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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1answer
124 views

Bach Die kunst der fuge reference in Beethoven Op. 111

In Beethoven last sonata's arietta, the variations starting at bar 33 seems to be clearly a reference to the contrapunctus 2 from die Kunst der fuge. Since as well Beethoven seems to attempt to do ...
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11answers
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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2answers
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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1answer
231 views

Did Bach use a pendulum clock as a metronome?

The reason I ask is because I have heard say that tempo ordinario is something like 60 bpm. Is it much of a stretch to assume Bach and his contemporaries could have used pendulum clocks as metronomes (...
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2answers
2k views

Is there any evidence that JS Bach, A Vivaldi and/or J Handel had perfect pitch?

Is there any evidence that JS Bach, A Vivaldi and/or J Handel had perfect pitch? Perhaps, if one can devote so much time and energy to music, he would develop such abilities.
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5answers
749 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 ...
18
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4answers
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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5answers
106 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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1answer
80 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: ...
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3answers
107 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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1answer
45 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 ...
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1answer
507 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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3answers
839 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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4answers
2k views

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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2answers
197 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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2answers
99 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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3answers
275 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, ...
6
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5answers
228 views

How do I finger the interleaved 3rds in Goldberg 23?

The bottom line is what I'm talking about. They're interleaved and I'm playing it on one piano (though it's written for two). I've been doing 2/3 in each hand, with the left hand over the right, near ...
2
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1answer
116 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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0answers
52 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 ...
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3answers
153 views

How to “fix” Toccata and fugue?

Disclaimer: I know Toccata and Fugue in D Minor 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 Toccata ...
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3answers
5k views

Learning Order of Bach's Inventions and Sinfonie

Inspired by the question Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Order, I thought I'd ask what order people would recommend learning to play Bach's Inventions and Sinfonie.
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1answer
999 views

piano finger spread

I'm a self-taught piano novice, can play easier two handed pieces (e.g. Minuet in G maj), struggling with chords. My favourite piano listening piece is BWV582, Bach's Passacaglia/Fuga from an Angela ...
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2answers
263 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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1answer
103 views
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202 views

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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3answers
411 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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5answers
13k views

Why are the Goldberg Variations considered a demanding work?

In print, the Goldbergs (Goldberg Variations) have a quasi-legendary status, a hallmark of technical difficulty. I was perusing the score and it doesn't look terribly intricate for what's possibly a ...
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1answer
441 views

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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1answer
86 views

Harmony analysis of Bach's first prelude?

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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1answer
99 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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1answer
300 views

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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5answers
2k views

iii9 - I progression in Bach?

In the last of his 15 Sinfonias (aka Three-Part Inventions), Bach uses quite a daring approach to the tonic chord. Occurring in a sequential progression by downward thirds, it can be described most ...
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1answer
617 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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5answers
18k views

What are the characteristics of a Sarabande?

I am playing Bach's English Suite in a minor, and am currently working on the Sarabande. I know it is a slow dance of Spanish origin, but not much else. What are some characteristics of the Sarabande?
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1answer
165 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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5answers
3k 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 ...
3
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4answers
321 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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1answer
74 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
943 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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4answers
13k views

Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Order

I have played a few pairs of pieces from this collection, however it was some time ago. I have the ambitious goal to work my way through the entire collection. It will obviously take me some time to ...
4
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3answers
423 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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3answers
225 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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4answers
2k views

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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2answers
2k views

Harmonizing Bourrée in E minor

Out of interest and just to give myself practice in part-writing, I've been trying to harmonize the popular Bach Bourrée in E minor from his lute suite. It only has two voices, so there is a lot of ...
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2answers
4k views

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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3answers
968 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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2answers
347 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 ...
2
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1answer
332 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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2answers
831 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 ...