MUS-M 502: J. S. Bach Major Vocal Works, Fall 2020

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Daniel R. Melamed       dmelamed (at)


Magnificat BWV 243 and 243a
Tue 25 Aug     1. BWV 243: Introduction/The Magnificat in the liturgy

Thu 27 Aug     2. Ritornello forms

Written assignment 1                                                                                                    

Tue   1 Sep     3. BWV 243: Ritornello movement construction  

Thu   3 Sep     4. BWV 243: Analytical issues

Written assignment 2

Tue 8 Sep       5. BWV 243/243a: Sources/versions/problems

Thu 10 Sep     6. BWV 243/243a: Sources/versions/problems (cont.)

Written assignment 3

St. John Passion BWV 245

Tue 15  Sep    7. BWV 245: Introduction/The passion in the liturgy

Thu 17 Sep     8. BWV 245: Sources/versions                                                

Written assignment 4

Tue 22 Sep     9. Bach's Leipzig performing materials      

Thu 24 Sep   10. Bach's Leipzig performing materials (cont.)       


Tue 29 Sep    11. BWV 245: Performing materials/vocal forces

Thu  1 Oct     12. BWV 245: Performing materials/vocal forces (cont.)                 

Written assignment 5

Tue 6 Oct      13. BWV 245: Analytical topics

Thu 8 Oct      14. BWV 245: Interpretive themes


St. Matthew Passion BWV 244

Tue 13 Oct    15. BWV 244: Sources/versions

Thu 15 Oct    16. BWV 244: Vocal roles/double chorus construction                                      

 Written assignment 6 

Tue 20 Oct    17. BWV 244: Vocal roles/double chorus construction (cont.)

Thu 22 Oct    18. BWV 244/1 and 244/68                              

 Written assignment 7

Tue 27 Oct    19. BWV 244: The problem of parody

Thu 29 Oct    20. BWV 244: Dating/parody

                                                                                                     Written assignment 8

Tue  3 Nov    21. BWV 244: Big themes/overall structure 

Thu  5 Nov    22. BWV 244: Revival and reception       

Written assignment 9

"Dresden Missa" BWV 232I

Tue 10 Nov   23. BWV 232I: Overview

Thu 12 Nov   24. BWV 232I: Sources and performance                              

Written assignment 10

Tue 17 Nov   25. BWV 232I: Analysis

Thu 19 Nov   26. BWV 232I: Analysis (cont.)                                               

Written assignment 11

Thanksgiving Break


Mass in B Minor BWV 232

Tue  1 Dec   27. BWV 232: Sources and history

Thu  3 Dec   28. BWV 232: Sources and history (cont.)                              

Written assignment 12

Tue  8 Dec   29. BWV 232: Stile antico

Thu 10 Dec  30. BWV 232: Reception                                       [Last day to submit written work]


Instructor: Prof. Daniel R. Melamed, dmelamed (AT) indiana (dot) edu.
Office: M325C. Office hours by appointment (e-mail to arrange)
Course Web page:  or

Meetings. Online, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1.10-2.25PM. Video recordings of each class will be posted, but active participation is a big part of the course. Please plan to attend synchronously.

Aims and methods: We will examine concerted vocal works by J. S. Bach. Our focus will be on textual and musical analysis, on the sources that transmit the music, on the performance of the works in Bach's time, and on modern reception. We will use each work as an opportunity to investigate aspects of 18th-century style, analysis, performance practice, liturgy, scholarship, and so on.

There is a lot of musical analysis in this course. We will spend much of our time in class and in written assignments on the close textual and musical analysis of Bach's music.

Prerequisites. Proficiency requirements in music history (M501) and written music theory (T508).

Requirements. Reading, listening, score study; class attendance and participation; weekly short written assignments.

Materials and assignments. Readings, scores, and recordings are online. Daily assignments are on the course Web page; please check each time for changes and revisions. Questions in the daily assignments are for study; you are not required to write them up. Note that many resources reside on Canvas but it is not necessary to log on there—everything is linked from the course page.

You will need these scores of BWV 245, 244, and 232. Please order copies in time for our work on each composition. The best prices appear to be at J. W. Pepper.

