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Bach's Numbers: Compositional Proportion and Significance
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Musicology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3367-9921
2015 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In eighteenth-century Germany the universal harmony of God's creation and the perfection of its proportions still held philosophical, moral and devotional significance. Reproducing proportions close to the unity (1:1) across compositions could render them beautiful, perfect and even eternal. Using the principles of her ground-breaking theory of proportional parallellism, Ruth Tatlow explains how Bach used the number of bars, sections, movements and works to create numerical perfection across his published collections, and explains why he did so. The first part of the book - Foundations - illustrates the wide-ranging application of belief in the unity, showing how planning a well-proportioned structure was a normal compositional procedure in Bach's time. In the second part - Demonstrations - Tatlow presents examples of this in Bach's work illustrating the layers of proportion that appear within a movement, within a work, between two works in a collection, across a collection and between collections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. , p. 411
Keywords [en]
J.S. Bach; Proportions; Symmetry; Harmony
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406169ISBN: 978-1-107-08860-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-406169DiVA, id: diva2:1412328
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2020-03-05

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