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melamed daniel r. - j. s. bach and the german motet

J. S. Bach and the German Motet

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Lingua: Inglese
Pubblicazione: 02/2005


J. S. Bach's much-performed motets are probably the most sophisticated pieces ever composed in the genre. Daniel Melamed takes a fresh look at Bach's works in the context of the German motet tradition, showing that they are firmly rooted in the conventions of his time. This allows new insights into Bach's contribution to the genre and into the vexing question of instrumental participation in the motets. Professor Melamed argues for Bach's authorship of an early motet wrongly dismissed as inauthentic, and demonstrates that other motets were products of Bach's familiar technique of musical reworking. The chronology of the motets can be substantially revised, and Bach's activities as a motet composer shown to extend over his entire career. An understanding of the eighteenth-century conception of "motet" sheds light on how and why Bach used motet style in his cantatas, Latin works, and oratorios. Finally Bach's study and performance of seventeenth-century motets late in his life, documented in newly discovered and reconstructed sources, played an important role in his exploration of his family's history and of the musical past.

Note Editore

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.


List of tables; List of music examples; List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 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'; Appendix; Bibliography; Index of J. S. Bach's works; Index of manuscript music sources; General Index.


This study explores the German motet in the music of J. S. Bach. Bach's motets are rooted in the conventions of his time in matters of text type, musical construction, and performing forces. An appreciation of the contemporary conception of the motet sheds light on the composition of Bach's motets.

Altre Informazioni



Condizione: Nuovo
Dimensioni: 246 x 13 x 188 mm Ø 446 gr
Formato: Brossura
Illustration Notes:15 b/w illus. 19 tables 41 music examples
Pagine Arabe: 248

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