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Home > Catalog > Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint
Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint


  • 31 b/w illus. 65 music examples
  • Page extent: 276 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.58 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 781.2/86/092
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: ML410.B13 Y4 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Bach, Johann Sebastian,--1685-17
    • Counterpoint

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521803465 | ISBN-10: 0521803462)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published December 2002

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$129.00 (C)

This book offers new interpretations of many of Bach's late compositions which include complex musical techniques such as canon. These techniques held great significance for Bach and his contemporaries not only on account of the great skill they demanded but because of the meanings attached to them. Intricate musical devices were crucial to the Lutheran rituals of death and dying, to alchemy, to Enlightenment philosophies of stylistic change and musical progress, to musical representations of political power, and to the legacy of Bach into our own time.


1. Vor deinen Thron and the art of dying; 2. The alchemy of Bach's Canons; 3. Bach's taste for pork and canary; 4. The autocratic regimes of A Musical Offering; 5. Bach the machine; 6. Physiognomies of Bach's counterpoint.

Prize Winner

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2003


"...a fascinating glimpse into the use of counterpoint in Bach's music and the implications that technique had in a time when it was rapidly disappearing in favor of newer styles." Music Educators Journal

"This fascinating study explores the significance of Johann Sebastian Bach's learned counterpoint... A significant new voice in Bach studies. Essential." Choice

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