Urtext = Plain Text ? – An Analysis of the Prélude in G Major, Part 1 (Bar 1-3)


This is a translation of the post „Urtext = Klartext? “, September 13, 2013
by Dr. Marshall Tuttle.

Michael Bach

This is the first part of the transcript of my talk
“Urtext = Klartext?”,

to be given on May 4, 2013, at the Stiftung Domnick in Nürtingen, Stuttgart

   Urtext Klartext   Still 3

The first five bars of the Prélude in G Major:
[plays measures 1-5 on the cello]

Bach could have written:
[plays the first few bars, but transposed to G minor]

Why have I just now demonstrated this?

I have done so in order to better explain below what it means to represent a sequence of harmonies melodically.

A harmony instrument would play these harmonies as follows:

[plays the harmonies as three-note chords with the curved bow]

You see, this is clear: since all three notes of the triad sound together – and at the same time. So, there is nothing further required to provide harmonic clarity.

But if this harmonic progression is now to be done melodically, then the composer needs to decide which tone comes first and which tone follows and so on.

In addition to the keynote …

[plays the note G2]

the third is the most important part of the chord. Because the third determines whether we hear major or minor.

[plays the notes of the triad of G major and G minor]

Here (in the Prélude) the third is in the upper voice:

[plays again G minor and G major, this time with the (more…)


This content is restricted to site members. If you are an existing user, please login. New users may register below.
Your ” u s e r n a m e ” can only contain < l e t t e r s > and < n u m b e r s >
and please < d o n 't > use < c a p i t a l > letters.
Your password will be sent to your email address immediately.
We will not share your email address with persons or organizations outside of the Atelier BACH.Bogen.


Dieser Inhalt ist registrierten Nutzern vorbehalten. Wenn Sie bereits registriert sind, loggen Sie sich bitte ein. Wenn Sie noch nicht Nutzer sind, dann können Sie sich gerne registrieren.
Bitte geben Sie für den Nutzernamen (“username”) < n u r > alphanumerische Zeichen (Buchstaben und Zahlen) ein und verwenden Sie < k e i n e > Großbuchstaben.
Ihr Passwort wird Ihnen per email umgehend mitgeteilt.
Wir halten uns an den Datenschutz.


Existing Users Login
 Remember me  
New Users Registration
*Required field