Authored by: Robin A. Leaver

The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409417903
eBook ISBN: 9781315452814
Adobe ISBN: 9781315452807


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The chorales of Bach appear to be well-known; after all they have been used for generations for the teaching of keyboard harmony and counterpoint. Yet for all their familiarity, their background, the contexts within which they originated, their transmission by Bach’s sons and pupils, as well as other issues, there is more to be discovered. The primary thesis of this chapter is that our knowledge of Bach’s understanding and use of chorales, texts as well as melodies, is fragmentary and incomplete, and that much research still needs to be done in order to enlarge the picture of Bach’s knowledge of, involvement in, and use of the Lutheran chorale.

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