Urtext = Plain Text ? – An Analysis of the Sarabande in d minor, Part 3 (Bar 20-28)



This is a translation of the post

Urtext = Klartext? – eine Analyse der Sarabande in d-moll, Teil 3 (Takt 20-28)

by Dr. Marshall Tuttle. 

Michael Bach

This is the third 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 21-24 005

Sheet music example mm. 21-24


M 21

Now the minor tonic is expected, but with the two notes Bb2-D3 the cadence is interrupted with a DC. (Although only the interval of a third is heard, there is no alternative to the DC, as the mSub is virtually impossible after the Dom.)

Again the note E3 surprises, instead of the diatonic pitch ES3 of the DC. The 2-Slur accentuates the resulting tritone Bb2-E3, which should resolve to A2-F3, the RM (see. m. 17).

Instead, a half note can be found in the second beat in the bass. The upper part F3 forms a sevemth with G2, a seventh whose harmonic function is indeterminate again because the third is missing. Due to the emphasis on the sixteenth note E3 (2-slur), together with the repetition of the bass note G2, the secondary Dom of the RM is suggested.


A similar process as in m. 11 takes place here with the change of E3 and F3. That is, the notes G2 and E3 announce the secondary Dom of RM, F3 is the suspended fourth. The main difference, however, is that here the secondary Dom of RM is indicated by its third E3 or at best introduced, while the reverse process takes place in the first half of the movement: The third E3 is withheld there and finally supplied.

M 22

The harmony does not change on (more…)


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