Date of Completion
music, Johann Sebastian Bach, ornament, Baroque, performance, keyboard, harpsichord, piano, organ
Field of Study
Doctor of Musical Arts
The objects of this study are some selected passages from the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685—1750). The passages were chosen for the specific purpose to demonstrate on the one hand, how Baroque ornamentation can be realized and executed in certain examples, and on the other hand, how the presence of certain ornaments creates performance implications for the musical context, sometimes even influencing general aspects of the compositions.
Chapter one addresses the role of performer as mediator and re-creator from the time of Louis Couperin (1626—1661) on. It also discusses the role of modern performer in a “historically informed performance.” The second chapter overviews the background information related directly and indirectly to the ornamentation practice of J. S. Bach. It also discusses some ornament tables which are accepted as relevant to J. S. Bach’s ornamentation practice.
The dissertation’s main themes in the practical part, chapter three and chapter four, are ornamentation and tempo, simultaneous ornamentation (arrangement and timing between different ornaments), and compositional ornamentation. It touches upon the connection between compositional ornamentation and sign-ornamentation as well.
Its primary contribution to music theory (in the original and broadest sense of the word, θεωρία, looking) lies in setting out an original position on the analysis of the selected passages to establish another way of looking at ornaments—a small, but organic part of the whole composition.
Nyiro, Sebestyen, "Devilish Details. Ornament-Related Passages in Selected Works of Johann Sebastian Bach." (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 1391.
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