Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Dadelsen, Georg von. "Anmerkungen zu Bachs Parodieverfahren." In Bachiana et alia musicologica: Festschrift Alfred Dürr zum 65. Geburtstag am 3. März 1983, ed. Wolfgang Rehm, 52-57. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1983.

The "problematic" nature of Bach's parody technique has been extensively commented upon in the last century. Recent discussions have focused on the role of musical figures and word-to-tone relationships in assessing the effectiveness of parody compositions, although the work of Werner Neumann, Werner Braun, and others have begun to alter this picture. Bach's four Lutheran Masses, which consist of twelve arias and choruses borrowed from four different cantatas, exhibit the means by which the borrowed musical substance may be applied to texts of highly divergent meaning. Although there are indeed incongruities between the music and text on the level of the individual word, the general affect of the new setting is effective enough that these problems are of little consequence. Musical figures carry denotative significance only with respect to an underlaid word; a re-texting of a piece, then, involves a wholesale transformation of the composition's meaning. A proper performance, therefore, should strive to adapt the inherently versatile music to the ideas of the new text.

Works: Bach: Mass in A Major, BWV 234 (54-55), Mass in G Major, BWV 236 (55-57).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Alexander J. Fisher

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