I know some simple pieces where the initial phrase starts in the IV chord or the V chord, but I'm wondering if Bach used to do that.

  • BWV 54 starts with a dominant chord clashing strongly with the bass note implying the tonic. (In general, "Did Bach ever..." questions tend to have the answer yes.) Jul 14 '19 at 15:14

Generally speaking Bach likes to establish the home key chord at the beginning of his pieces, but I did find some exceptions on a cursory look through my scores. For example, in Book II of the keyboard Partitas, the Courante of No. 5 has an upbeat based on the dominant. And the Gigue of the same Partita does something similar, with the home key chord of G only happening on the second beat of the first full bar. I am sure with a far fuller investigation, many more examples could be found.

  • In the Courante, do you mean the first three 16th notes? That is interesting in and of itself. But it is more of a decoration for the next G. I'm looking for more of a phrase in a different chord, like in Dark Eyes: youtu.be/LSX-79rwKGE
    – Wynne
    Jul 14 '19 at 3:42
  • Try the Gigue of the same Partita (my second example). It starts with a juicy D9 chord!
    – Jomiddnz
    Jul 14 '19 at 23:09

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