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Marshall, Robert Lewis

The Compositional Process of J.S. Bach

A Study of the Autograph Scores of the Vocal Works: Volume II

Series:Princeton Legacy Library 5644


    84,95 € / $97.50 / £76.00*

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    August 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    Volume 2 of 2. Bach left few sketches for his music: writing for church and congregation obliged him to invent ideas quickly and to write them down at once. Bach's process of composition may thus be seen in his autograph scores, and is now reconstructed by Robert Marshall in an analysis of all the known autographs and sketches.
    The major part of his study investigates the musical material in the sources, with separate chapters devoted to the four-part chorales, the recitatives, and the arias and chorsuses. By interpreting corrections and sketches, Mr. Marshall works out the usual order of composition in each of these genres and uncvoers the reasons for changes in every musical parameter: melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, orchestration, and form. His analyses provide a greater awareness of Bach's musical personality--his likes and dislikes, his hierarchy of values, and his flexible response to a multitutde of compositional situations and problems.
    In addition to facsimile plates, the book includes over 20 musical examples and, in Volume II, rigorously faithful transcriptions of the complete sketch material. Readers can see immediately how Bach worked, revised, and polished his compositions.
    Robert L. Marshall is a member of the Department of Music, University of Chicago. He is currently editing a volume of Bach Cantatas for the Neue-Bach-Ausgabe.
    Princeton Studies in Music, 4.

    Originally published in 1972.

    The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


    172 pages

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