BWV 232: Breitkopf & Härtel PB05303 [ed. J. Rifkin]
        [] [9790004211960]

BWV 245: Bärenreiter TP 197 [NBA, ed. A. Mendel]
        [] [9790006201662]

BWV 244  Bärenreiter TP 196 [NBA, ed. A Dürr]
         [] [9790006201655]

Attendance. Every student is expected at each class meeting; exceptions are only for illness or personal emergency. Please do not make plans to be elsewhere, and inform the instructor in advance if you are forced to miss a class. You should be equipped with materials (scores, posted handouts) and fully prepared to take part in discussions. There's no point in being in the course otherwise.

Written Assignments. Written assignments relate to the week's work, and are due Tuesday of the next week. Please submit through Canvas as a word processing document. At the top of each written assignment, please put your name and the assignment number. You may revise and resubmit any written assignment; please submit in both the marked-up first version and your revised version. Guidelines for writing analytical papers are here.

Grading. The course grade will be based on the written assignments and on active, frequent and well-informed class participation. Expectations:

Written assignments:  A—carefully prepared, edited, and proofread; substantively insightful.
                                   B—fundamentally appropriate but with problems in presentation or substance
                                   C—poor presentation or substance

Class participation:   A—frequent, insightful, respectful of others
                                  B—insightful but less frequent
                                  C—infrequent, poorly prepared

Disability and Religious Observance. These will be accommodated according to University guidelines ( and Please speak with the instructor in advance of your need.

Academic conduct. You may consult and collaborate with classmates in preparing daily assignments. You may discuss written assignments and analyses with others, but all written work must be entirely your own. Every use of the work of others must be fully documented. If you violate the standards of academic conduct you will fail the course.


Basic reference tool
Basic questions about research materials on Bach are answered in

Daniel R. Melamed and Michael Marissen. An Introduction to Bach studies. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. [Ref ML134.B1 M45] [online]

Texts and translations online
Original texts of J.S. Bach's vocal works are available online in reasonably good versions at . English translations (of a particular kind) by Z. Philip Ambrose are available online at

Scores online
Scores from the 19th-century complete edition published by the Bach-Gesellschaft are at,_Johann_Sebastian).

Original sources online
Most of the surviving original sources of Bach's music are available online at


J.S. Bach, Magnificat BWV 243a and 243


Autograph scores

    BWV 243a: on Bach-Digital

    BWV 243:  on Bach-Digital        Facsimile ed. Hans-Joachim Schulze. Leipzig, c1985. [ML96.4.B12 M3]


Modern scores

   BWV 243a     NBA II/3. [M3 .B119 Ser. II v. 3]. Critical commentary. [M3 .B119K Ser. II v. 3]

                         BG 11I [interpolated mvts only]; repr. New York, 1995. [M2020.B118 M19 1995]:  On IMSLP     pdf on Canvas

                         Ed. Alfred Dürr. Cassel, c.1970.  pdf on Canvas


   BWV 243       NBA II/3. [M3 .B119 Ser. II v. 3]. Critical commentary. [M3 .B119K Ser. II v. 3]

                         BG 11I; reprint New York, 1995. [M2020.B118 M19 1995]: On IMSLP        pdf on Canvas

Text and translation


   BWV 243a        J. Butt    H. Max     H. Rilling

   BWV 243          J. Rifkin     A. Parrott    M. Suzuki    H. Rilling


Introduction/The Magnificat in the liturgy

Magnificat Tone 1 from the Liber usualis

Magnificat (J. H. Schein) from the EKG

Magnificat settings from G. Vopelius, Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (1682)

Leipzig vespers--outline 


Robin A. Leaver. The mature vocal works and their theological and liturgical context.” In The Cambridge companion to Bach, edited by John Butt, 109-111. Cambridge, 1997.

Ritornello forms

The basics of ritornello analysis


Written assignment 1: Choose one of the solo or duet ritornello movements in BWV 243 and write 250 words about the construction of its ritornello. You can consider the kind (or kinds) of musical material, the degree of segmentation or articulation, the role of texture and figuration in defining structure, harmonic behavior, or other topics. Make an analytical point—don’t just describe or narrate the ritornello. Guidelines for writing analytical papers are here.

Optional reading, particularly if you have studied ritornellos with me before:

Laurence Dreyfus. Bach and the Patterns of Invention. Chapter 3, "The Ideal Ritornello." Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

BWV 243: Ritornello movement construction



Listen to and study the Magnificat BWV 243 and BWV 243a. In particular, focus on the structure and organization of the ritornello-form movements. Which are they?



