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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

BACH AND “DRAMATIZED” TONALITY

Chapter:
CHAPTER 5 The Italian Concerto Style and the Rise of Tonality-driven Form
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

We can witness the new instrumental style at its most sublime, and experience its newfound power to deliver both intellectual gratification and a powerful emotional payoff, by stealing an advance look at the work of Handel’s exact contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach’s impressive organ Toccata in F major—probably composed between 1708 and 1717 while Bach held the post of organist at the court chapel of Weimar (a town in Eastern Germany, then known as Saxony)—is in some ways an old-fashioned work, but in others it is downright prescient. A virtuoso showpiece for the organist, Bach’s Toccata belonged to an ancient tradition, one that we have traced back to the Gabrielis and Sweelinck at the end of the sixteenth century, and which lay behind the development of the Corellian “church sonata” as well. Toccatas, etymologically, were “touch pieces.” They foregrounded the playing process itself. And what could be more characteristic of the organ’s particular playing process than the activity of the player’s feet? It was in the fancy footwork that organ playing differed from the playing of any other instrument of the time, and Bach spotlights that footwork in various highly contrasting ways.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 The Italian Concerto Style and the Rise of Tonality-driven Form." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-05006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 5 The Italian Concerto Style and the Rise of Tonality-driven Form. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-05006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 5 The Italian Concerto Style and the Rise of Tonality-driven Form." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-05006.xml
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