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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

J.S. Bach: French Suite in E major, Menuet

This piece is filled with rhythmic and melodic motives through out. The pattern of two- measure phrases with the same rhythmic motive is broken only in two phrases, in measures 11-16 and 21-25. This piece is played very straight and never really goes anywhere. It really makes no attempts to unlock any extreme emotions. As typical with Baroque keyboard pieces due in part to the limits of the instruments of the time, there are few sensations provided by structural phenonama. With no variation in dynamics or tone color, the best way to signify a break or cadence in the piece is through articulation. Bach does so by often slurring the two notes leading into the cadential point. The effect is that by lifting the 2nd note of the slur, the final note of the cadence is highlighted. This feature occurs in every other measure of the piece aside from the measure mentioned before. Not including repeats, the piece includes 3 periods. The first, a contrasting double period, consists of 4 similarly structured 2-measure phrases. The second begins with similarly structure but ends with a longer phrase. The 3rd begins identically to the first, but the final phrase ends differently with the most final sounding cadence.

1 comment:

katie said...

I like how you included some music history about the baroque period in order to help us better understand why it was not as dramatic or emotional as later works. Yay for music history. And YAY that we are finished with it ;-)