Analyze the segmentation of the ritornellos; how is each constructed?



Diagram the ritornello structure of these movements, accounting for appearances of the ritornello (partial and complet), key areas, the distribution of the text across the movement, and so on. I suggest doing this before looking at the diagrams provided here.



Diagrams of ritornello movements


BWV 243: Analytical issues

Robert L. Marshall. On the origin of Bach’s Magnificat: a Lutheran composer’s challenge.” In The music of Johann Sebastian Bach: the sources, the style, the significance, 161–73. New York, 1989.

How does Bach divide the text? What are the principles behind his division? What musical elements does he use to articulate and organize the overall structure? How are duties for the voices distributed? What role do the keys of movements play? Scoring?

How is the "Fecit potentiam" constructed? What type of movement would you call it? What are the roles of voices and instruments? For comparison, please familiarize yourself with this movement:

"Dein Alter sei wie deine Jugend" BWV 71/3        Score        Recording: Suzuki

Dein Alter sei wie deiner Jugend, und Gott ist mit dir in allem, das du tust. / May your old age be like your youth, and God is with you in everything that you do.  

Written assignment 2: Make diagrams of the ritornello structure of the cantata arias BWV 61/3 and BWV 61/5 following the model we have used in class. Write a brief paragraph about each in which you explain the overall structure. You can use the Word template below as your starting point if you want to type the diagrams.

            Score of BWV 61        Diagram template with texts and translations          Recording: Suzuki

BWV 243/243a: Sources/versions/problems

Use the BWV and BC [look these up in An introduction to Bach Studies for guidance] to look up the sources for BWV 243a and 243. What's a "source" in this context? Examine the autograph scores [see above for links to online versions]. What kinds of things can we learn from them? What do they not tell us?

What are the principal differences between the two versions (BWV 243 and 243a)? How do the interpolated movements fit? What musical styles are represented in them?

What are the main problems of performance of the Magnificat today?

          Possible performing pitches of BWV 243

Optional reading:

Robert M. Cammarota. "The Sources of the Christmas Interpolations in J.S. Bach's Magnificat in E-flat major (BWV 243a)." Current Musicology 36 (1983): 79-99.

Written assignment 3: Make a diagram of the structure of one of the ritornello movements in BWV 243/243a. Write 250 words in which you make a point about the way ritornello form is used in this movement. Do not narrate or describe the movement; choose one analytical element and argue for a way of hearing it. If you are stuck for a topic, consider the relationship between the organization of the ritornello and the organization (NB, not the meaning) of the text.


J.S. Bach, St. John Passion BWV 245


Autograph score [partial]    on Bach-Digital    

Original performing parts    on Bach-Digital: versions  I    II    III    IV


Modern score

     NBA II/4 [M3 .B119K Ser. II, v. 4]


    Text and translation [M. Marissen]

    Text+translation in compact form [formatted to print back-to-back]



     Slowik [with alternative movements]       Suzuki      S. Kuijken      Christophers      Butt     Herreweghe       Rilling



Introduction/The passion in the liturgy

Study the text of the St. John Passion. What kinds of texts are included?  Where are the non-scriptural movements placed? How are they distributed across the work? What motivated the placement of each? What is their role? Do they offer a consistent perspective of the story?


Listen to the work. What are the basic principles of Bach's musical treatment? What kinds of movements are there, and how do they line up with the various kinds of texts?

BWV 245 text sources

Luther's 1545 division of John's Gospel
BWV 245 outline

 Familiarize yourself with the order of the liturgy for the service at which Bach performed the work, summarized here:

Leipzig liturgy for Good Friday

If you need an introduction to the liturgical year and the place of Good Friday in it, you can consult An introduction to Bach studies, p.55f.


Study the motet "Ecce quomodo moritur justus" by Gallus (Jacob Handl).

