Questions tagged [j-s-bach]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
1 answer
345 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, ...
7 votes
1 answer
237 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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
794 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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
774 views

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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
248 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? ...
8 votes
1 answer
285 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
133 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 ...
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

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 "...
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

Authorship of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565

An earlier question mentions the disputed authorship of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. Several musicologists allege that the work has stylistic elements that are problematic for the ...
0 votes
5 answers
258 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
209 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) - ...
0 votes
2 answers
68 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
127 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
134 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-...
6 votes
2 answers
301 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 ...
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?
2 votes
3 answers
371 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 ...
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, ...
3 votes
2 answers
188 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 ...
5 votes
5 answers
766 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 ...
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

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, ...
3 votes
1 answer
155 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
210 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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
492 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 ...
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
14k views

Squiggly Line Above Note [duplicate]

I just found a Bach score (Invention #1, BWV 772), and there is this squiggly line above the B eighth note in the first measure (and a few other places). This is the score. What does it mean?
6 votes
5 answers
601 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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
516 views

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?
3 votes
3 answers
872 views

BPM marking doesn't check out or am I just reading it wrong?

So, Czerny, in his edition of Bach's two part inventions, says 138 BPM (crotchets per minute) is appropriate for the first invention: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/7/72/IMSLP63611-...
3 votes
2 answers
1k 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)...
5 votes
2 answers
550 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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, ...
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

chords in BWV 846

I have been doing chord analysis on BWV 846 (prelude). It is very interesting and I hope you can help me with some questions: I understand that doing chord analysis is good but what is the reason for ...
3 votes
1 answer
294 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?
-1 votes
1 answer
410 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 ...
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 & ...
1 vote
1 answer
125 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 ...
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I learn thoroughbass?

I've done some reading and I've discovered that our modern system of music theory (I'm looking at you Roman numeral analysis) is not the same system that most of the great composers used, including ...
0 votes
1 answer
375 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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
233 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
551 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
59 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
384 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 ...
25 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 ...
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?
2 votes
1 answer
441 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 (...
0 votes
2 answers
3k 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.
4 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...