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About Bach
     

About Bach

by Gregory S Butler (Editor), George Stauffer (Editor), Mary Dalton Greer (Editor)
 

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That Johann Sebastian Bach is a pivotal figure in the history of Western music is hardly news, and the magnitude of his achievement is so immense that it can be difficult to grasp. In About Bach, fifteen scholars show that Bach's importance extends from choral to orchestral music, from sacred music to musical parodies, and also to his scribes and students,

Overview

That Johann Sebastian Bach is a pivotal figure in the history of Western music is hardly news, and the magnitude of his achievement is so immense that it can be difficult to grasp. In About Bach, fifteen scholars show that Bach's importance extends from choral to orchestral music, from sacred music to musical parodies, and also to his scribes and students, his predecessors and successors. Further, the contributors demonstrate a diversity of musicological approaches, ranging from close studies of Bach's choices of musical form and libretto to wider analyses of the historical and cultural backgrounds that impinged upon his creations and their lasting influence. This volume makes significant contributions to Bach biography, interpretation, pedagogy, and performance.

Contributors are Gregory G. Butler, Jen-Yen Chen, Alexander J. Fisher, Mary Dalton Greer, Robert Hill, Ton Koopman, Daniel R. Melamed, Michael Ochs, Mark Risinger, William H. Scheide, Hans-Joachim Schulze, Douglass Seaton, George B. Stauffer, Andrew Talle, and Kathryn Welter.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thanks to the extent, scope, and universality of his work, Bach will always be a subject for new studies. . . . An interesting collection."—Choice

“If you’re looking for an example of current state-of-the-art Bach scholarship which will also guide you through some of the most significant issues in study of the composer, enjoy the open and at the same time scholarly styles of leading experts, performers and analysts, and wish to come away feeling well and truly connected with informed thinking about Bach’s place in the wider musical pantheon, About Bach is a must.  Thoroughly recommended.”—Classical Net Review

"This is a really significant collection of essays, first-rate in terms of scholarship and the new perspectives they bring to known issues, as well as in their introduction of new facets of study. Anyone interested in Bach, his music, and the contexts of the period, will want to secure a copy of this exemplary volume."—Robin A. Leaver, author of Luther's Liturgical Music: Principles and Implications

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252033445
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
07/03/2008
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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About Bach


UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS

Copyright © 2008 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-252-03344-5


Chapter One

A Master Teacher Revealed

Johann Pachelbel's Deutliche Anweisung

Kathryn Welter

For musicians of the Baroque Era, the ability to teach and attract students was essential to establishing their reputations, supplementing their incomes, and helping them to fulfill their myriad duties in church, city, or court positions. In Germany, the teaching tradition is well illustrated by Johann Pachelbel, whose treatise Deutliche Anweisung verifies his position in the long line of Lehrmeister, or master teachers, that began in the seventeenth century with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and continued with Pachelbel's colleagues Dieterich Buxtehude and Johann Adam Reinken and successors Johann Heinrich Buttstett, Johann Christoph Bach, and Georg Böhm. This impressive chain of pedagogues culminated with Johann Sebastian Bach.

Johann Pachelbel has long been known to church musicians and scholars as an organist and composer. In his time he was also a renowned teacher. For instance, Buttstett, his most famous Erfurt student, specifically referred to Pachelbel as his "master teacher." Although historians have focused mainly on Pachelbel's accomplishments as a performer and composer, his achievements as an instructor are equally important, for they shed light on the central role that teaching played in transmitting Baroque musical traditions.

For Pachelbel and many of his fellow pedagogues, we have very little evidence of actual teaching methods, except for a few manuscript collections copied and circulated among students and occasional descriptions by students in letters or publications. The Deutliche Anweisung, one of Pachelbel's little-known writings, offers evidence that bears directly on his teaching practices. Written in Nuremberg sometime during the last decade of Pachelbel's life, the Anweisung is an organ-instruction manual in the composer's hand that was most likely intended for personal reference and student instruction (Plate 1). Its full title runs as follows:

Deutliche Anweißung. Wie man durchs ganze Jahr bey wehrenden Gottesdienst, so wohl in den Vespern als Tagambt, bey S: Sebald mit der Orgel zu intonieren und zu respondiren sich zu verhalten habe. [Detailed Instruction. How one should use the organ to intone and respond during the Holy Church Service throughout the entire year, in Vespers as well as in Daily Worship at St. Sebald's Church.]

