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Look who’s Bach! Mastering Bach Chorale Harmonisation at Advanced level

Course Code:


This updated course is designed for all teachers of A-Level Music who are teaching Bach Chorale harmonisation regardless of examination board. This course provides a comprehensive guide to teaching chorale harmonisation from writing simple cadence patterns to creating A* Bach chorale harmonisations. The course will also be of benefit to all teachers looking to refresh and reinvigorate their teaching techniques, approaches and strategies for teaching harmony and harmonisation as a general part of the A-Level course; for raising attainment levels for students in their harmonic analysis of set works and for developing overall broader musicianship and wider perspectives to enable students to achieve high quality academic standards in music.


  • Improve the overall quality of your harmonic knowledge
  • Increase your understanding of Bach chorale writing
  • Gain further insight into what the exam boards are looking for
  • Explore teaching strategies that will inspire your students to gain an A*


Introduction to Bach chorales

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Exploring Bach’s harmonic language
  • Identifying Bach cadence formulae: perfect and imperfect cadences

Morning break

11.00 – 11.15am

Creating idiomatic contrapuntal lines

11.15 – 12.00pm
  • Using passing notes and auxiliary notes effectively to create elegant melodic lines
  • Creating a flowing bass line to balance the soprano
  • Understanding dissonance and creating harmonic tension through the effective use of suspensions

Writing complete Bach chorales: managing modulations

12.00 – 12.45pm
  • Studying modulations in Bach chorales
  • Identifying modulations from analysis of the chorale melody alone
  • Managing modulations in a complete


12.45- 1.45pm

Using chromatic chords effectively

1.45 – 2.30pm
  • Identifying opportunities to use chromatic chords
  • Incorporating the diminished seventh to maximise marks
  • Enhancing the supertonic chord

Completing chorale phrases effectively

2.30- 3.00pm
  • Identifying harmonic patterns in the middle of chorale phrases
  • Completing the opening of a chorale phrase
  • Avoiding exposed/hidden octaves/fifths and other common errors

Afternoon Break

3.00 – 3.10pm

Inspiring students to aim for, and achieve, an A*

3.10 – 3.45pm
  •  Case study: exploring multiple harmonisations of a chorale
  • Making a Bach chorale harmonisation outstanding
  • Checklist for writing successful chorales


London | Friday 24 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 24 November 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Miranda Francis is Head of Junior Programmes and an academic studies professor at the Royal College of Music in London. She was a Principal Examiner of Music at Advanced level for a major examination board for over 15 years, training examiners and regularly leading teacher training courses. An experienced and enthusiastic music educator, Miranda has led music departments in state, independent and specialist music schools including the Purcell School, where she founded the jazz department. A passionate advocate of the benefits of music education for all, Miranda was awarded an ARAMin 2014 and an HonRCM in 2015 in recognition for her contribution to music education.


  • Teachers of A-Level Music
  • Teachers teaching traditional harmony techniques


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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