve learnt here in my own music in the future.