The Deutliche Anweisung reveals in detail how one should perform on the organ during the various worship services at the city's foremost Protestant church, St. Sebald. In the process, it tells us a great deal about Pachebel's teaching career, the liturgical practices at St. Sebald's Church, and the use of instrumental pieces within the services there.

The weekly services at St. Sebald's Church were similar to those at many other Lutheran churches in Germany during Pachelbel's time. In particular, they reflected the weekly rites in the other Lutheran churches in Nuremberg. Saturdays began with a Communion Service with sermon, followed by a Choir Service. Vespers was held in the late afternoon. Sunday mornings began with the Early Communion Service, followed by the Holy Communion Service with sermon (known at the time as the Early Sermon Mass) and the Office Service, or Tagamt. Vespers was celebrated in the afternoon. In the Deutliche Anweisung, Pachelbel provides guides to the music of the Saturday Choir Service and the Sunday Office Service and Vespers Service.

The basic difference in the seven services, aside from the inclusion of Holy Communion or a sermon, appears to be in the number of deacons assigned to each and the music provided by the deacons, choir, and organist. The services at St. Sebald's appear to fall into two categories, depending on the number of personnel involved. The primary services were the Saturday Communion Service and Vespers Service and the Sunday Early Communion Service and Holy Communion Service with sermon. Each of these called for the participation of at least four clerics, a host of deacons (assistant clergy), and a choir. The secondary services—the Saturday Choir Service, the Sunday Office Service, and the Sunday Vespers—required only a principal cleric and two deacons. In addition, student singers commonly replaced the full choir.

The secondary services would have been ideal occasions for Pachelbel to use student apprentices. These rites already called for student singers in place of the choir, and the smaller number of clergy and the presumably smaller number of congregants would have put less pressure on an inexperienced organist. Indeed, the contents of the Deutliche Anweisung seem particularly suited to the participation of deputized organists. For the Saturdays, Sundays, and feast days in question, Pachelbel provides instructions for playing the secondary services only (Table i). In these, the organ provides the primary musical content, with students or deacons chanting the liturgy.

The primary services at St. Sebald's, by contrast, not only required larger numbers of clergy and deacons but also included concerted choral music. It is likely that Pachelbel himself played for the primary services, since the music was more complex and called for the skill of a fully professional musician.

The Deutliche Anweisung, then, is a handbook for the music of the three secondary services. In it Pachelbel focuses on Advent, Christmas, New Year's, and Easter. For the services given, he includes notes on versicle texts, tablature notation of chants, key indications for intonation, and remarks on the order of service. For the Saturday Choir Service and Sunday Office Service for Advent (Plate 2), for instance, Pachelbel gives specific text incipits for the versicles and notes their accompanying chants in tablature notation. The incipits correspond very closely to those found in published service orders of the time:

In Adventu Domini [On the Day of Advent]

Nach der Predigt am Sonnabend [After the sermon on Saturday]

In diebus illis (versicle; tablature)

Gloria patri (doxology; tablature)

C: (C major—the key in which the organist should intone)

Darauf singen die Schüler den Versicul, und darnach dem Priester etliche Worte, ab dann wird auff daß Magnificat praeambulirt [Thereafter the students sing the versicle, and then the priest says several words, after which will be played a prelude to the Magnificat]

Sontage nach der Predigt in Tagambt. [Sundays after the sermon of the Daily Service]

In diebus illis (versicle; tablature)

Kyrie (tablature)

Christe (tablature)

Kyrie ut supra (tablature)

Gloria in excelsis Deo (tablature)

Gratias (tablature)

Quoniam (tablature)

Nach der Lesung des Capitels ist der Tractus außer C [After the reading of the Lesson, the Tract shall be sung in C major]

Ostende (tablature)

Two other details provided by Pachelbel add significantly to our understanding of the music for the secondary services. First, he gives six modes for the intonations that we can assume were the most common: G and D minor and C, D, F, and G major. Second, in keeping with the Nuremberg practice of using free organ pieces in the Vespers service, Pachelbel indicates that in many cases a prelude or toccata should be played before the Magnificat of the Sunday Vespers service. For the Second Sunday of Advent, for example, he states that "after the Sicut erat a short toccata is played and after the Deo Gratias it shall proceed in the same manner as on the previous Saturday."

