Urtext = Plain Text? – An Analysis of the Prélude in G Major, Part 2 (Measures 4-18)


This is a translation of the post „Urtext = Klartext? “, October 25, 2013
by Dr. Marshall Tuttle. 

Michael Bach

This is the second part of my presentation transcription
” Urtext = Klartext? “

of 4 May 2013 at the Foundation Domnick Nürtingen near Stuttgart

Stiftung Domnick Präsentation Urtext Klartext 

It is helpful to open a second browser window with the blog post “The slurs in the Prelude of the Suite in G Major for Solo Cello “
in order to have the score visible.


JSB = Johann Sebastian Bach
AMB = Anna Magdalena Bach
2-slur, 3-slur, 4-slur = slurs over 2, 3 or 4 notes
1. Zz = 1st beat of a measure
c4 = c ‘ (middle C)
DD = dominant of the dominant
D7 chord = dominant seventh chord
D9 chord = dominant ninth chord

The terms “Master tone” and “Servant tone” are borrowed from Thomas Mann ‘s novel Doctor Faustus. They distinguish between chord tones and non-chord such as passing notes. For details see Part 1 of the analysis.

Now for the question: Are there errors in the copy of AMB ?

I previously left off at measure 4, because the first slur there gave me a headache as well as the first slur in measure 5.


There are other locations later in the Prelude where I at first assumed there to be errors, and this is very rarely the case. In the Allemande, for example, the movement that follows the prelude, that there are no errors. There are also no questionable slurs in that movement. Otherwise, there are relatively few notational errors in the Suites.

But (more…)


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