Partita No. 3 - Bass


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At the close of the first reprise mm. Perhaps this practice is to encourage a performer to lean into the forward-pointing dominant function with the heavier part of the stroke, while lightening up on the resolution. Such a reading of directed harmonic motion could create a perceptual boundary following the resolution. Example 6. Example 6 , line 1, shows mm.

Bach uses only one slur here in m. The slur groupings coupled with the accents de-emphasize the downbeat in m. In their study of dance types in J. Therefore, it is possible that the alternating barline lengths are meant to metrically organize this dance type, which is usually felt with a single tactus per measure. Figure 1. Formal overview of the movement. Groups of two dominate the movement, with all cadences, except the ones at the end of the first and second reprise, falling on the second measure in each group. These final cadences arrive on the first measure in the group and extend their harmony for two measures.

The slurred motive usually occurs on the second measure of each grouping. The diagram in Figure 1 reproduces the half and full barlines, noting the location of cadences and slurred motives.

Bach - Violin Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006 {Grumiaux}

Example 7. Rhythmic displacement of Slurred Motive. However, at times Bach shifts the harmonic change to the second quarter note of the measure, resulting in a syncopated feel see again, Figure 1. The first instance of this displaced accent occurs in m. This is an isolated incident through the conclusion of the first reprise, with harmonic changes occurring on the first and third quarter-note divisions of the measure for the remainder of the first half; however, shortly into the second reprise, m.

This harmonic change anticipates the shift of the slurred motive one beat forward compare m. Example 8a. Metrical shifts, J. One clear instance of this begins in m. Repeated three-note patterns and step progressions accentuate the first and fourth notes of each measure. The A-major harmony in m. Then beginning in m. The irregular number of pitches between accented notes undermines any attempt to hear the accents as implying a consistent meter and surface grouping features obscure the downbeat tactus.

Example 8b.

Bach Partita No. 3

String crossings. This practice creates more timbral continuity than is found in Baroque performance practice, which favors open strings and low positions in order to accentuate the natural resonance of the instrument. These fingering choices also allow for longer gestures to be performed on a single string, like in mm. By maintaining timbral consistency, these longer gestures form a more cohesive perceptual group, as opposed to the rocking back and forth between the D and A strings in the top line. Example 9.

Bach Partita No. 3

Fingering choices between editions. Fingerings in red boxes have a functional purpose: they suggest how to navigate passages involving the tritone or other accidentals, which necessitates an atypical fingering for a note or a brief visit to half position. Further, these choices allow the performer to execute this motive on three adjacent strings, smoothing out the disjointed character of these large leaps and creating a perceptual group. In Example 9, shifts between these positions are notated by a yellow circle, yellow circles without a finger number David, m.

Some of these choices create timbral continuity within a single gesture; for instance, Galamian avoids the one possible instance of the E string in m.

Chamber Music Duets/Duos

A bit later, Joachim-Moser and Galamian highlight two four-note descending gestures into the downbeats of mm. By using the same fingering for each gesture albeit in different positions and on different strings , these editors draw attention to the parallel construction of this passage. Zooming out to the larger passage, in m. By shifting back to first position in m. The Joachim-Moser edition continues this pattern in mm.

This fingering also smooths out the larger string crossing between the E string and G string implied in the autograph and explicitly notated in the Galamian edition F 5 to D4. The second position fingering in m. Example While I heard a harmonic change on the second beat of this measure, David divides this measure into two groups of three eighth notes. This choice creates a parallel bowing scheme to the beginning of the movement see Example 10 , even though the harmonic rhythm and motivic placement at the beginning of the movement is not present here. This arrival sounds more like a half cadence than the autograph, which uses the ascending version of the three-note motive in m.

David fingers the four-note slur in m. Slurs and articulation markings can emphasize various pitches and voice-leading lines, leading to a particular reading of the work. These examples illustrate the possibility that editorial marks can change the way a performer, listener, or analyst may interpret the passage beyond surface motives and rhythms. The slurs in the first line, a reproduction of the autograph, highlight the recurring motive, as previously discussed.

Most of these slurs connect pitches that belong to the same harmony, connecting the higher and lower ranges of the instrument. The one exception is the slur in m. Instead, the slur over the triple stop suggests that the E5, held over as a suspension from the previous V 7 chord, is prolonged by its lower third before resolving to the D5 at the end of the measure, which is accentuated by a change of bow. A foreground voice-leading sketch of the same excerpt appears below.

These parallel tenths are followed by a descending-fifths sequence starting in m. Due to the limited range of the violin, the leaping bass voice encroaches upon the middle register, a register established by the slurred chords earlier in the passage. From the very beginning of this movement, the three editions distinguish themselves: the David edition uses hooked upbows for harmonic arpeggiations also present at the beginning of the second reprise; see Example 9 , the Joachim-Moser edition consistently uses articulations to divide measures into two equal parts, and the Galamian edition closely follows the autograph.

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In his study of this movement, Butt takes as a starting point that the various barline lengths correspond to a strong-weak pairing of measures. In his reading, the last three notes of the weak measures 2, 4, and 6 serve as an anacrusis to the strong measures that follow. While his interpretation underplays the motivic importance of the three-note arpeggiated motive, it does follow my reading of the voice-leading, where mm. However, the articulations in the editions by David and Joachim-Moser work against an interpretation of alternating strong and weak measures. Both editors accent the three-note motivic arpeggiation in mm.

One reading of this articulation choice is that these editors heard this movement as beginning with an upbeat measure, with the ascending arpeggio acting as an anacrusis to the first hypermetric downbeat in m. While such a reading is not sustainable throughout the composition, the notated phrase markings make such a hearing possible in mm. This fast bow stroke would naturally cause an accent on the downbeat. Perhaps the notated accent in mm.

