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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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Should I practice some J.S. Bach for piano technique and where should I start?

I want to know if playing J.S. Bach would improve my overall piano technique. I look for pieces that help me to become better. I usually play romantic composers. I have played pieces such as Chopin'...
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How to realize the figured bass of the second movement of BWV 1014?

I am planning a performance of the second movement of Bach's violin sonata BWV 1014 in B Minor. The beginning of second mvt, Allegro is shown below. As you can see there are some figured bass below ...
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Has the Bach Compendium been completed?

The Bach Compendium (BC) is a multi-volume attempt by renowned scholar Christoph Wolff and others to replace the traditional but obsolete BWV numbering system. It is my understanding that the first ...
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Relationship between “Erwäge” aria of St John Passion and final Chorus of St Matthew Passion

The "Erwäge" aria of Bach's St John Passion is harmonically extremely similar to the final Chorus of Bach's St Matthew Passion (to the extent that when listening to the former, I keep waiting for the ...
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1answer
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J.S.Bach's organ tablature notation

Is anyone familiar with some freely available guide explaining in detail how to read Bach's organ tablature notation? Apparently, Bach was very comfortable in using the tablature notation, ...
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Difference between baroque and classical keyboard concertos

I'm trying to compare a Baroque Harpsichord Concerto with a Classical Piano Concerto. But I'm just wondering in what aspects that the Baroque Concertos influenced the Classical Piano Concerto. I am ...
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Boy alto or counter-tenor?

This is a video of Stefan Kahle singing “Erbarme dich” from the Matthew Passion: My question: How old was he when this recording was made? Is he here still ...
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1answer
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Have all the possible violin partitas transcriptions already been done? [closed]

I'm curious if there is still room for transcribing some of Bach's partitas for guitar, but have all the good ones that are possible been done already or is there still a multitude of possible ...
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What does +- mean in piano music?

Attached is a picture of one of my piano students' Bach Inventions (BWV 785). What does the +- mean? I've never seen it used before. A precursory search online revealed nothing. Sometimes a + ...
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250 views

Did Bach ever use melodic minor keys in chorales?

For example, E Melodic Minor would have C#, allowing for a ii7-V-I cadence.
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119 views

How does Bach harmonise chromatics?

The top line is soprano and the bottom line is bass. Is there supposed to be some sort of harmonic function used by Bach by the use of C#? The key signature is Bb Major, though this passage could ...
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1answer
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Do Bach Chorales in minor keys ever modulate to the dominant major?

I am wondering if any of you are able to help me with this question regarding modulation. An example would be E Minor to B Major. Does Bach ever use this? Thanks, Jack
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Limits of interpretation in timing in a Bach piece

This is a question about a short part in Bach's Partita for Violin (BWV 1004) as played and interpreted by several different artists/instruments, which can be heard at 19:56 on this Youtube upload. ...
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1answer
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Regarding the beginning of Gould's B minor fugue, WTC 1, performance

I've listened to Gould's performance of this piece many times, sometimes following the score, and I've noticed that maybe Gould plays this piece wrong at the beginning. Unfortunately, I am unable to ...
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173 views

Should I use the sustain pedal when playing Bach fugues?

I'm Practicing Bach Prelude & Fugue in D . There is no pedal markings since it from Baroque eras , but i found in Youtube many Concert pianist Performing Fugue with Sustain Pedals. Am working for ...
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Is 2 measures sufficient for a fugue subject?

I know what a fugue is. I also have been reading up on the form of the fugue and how to write in counterpoint. I wrote a canon and I have written a sonatina using sonata form. So theoretically a fugue ...
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Why does Brahms stand next to Bach and Beethoven?

I've often heard the expression, "Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms" as sort of a summary of classical music, or something. I feel that I understand why Bach and Beethoven should serve as pillars of ...
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Why did Anna Magdalena Bach write funny accidentals sometimes?

I'm checking BWV 1004 for a project I'm working on. I sometimes see that Anna Magdalena Bach wrote some veeeery strange flats. For example... Bars 113 and 114 from Chanonne. Bar 113 has on the bass ...
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BWV 1004 - Is there a pause by the end of Ciaccona or is it staccato?

I'm working on a project to set Bach's music on lilypond files (so that people can share and enhance to better match manuscripts). I just uploaded BWV 1004 to the repo but I'm wondering what's the ...
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Bach's keyboard concertos on fortepiano?

It is known that J.S.Bach was acquainted with the fortepiano at least twice in his life, in 1726 when he played one of Silbermann's experimental models (and mildly criticized it), and toward the end ...
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What's a beginner piano Bach piece in a minor key? [closed]

I would like to learn how to play Bach on the piano. I'm not really a pianist, more of a guitarist who picked up some keyboards on the way. My left hand playing is non existent, other than playing ...
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1answer
91 views

Where to find violin hand positions for Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 [closed]

Does anyone know of an edition of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 which shows violin fingerings and bowings? I have a score of the first two movements which I have been learning, but I am new to ...
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Bach Double Variation from Partita 1 for Solo Violin

Has any credible musicologist explained that the double variations in Bach's Partita 1 for solo violin are a variation on the entire harmonic progression from the last movement and not just the bass ...
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J.S. Bach: Prelude #1 for well tempered clavier: mordent

In a book with this piece given to me there is a mordent in tact 34: on the other hand when I downloaded the piece from the Internet, the mordent at this place was missing: So, did it exist in the ...
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319 views

Difference in technical skills needed for Bach 2 part inventions vs. Clementi Op. 36

I'm not too sure how popular Clementi's sonatinas are (Op 36: http://imslp.org/wiki/6_Piano_Sonatinas,Op.36(Clementi,_Muzio)) but they are all over the Canadian RCM books. As my previous questions ...
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Having significant difficulty with Bach's two part inventions for piano

I'm wondering if there are any pieces I could look at before attempting the inventions. Im working through invention 1 in c major and it's quite challenging for me. I suspect the problem is that I ...
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1answer
243 views

Is there a compilation of The Well-Tempered Clavier voice-leading reductions?