Pachelbel's specific reference to the organ toccata and organ prelude confirms and strengthens the connection of these pieces with liturgical intonations. It is thus understandable that these genres, together with chorale preludes, formed the core repertory of organ instruction. In orders of service from the late seventeenth century, one rarely finds anything more than the generic phrase "organista modulatur" as an indication that the organist should play a piece to intone a mode or to introduce an antiphon, a psalm, or the Magnificat. The Deutliche Anweisung highlights the prelude and the toccata and indicates where they were to be used in worship services.

In the Deutliche Anweisung Pachelbel is clearly using the terms praeambulum and toccata to indicate pieces of an introductory nature. He often uses the verbs praeambuliren and toccatiren, and in one instance geschlage, to denote that the organ should be played. The fact that he employs the terms interchangeably reflects the imprecise designation of genres that was common at the time. For example, although the toccata has come to be defined as a virtuosic composition, very free in form, featuring sections of brilliant passage work, with or without imitative or fugal interludes, in seventeenth-century practice a large number of pieces fit this description—not just toccatas but also fugues, fantasies, chaconnes, and preludes.

The Deutliche Anweisung gives corroborative evidence of Pachelbel's choice of the prelude and toccata to introduce the Magnificat. These two types of pieces were obviously important from a liturgical standpoint, and it stands to reason that Pachelbel would have been certain to cover them in his teaching. A significant source for the kinds of preludes and toccatas that would have been used for the liturgical practices outlined in the Deutliche Anweisung is a tablature book belonging to the Thuringian organist Johann Valentin Eckelt. Eckelt's manuscript, dating from 1692, has been recognized as one of the most important Central German collections of organ music of the late seventeenth century. It is of particular interest here because Eckelt was one of Pachelbel's last students in Erfurt. An annotation in the manuscript indicates that Eckelt studied with Pachelbel for several months in the spring of 1690, from Easter to St. John's Day. Christoph Wolff, who has studied the collection in depth, has made an inventory of the contents of the manuscript's first eleven folios (Table 2). These folios are particularly important because they are in Pachelbel's hand and include several of his own pieces as well as works by Froberger. Eckelt notes that he bought the right to copy several of Pachelbel's works. This hints that the transmission of compositions from mentor to student may have involved a fee, thus providing the teacher with additional income.

The pieces in Eckelt's manuscript also appear in the collection of another Pachelbel student, Johann Christoph Bach (1673-1727) of Gehren, which supports the idea that Pachelbel earmarked specific works for pedagogical purposes that were copied repeatedly by his pupils. Lamentably, two treatises by Eckelt from the 1720s, his Unterricht eine Fuge zu formiren and Unterricht, was ein Organist wissen soll, have not survived. They might have shed additional light on his training with Pachelbel.

Viewed as a whole, Eckelt's manuscript mirrors Pachelbel's indications in the Deutliche Anweisung that toccatas and preludes are to be played before the Magnificat. The collection contains twenty-seven pieces by Pachelbel in all, most of them preludes, fugues, toccatas, and fantasias. All these could have been played as part of the liturgy. The first works in Pachelbel's hand include preludes in G and E minor, toccatas in D and G minor, and fugues in C and D major and E and G minor. The Toccata in D Minor (Folio 4r), which also appears in Johann Christoph Bach's collection, could have served as an intonational prelude, as proposed in the Deutliche Anweisung.

The paucity of teaching manuals such as Pachelbel's Deutliche Anweissung makes it difficult to study the teaching traditions of the Baroque Era. To broaden our understanding of Pachelbel's teaching methods, we can look at Sweelinck, who was renowned as an organist, composer, and pedagogue. In fact, he might be viewed as the father of German master teachers, attracting students from throughout Germany, including Andreas Düben, Samuel and Gottfried Scheidt, Paul Siefert, Jacob Praetorius, and Heinrich Scheidemann. At one point, the organists of Hamburg's four principal churches were all Sweelinck students. Students were often sent by their city councils to study with Sweelinck, and the costs for such study included room and board in his home as well as musical instruction.