Schumann, however, is not consistent, disrupting this rhythmic gesture two measures later in m. This suggests a three-voice texture, instead of simply a soprano and a bass line. Joachim-Moser further accentuates this effect by fingering each pair of notes on a different string, allowing the different tone color of each string to add to the effect of the articulations.

His added bass line supports a series of elided dominant seventh chords, which is broken off in m. These new vertically articulated harmonies are more easily reconciled with the key of B minor than the harmonies implied by my voice-leading sketch; however, this interpretation conceals the parallel 10th framework I read in this passage. Each segment of the sequence is fingered the same way, moving from fourth position to third position in m. The shared articulations and connection between the soprano and bass, noted with a slur mm. The separately articulated A4— G 4 over the barline further draws attention to the seventh leap up to the F 5, which then steps down to E5.

Johann Sebastian Bach

To perform this bowing as indicated by Galamian would be challenging. First, similar melodic material is performed with different bowings: the first slur is down-bow and the second would be up-bow. Second, the string crossing from the A string to the G string skipping over the D string within a bowstroke would create two perceptual groups, because of the slight pause as the string crossing is managed.


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Perhaps the slur is to remind the performer to make the crossing sound as smooth as possible. The E5 in m. The 4—3 suspension is even more obscured in the Schumann arrangement by the harmonic changes on the second and third beats of m. The D5 sounds in the piano on beat two, clashing with the E5 in the violin part. First, imagining a VI chord in m. Further, the Double, which can be considered a more fleshed out version of the Corrente, clearly arpeggiates a G major harmony on the downbeat of m. The lack of a bass register in the measures immediately preceding the final cadence mm.

Implied notes of resolution in the correct register are noted on the voice-leading sketch in the second staff of Example As seen in the third staff of Example 11, David slurs from the V 7 chord in m. The slur through the cadence in mm. Since David consistently follows this pattern of slurring over a dominant chord to the chord it tonicizes in this movement, it suggests that he hears m.

His practice of connecting each melodic tritone to its resolution suggests that the perceptual grouping structure created by a change in articulation does not outline separate harmonies. Instead, by grouping dominant and tonic together, the tonic resolution is downplayed and the new beginning is emphasized. He segments the surface of the music with additional slurs. Such a decision simplifies the physical difficulty of this passage, avoiding the quick up-bow slur that crosses three strings as found in the second half of mm. An intriguing way to read this decision is that each slur implies a new harmony—which is a possible reading, since the first and last notes of each group would be perceptually more salient.

A Musicology of Performance

If mm. When compared with the autograph, there is an altered pitch in all three editions as well as in the Schumann arrangement he harmonizes m. Instead of a G4 in m. This change is curious, given that the G4 is unambiguous in the autograph. This mistake was then copied into the subsequent editions. While this change certainly implies the more expected harmony, it obfuscates the motivic patterning in the ascending sequence.

In any case, harmonically the effect is the same: tonal closure is avoided, but this changed pitch may help clarify our understanding of the harmonic function of m. Clear downbeat articulations now only occur every two bars, and the movement of harmonic change within the sequence is left open to interpretation. As tonal closure approaches, Bach quickens the pace by reintroducing the motivic slur. The slur, which was once associated with metrical downbeats and an occasional second-quarter-note displacement, appears three times in a quick succession mm. The bowing directions are added.

Harmonically, it downplays the structural predominant, suggesting instead that the F is the structural melodic tone from the beginning of the measure.

This slurring practice is easy to understand, since the slur in the autograph is difficult to decipher. Throughout the movement, Joachim-Moser follows the autograph closely on the smaller, second staff; they even use the non-standard key signature and alternating half and full barlines. The only slurring difference between the autograph and their copy of the autograph occurs in m.

The accentuation of the F as the lone articulated eighth note in the midst of the three-note slurred motives allows me to hear this pitch as the culmination of the upward voice-leading line, which started with the ascending sequence, and it highlights the final two instances of the slurred motive in this movement. These editorial markings also reflect contemporary aesthetic values. David, Schumann, and to a lesser extent, Joachim-Moser, illustrate nineteenth-century harmonic and metrical sensibilities. These create syncopated rhythmic groupings and harmonic changes that pull against beats 1 and 3.

Some of his bowings are easier to execute, allowing a performer more flexibility in their interpretation. All three editions include fingerings that avoid string crossings and open strings, smoothing out some of the timbral differences present in Baroque performance practice. For instance, the ambiguous slur in the manuscript in m. Even more telling is the blatantly incorrect pitch in m. All four case studies imply the more typical harmonic progression by outlining a tonic chord with the substitution of F 4 for the clearly notated G4. The piece opens with a confident figure that is manipulated and passed around between the different instrumental sections, each of which works together as a group.

The movement is in ritornello form, a common baroque structure in which a recurring musical passage generally played by the entire ensemble alternates with more soloistic episodes in which the musical material is developed and tossed back and forth between the performers. The second movement of the concerto is something of an enigma. Did Bach intend for the performers simply to play these two chords and then move on to the third movement?

Or did he intend for one or more of them to improvise a cadenza elaborating on the transition? Musicologists and performers have expressed varying opinions regarding this question. In any event, the third movement bursts out of this second chord with a sudden rush of energy. In another exhibition of ritornello form, the three groups of instruments race through an ebullient Allegro which brings the work to a joyous close.

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Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass
Partita No. 3 - Bass Partita No. 3 - Bass

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