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Dimension: 29.4 x 21 x 1.1 cm


Die Artikulationspraxis J. S. Bachs und Möglichkeiten ihrer Anwendung in den Klavierwerken von Julia Severus

PUBL. DETAILS Berlin: Mensch & Buch Verlag (2002) 192p. Paperback. Euro 25,00.
ISBN 3-89820-374-3
TO ORDER Mensch & Buch Verlag, Nordendstr. 75, 13156, Berlin, Germany. Email:
DESCRIPTION Published doctoral dissertation, examining Bach's articulation practice and its application in his keyboard works.
WORKS COVERED BWV 6, 8, 11-4, 16, 19, 20, 22-24, 26-7, 30, 33, 36, 41-3, 47-8, 55-6, 58, 61, 67, 69, 71-3, 75, 78, 81-2, 84, 87-8, 92, 95, 97, 101-3, 105, 108-9, 111, 115, 119, 123-4, 127, 130, 132, 137-8, 144, 147, 168, 173-6, 181-3, 185-6, 194-5, 197-9, 201, 206-7, 210-3, 215, 243-5, 248-9, 774, 795, 803, 807, 809-10, 812-4, 816, 818-9, 824-7, 829, 846-8, 850-1, 855-9, 861-3, 867, 872, 875-6, 878-91, 893, 912-3, 949, 967, 971, 988, 992, 1001-6, 1046-59
READERSHIP Scholars and serious performers seeking 'authentic' interpretation
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION Collecting various types of further evidence of Bach's articulation marks from a wider corpus of Bach's works, and applying to her own interpretation of Bach's keyboard works.

ny keyboard players must be aware how important articulation is, for it directly affects the effectiveness of their playing. For those students studying to perform Bach’s keyboard works, it is a very challenging issue, as there aren’t many clues about the way Bach himself performed in the surviving autographs and prints.
There were several key studies on Bach’s own markings on the primary sources (e.g. by Dürr, Dadelsen and Butt to name but three) as well as the treatises written by Bach’s contemporaries (e.g. by C.P.E Bach, Quantz and Marpurg, to name but three also) that revealed some useful hints as to how one may be able to interpret Bach’s keyboard works authentically; but they also provided us with many unanswered questions, which is largely due to the lack of evidence. Bach’s articulation marks are, for instance, often notated ambiguously; they also appear to have been written only sporadically and sometimes inconsistently, which is an unfortunate consequence of the aural keyboard teaching tradition of Bach’s time. Are there any other ways in which we can investigate, which may lead to the discovery of hitherto unnoticed clues for interpreting Bach’s intention?
Table of Contents


1. Fragestellungen und Probleme

2. Überblick über den Stand der Forschung und die unterschiedlichen Ansätze

I. Voraussetzungen: Artikulation als Bestandteil der barocken Aufführungspraxis

* Das Ende des Bogens und die Verbindung der Bogenstriche

* Die Bedeutung von Intervallik und Affekt für die Artikulation

* Zusammenhänge zwischen

a. Genre und Artikulation

b. Register und Artikulation

c. Akustik und Artikulation

II.  Bachs Artikulationsbezeichnungen

1. A. Fragestellungen; Probleme

B. Zielsetzung und Methodik der Analyse

2. Systematisierung und Erläuterung der am häufigsten auftretenden Artikulationsformen

A. Ausdruck und Textausdeutung

B. Bewegungen der Stimme bei gleichbleibendem Rhythmus

C. Tempo; Rhythmus, Notenwerte, rhythmische Strukturen, Stellung im Takt; Rhythmus + Bewegungen der Stimme

D. Harmonik

E. Instrumentenspezifität

F. Ornamentik

G. Dynamik

H. Struktur, Zusammenhang

I. Genre


1. Problematik der Übertragbarkeit von Artikulationsprinzipien; Artikulation auf Bachs Tasteninstrumenten; die "cantable Art im Spielen"

2. Spezifika der Artikulation auf dem modernen Flügel

3. Ableitung der Bezeichnung ursprünglich unbezeichneter Stellen aus

* textlich fast identischen Stellen in Bachs bezeichnetem Werk

* barocken Artikulationsprinzipien

* aus den abgeleiteten Artikulationsprinzipien

> Vergleich mit relevanten Bach-Editionen

Anhang: Vorschläge zur Bezeichnung einiger Klavierwerke

Quellen, Literatur

 it searches for further evidence of Bach’s articulation
In her work, Severus carefully re-examines the validity of the approaches taken by the previous scholars, and carries out her own investigation in search of further evidence for Bach’s articulation (Chapter II, Section 2) from a wider corpus of Bach’s works including the vocal works—the approach reminiscent of Albert Schweitzer’s famous work. Here she collects various types of evidence (apparently not from the actual manuscript but from a printed score), cataloguing all kinds of expressions Bach attempted to clarify with articulation marks, the marks associated with particular patterns of notes, possible association with rhythm, harmony, instruments, genre, and so on.

Based on this study, Severus offers various suggestions as to how the selected keyboard works (mainly WTC) can be articulated: the suggested articulation of C-sharp major prelude of WTC II against the ‘Ach Golgatha’ (BWV 244/59) is one of successful cases.

However, owing partially to the insecure ground on which the argument had to be put (remember that Bach’s notation of articulation marks themselves is open to interpretation), and partially to the inevitable outcome of this speculative argument (given that assumption was made on another level of assumed propositions), it is often difficult to judge the credibility of her proposed articulations, though her suggestions are mostly reasonable. While I understand that the starting point of her research was not the sources themselves, it is essential that source evidence was handled with greater care.

There are also points where I felt that her argument would have benefited from looking at Paul Badura-Skoda’s Interpreting Bach at the Keyboard (Oxford, 1993; originally published in German in 1990), which would have made her study more credible and fascinating (rather than comparing her theories against the phrasing and articulation marks given in the out-dated Mugellini and Busoni editions). For this type of work, having the index of Bach’s works at the end of the volume is a must.


Published online on 13 March 2003

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