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An Introduction To Bach Studies


This volume is a guide to the resources and materials of Bach scholarship, both for the nonspecialist wondering where to begin in the enormous literature on J. S. Bach, and for the Bach specialist looking for a convenient and up-to-date survey of the field. It describes the tools of Bach research and how to use them, and suggests how to get started in Bach research by describing the principal areas of research and citing the essential literature on each piece and topic. The authors emphasize the issues that have engaged Bach scholars for generations, focusing on particularly important writings on recent literature on overviews, collections of essays and handbooks and on writings in English. Subjects covered include bibliographic tools of Bach research and sources of literature Bach's family Bach biographies places Bach lived and worked Bach's teaching the liturgy Bach source studies and the transmission of his music repertory and editions genres and individual vocal and instrumental works performance practice the reception and analysis of Bach's music and many others. The book also offers explanations of important and potentially confusing topics in Bach research, such as the organization of the annual cantata cycles, pitch standards, the history of the Berlin libraries, the structure of the critical commentary volumes in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe, and so on. This book opens up the rich world of Bach scholarship to students, teachers, performers, and listeners

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Oxford University Press


Chapter 3 has been made freely availale courtesy of Oxford University Press.

This material was originally published in An Introduction To Bach Studies by Daniel R. Melamed and Michael Marissen, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit

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