We can infer basic similarities between Pachelbel's and Sweelinck's teaching methods. Like most professional musicians of the seventeenth century, Pachelbel surely took on students as apprentices, to whom he taught the basics of performance and composition. The students, for their part, copied music and assisted during performances. Following Sweelinck's practice, Pachelbel may have taken certain of his apprentices into his house, offering them room and board as part of their instruction. Johann Conrad Rosenbusch began his studies with Pachelbel in Erfurt in 1685 as an eleven-year-old. Five years later, when Pachelbel moved to Stuttgart, Rosenbusch went with him. One may reasonably assume that Rosenbusch was living with Pachelbel's family during this time. We also know that Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Stuttgart sent one of his musicians, Johann Georg Christian Störl, to Nuremberg to study clavier and composition with Pachelbel and paid the expenses. This mirrors the city council subventions of Sweelinck's students.

In Baroque Germany, the biographies of many professional musicians show a similar pattern of study: a promising student seeks out a master musician or is sent to study with him. Georg Caspar Wecker of Nuremberg served as teacher for many of Pachelbel's peers, including Christian Friedrich Witt, who became Capellmeister in Gotha and, in turn, a well-known teacher. Another contemporary, Johann Theile of Naumburg, taught in Hamburg, Wolfenbüttel, and Merseburg. One of Theile's Wolfenbüttel pupils, Georg Oesterreich, "moved into the Capellmeister's house and lodged with [Theile], who instructed him ... quite untiringly and faithfully in composition." It appears to have been common practice, then, for students to live with their teachers, receiving room and board as part of the pedagogical package. Perhaps the most famous pedagogues in Pachelbel's time were Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow and Dieterich Buxtehude. Zachow, organist at St. Mary's Church in Halle for most of his career, taught George Frideric Handel, Gottfried Kirchhoff, Johann Gotthilf Krieger, and Johann Gotthilf Ziegler, among others. Buxtehude, organist of St. Mary's Church in Lübeck, taught Nicolaus Bruhns and others. One of Buxtehude's students, Georg Dietrich Leiding, made a trip to Hamburg and Lübeck in 1684 to study with the "two extraordinarily famous organists, Reinken and Buxtehude." This journey foreshadows Johann Sebastian Bach's own pilgrimages to observe both Reinken and Buxtehude several years later. Bach, for his part, attracted more than eighty students during his long and fruitful career as a teacher, and many of his pupils appear to have lived in his house. Moreover, a number followed him as he changed professional stations.

By 1695 Pachelbel was well known in Germany, having filled municipal and church positions in Vienna, Eisenach, Erfurt, Stuttgart, and Gotha. He firmly established his reputation as a composer through the publication of three collections of keyboard music, and with his appointment in Nuremberg and the appearance of his fourth collection of printed works, the Hexachordum Apollinis of 1699, the composer reached the apex of his career. He dedicated the Hexachordum to two master musicians of "universal renown": Dieterich Buxtehude of Lübeck and Ferdinand Tobias Richter of Vienna. For Pachelbel, these virtuosos embodied the best in performance and pedagogy in the North and the South. With this dedication he was placing himself squarely in their company as a master representative of Central German keyboard artists. Thirty years later, Martin Fuhrmann, a critic who had studied with a student of Buxtehude, Friedrich Gottlieb Klingenberg, could write of the three great Bs in German music: Buxtehude, Bach, and Bachelbel.

Pachelbel attracted students in Erfurt and Nuremberg who went on to distinguish themselves in music circles in Thuringia and elsewhere. The most notable of these were Pachelbel's sons Wilhelm Hieronymus and Karl Theodor; Johann Christoph Bach (not the Gehren Johann Christoph, but the elder brother of Johann Sebastian, who lived in Ohrdruf); and Buttstett. In the century and a half that spans Sweelinck to Johann Sebastian Bach, Pachelbel represents the most prominent and sought-after teacher in Central Germany in the seventeenth century.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from About Bach Copyright © 2008 by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author

Gregory G. Butler is a professor of musicology at the University of British Columbia and the editor of Bach Perspectives, Volume 7: J. S. Bach's Concerted Ensemble Music: The Concerto. George B. Stauffer is a professor of music and Dean of the Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers University. He has published seven books, including Bach: The Mass in B Minor. Mary Dalton Greer is the founder and director of the series Cantatas in Context, in collaboration with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. She has taught at Yale and Montclair State University.

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