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Questions tagged [j-s-bach]

For questions about the composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Do not use the tag for just his works.

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What is up with the beat in Bach's Goldberg Variations Aria?

The time signature of Bach's Goldberg Variations Aria is 3/4. However, when you hear interpreters like Glenn Gould playing it, it sounds almost like rubato. There are pauses that aren't in the sheet ...
Eulavo's user avatar
  • 85
4 votes
1 answer
82 views

BWV 851 (WTC 1 prelude in D Minor) - Different versions

I am learning the D minor prelude from book 1 of the well-tempered clavier. I had been following the Henle Verlag Urtext edition, but lost access to it and fell back to this Ricordi edition from IMSLP....
ptal's user avatar
  • 143
6 votes
1 answer
351 views

BWV 893, London or Altnickol version?

There are 2 versions of the B minor prelude from WTC 2, BWV 893 on IMSLP: A. 'London version' which is in cut time. B. 'Altnickol version' which is in 4/4, the note values diminutized proportionally, ...
Pearl's user avatar
  • 69
6 votes
1 answer
255 views

What is the minimum pedal keyboard compass needed to play ALL of J.S. Bach's pipe organ music?

Simple straightforward question: What is the minimum pedal keyboard range needed to play ALL of J.S. Bach's pipe organ music? Optional ways to embellish the answer: Did Bach ever write a piece for ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
800 views

What, if anything, is known about Bach's interpretation of, or emphasis on, meter?

The modern conventions for meter are, for example, that in 4/4 time, the metrical emphases are S-w+-s-w-, 3/4 is S-w-w, and so on. Did Bach understand meter in these more-or-less strictly regulated ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.1k
8 votes
1 answer
288 views

Pile up of ornaments in J.S.Bach's BWV 935

These are bars 19-23 in J.S. Bach's BWV 935, from the Sechs kleine Präludien für Anfänger auf dem Klavier: Can anyone spell out for me what should be played for that E in bar 23 adorned with a grace ...
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
138 views

In harmonic syntax (“root progressions”), does only the root matter, or the entire chord?

I’ve read in these threads that Rameau & CPE Bach have a different opinion on wether or not more notes than the root of a chord are relevant in harmonic syntax. Here are some stand out quotes from ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
249 views

Nina Simone "Love me or Leave me" and Bach [closed]

When listening to Nina Simone's version of "Love me or Leave me" (this version), I have a feeling that she incorporates some classical music into her solo (around 1 minute to 2:20) - ...
Maverick Meerkat's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

How to finger this chord Bach violin Fugue C major Violin

The chord below is from Bach' violin sonata 3, Fuga Up until this point the chords have been easy enough to at least figure out the fingering. In this case the fingering seems to be impossible. Ive ...
xerotolerant's user avatar
  • 2,658
3 votes
0 answers
128 views

J.S. Bach: March in C?

I found a copy of the notes to "March in C" by J.S. Bach, see image attached. I’d like to learn more about it, but surprisingly, I can't find information or recordings online. Can anyone ...
Markus's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
137 views

How to identify this Bach Fugue [closed]

I'm trying to identify this fugue subject attributed to J.S. Bach in "Treatise on the Fugue" by Andre Gedalge (page 363 here: https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/5/59/IMSLP243942-...
lrouleau's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
474 views

On the ninth bar in Bach's BWV 940

This is bar 9 in J.S.Bach's BWV 940 in the Henle edition, which is in common time: Is the initial upper D in the bass staff too long?
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
302 views

Bach BWV 817: what do the slashes between the notes of a chord mean?

In this Henle edition of BWV817 there are slashes between the notes of the chords in bars 1, 2, 3. What does this signify? I don't think I've seen this symbol anywhere else in the book. The editorial ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does Bach not resolve this chordal seventh down by step?

I was reading this chorale by Bach (#130, "Meine Seele erhebet den Herrn", BWV 324) and discovered something curious. It starts in Em and modulates to G. In the last beat of the third bar, ...
John05's user avatar
  • 335
3 votes
2 answers
192 views

What type of dissonant voice leading is this Bach example?

Dissonances have to be resolved in Bach's style. If you don't resolve dissonance, you're writing is out of style for the period. Bach's WTC I Fugue in C# minor, BWV 849, has a passage with unresolved ...
OprenStein's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
776 views

Bach prelude in C major: unresolved suspension?

I know that in the common practice style, even in free composition where guidelines don't apply strictly, a dissonant suspension must resolve. In the WTC 1 prelude in C major, bar 20 is a C dominant ...
OprenStein's user avatar
  • 1,626
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Opening of Bach's mass in b minor: why does it make sense?

