Urtext = Plain Text ? – An Analysis of the Sarabande in d minor, Part 2 (Bar 11-20)



This is a translation of the post

Urtext = Klartext? – eine Analyse der Sarabande in d-moll, Teil 2 (Takt 10-20)

by Dr. Marshall Tuttle. 

Michael Bach

This is the second part of the analysis of the

“Sarabande” in D minor


For glossary and facsimile of the manuscript of Anna Magdalena Bach see Analysis Part I:



Sarabande d 11-16 003

Sarabande” in D minor, Edition Michael Bach
Sheet music example mm 11-16
Slurs that are understood from the polyphony and therefore not notated by JSB are added in parentheses.


M 11

Suddenly a single note answers the powerful chords, the missing E3! This note is now the resolution of the suspended fourth F3 of the secondary Dom from the previous measure. Immediately thereafter, the note F3 appears again: Is this a re-suspensded fourth – or already the RM keynote? A large interval leap down to the bass note C2, and then the G2, however, confirm the secondary Dom of the RM. The suspended fourth is then resolved again to E3.

M 12

The octave leap F3 to F2 concludes the first half of the movement with the RM.

M 13

The slurred note Eb3 to the note F3 suggests the seventh of the RM. Might the RM evolve into the secondary Dom of the SRM, which would then be expected on the 2nd beat? The resolution would then be the interval D3-Bb3.

Instead, the notes are Eb3 and A3 are not resolved and the upper part receives a trill with the note Bb3. Is the note Eb3 now the minor sixth of the Neapolitan and Bb3 its third? Does the note A3, as third, still belong to the RM?

Interesting here is the detached eighth note Bb3 (without bass note). This (more…)


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