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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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)...
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3 votes
1 answer
112 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?
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0 votes
4 answers
93 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 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
151 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
248 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 & ...
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0 votes
1 answer
126 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
66 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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what is written in the end of (manuscript) fugue of BWV 998?

By the end of fugue of BWV 998 (manuscript), we have this: Which should connect with the 4th measure: But I have no idea of what it says in the last measure... nor do I see anything on the 4th ...
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15 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "super" in title of organ pieces mean?

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a couple of Trio Supers and Fantasia Supers, e.g.: Trio super 'Herr Jesu Christ dich zu uns wend', BWV 655 Trio super 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland', BWV 660 (Bach, Johann ...
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4 votes
2 answers
183 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
45 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
118 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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
168 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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?
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19 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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5 votes
5 answers
120 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, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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: ...
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0 votes
3 answers
159 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
585 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. ...
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18 votes
3 answers
903 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
341 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
144 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, ...
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7 votes
3 answers
397 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, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
188 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
236 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
174 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
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2 votes
2 answers
282 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, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
201 views

Bach's WTC Edition; Fugues with Separated Voices [closed]

I know that there is an edition of Bach's WTC, in which every voice in the fugues is written in a seperate voice. This edition makes it easier to understand and practice the polyphony in the fugues. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

What is the preferred order of practicing Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin? [closed]

As a violinist, it's always been hard for me to come up with an order of practicing Bach Sonatas and Partitas (BWV 1001-1006). I also know that it's not all about playing, and expression is the key ...
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23 votes
11 answers
7k views

Why does Bach sometimes end with flat 7ths?

I've been studying the Bach inventions, and I see a common patterns in the first 3 inventions: They tend to include the flat 7ths in the very end. Examples: C major: D major: E♭ major: From a ...
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5 votes
2 answers
413 views

What is Echo (a type of dance)?

This question is about a type of Baroque dance called Echo. For example, Bach: Overture in the French Style in B Minor, BWV 831 - VIII. Echo. Why it is called Echo? I searched in wikipdiea, but out ...
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1 vote
1 answer
219 views

Did J.S.Bach know the categories *major* and minor* when he wrote his WTC?

Something interesting: I've read the other day that Bach when he wrote his WTC there he didn't know the terms *major" and "minor". I can't find the source again but may be someone can help me. May ...
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10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Enharmonic key signatures in Bach's Well Tempered Clavier

I have been listening to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 and have noticed something intriguing. I have two (related) questions about it. The work consists of 24 preludes and fugues in each major ...
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5 votes
4 answers
474 views

Why did Bach call them "Inventions"?

Wikipedia defines a musical invention as a short composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with two-part counterpoint and goes on to say inventions are mainly associated with Bach. OK. So ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can you help me analyse some Baroque playing?

im trying to make serious study of Ted Greenes Baroque improvisation lessons on Youtube, and am hoping someone more experienced can tell me the function of a particular two chords; The section of the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
955 views

Strange Ornamental Symbol on Bach Piece

This is from the marvelous andante from Bach’s organ trio sonata BWV 528. What does this symbol mean on the stave of the second keyboard? I am assuming it is ornamental. Is it just a strange version ...
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4 votes
5 answers
868 views

Fingering for Bach's Toccata in E-minor BWV914

I am currently learning the Fugue of Bach's "Toccata in E-minor BWV914". My question is if I should play the first bar with the 5th finger or not. Meaning starting with "545 3423 1". I feel more ...
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4 votes
3 answers
437 views

Bach Invention BMW 792 - Fingering Advice

I am currently practicing a Bach Invention (BMW 792). There is a bar I'm not quite sure how to play/finger. I've attached a screenshot of the bar I'm having trouble with. Would very much appreciate ...
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2 votes
3 answers
271 views

Where did JSBach study composing? Was he an autodidact? [duplicate]

We know that Bach comes from a family of musicians. But who was his teacher in composition?. Who did he study with? Or was he self-taught?
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7 votes
2 answers
409 views

Bwv 639 Bach/Busoni note length and symbols

I am currently spending some time with this piece of music and I am a bit confused as to how long I should hold some of the notes and what some of the symbols mean. In blue: Should i repeat/hold the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
573 views

Why do I hear a major key lament bass in Bach's Chaconne in D minor?

I noticed as I listen to Bach's Chaconne in D minor, that not only do I hear a lament bass when Bach is in D minor but also when he is in D major. But why? It isn't like the lament bass is normally ...
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3 votes
1 answer
456 views

What are the "slight changes" Gounod made to Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier when he wrote Ave Maria?

The Wikipedia page for Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) says: The piece consists of a melody by the French Romantic composer Charles Gounod that he superimposed over an only very slightly changed version of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to realize a figured bass

I am arranging a Bach piece. I know, what the challenge it is to do it. But I have been able to successfully arrange Mozart and later, Beethoven, so I think I'm ready. But here is the challenge I am ...
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4 votes
1 answer
282 views

Tenor part written higher than the Alto part in SATB

I have read that Bach in his chorales wrote the tenor part high (frequently using ledger lines for this). Another source said that the Tenor part would be written higher than the Alto part - for ...
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1 vote
3 answers
60 views

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114?

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114? I am only talking about theory/harmony in order to be able to play and memorize this piece.
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0 votes
1 answer
675 views

Modulation or passing through different keys in the following Bach chorale [closed]

This is Bach's chorale R.80. I want to know if the music has modulated to a particular key in certain, or is it only passing through different keys (and hence not a fixed modulation to only one key)?
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0 votes
2 answers
106 views

Chord in Bach's chorale

This is a part of Bach's chorale R.311. I am unsure of the starred chord. It uses a passing note in it as well. According to me, I think this chord is A°/C, with the D as an accented passing note. ...
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