The opening harmonic progression of the B minor mass: Bm moves to a C# half-diminished 7th — a ii7 chord, nothing unusual yet. To put it in root position is a bit unconventional for the style, but the ...
OprenStein's user avatar
  • 1,626
4 votes
3 answers
513 views

Voice leading errors in Bach's WTC 1 fugue in C major?

Bach is supposed to be the master of all things music, but in the first fugue of the WTC (BWV 846), there seem to be a lot of counterpoint errors and voice leading errors. In the Urtext edition, there ...
OprenStein's user avatar
  • 1,626
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Help understand Bach's Preludium 10 in e minor [duplicate]

I am a pretty basic beginner and my teacher got me started with this Bach song and I’m getting kind of confused in the first measure. I don’t think it adds up to 4 beats and I don’t know how to play ...
Big boy 5647 9's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
250 views

Bach BWV 812 Menuet I: do(can) ornaments presage the accidental?

In Bach BWV 812 Menuet I bar 6 we have a trill preceding an accidental — the thrust of the bar is to B(natural), therefore in the preceding trill do(would) you trill on B(natural)-A or B(flat)-A? ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
607 views

Bach BWV 812 Allemande: Fingering for this semiquaver passage over held note

Bach BWV 812 Allemande : bar 3 - any suggested fingerings to play the descending D6 - A5 while holding G5 - starting from the 2nd beat The suggested fingering with 4 on D6 suggests to shorten the full ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

In JS Bach's lifetime who listened to any of his organ preludes and fugues and when? [duplicate]

The related thread from Feb. 1, 2021 initiated by Aaron (Who was listening to Bach's compositions in his lifetime?) was informative, but I have a more precise question. Who heard Bach's preludes and ...
Charles Packer's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Harmonic analysis of J.S. Bach's Prelude in Cm (BWV 847)

I sometimes try to analyze the harmony of a Bach prelude to understand how chords change, and how he manages to shift from one key to another. Here is the prelude in Cm BWV 847 (source image, MP3 here)...
Basj's user avatar
  • 471
3 votes
1 answer
300 views

"Eli Eli Lama Asabthani" in Bach's Matthew Passion

In Bach's Matthew Passion, Jesus cries "Eli Eli Lama Asabthani". The text I'm most familiar with says "sabachthani" instead. Where does this difference come from?
user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
277 views

Inconsistency in mood between music and libretto

In Bach's St. Matthew Passion there a bass aria named "Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder". The situation and the libretto are distressful, but the music doesn't seem to reflect this feeling. What ...
Behzad's user avatar
  • 525
-1 votes
1 answer
439 views

Why was Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor (Bach) composed?

I'm doing an assignment on a baroque period composition, and I chose Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor by J.S. Bach. One of the things I need to do is explain why it was actually composed. I'm having a ...
Cohen's user avatar
  • 27
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there an analysis of Bach, Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041) - 2nd Movement?

I was trying to recognize various sections in the second movement. Is there an analysis of this movement? I recognize the Ostinato in the bass line. (not sure if I am right) but I think the 2nd & ...
hba's user avatar
  • 283
0 votes
1 answer
386 views

How to study Bach's harmony? [closed]

I'm interested in studying the music of J.S. Bach, but I don't know where to start. The main reason I'm studying it because I'm very interested in Bach's harmony, so that would by my main objective as ...
Arsan Ezzat's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

About the rules of inversion in BWV 1087 (14 canons)

Basically, I'm a bit confused about how to interpret the idea of "inversion" in a mirror canon. For example, consider the sixth canon of BWV 1087. So I simply took the inverted image of ...
Kevin.S's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
2 answers
586 views

Did Bach call for male countertenor for the Alto solo part for his cantatas / passion oratorios?

I see a recent trend for countertenors to sing the alto parts for Bach's cantata / passion oratorios such as Maarten Engeltjes in Magnificat and Tim Mead in St. Matthew Passion. Is this recent trend ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
65 views

Author of this piano solo arrangement of Jesus Joy of Man's Desiring [closed]

From the little I know, it seems that the Hess arrangement is seen as the most common reference when it comes to Jesus Joy of Man's Desiring for piano solo. I stumbled upon another arrangement which ...
Jivan's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
2 answers
211 views

The last note in Bach's Chaconne for Solo Violin

When playing the final note in Bach's Chaconne for solo violin, at least the way Arthur Grumiaux performed it during the 1960s (heard on a recording), it's an open D string and then a fingered D on ...
Stanley Zoobris's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
242 views

Did Bach name his pieces?

