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About Bach-chorales.info

This page contains the 389 Bach 4-voice chorales (Chorale Gesänge) enumerated in the Richter/Kalmus collection (also published by Breitkopf as edition 'nr. 3765'), whose number assignments are listed in the first column on this page; the corresponding BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis) numbers are given in the third. To compare with other numbering-systems please look here (Wikipedia), here (IMSLP), here (Luke Dahn) and, last but not least; bach-cantatas.com.

The chorales here are listed alphabetically by melody (scroll down!), so that one and the same melody has only one title (comparable to hymn TUNE), i.e., the one most generally used today. The chorales are rendered exactly as transmitted in that collection (except for a few scores where independent obbligato instruments appear. In that case it was rendered according to the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA)). Much pleasure on this site! (Do me and yourself a small favor and listen with headphones on please).

A page is available here with excerpted comments, mainly by Bernard Greenberg (BSG), and some by Gertim Alberda, from the former residence of these chorales on musescore.com. These comments mainly address interesting compositional details of many of these settings, of interest to students of counterpoint and other aspects of composition, with links back to the chorales. The comments pertaining to each chorale are also accessible from the "Commentary" button at the upper right of the pages for those chorales having them.

Many thanks to Bernard Greenberg (BSG at MuseScore), who helped me tremendously with this site, and by whose programming tools this website is automatically produced now. For more information about him, take a look at his MuseScore profile and his archived Bach FAQ site; which for example answers the question: "What is a chorale?". I also owe many thanks to Willem Vree (See his website), who did the main programming for the score-player that this website is using. I'm very grateful for both their help, by which I was able to realize this site. I made all the scores by entering all the notes and lyrics in Musescore and I also applied many hidden extras to make the scores and its phrasing sound as realistic as possible; hidden fermatas, tempo changes, breath pauses, phrasing, etc. (a lot of extra work). They can only be seen when downloaded and opened in Musescore (in grey).

Why did I consider that important? Because I wanted to do Bach right by making it as realistically as technically possible and to make it sound like how a real choir would sing it (except for the words); without that it would sound really robotic/computer like. Now it doesn't. It took me 2 years to enter and finish all the scores (lead time) with a MIDI keyboard and 2 hours on average per score to make it sound right (for example: every single tempo change has to be tried out and adjusted till one is satisfied with the result, which takes a lot of time; and all together it should still match). And because of all the effort it took me to enter all the extras to make it sound right, the scores have basically almost become like performances.

I offer these scores for free to use/adjust and to share freely by anyone for non-commercial use (Under the Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC. See here). Please credit me (G.T. Alberda) and my website (https://www.bach-chorales.info), when using a score from this website, knowing all the effort it took me to render this and to have it online the way I have it now (it also costs me time and money to keep it up like this and I don't ask any donations. It is offered totally for free. So, please respect therefore the very small/lightweight terms. You don’t have to license your derivative work on the same license terms as I have it, as long as you apply to my terms, which is giving credit to me and publish your derivate work non-commercially. You do have to indicate if changes were made and make clear what you added/changed to the score as I have it. You cannot use my freely offered scores on this website to make a profit from it. I won't allow that and would consider it abuse of all my effort and hard work. If you only want to use the notes from a score from this website, that is very easy; download the score, open it in MuseScore, and select all the grey additions and hit delete. You can delete the lyrics that way as well, but you should realize that it is a chorale and it is meant to have lyrics; the music and meaning often and deliberately mutually reinforce each other with Bach and so they need to be there. I would prefer you to let them stay (but that is not a hard demand). If you don't want to apply to my terms, please enter the notes and everything yourself and don't use anything of this website at all. There are enough other sources that can support with that. This is all I ask. Thanks in advance for respecting that.