Wir Christenleut is one of the hundreds of Chorale
s written by J.S. Bach
The most difficult thing to figure out about Wir Christenleut was its key. The key signature denotes that the piece should be in d minor, but throughout the piece, every E is flat. The piece is actually in g minor, rather than d minor.
The piece has a rhythmic motive that consists of a one eight none and four sixteenth-note pattern that is passed between the soprano, tenor and bass lines. This rhythmic motive begins to break down at measure 10 and completely breaks down at measure eleven into simple running eighth notes.
The soprano line basically denotes the harmonic rhythm of the piece with 2, 3 and sometimes four cadences per measure.
The piece begins with a short canon between the tenor and the alto lines, this canon motif repeats itself occasionally throughout.
The bass line consists of consonant skips in triplet rhythm, which is an interesting juxtaposition to the rhythmic patterns of the other three lines.
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