I was listening "Brandenburg Concerto N° 4" and "Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1062", and wondered: aside from the catalog number (that came later), did Bach name his ...
F. Zer's user avatar
  • 173
4 votes
1 answer
405 views

How did Glenn Gould know, in 1955, the proper ornamentation for Bach's "Goldberg Variations"?

This question has its origin in Why does the Open Goldberg score have a G rather than A in bar 9 of variation 25?. See that Q&A for background information. At what time, and on what basis, was ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.1k
18 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why didn't Bach sign his manuscripts?

From what I can tell when looking up images of Bach's manuscripts, he often didn't sign them. Is there any specific reason for this?
Pabble Goobs's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
4k views

Who was listening to Bach's compositions in his lifetime?

Who ever encountered his work? Was his music played somewhere else in Europe, or only where he lived? What strata of society had any chance of coming into contact with his music? What might be the ...
aaron's user avatar
  • 191
5 votes
5 answers
182 views

Can an offbeat note be loudest when playing Bach?

My primitive understanding of Bach's music tells me that an offbeat note cannot be the most accented or the most important note in a phrase. But in the last gesture of the ubiquitous C major prelude, ...
Wynne's user avatar
  • 416
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

What is Bach doing in these pieces?

Is this a certain progression in both pieces? Both parts are here slowed down: https://sndup.net/7w6t The first part is from that piece (2:18) The second piece: ...
lambshop's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
526 views

Fitting chords to the opening phrase of the Toccata (and Fugue) in D Minor BWV 565?

What are some of the acceptable ways to harmonize the first one and a half bars of BWV 565? In particular, what are some of the chords that would fit on the the opening A? Neither i nor V seems to fit ...
Wynne's user avatar
  • 416
0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Name of style of piece inside the G Minor BWV915 toccata of Bach?

In Bach's Toccatas for keyboard works (BWV 911-916), I would like to know if there is a name for the style of music that is sometimes put in the middle of the toccata. For example: in the G minor ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
842 views

Obscure markings in BWV 814 I. Allemande, Bach, Henle edition

I am looking at Bach's French Suite #3, BWV 814, Allemande, and the ornamentation typesetting is confusing me. I am familiar with mordant vs. trill, and the standard description of ornaments for Bach. ...
Jonathan Protzenko's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
973 views

How does one maintain voice integrity when longer and shorter notes of the same pitch occur in two voices

Here is an excerpt from Bach's BWV 796, measures 8–9. (Unfortunately, ABCjs renders the ties in exactly the wrong direction!) X:1 T:Sinfonia No. 10 in G Major, BWV 796 M:3/4 C:J.S. Bach %%staves [(1 ...
200_success's user avatar
  • 1,641
2 votes
2 answers
699 views

How to think about this moment from BWV 816

I've been tasked by a textbook I'm going through to make a harmonic analysis of the G major "Gavotte" from BWV816, "The French Suite" specifically minding a handful of questions ...
Valarien's user avatar
  • 341
3 votes
2 answers
183 views

What does a prime mean in figured bass?

What does a prime symbol after a bass figure mean? For example 6' or 6 4' 2? I came across this in a 1956 edition of J.S. Bach's BWV 1035, by Otto Heinrich Noetzel. Looking at the written right hand, ...
Ralph Giles's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
677 views

Extra notes (triplets) in a Bach manuscript?

My question relates to an answer by @Peter to this earlier question Different versions of mordents in Bach Invention No. 1 In C Major, BWV 772 Here's what we usually see However, in Peter's answer, ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
313 views

What do these arrows mean?

I've noticed on Edson Lopes pieces he highlights (I think) certain phrases. Not sure what he is trying to tell us when he puts a section between these arrows. Notice arrow pointing left and down, then ...
Ivan's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
0 answers
100 views

Does Bach's lute partita BWV 997 Sarabande also appear as an orchestral piece?

I am practicing the Bach lute suites and I am aware that a few of them also appear as works for other instruments (BWV 1000 is also the fugue from the first violin sonata, for example). My question is ...
danieljkahn's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
372 views

How to "fix" Toccata and fugue?

Disclaimer: I know Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565) is a classic, and a very good piece for many musicians. It's just that it's not right for me, for the reasons below. So I really like a lot of ...
The Nuckster's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
335 views

How do you play a lower or upper mordent with two notes like in Bach D minor prelude 926? [duplicate]

How do you play these two mordents shown
Rene's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Harmony analysis of Bach's first prelude of the "Well tempered clavier", book I BWV 846?

I am currently trying to analyze the harmony in Bach's first prelude from the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier. To do this, I identify the chords, the inversions, borrowed chords, the melody, ...
Michael Baudin's user avatar