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31

First, a history lesson: Peter Cornelius originally claimed that these "Three Bs" were Bach, Beethoven, and Berlioz. It was Hans von Bülow that then replaced Berlioz with Brahms, and Bülow did it with a little pun: since "B" in German means "B♭," he said that "My musical credo is in E♭ major, with three Bs in the key signature: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms!" ...


26

I'd say 2. is likely the closest, but it may just be as simple as personal taste. You're just not that used to hearing it and as you say, there's no emotion associated with it. I doubt I'd be capable of appreciating the subtle nuances and emotions in Indian Raga and I can't imagine such a melody stirring any great emotion in me. We have sounds and ...


21

The counterpoint rules for parallel octaves (and fifths) apply in cases where two or more voices are meant to be heard as independent. Similarly for covered fifths and octaves. (Also for long strings of parallel thirds or sixths, maybe six or more for that matter.) Voices moving in parallel sound like a single voice with doubling or harmonization. These are ...


15

It's actually a suspension, which is to say that the actual chord is F Minor (F, A-flat, C, in first inversion) but the G and B-flat are held over from the previous chord before moving to F and A-flat. Dissonant suspensions resolving to consonant chords are very common in Baroque music. In jazz, 9th chords are treated as normal chords, so a G#maj9 might ...


12

Tough question about an amazing book. "Hearing" the fact that that particular canon continues rising in key is more difficult, and I think it's more interesting just to know that fact. Hearing the sort of patterns Hofstadter discusses is far more important to your enjoyment of the book. I would get a recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and listen ...


11

orthodox: adherence to accepted norms Is playing Bach like Glenn Gould orthodox or not? Some will swear by what he does with Bach and probably say yes, while others will cry out loud "Nooooooo"! I think answering your question about using the pedal with Bach faces the same dilemma: since Bach isn't there to tell you what he would like to have heard when ...


10

For some reason, Bach is better appreciated by learned musicians. Talking to any well-trained musician who plays a lot of Bach, you will realize that it is fully possible to make an emotional connection with the music. In fact, I would argue that Bach alone has written the very most inspirational music, ever. Here's why: Bach was a genius. As user Widor (...


10

It is actually misleading to think about this music in terms of chords as we know them, as the system we use to identify and speak about vertical harmonies was still under development during Bach's time. Bach had no concept of a "suspended chord" for instance. Bach did not think of chords the way a guitarist does (moveable stacks of exact intervals, with ...


9

According to Bach's father's own Explication concerning the trills and ornaments, we are given a guide on how to interpret the trills. The Expliation was later expanded on by C.P.E. Bach. There is no question that an historically correct interpretation will start the trill on the upper auxiliary note (in this case the A). The ornament does not descent to an ...


9

Yes, dynamic changes are predominantly achieved by choosing different stops. No, baroque music virtually never specifies which precise stops to pull. The most you can expect is something general such as "Sur les flûtes", or "organo pleno" - and even this doesn't mean what you might think (almost never "all existing stops", usually something more like "stops ...


9

I hope someone with actual harpsichord experience chimes in, since most of what I'm writing here is hear-say. As you no-doubt already know, the two main things that you lack on a harpsichord, compared to a piano, is a long sustain, and any appreciable dynamics. I've heard that one way to compensate for the lack of dynamics is to vary the duration of the ...


9

Yes, this seems to have been Bach's (and his family's) practice in the early part of his career. Schweitzer mentions it in his book 'Bach' (1911). I don't think anyone's come up with a plausible reason for the inconsistency. From the two examples given I might hazard that there was one rule for structural harmony notes, another for decorative ones in ...


8

What a great question! I am currently working my way through the second book, so I have more specific opinions about that. Of those I've learnt from the first book, I found the following to be less tricky: The C major prelude, of course. Curtis is right about the difficulty of the fugue, however. c minor prelude and fugue are a good first pair to learn c# ...


8

Wow - you are really motivated :) In general one can say that book 2 is more difficult than the first one. To find an exact order of difficulty would be highly subjective. I would suggest starting with the fugues with the least amount of concurrent voices first which makes life a lot easier. This way you won't be overhelmed by the complexity (it is the way ...


8

Generally speaking, a minority of Bach scholars question the piece's attribution. Christoph Wolf, who is for many the top Bach authority does not question the piece's attribution at all. For what it's worth, the mark's against Bach's authorship can mostly be explained away. There is no direct evidence against his authorship, unlike some other works where ...


8

As someone who has no formal training in music whatsoever but who fell in love with Beethoven and Bach upon hearing them, I discovered that my visual senses are much better at picking out patterns than my auditory senses. Here is a rendition of Bach's great fugue BWV 542 which shows it all to you while sacrificing none of the auditory pleasures derived from ...


8

First of all, I think it's important to keep in mind that harmony is written for something. I'm going to follow the sort of academic rules of part-writing in my answer, but if this were for "real life" purposes, it would be worth subjecting a lot of those assumptions to the test of what makes the best music (and the most idiomatic music for whatever you're ...


7

Question: Would Beethoven and Chopin sound as good played on guitar? Answer: Probably not. I think this captures what is going on - J.S. Bach wrote his keyboard pieces primarily for the harpsichord. I have heard Bach played on the harpsichord many times and it's absolutely wonderful. Last week I heard a skillful pianist play one Bach's pieces on the ...


7

I played piano for 10 years before starting harpsichord. I largely play harpsichord now, although I do a lot of pinch-hitting on piano for church services, etc. Learning to play harpsichord well will expand your mind as a pianist and open up new performance opportunities. Additionally, there are many fantastic Baroque composers that are rarely heard ...


7

It's an Asus4 chord, which is a suspended chord where the third (C#) is replaced by the fourth (D). The fourth is carried over from the previous chord (D minor), and - as you've suggested - resolves to the third (C#) of the next chord (A major).


7

(Sorry, this was to be a comment continuing on the previous thread, but I wanted to include pictures) This picture was used in a video class I've seen, by Prof. Craig Wright from Yale where he corroborated the perspective that primite (late medieval/early renaissance context) keyboard playing was done without using the thumbs. He also referred to what he ...


7

When the Mordent sign is used in front of the note it actually indicates a slide. If you can excuse the poor photo of the source material I think it can still be of some worth to you. It says the following... THE SLIDE. This is written as a Mordent sign before a note and consists of the two notes below the principal note taken consecutively, and leading up ...


7

These pieces are really very short This link explains it all very nicely in my view, although the video is rather long, but keep at it, from 1:36 onwards he has done a brilliant job


7

Make sure you are ABSOLUTELY fluent hands separately before attempting to put them together. Then try it VERY slowly. Slowly enough to not make mistakes. If you do make a mistake, go even slower. When you can play a section 10 times, without errors, at the slow speed, try a bit faster. Sleeping on it helps. You know, just the standard How To Practice ...


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