Score      Text    [Score at original notated pitch]     Recording: Butt


Bach's passion repertory

Bach's Leipzig passion performances


Optional readings on Bach's passions in the liturgy:

Robin A. Leaver. “The mature vocal works and their theological and liturgical context.” In The Cambridge companion to Bach, edited by John Butt, 86-122. Cambridge, 1997. [ML410.B12 C24]

Günther Stiller. Johann Sebastian Bach and liturgical life in Leipzig. Translated by Herbert J.A. Bouman, Daniel F. Poellot, Hilton C. Oswald. Edited by Robin A. Leaver. St. Louis: Concordia, 1984. [ML410.B12 S853] [particularly 48-66 and 74-95]

There is a more detailed outline of the Good Friday liturgy in

Charles Sanford Terry. Joh. Seb. Bach. Cantata texts, sacred and secular. With a reconstruction of the Leipzig liturgy of his period. London: Holland, 1964. [ML49.B2 T3 1964]


 BWV 245: Sources/versions

For a brief overview in English, please read the entry on the St. John Passion in

John Butt. "St John Passion." In Malcolm Boyd, ed. Oxford composer companions: J.S. Bach. Oxford, 1999. [Ref ML410.B12 J15]

The St. John Passion presents some of the most notoriously complex source problems in Bach studies. The best introduction to the work and its issues is

Dürr, Alfred. "Genesis." Johann Sebastian Bach, St. John Passion: genesis, transmission, and meaning. Transl. Alfred Clayton. New York, 2000. Pp. 1-13. [ML410.B13 D813]

You may also find this chapter useful:

Daniel R. Melamed. "Which St. John Passion BWV 245?" Hearing Bach's passions. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. 66-77.

From one or more of these writings, make yourself outlines of the four versions Bach performed. How do they differ?

Study the new/additional movements. What are their characteristics?

Principal changes in version II (1725) of BWV 245

BWV 245 replacement movements 1724-1725

BWV 245 outline--changes 1725-1725

Written assignment 4: Write 250 words comparing and contrasting the chorale “Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich” BW 245/5 in its 1724 version and in the revised version Bach made when he recopied the first part of the score in the 1730s. Do not simply catalogue Bach’s changes; make a point about their nature and their effect.

Scores of two versions of BWV 245/5


Bach's Leipzig performing materials

We will take a detour into the cantata "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit" BWV 14 to learn about Bach's performing materials.

Text+Translation    Text derivation    Gospel for the occasion

Recordings:    Suzuki        Koopman         

Study the text of this cantata before you listen. How is it assembled? What does it owe to various sources, including the hymn (itself derived from a psalm) and Gospel reading (provided above)?

Listen to the cantata, but do not use a score or any other references other than the text. Make yourself an outline of the work from your listening, noting movement types, scoring, and the other sorts of things you might usually work out from a score. To the extent you can, diagram the formal outlines of movements from your listening.

Examine the original performing parts for this cantata. Most are available online:

     --Main set from the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig
    --Additional parts transmitted separately, from the Berlin library
    --One more part transmitted separately, from the Fitzwilliam Museum [poor copy, unfortunately]

Print the template here, and go carefully through each part noting the movements present. (Put the movement number in the appropriate column if it is in the part; leave the column blank if the movement isn't there. The first part (Corne) is done for you as an example. What is in each part? What are the principles by which this set of parts is constructed? What information is supplied to singers and instrumentalists? What is not?

Now listen to the cantata again, following each movement from a part of your choice. This might be particularly instructive with vocal parts, which we do not often use today. What view of the piece do you get from this?


BWV 245: Performing materials/vocal forces

Read the following essay, focusing on the specific example of BWV 245, the the first public presentation of the these ideas.

Joshua Rifkin. "Bach's Chorus: A Preliminary Report." Musical Times 123 (1982): 747-754.

You might be interested to read the first public reply as well:

Robert L. Marshall. "Bach's Chorus. A Preliminary Reply to Joshua Rifkin." Musical Times 124 (1983): 19-22

What issues are raised by this view of the sources and the composition? How do the lessons from BWV 14 apply to the St. John Passion?



Study in particular the bass aria "Mein teurer Heiland." What forces does its score call for? What issues does this raise? Compare it, for example, to the aria "Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen" and the to the forces required for that movement.



What are the duties ("roles"?) of the various singers who participated in Bach's performances? What are the implications for the way we think about the piece, and the way it is performed today? Does the work change in various modes of performance? What should we do?

Surviving parts from four versions of BWV 245

BWV 245: Analytical topics


Examine the solo and choral arias as ritornello forms using the tools we have developed.


