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Title: The performance of small-note Vorschläge in the keyboard and chamber music of J.S. Bach
Author: Cole, Warwick.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3560 1584
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2001
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This study is concerned with conventions of notation and of performance in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The small-note Vorschlag represents one of the most puzzling and least understood aspects of western musical notation during the period under discussion. Although the issue has been examined extensively in the past. the lack of consensus among scholars and performers - coupled with Bach's copious use of the small-note Vorschlag - indicates that a reassessment is warranted. The aim is to arrive at an understanding of Bach's notation of the Vorschlag and its implications for informed performance of his music. Initially, the study places Bach's notation within the context of contemporary practice. An examination of the composer's awareness of French and German music reveals that both anticipatory and 'on-beat' resolutions of the ornament were current during Bach's professional life. A relationship between differing resolutions and notation is identified - 'schematic' notation - in the music of Dieupart, Walther, Telemann and Muffat where contrasted sigla are employed to indicate the metrical placement of the ornament. Additionally, Bach's custom of using the Vorschlag in both written-out and small-note forms is investigated. The core of the study is contained in a series of case-studies. Following a broadly chronological sequence, these case-studies examine in detail Bach's use of differing notational forms for the Vorschlag. Through the application of comparative analytical methods, the extent to which Bach's practice reflects that of his contemporaries is assessed, and how far the evidence permits judgement as to Bach's intended resolution of the ornament.The final chapter provides a synthesis of the findings of the study. In so far as they may be determined, the conventions of performance current in Bach's music are defined. From this, it emerges that there is a loose correlation between notation and metrical placement. The study concludes by considering the implications of how this observation impacts on an understanding of Bach's ornamental style, in particular his assimilation of new stylistic currents in the last two decades of his life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Johann Sebastian Bach