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Look Inside J. S. Bach and the German Motet

J. S. Bach and the German Motet

  • Date Published: March 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521619769


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About the Authors
  • The motets of J. S. Bach are probably the most sophisticated works ever composed in the genre. Nevertheless, Daniel Melamed maintains, the view that they constitute a body of work quite separate from the German motet tradition is mistaken. He starts by considering the eighteenth-century understanding of the term itself and finds that Bach's own use does indeed agree with his contemporaries and that his motets are rooted in the conventions of the time, particularly in matters of musical construction, performing forces, and type of text. A fresh look at the repertory shows that Bach composed motets all through his career and an appreciation of the contemporary conception of the motet sheds light on questions of how and why Bach himself used the form. Professor Melamed also finds plenty of evidence that motets and motet style played an important role in Bach's exploration of the musical past.

    • First book to explore the genre of the German motet and its wider significance
    • Sets J. S. Bach and his work in his seventeenth and eighteenth-century historical and musical context
    • Sheds new light on some of the most popular and widely performed of Bach's choral works
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521619769
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 188 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.446kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 19 tables 41 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables
    List of music examples
    List of figures
    List of abbreviations
    Part I. The Term and Concept 'Motet':
    1. The term 'motet' in the first half of the eighteenth century
    2. J. S. Bach's use of the term 'motet'
    Part II. Bach's Motets:
    3. Bach's motets and their relation to the genre
    4. Bach's earlier motets: rethinking authorship and dating
    5. Bach's later motets: rethinking compositional history
    6. Chronology, style, and performance practice of Bach's motets
    Part III. Motet Style in Bach's Concerted Compositions:
    7. The concept of the motet-like movement
    8. Motet style in Bach's church cantatas
    9. Motet style in Bach's Latin works and oratorios
    10. Bach's use of motet style in concerted works
    Part IV. Bach's Contact with Seventeenth-Century Motets:
    11. The history of the Altbachisches Archiv
    12. J. S. Bach and the Altbachisches Archiv
    13. Sebastian Knüpfer, 'Erforsche mich, Gott'
    Index of J. S. Bach's works
    Index of manuscript music sources
    General Index.

  • Author

    Daniel R. Melamed, Yale University, Connecticut

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