J.S. Bach's suite in C major for violoncello solo: An analysis through application of a historical approach

by Youngerman, Irit

Abstract (Summary)
Two historical approaches are applied to the analysis of J. S. Bach's third suite in C major for unaccompanied violoncello: a rhetorical approach and a thoroughbass approach. Thematic connections between the movements and the derivation of thematic materials throughout the suite from a basic subject are examined in light of the compositional rhetorical concepts of inventio and dispositio. The Baroque idea of affection is related to the theme, rhythm, and key of the prelude. Harmonic similarities between the movements and the possibility of a common thoroughbass skeleton underlying the dance movements are explored as part of the thoroughbass analysis of the suite. The prelude is examined in view of its origin in the art of improvisation, as based on a thoroughbass formula. Theories in the writings of Johann Mattheson, Friederich Erhardt Niedt, and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach are taken as a starting point for the analysis.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:johann sebastian bach cello suites rhetoric and music thoroughbass prelude niedt friederich erhardt


Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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