This is a public version of the members-only Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block.
Join Now

Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Cello Lessons: Separating Melodic Voices from Bass Voices

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +







+Rhythmic & Chordal Playing

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Multi-Style Cello with Mike Block. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Cello Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
The defining characteristic of Baroque
music, of Bach's music, and
of this piece in particular,
is this idea of polyphony,
that there's multiple voices
happening at the same time.
So a big part of our job,
as an interpreter of the Bach Courante,
is to separate these voices, and
show the listener where the melody is,
and let the bass notes
kind of accompany that.
What I would advise against,
is kind of playing every note
equally, like this
I want to point out what I
see as the melodic voice,
I see this as the melody [SOUND]
I think that's the melody in this piece.
And then the bass notes
are [SOUND]
And so, if you start to hear
these two different voices,
as like a conversation that happens, it's
almost like you are your own cello duo.
And you wanna be able to
use articulations, and
maybe volume even, and even timing.
You wanna use all of our musical tools,
in order to make these two
voices sound like different characters,
as part of a conversation.
I'm kind
of, stiffly,
trying to show you
these two voices.
The other important thing
about separating these voices,
is that Bach's music is harmonic music.
So the bass notes, in particular,
are going to show us what
the harmony is doing.
If you can bring out
the connection of the base notes,
it's gonna show us the phrasing
that Bach had in mind.
The opening chords are [SOUND]
So the first phrase,
the harmony,
is [SOUND]
Tracking these harmonic progressions,
can help define the phrase
links in Bach's music.
And I want you to go through this piece,
I'll even demonstrate in my sheet music.
I'll put little parenthesis around some
of the bass notes to indicate that it's
a separate voice from the melodic voice.
I'll do that for
the A section in the music, and
then I'll want you to do the same
process in the B section.
And that way we'll have
this musical conversation
going on through the whole piece.
And when you identify the bass notes,
that's gonna help us a lot in our next
lesson, when we talk about Bach's harmony.