Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Neumann, Werner. "Über Ausmass und Wesen des Bachschen Parodieverfahrens." Bach-Jahrbuch 51 (1965): 63-85.

Neumann classifies Bach's works including parody by the following categories (directions of borrowing arias, choral movements, or recitatives): (1) Sacred to sacred; (2) secular to sacred; (3) secular to secular; (4) instrumental to vocal; (5) vocal to instrumental. Bach approached parody in two different ways: either he decided to re-use an existing composition and asked a poet to set a new text, or he adapted an old work to independently conceived poetry. If Bach decided to parody a whole cantata en bloc, the former method was applied, whereas parodies of single movements usually followed the latter procedure. If the text or music of either the original or the parody is missing and if further evidence is not extant, tracing parody becomes problematic, since corresponding prosody is neither a necessary nor a sufficient feature, as Neumann shows with several examples. Bach is not known to have re-used material from sacred works in secular ones. In cases evoking this impression, an even older secular composition exists (or existed) from which both later ones borrowed. Several theories have tried to explain this fact (Schering, Spitta, Rust), but Neumann refutes all these theories as unsound, providing a possible exception: the model of the secular cantata Lasst uns sorgen, lasst uns wachen, BWV 213 was more likely the sacred cantata Erwünschtes Freudenlicht, BWV 184 than the textually unknown (secular) "Köthener Huldigungskantata" from which Bach re-used five instrumental parts in BWV 184. Therefore Neumann moderates the "rule" of the exclusive one-way parody to a hypothesis, of which the only reasonable explanation is Bach's wish to have his secular cantatas (usually written for a unique occasion) more frequently performed. Besides the complete list (64-71) the following works are mentioned.

Works: Bach: "Jesus soll mein erstes Wort," from Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171 (73); Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg, BWV 149 (75); "Domine Deus," from Mass in F Major, BWV 233 (75); Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, BWV 68 (76); Schwinget freudig euch empor, BWV 36c (76); Herrgott, Beherrscher aller Dinge, BWV 120a (78); Preise Jerusalem den Herrn, BWV 119 (80); Erwünschtes Freudenlicht, BWV 184 (84); Lasst uns sorgen, lasst uns wachen, BWV 213 (84-85).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Andreas Giger

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