Urtext = Plain Text? – An Analysis of the Prélude in G Major, Part 3 (Measures 19-30)


This is a translation of the post „Urtext = Klartext? “, November 6, 2013
by Dr. Marshall Tuttle. 

Michael Bach

This is the third part of my presentation transcription
Urtext = Klartext?

of 4 May 2013 at the Foundation Domnick Nürtingen near Stuttgart


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.


 [plays measure 19]

Here again the F#2 that leads further into the depths … now the C#2, a 3-slur …
[plays further to the end of measure 20 and then plays the possible resolution to D major]
I have now played the resolution of this dissonant chord, but that does not happen here…
I have played it to clarify why a slur is “missing” here. A slur…
[plays the beginning of measure 20]
… is on the note A2 (3-slur), emphasizes the seventh of the DD7–chord, and then no slur comes in the second half of the measure (in the repetition of the motive) …
[plays second half of measure]
… this is an attenuation (relaxation) … (more…)


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