Title

THE PUBLISHED KEYBOARD WORKS OF JOHANN KUHNAU (1660-1722) (SUITE, PARTITA, SONATA, PROGRAM MUSIC, JOHANN MATTHESON, GERMANY)

Date of Completion

January 1986

Keywords

Music

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Johann Kuhnau, creator of Lutheran church cantatas, keyboard music, a satirical novel, and other writings, is significant in the history of music as the composer of the first extensive collections of keyboard sonatas. The sonatas and two collections of partitas were printed from engraved copper plates and published between 1689 and 1700. This dissertation deals with these compositions.^ Several topics are examined in this study. Material concerning social, economic, and political conditions in Germany provide background to the discussion of Kuhnau's life. A brief survey of seventeenth-century German keyboard music helps give perspective to the composer's accomplishments. Contemporary writers are cited. Each movement is examined with regard to formal structure, internal key relationships, harmony, range, texture, and rhythmic organization. The types and treatment of dances, the different introductory movements of the partitas, and the overall structure of the sonatas are examined. The role of the baroque doctrine of affections in connection with programmatic elements in the program sonatas is discussed. One or two selections from each genre are used to illustrate important characteristics. Harmony, the fugues, and ornamentation are examined separately in more detail.^ The appendices include previously untranslated writings by Kuhnau and Johann Mattheson and a solution to the algebraic puzzle from the preface to the program sonatas. The few keyboard works in manuscript are mentioned here.^ This study suggests that Kuhnau bequeathed a somewhat dichotomous legacy. Immature tonality is countered by the arrangement of the partitas by key. Older forms in new settings appear with the creation of a new genre. Publication of the works for the pleasure of amateurs is accompanied by apologetic remarks about not adhering to the strict rules of counterpoint. Kuhnau's more conservative tendencies are characteristic of the middle baroque, but his more advanced ideas came to culmination in late eighteenth-century classicism. ^