Guides to Composers and Their Works


Johann Sebastian Bach

Melamed, Daniel R. and Michael Marissen. An Introduction to Bach Studies.

Schmieder, Wolfgang. Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis derMusikalischen werke von Johann Sebastian Bach: Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV), 2d ed.

Schulze, Hans-Joachim, and Christoph Wolff. Bach Compendium: Analytischbibliographisches Repertorium der Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs, 4 vols.

 


Melamed, Daniel R. and Michael Marissen. An Introduction to Bach Studies. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Mus Ref ML 134 .B155 M45 1998

Use: Provides starting points for research and readings on J.S. Bach and his works – not meant to be comprehensive.

Coverage: Includes references to thematic catalogues, other reference books, dictionaries, Bach organizations, journals, essays, series, conference reports, festival publications, festschrifts, books, and biographies. Sources cover information about Bach’s family, his teaching and students, the places where he lived, his library, different editions of his music, iconography studies, and source studies. Sources are in mainly German and English.

Organization: Organized into chapters. The first chapter lists additional reference tools, and the second lists secondary literature (periodicals, series, conference reports, essay collections) focused exclusively on Bach. Following chapters are divided by subject (Bach’s Teaching and Students, Sources and Transmission, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, etc.). There are separate alphabetical indexes for authors, titles, subjects, and works. Some citations include notes from the author.

Pros: Well organized, notes from the author are helpful overviews.

Cons: Author’s bias.

AU


Schmieder, Wolfgang. Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis derMusikalischen werke von Johann Sebastian Bach: Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV), 2d ed. Weisbaden: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1983. Mus Ref ML 134 .B1 S3 1980

Use: Useful for identifying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, for locating early or exisiting manuscript sources and printed editions, or obtaining a bibliographic listing and critical examination of editions and scholarly writings for the works of Bach.

Coverage: Integrates collective knowledge of Bach’s works discovered over the past 50 years in a concise reference form. Covers most recent special publications and editions.

Organization: Main body organized by the following categories: 1) Vocal works (cantatas, motets, masses and magnificats, passsions and oratorios, four-part chorales, hymns, songs, arias, and quodlibet; 2) Instrumental (works for organ, clavier, and lute, chamber music, concertos; 3) Overtures, canons, musical offerings, and art of fugue. Entries include BWV catalogue number, and may include: selective thematic incipits, critiques on new editions or fascimile reproductions of autographs and manuscripts, description to determine authenticity of manuscripts, editions (limited to 1st edition and early editions issued up to 1850), most recent bibliography (date of origin ascertained with considerable degree of certainty), chronological table, thematic index (opening theme of 1st mvt and incipits of fugue within larger works), and a text index (opening words of text).

Cons: Does not include English translation. Not library friendly.

LP


Schulze, Hans-Joachim, and Christoph Wolff. Bach Compendium: Analytischbibliographisches Repertorium der Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs, 4 vols. to date. Leipzig: Edition Peters, 1985-. Mus Ref ML 134 .B1 A3 1985

Use: Catalogue used for identifying the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Provides details concerning research completed, and any other specific information needed to locate and study the complete works of Bach.

Coverage: Complete Bach works, both bibliographical and analytical commentary on entire output.

Organization: Main body is divided into 3 parts: vocal works (A-H), instrumental works (I-O), and miscellanea (P-Z), containing doubtful or spurious works, and copies of works. Provides remarks at beginning of sections, addresses historical matters and questions of bibliographic nature.Gives title of work, instrumentation/scoring, musical incipits, sources of texts and chorales, and editions published. Bibliographic information includes a systematic overview in authentic versions according to genre. Entries include sketches, drafts, lost works, non-authentic works, copies, and works of Bach written by other composers. Contains also synopses, chronology, general index, index to libraries, and 18th century owners of sources.

Pros: Contains preface in English, and bibliographic citations to both primary and secondary sources. Also provides information on important editions and secondary literature. Contains chronological arrangement. Contains thematic incipits.

Cons: Extremely codified and difficult to study.

LP