Study the construction of No. 27b "Lasset uns den nicht zerteilen." How is it assembled?


BWV 245: Interpretive themes

Please read:

Michael Marissen. Lutheranism, anti-Judaism, and Bach's St. John Passion: with an annotated literal translation of the libretto. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. [online]

NOTE: If the link above does not work, try and choose the Bloomington version. As a last resort you can search for the title in IUCAT and choose the online option.

Does the musical construction of the work contribute to meanings that can be taken as offensive? Does modern performance practice play a role? Do the differences between versions play any role? What should we do?

Written assignment 5: The chorale “O grosse Lieb” BWV 245/3 is notated in Bach’s partial autograph score only in outline. (The page is here.) Bach’s way of performing the movement is realized in the original performing material used in the 1725 performance (here and here), which tells you things that the score does not. Write 250 words of carefully organized and edited prose in which you explain how Bach realized this movement—that is, who sang and played what, and how you know. Consider every element, including vocal text.


J.S. Bach, St. Matthew Passion BWV 244


Original sources

    Autograph score:  on Bach-Digital      

     Original parts:      on Bach-Digital


Modern scores

     NBA II/5 [M3 .B119K Ser. II, v. 5] [1736 version]

     NBA II/5a [Facsimile of manuscript copy of an early version]

     NBA II/5b [Edition of an early version]



     1729 text reprint
     Text and translation [M. Marissen]

     Text in compact form

     Picander, Erbauliche Gedanken (1725) 



     McCreesh [1736 forces]   Butt [1742 forces]  Suzuki      Rilling    Herreweghe    Harnoncourt    Bernstein    Furtwängler 

BWV 244: Sources/versions

Familiarize yourself with the piece and its text, including the distribution and placement of commentary movements in the narrative. How does it compare to the St. John Passion?



Examine the original text reprint. How does it present the work? What is included, and what not? What can we learn from it?



Examine the list of original performing parts. How do they relate to those for BWV 245? What can we learn from this list?

Outline of BWV 244
Summary of St 110 (original parts)
Principal changes from 1727 to 1736


BWV 244: Vocal roles/double chorus construction

How are vocal roles distributed? (Consult the list of original parts and their contents.) What are the considerations behind Bach's decisions? What are the consequences for performing and understanding the work today?



Examine Bach and Picander's use of two ensembles. How are responsibilities divided?



Study the text and music of the movements that call for two choruses. What kinds of movements are they? In what ways do the authors take advantage of the opportunities?

BWV 244 Dialogue texts

BWV 244 Distribution of gospel narrative

Optional: Some of these issues are discussed in

Daniel R. Melamed. "The Double Chorus in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion BWV 244." Journal of the American Musicological Society 57 (2004): 3-50.

Written assignment 6: Choose a solo or duet aria from BWV 244 and write 300 words in which you make a point about the construction of its ritornello in relation to its text's organization, affective implication(s), and so on. How does Bach design and use this particular ritornello for this specific text? Please do not write just about text illustration.


BWV 244/1 and 244/68

Study in detail the text and music of BWV 244/1 and 244/68, the opening and closing numbers. How are their texts constructed? What can you learn about them from the original text print? What are the roles of the two dialogue voices?



How does BWV 244/1 work as a ritornello form? What kind of material is presented? How is the chorale line integrated? What are the roles of the various parts of the ensemble?



Is BWV 244/68 a ritornello form movement? What is it, if not? How are forces used? What is the role of the second ensemble?


The problem of parody

On parody, please read

"Parody." In Malcolm Boyd, ed. Oxford composer companions: J.S. Bach. Oxford, 1999. [Ref ML410.B12 J15]


Hans-Joachim Schulze. "The parody problem in Bach's music: an old problem reconsidered." Bach 20, no. 1 (1989): 7-21.

Written assignment 7: Choose two recordings of the same movement from BWV 244 that take different approaches—different scorings, tempos, kind of voices or instruments, for example. Write 300 words on the differences and their musical consequences. NB: Avoid arguing that one or the other is better, or more correct, or more historical; just write about the musical results. If you think the performances have different aims, suggest them but be careful about mind-reading, which is not possible. (You do not need to limit yourself to the recordings listed above.)

