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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3
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0answers
87 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 waiting for the ...
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2answers
326 views

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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2answers
228 views

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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2answers
181 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 ...
4
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1answer
295 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? Thanks, Jack
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2answers
109 views

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. ...
4
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1answer
214 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
488 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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2answers
216 views

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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2answers
358 views

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
282 views

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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4answers
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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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6answers
467 views

German in Bach's Cantatas

My German is very rudimentary (A1) and I have no regular exposure to the language except what I get listening to Bach. Recently, I have been very interested in Bach's cantatas (I have a huge box set ...
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0answers
124 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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2answers
190 views

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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8answers
3k views

Learning the musical concepts in the book “Gödel, Escher, Bach”

I am reading the book "Gödel, Escher, Bach", in which the author tries to present concepts in mathematics, drawings and music as instances of a certain "pattern", that he calls "strange loops". He ...
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1answer
176 views

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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4answers
205 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 ...
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2answers
549 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
615 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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1answer
420 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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2answers
769 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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5answers
5k views

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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2answers
1k 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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5answers
2k views

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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2answers
732 views

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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6answers
5k views

Is it orthodox to use the pedal when playing Bach on the piano?

It is my understanding that Bach's keyboard works were written for the harpsichord, and thus no (damper) pedal is used while playing Bach on the harpsichord. On the piano however, I have heard ...
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3answers
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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1answer
468 views

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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4answers
899 views

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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5answers
344 views

Were the Goldbergs meant to be played in one go?

See, in this very interesting interview (http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/03/16/148769794/why-i-hate-the-goldberg-variations) Jeremy Denk has the following to say: The piece is eighty ...
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3answers
1k views

Trill in Bach fugue WTC 1 BWV 851

In the second bar of the J.S. Bach d-minor Fugue in WTC 1 (BWV 851), we have How should this trill be played?
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8answers
9k views

Switching from piano to harpsichord

I have been playing the piano for the most part of my life, but I am becoming increasingly interested in the harpsichord. Has anyone made this "transition" before? Are there some pitfalls which one ...
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4answers
439 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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3answers
3k views

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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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
415 views

How do I finger these descending treble fifths?

From BWV 914, Toccata in E minor, Fuga: My Henle edition marks 5-1 for the first four pairs of fifths starting from F#, E, D, C#, but doesn't give fingerings for the next 6 pairs of fifths. What ...
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3answers
3k views

J. S. Bach's place in musical history

Was there any reason Bach didn't follow the trends of the times? He was surely very much in touch with contemporary composers, and knew of Handel's and Scarlatti's works specifically. Amazingly, he ...
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2answers
737 views

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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1answer
651 views

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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12answers
5k views

Appreciating the music of J. S. Bach

I have been learning piano for many years and am able to really enjoy the music of Beethoven and Chopin. However, when it comes to Bach, I must shamefully admit, I can't see why he is held in such ...
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3answers
1k 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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2answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
13k views

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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1answer
159 views

How were tuning/temperaments indicated on scores (if they ever were)?

Bradley Lehman claims that the details of the intended tuning for the Well-Tempered Claivier are encoded in the squiggle at the top of the manuscript (related wikipedia link). Are there other (...
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1answer
900 views

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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2answers
3k views

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 ...
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2answers
7k views

Bach: How is this mordent to be realized? Why do people play it like a trill?

So, the old Invention No. 1 by JSB: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/7/72/IMSLP63611-PMLP03267-Bach_Oeves_Complets_Peters_Liv_7_BWV_772-786_2748.pdf The B on the 4th beat of the 1st bar ...
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2answers
515 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-...