Reading about Voice leading on the Wikipedia I came across an example of two reductions of a part of the Preludium in C major (BWV 846a) and was puzzled to know if there is a compilation of those ...
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On Bach' fourteen canons

I read from this article that The discovery of the Fourteen Canons (BWV 1087) on the inner side of the back cover of his own copy (hereafter referred to as the ...
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678 views

What is a duplex

In this article Surface Topology in Bach Canons, I: The Möbius strip the author wrote that Canon 5 is described by Bach as a duplex, a 4: there are 4 voices singing two canons in parallel. Could ...
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1answer
336 views

Identifying the harmny of Bach/Gounod's Ave Maria [closed]

Having guitar background, for me it's natural to learn the chord progression of the composition (in C-dur). But there are a few that are hard to identify for me, in the climax parts, marked by ???: [:...
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2answers
710 views

Double time signature and strange bar notation in Bach

So I have been studying Bach's prelude and fugue in d major of wtc II, where he uses two time signatures for the prelude. What does this mean? I did notice that some of the meqsures are written in a ...
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Which Bach chorale preludes are appropriate for different times of the liturgical year?

Is there a guide available that assigns all of Bach's organ chorale preludes to appropriate times in the liturgical year? Bach himself began such a catalog in the Orgelbüchlein. That's the sort of ...
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Did J.S. Bach write the figured bass in scores or continuo parts?

This full score for Bach's St. Matthew Passion helpfully has the figured bass written below the continuo part. I found this particularly illuminating, as it helped me to see the harmonic movement ...
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What does a mordent written to the left of a note mean?

In this arrangement of Wachet Auf, there are quite a few mordents sprinkled around, as well as trills and grace notes. I understand most of them, but in the middle of this excerpt, right before the ...
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4answers
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How to improve/train my memory while playing long pieces on the piano?

This question might result too broad and subjective to answer, so apologize first, but I'll try to make it as specific as possible. Recently I had a piano exam, consisting in three pieces: Partita No....
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1answer
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Trills in Bach with historical information

This is an old question, but I have issues with playing the tr's in Bach's wtc. His autograph instruction for embellishments (he gave to his son) indicated a trillo to be played without the ending ...
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Was Bach the first to use thumbs on a keyboard?

This question reminded me of a claim that I've heard before, namely, that J. S. Bach was the first keyboardist to utilize the thumbs in his playing technique. I'm not sure where I've heard this, but ...
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Triplets against twos in Bach's music

I was reading up on tuplets and polyrhythms because I was having trouble playing some of Bach's keyboard works containing three-against-two rhythms. Then I found something interesting: (...) It is ...
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223 views

Does anyone have any sources I could use to talk about who influenced Bach?

I am writing an essay about the synthesis of music theory Bach used to create his own music theory, especially in his fugal works. Any help would be appreciated, but if people could provide sources ...
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Well Tempered Clavier Prelude in C minor fingering

How should I finger bars 11 and 12? I have the Henle book and they recommend 5 4 for the first two notes of both bars. This makes sense when considering bars 10 and 13, but I find it very difficult, ...
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What musical instruments JS Bach owned and had purchased during his career? [closed]

What musical instruments JS Bach owned and had purchased during his career? Is there any historical information on Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Scarlatti, Corelli, Tartini?
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Did Bach intend his two volumes known as the “Well-Tempered Clavier” to be a single work?

We all know about Bach's Well Tempered Clavier which we refer to as "book 1" of the "48". However, I have never seen Bach himself refer to the two books as being one glorious set of 48 preludes and ...
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2answers
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Confusion about various editions of Bach's Musette

I have several different versions of the Musette from Bach's Anna Magdalena Notebook, and there seems to be a difference of opinion about the left-hand notes in bar 18. Some of my copies indicate an ...
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1answer
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Theory behind Bach's deviations from the scale

It's very common to see in Bach's work, that he follows a particular scale but then in a special moment, uses a chromatic alteration. What I have observed is that he usually does it when reversing the ...
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3answers
857 views

For which instrument the Minuet in G major is written?

I am learning the Minuet in G major, previously attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, but probably composed by Christian Petzold. I am learning it on a piano, but as there are other voices on my ...
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Varying touches in Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

I notice that in playing the beginning of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, some organists make an abrupt marcato release of the keys, clipping the notes, but others play the notes in a normal full ...
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Squiggly Line Above Note

I just found a Bach score, and there is this squiggly line above the A eighth note in the first measure (and a few other places). This is the score. What does it mean?
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Should chords in Bach's solo violin pieces be arpeggiated if not marked as such?

So I came across this interesting statement about the way we should play Bach's solo violin pieces. One source claimed that Bach was not a lousy writer — he was actually a very accurate and ...
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Chord in the Bach d-minor prelude

I'm playing the prelude in Bach's d-minor suite. My teacher and I were wondering what the third to last chord is. We didn't find that A, E and D form a chord, but do they? Is the D maybe a "queuing" ...
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What is the relation between the preludes and the fugues in wtc of js bach?

So I have been studying Bach's famous WTC on piano. Even though I really enjoy the preludes and fugues, and I have found some nice preludes to warm up and exercise my touch and fingers, why did Bach ...