BWV 244: Dating/parody

BWV 244 is related by parody to a lost work known as BWV 244a (the "Cöthen Funeral Music"), which is also related to the memorial composition known as the "Trauer-Ode" BWV 198. The text of BWV 198 is here, both in the original stropic construction of Gottsched's ode and in the version set to music; a recording is here.

Compare the texts of the Funeral Music to the corresponding texts in BWV 244 and BWV 198. Can you tell from the texts which direction the parody went?

Outline of BWV 244a
BWV 244a texts compared with BWV 198 and BWV 244

Then please read

Joshua Rifkin. “The Chronology of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. Musical Quarterly 61 (1975): 360–87.

So what are the dates of composition and first performance of BWV 244? Which way did the parody go? Does this matter?

BWV 244: Big themes/overall structure

Study the text and music of Nos. 2-17, the opening section of the passion narrative. (This is a unit according to a division of the story by a 17th-century theologian.)


What are the musical characteristics of the gospel narrative? Is this "recitative?" What various kinds of text delivery are represented? How are the words of various speakers treated, Jesus' in particular? What are the roles of voices and instruments in the choruses?


Where are the interpolations placed? What kinds (arias, recit/aria pairs, chorales) are placed where? Who sings them? Why?

Written assignment 8: The aria BWV 244/20 is a ritornello form that makes use of a second ensemble. What role does Chorus II play in the ritornello organization of the movement—in the construction of the ritornello and in the overall organization of the aria? Write 300 words in which you make a point about how the second chorus participates in the ritornello form. Include a diagram if you need to communicate the organization of the aria.


BWV 244: Revival and reception


Score of Felix Mendelssohn's versions (with a useful preface): Klaus Winkler, ed. Matthäus-Passion: in den Versionen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Berlin 1829 und Leipzig 1841. Kassel : Bärenreiter, [2014]. [M2003.B12 M4 2014]


Recording (1841 version)  Spering

Please read:

Jeffrey Sposato. The Price of Assimilation: Felix Mendelssohn and the Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitic Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Chapter 2.

Study Mendelssohn's 1829 version. What are its important features? How does it present the work? What have been the consequences of Mendelssohn’s presentations for interpretation and performance since?

Written assignment 9: Choose a solo accompanied recitative from BWV 244 and write 300-350 words about it, making a musical point about its construction. If you need a starting point, consider the grammatical structure of the text--its division into sentences, for example--and Bach's musical response.


J. S. Bach, Missa BWV 232I ["Dresden Missa"]



The work Bach presented to the Dresden court in 1733 consisted of Kyrie and Gloria settings. This music was later incorporated into the Mass in B Minor, which we will study later. For now, spend your time with just those first two portions of the Ordinary, which constitute a complete piece. Note that most of the resources below include the entire Mass, and often do not recognize the 1733 Missa as a distinct work.



Original sources      

    Autograph score:  on Bach-Digital    Facsimile: ML96.5.B118 M2 

     Original parts:      on Bach-Digital    Facsimile : ML96.5 .B2 S. 232, 1983 Rare Book



Modern scores [of BWV 232]

    NBA II/1, ed. F. Smend [M3 .B119 Ser. 2 v. 1]

     NBA revised edn., ed U. Wolf [M3 .B1192 v.1]

     ed. J. Rifkin. M2010.B118 M4 S. 232 2006



             Text and translation



Recordings [entire Mass]

     Butt    Suzuki    Brüggen    Junghänel    Parrott    Herreweghe    Rilling    Rifkin     

BWV 232I: Overview

Study the text and music of the Missa BWV 232I. Make yourself an outline.


How are the three sections of the Kyrie treated stylistically? What kinds of movements are these?


Study the division of the Gloria text. What choices has Bach made and why? What kinds of movements are represented? What role does affect play in choices and settings?


The two known parody relationships--those for which models survive--in the Gloria are

Qui tollis                 =  BWV 46/1   Score    Recording: Suzuki

Gratias agimus tibi  =  BWV 29/2   Score    Recording: Rilling

Examine the parody models and their texts, and study their relationship to the Mass versions. How did Bach make the choice of model? How did he adapt the model? In what way is this kind of parody different from most of the examples we have studied? Does any of this matter in understanding the Latin work?

