C.P.E. Bach's "art" and "craft"? : galant schemata and the Rule of the Octave as markers of convention in selected keyboard sonatas and in the Versuch

Title: C.P.E. Bach's "art" and "craft"? : galant schemata and the Rule of the Octave as markers of convention in selected keyboard sonatas and in the Versuch
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 52, iss. 1, pp. 89-100
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

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One of the central issues in the discourse on C. P. E. Bach's music is the relation between the public and private aspects of his work. Recent scholarship on partimenti and galant schemata (Gjerdingen 2007, Sanguinetti 2012) proposes a new view of the craft of eighteenth-century composition: it suggests that composers relied on a limited number of commonplace patterns, in contrast with later notions of the artwork as a uniquely inspired creation. This paper examines case studies from C. P. E. Bach's keyboard sonatas in which galant schemata might serve as markers of conventional "craft" and individualised "artistic" expression. I also comment briefly on Bach's sophisticated manipulations of the conventional Rule of the Octave in his Versuch (1753/1762).
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