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wolflen

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #1 
Ted has this with a One sharp key signature..it is Emajor/A minor flavored ...

anyone explain the logic for this..

thanks

wolf
James

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Posts: 270
Reply with quote  #2 
Ted used the same key signature that Bach used for this chorale #3, Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh' darein.  Bach's harmonization is in A minor and it ends on a half cadence.  So the question is not why Ted used the key signature - Ted just copied Bach.  The question is why did Bach use the key signature.

The melody, which Martin Luther may have written, was considered phrygian: it begins and ends on the note B and uses the scale : B C D E F# G A B, and the melody also has one G# in it.  Bach kept the B phrygian key signature but his setting is A minor, with modulations to E minor, C major, then back to A minor.  At the end there are tonicizations of D major and E major.  So really, overall, his setting is in A minor but he keeps the key signature that the cantus firmus, the chorale melody, had.  Bach sometimes used the old key signatures rather than modern ones.

Also, check out the rare parallel fifths in the tenor and bass between the B and Em chords of bar 6.  Yes, Bach wrote parallel fifths and here is a rare example, although he uses some wild voice crossing between tenor and alto to cover them.
wolflen

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Posts: 16
Reply with quote  #3 
thank you james..

yes, now it makes sense..(kind of)..at first  I thought Dorian=Ami..

James

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Posts: 270
Reply with quote  #4 
Sometimes in the Baroque period, music in minor was written with one less flat (or one more sharp) than our modern key signatures.  G minor might have a one flat key sig.  These key signatures look like Dorian but they are often really minor.  So in our example, Bach's key sig looks like A Dorian but I wouldn't call his harmonization in A Dorian because in the A minor sections, the F notes are made natural.  In the E minor section, the F is left sharp and at the end of the piece for the brief D major and E major tonicizations, the F is left sharp.  So overall, I would say the piece is harmonized by Bach in A minor, not A Dorian.
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