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Monday, April 04, 2005

Bach, Invention Number 14 in Bb Major

This piece begins in B flat major (duh!). The main motive throughout is a do-re-mi-re-do in the rhythm of sixteenth note rest, three thirty second notes sixteenth note (the tempo is quite slow) that is immediately inverted on the third beat with the same rhythm but on tones sol-fa-mi-fa-sol.

The first cadence is an IAC in B flat on the downbeat of measure 4. This is followed by a feeling of half cadence in the second half of measure five, but when the theme occurs again in this key, it is obvious that the piece has modulated to the dominant key of F. The crecendo in measure 5 helps to emphasize this.

Another cadence is not reached until bar 12 that is an IAC in c minor. There is a weird transition to this with bass note going from F to F sharp to G to C, but the F sharp chord is minor and the G is mostly minor to, only switching to major just before the cadence.

The return to the tonic key occurs in the second half of bar 16 with an IAC. This transition is anticipated by first having the motive switch between the voices every beat followed by two and a half bars of both voices doing the motive on every beat. This change in voicings builds the excitement to return to the tonic key. A PAC is finally reached at the end in the key of B flat.

This is a fun little piece that shows how a short piece of material can be manipulated.


mvittorio said...

You had great detail in technical stuffs. I might like to hear a little more about inventions and your personal opinion of this invention.

jendpu said...

You're analyzation was in depth in alot of ways. But I would mention the 16th and 32nd idea that is repeated in the right hand and then how the left and right hand both imitate each other at measure 4 with the beginning 32nd note idea in the first beat....etc.

Anonymous said...

I was told by my music teacher that invention #14 has to be played by 5 notes motive unit. Therefore, you need to break slur after each 5 notes. This is not consistant in measure 4 where you have to play 6 notes without breaking slur. Does this piece need to be played like this? At first I thought the basic unit of this invention was half of the first measure which is 4 32nd notes and 6 16th notes.

Anonymous said...

You wrote....
"The crecendo in measure 5 helps to emphasize this."

Which Crescendo?

Obviously Bach didn't write any dynamics sign on his inventions, as the inventions were not intended to be played on a piano, because piano didn't appear as a musical instrument since few years later.