Melodic Inversion in J. S. Bach's Keyboard Suites

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Title: Melodic Inversion in J. S. Bach's Keyboard Suites
Author: Linsley, Dennis Edward, 1975-
Abstract: The use of melodic inversion in the second reprises of Bach's keyboard suites is commonly acknowledged. However, no published account gives a detailed explanation of the context-driven nature of such inversion. After discussing the general characteristics of inversion in the English Suites, French Suites, and Partitas, I develop a methodology that describes inverted subjects as transformations of the original subject using three criteria: (1) a scale-degree axis of inversion, (2) a diatonic or chromatic transposition level, and (3) a narrowly-defined but flexibly-applied list of modifications. The application of the method to the opening of each reprise in selected allemandes and courantes reveals salient aspects of Bach's treatment of inverted subjects. A complete analysis of the Allemande from the English Suite in G minor deepens our understanding of Bach's practice by showing how subjects are treated flexibly, and how they can be used in the service of larger goals across an entire piece.
Description: xiv, 113 p. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
Date: 2008-06

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