Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Zohn, Steven, with Ian Payne. "Bach, Telemann, and the Process of Transformative Imitation in BWV 1056/2 (156/1)." The Journal of Musicology 17 (Fall 1999): 546-84.

Bach's harpsichord concerto BWV 1056 has long been recognized as a borrowed work. The origins of the second movement have falsely been attributed to a number of Bach's earlier works, however. A closer match can be found between this movement and the first movement of Telemann's concerto in G Major. Manuscript evidence analyzed in context of Telemann's early concertos supports it being composed before Bach's concerto. This example is a break in Bach's normal concerto borrowings. Telemann's style of concerto writing is preserved, thereby changing Bach's style. Bach improves the contour of Telemann's melody to make it more dramatic. The technique of borrowing through transformative imitation fits the writings on musical rhetoric in the early eighteenth century. This is one of the only instances of a borrowing from concertos by his German contemporaries and shows a greater relationship between Bach and Telemann than has previously been assumed. Both works are also used in self-borrowings. Some of the material in the Telemann concerto is used in his solo for flute. Bach's harpsichord concerto movement also served as the basis for his Cantata No. 38, BWV 156. This could be a sign of Bach thinking of his concerto slow movement as an aria form.

Works: J. S. Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord in F Minor, BWV 1056 (546-51, 556-61, 571, 574, 580-84), Cantata No. 38, BWV 156 (551-53); Telemann: Solo in G Major, TWV 49: G9 (557-58).

Sources: J. S. Bach: Concerto for Violin in G Minor [lost] (546), Concerto for Harpsichord in F Minor, BWV 1056 (551); Telemann: Concerto for Flute or Oboe in G Major, TWV 51:G2 (547-51, 554-67, 580).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Danielle Nelson

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License