In music, the BACH motif is the motif, a succession of notes important or characteristic to a piece, B flat, A, C, B natural. In German musical nomenclature, in which the note B natural is named H and the B flat named B, it forms Johann Sebastian Bach's family name. One of the most frequently occurring examples of a musical cryptogram, the motif has been used by countless composers, especially after the Bach Revival in the first half of the 19th century.
Johann Gottfried Walther's Musicalisches Lexikon (1732) contains the only biographical sketch of Johann Sebastian Bach published during the composer's lifetime. There the motif is mentioned thus:
...all those who carried the name [Bach] were as far as known committed to music, which may be explained by the fact that even the letters b a c h in this order form a melody. (This peculiarity was discovered by Mr. Bach of Leipzig.)
This reference work thus indicates Bach as the inventor of the motif.
In a comprehensive study published in the catalogue for the 1985 exhibition "300 Jahre Johann Sebastian Bach" ("300 years of Johann Sebastian Bach") in Stuttgart, Germany, Ulrich Prinz lists 409 works by 330 composers from the 17th to the 20th century using the BACH motif. [ page needed ]A similar list is available in Malcolm Boyd's volume on Bach: it also contains some 400 works.
Bach used the motif in a number of works, most famously as a fugue subject in the last Contrapunctus of The Art of Fugue . The motif also appears in the end of the fourth variation of Bach's Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her" , as well as in other pieces. ♭'-g'-b♭'-a') followed by the original in measure 17.For example, the first measure of the Sinfonia in F minor BWV 795 includes a transposed version of the motif (a
Later commentators wrote: "The figure occurs so often in Bach's bass lines that it cannot have been accidental." ... Like you I am human. I am in need of salvation; I am certain in the hope of salvation, and have been saved by grace," through his use of the motif rather than a standard changing tone figure (B♭-A-C-B) in the double discant clausula in the fourth fugue of The Art of Fugue .Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht goes as far as to reconstruct Bach's putative intentions as an expression of Lutheran thought, imagining Bach to be saying, "I am identified with the tonic and it is my desire to reach it
The motif was used as a fugue subject by Bach's son Johann Christian, and by his pupil Johann Ludwig Krebs. It also appears in a work by Georg Philipp Telemann.
The motif's wide popularity came only after the start of the Bach Revival in the first half of the 19th century.A few mid-19th century works that feature the motif prominently are:
Composers found that the motif could be easily incorporated not only into the advanced harmonic writing of the 19th century, but also into the totally chromatic idiom of the Second Viennese School; so it was used by Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and their disciples and followers. A few 20th-century works that feature the motif prominently are:
In the 21st century, composers continue writing works using the motif, frequently in homage to Johann Sebastian Bach.
Johannes Brahms was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, he spent much of his professional life in Vienna. He is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.
Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, organist, and teacher who brought the south German organ schools to their peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.
Alban Berg's Violin Concerto was written in 1935. It is probably Berg's best-known and most frequently performed instrumental piece, in which the composer sought to reconcile diatonicism and dodecaphony. Berg composed it on a commission from Louis Krasner, and it became the last work that he completed. Krasner performed the solo part in the premiere at the Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona on 19 April 1936, after the composer's death.
The Musical Offering, BWV 1079, is a collection of keyboard canons and fugues and other pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, all based on a single musical theme given to him by Frederick the Great, to whom they are dedicated. The Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue which is regarded as the high point of the entire work, was put forward by the musicologist Charles Rosen as the most significant piano composition in history. This ricercar is also occasionally called the Prussian Fugue, a name used by Bach himself. The composition features in the opening section of Douglas Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979).
The String Quartet, Op. 28 by Anton Webern is written for the standard string quartet group of two violins, viola and cello. It was the last piece of chamber music that Webern wrote.
A prelude is a short piece of music, the form of which may vary from piece to piece. While, during the Baroque era, for example, it may have served as an introduction to succeeding movements of a work that were usually longer and more complex, it may also have been a stand-alone piece of work during the Romantic era. It generally features a small number of rhythmic and melodic motifs that recur through the piece. Stylistically, the prelude is improvisatory in nature. The prelude also may refer to an overture, particularly to those seen in an opera or an oratorio.
The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080, is an incomplete musical work of unspecified instrumentation by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). Written in the last decade of his life, The Art of Fugue is the culmination of Bach's experimentation with monothematic instrumental works.
The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, is a piece of organ music written, according to its oldest extant sources, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). The piece opens with a toccata section, followed by a fugue that ends in a coda. Scholars differ as to when it was composed. It could have been as early as c. 1704. Alternatively, a date as late as the 1750s has been suggested. To a large extent, the piece conforms to the characteristics deemed typical of the north German organ school of the Baroque era with divergent stylistic influences, such as south German characteristics.
In music, a subject is the material, usually a recognizable melody, upon which part or all of a composition is based. In forms other than the fugue, this may be known as the theme.
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor is an organ piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. Presumably composed early in Bach's career, it is one of his most important and well-known works, and an important influence on 19th and 20th century passacaglias: Robert Schumann described the variations of the passacaglia as "intertwined so ingeniously that one can never cease to be amazed."
Musical historicism signifies the use of historical materials, structures, styles, techniques, media, conceptual content, etc., whether by a single composer or those associated with a particular school, movement, or period.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival, he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 is a piece of organ music written by Johann Sebastian Bach sometime around his years as court organist to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar (1708–1713).
A musical cryptogram is a cryptogrammatic sequence of musical symbols, a sequence which can be taken to refer to an extra-musical text by some 'logical' relationship, usually between note names and letters. The most common and best known examples result from composers using ciphered versions of their own or their friends' names as themes or motifs in their compositions. Much rarer is the use of music notation to encode messages for reasons of espionage or personal security called steganography.
The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, is a collection of two sets of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, composed for solo keyboard by Johann Sebastian Bach. In Bach's time Clavier (keyboard) was a generic name indicating a variety of keyboard instruments, most typically a harpsichord or clavichord – but not excluding an organ.
The Clavier-Übung III, sometimes referred to as the German Organ Mass, is a collection of compositions for organ by Johann Sebastian Bach, started in 1735–36 and published in 1739. It is considered Bach's most significant and extensive work for organ, containing some of his most musically complex and technically demanding compositions for that instrument.
Carl Weinrich was an American organist, choral conductor, and teacher. He was particularly known for his recitals and recordings of Bach's organ music and as a leader in the revival of Baroque organ music in the United States during the 1930s.
there is a clear B.A.C.H. motif at the beginning of the Adagio
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BACH motif .|