Any suggestion how I can use hookpad to study for Bach Chorale?

Any suggestion how I can use hookpad to study for Bach Chorale? As a new user, I have a hard time trying to figure out how to key in four voices using hookpad and wondering if hookpad is useful for me to do any study for Bach chorales.
Or even for classical music.

Hi Matc and welcome to Hooktheory!

Thank you for this interesting question. Of course Hookpad was built with pop music in mind, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from it for classical music. To show this I have once created a Bach Chorale demo song. If you go to File-> Open a Demo Track you can find Bach’s original “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” Chorale. Please have a look and see if this seems useful for you.

I have analysed the choral and added the chords underneath. So if you’re looking for an easy alternative way to study Bach’s Chorales I think you can use Hookpad for this. After you got used to the colours of the different notes you’ll find that you’ll be able to see und understand very quickly what’s going on. You can also use the Voice Properties Panel to change the view to highlight individual voices. Here you can see better what the Tenor is doing:

If you want to write a Chorale yourself you can use the demo song as a Template, and delete all voices and chords. You could copy the Soprano melody from a Chorale of your choice into Hookpad and figure out which chords would fit to each note of the melody. After that you can turn on the guides to figure out which notes would fit to the melody for the other three voices.

The downside of this is that this is not really the way that Bach was composing his chorales. He thought more in a linear way and not about chords. We have nothing built in to check if your voicing follows the rules of a traditional Chorale. There is also no way to write a figured bass in Hookpad. Also if you want to study classical music you’ll perhaps want to improve your notation reading abilities which of course we can’t help you with in Hookpad.

So we can give you an alternative way of studying Bach Chorales but I think you should nevertheless also work with the original scores as they might be able to display this kind of music better. Perhaps the combination of both is something you could benefit from.

Please let me know if you have any questions!