Texts of parody models
JSB Mass repertory


BWV 232I: Sources and performance

Examine the original performing parts (available online; see above), which represent a realization of the piece. What are its features? How does Bach use his forces? (Examine the Laudamus te, for example, which involves a concerted violin line.) What do you make of the bassoon part? What movements are "choral" and which are "solo," according to the parts? (Look at the Domine Deus and Qui tollis, for example.)


How do these features affect our view of the piece in performance today?

Written assignment 10: Choose a solo or duet ritornello movement from BWV 232I and write 350 words on it as a ritornello form. If it is a parody (with a model known or unknown) ignore that. Write about the Mass movement.

BWV 232I: Analysis

Spend analytical time with "Domine Deus"/"Domine Fili." What do you make of the way text is distributed between the voices? What is the formal organization of this movement? How do its opening passages work? What do you suppose its probable parody model looked like? How is it connected to the following movement? What's the harmonic plan of this movement and the following one?



Spend analytical time with "Gloria in excelsis" and "Et in terra pax." How are these movements organized? What role does ritornello form play in each?


 Many performances since approximately the 1960s have tried to apply differentiated vocal forces to these movements, using concertists for some sections and adding ripieno singers in others. How might that work? Is it a good idea?



Spend analytical time with the two "Kyrie eleison" settings. How does each make use of vocal imitation?

Written assignment 11: Write an essay of 350 words in which you explain how the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” BWV 232/4 works as a ritornello form. Include a diagram.


J.S. Bach, Mass in B Minor BWV 232



[Resources are as for BWV 232I above]




BWV 232: Sources and history

Scores:        BWV 29/2    BWV 46/1    BWV 171/1    BWV 12/2    BWV 120/2    BWV 215/1    BWV 11/4

Recordings: BWV 29/2    BWV 46/1    BWV 171/1    BWV 12/2    BWV 120/2    BWV 215/1    BWV 11/4


Please read for background:

Robert L. Marshall. "The Mass in B Minor: the autograph scores and the compositional process." In The music of Johann Sebastian Bach: the sources, the style, the significance, 175-89. New York, 1989.

Study the text and music of BWV 232 along with the known parody models. What kinds of adaptations are there? How do they compare to those in BWV 232I? How useful is parody as an approach to this music? Should we be so focused on Bach's compositional process?

Parody models
Texts of parody models
Outline and a text from "Entfernet euch, ihr heitern Sterne" BWV Anh. 9

Written assignment 12: Choose a movement from BWV 232 with a surviving parody model and write 350-500 words on Bach’s transformation. Make a point about what he did and what the result is.


BWV 232: Stile antico

Please read

Christoph Wolff. "Bach and the tradition of the Palestrina style." In Bach: Essays on his Life and Music, 84-104. Cambridge, Mass., 1991.

Study the Kyrie and Gloria of Bach's arrangement of Palestrina, "Missa sine nomine" a 6:

         Score:    Kyrie       Gloria         Recording:  Kyrie   Gloria   Qui tollis

Examine the Credo intonation for the Bassani Mass discussed in Wolff's essay. Recording: Rilling

Study the stile antico movements from the Mass in B Minor in analytical detail. Which are they? How do they make use of the style? Why in these movements?


BWV 232: Reception


We will focus on the 1786 benefit concert performed by C. P. E. Bach, which included the Credo of the Mass in B Minor.


Please read this chapter, concentrating on the section on the 1786 concert:


           George Stauffer. "The B-Minor Mass after Bach's Death: Survival, Revival, and Reinterpretation." Bach: The Mass in B Minor: The Great Catholic Mass. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Pp.175-205. 

How does this concert present the work? In the context of what other compositions? Why? Can this inform the way we think about the piece?

Original program

C. P. E. Bach's Introduction  Recording     Score (in the hand of a copyist)


J. S. Bach, Credo BWV 232 (arranged C. P. E. Bach)   Recording (as zipped mp3s) Score (in the hand of CPEB's principal copyist)      Parts


G. F. Handel, "Ich weiss, dass mein Erlöser lebet" and "Halleluja" from Messiah        Recording  and Recording         Score


C. P. E. Bach, Symphony [unspecified]


C. P. E. Bach, Magnificat Wq 215        Recording          Score 


C. P. E. Bach, "Heilig ist Gott" Wq 217    Recording      Score (1779)