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Encyclopedia > BACH motif
The BACH motif.
The BACH motif.

In music, the BACH motif is the sequence of notes B flat, A, C, B natural. Bach's use of this cruciform melody in reference to himself extended to its inversion, retrograde, retrograde-inversion, and all transpositions thereof. Image File history File links B-a-c-h. ... Image File history File links B-a-c-h. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ...


This four-note motif has been used by a number of composers, usually as a homage to Johann Sebastian Bach. The first known example, however, is in a piece by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in the 17th century—it is possible, though not certain, that he used it in homage to one of Johann Sebastian's ancestors, many of whom were themselves musicians. In music, a motif is a perceivable or salient reoccurring fragment or succession of notes that may used to construct the entirety or parts of complete melodies, themes. ... Places in which Bach resided throughout his life Johann Sebastian Bach (pronounced ) (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought... Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–October 16, 1621) was a Dutch composer, organist, and pedagogue whose work straddled the end of the Renaissance and beginning of the Baroque eras. ...

BACH signature cross
BACH signature cross

The possibility of being able to spell the surname Bach in this way comes about because in German B indicates what in English is called B flat, while H indicates what in English is called B natural. Image File history File links J_S_Bachov_Kriz_B-A-C-H.JPG Summary J.S.Bach (musical) cross. ... Image File history File links J_S_Bachov_Kriz_B-A-C-H.JPG Summary J.S.Bach (musical) cross. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


J. S. Bach himself used it as a fugue subject in the final part of Die Kunst der Fuge (BWV 1080), a work he did not complete before he died in 1750. It appears in passing in several of his other pieces, such as at the end of the fourth of the canonic variations on "Vom Himmel Hoch", BWV 769. Its appearance in the penultimate bar of the Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth, BWV 591, is not thought to be very significant and the work may even be spurious (Johann David Heinichen has been suggested as a possible composer). It shows up in the St Matthew Passion in the section where the chorus sings "This man was God's own son most truly." In many pieces, while the exact notes B-A-C-H are not played, a transposition of the motif is used (a note sequence with the same intervals: down a semitone, up a minor third, down a semitone). Many of the fugues in Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, for example, employ the motive in transposed form. In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ... The Art of Fugue or The Art of the Fugue (originally titled in German as Die Kunst der Fuge), BWV 1080, is an unfinished work by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue) is the numbering system used to identify musical works by Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Events March 2 - Small earthquake in London, England April 4 - Small earthquake in Warrington, England August 23 - Small earthquake in Spalding, England September 30 - Small earthquake in Northampton, England November 16 – Westminster Bridge officially opened Jonas Hanway is the first Englishman to use an umbrella James Gray reveals her sex... Johann David Heinichen (1683 - July 16, 1729) was a Baroque composer and theorist active in Dresden at the court of Augustus the Strong. ... Several composers have written St. ... Title-page of Das wohltemperirte Clavier A flat major (As-dur) fugue from the second part of Das wohltemperirte Clavier (manuscript) The Well-Tempered Clavier (in the original German: Das wohltemperierte Clavier[1]) is a collection of solo keyboard music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. ...


A fugue for keyboard in F major by one of Bach's sons, probably either Johann Christian Bach or Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, exists using the motif, but it was not until the 19th century when interest in Bach was revived that the motif began to be used with any regularity. Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788) was a German musician and composer, the second of five sons of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Perhaps because it was used by Bach himself in a fugue, the motif is often used by other composers in fugues or other complex contrapuntal writing. In music, counterpoint is a texture involving the simultaneous sounding of separate melodies or lines against each other, as in polyphony. ...


Works featuring the motif

Works which prominently feature the BACH motif include, in chronological order:

The motif features in passing in a number of other works including Arnold Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra (1926-28) and his String Quartet No. 3 (1927), Krzysztof Penderecki's St Luke Passion, Johannes Brahms' cadenza for the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 and the fifth and final movement of Godowsky's Sonata in E Minor (1910-11) for piano. For others with the same name see Robert Schumann (disambiguation). ... Organ in Katharinenkirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany The organ is a keyboard instrument played using one or more manuals and a pedalboard. ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... A Harmonium or Reed Organ is a free-standing musical keyboard instrument similar to a pipe organ. ... Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Liszt Ferenc; the surname is pronounced as the English word list, that is ) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian virtuoso pianist and composer of the Romantic period. ... In music, an arrangement refers either to a rewriting of a piece of existing music with additional new material or to a fleshing-out of a compositional sketch, such as a lead sheet. ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: , Nikolaj Andreevič Rimskij-Korsakov), also Nikolay, Nicolai, and Rimsky-Korsakoff, (March 6 (O.S. March 18), 1844 – June 8 (O.S. June 21) 1908) was a Russian composer, one of five Russian composers known as The Five, and was later a teacher of harmony and... Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (March 19, 1873 – May 11, 1916) was a German composer, organist, pianist and teacher. ... Ferruccio Busoni Ferruccio Busoni (April 1, 1866 – July 27, 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, music teacher and conductor. ... Fantasia Contrappuntistica is a solo piano piece composed by Ferruccio Busoni. ... Carl Nielsen Carl August Nielsen (June 9, 1865, Sortelung – October 3, 1931, Copenhagen) was a conductor, violinist, and the most internationally known composer from Denmark. ... Alfredo Casella (Turin, July 25, 1883, Rome, March 5, 1947) was an Italian composer. ... Arthur Honegger in 1921. ... Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (IPA: ) (January 7, 1899 - January 30, 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. ... Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 – September 15, 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. ... The String Quartet by Anton Webern is written for the standard string quartet group of two violins, viola and cello. ... In music, a tone row or note row is a permutation, an arrangement or ordering, of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale. ... Jean Coulthard (February 10, 1908 - March 9, 2000) was a Canadian composer and academic. ... Luigi Dallapiccola (February 3, 1904 – February 19, 1975) was an Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions. ... Arvo Pärt (born September 11, 1935 in Paide), (IPA: ˈɑr̺vÉ” ˈpær̺t) is an Estonian composer, often identified with the school of minimalism and more specifically, that of mystic minimalism or sacred minimalism. He is considered a pioneer of this style, along with contemporaries Henryk Górecki... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Harpsichord in the Flemish style A harpsichord is any of a family of European keyboard instruments, including the large instrument currently called a harpsichord, but also the smaller virginals, the muselar virginals and the spinet. ... A short grand piano, with the top up. ... Rudolf Brucci, composer of Croatian origin, born in Zagreb on March 30th, 1917. ... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... Alfred Schnittke April 6, 1989, Moscow Alfred Garyevich Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́тке, November 24, 1934 Engels - August 3, 1998 Hamburg) was a Russian composer. ... Alfred Schnittke April 6, 1989, Moscow Alfred Garyevich Schnittke (Russian: Альфре́д Га́рриевич Шни́тке, November 24, 1934 Engels - August 3, 1998 Hamburg) was a Russian composer. ... Ron Nelson was born in Joliet, Illinois, on December 14, 1929. ... Schoenberg redirects here. ... Krzysztof Penderecki. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A cadenza is usually now taken to mean a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time (without a strict, regular pulse) and can be written or improvised, depending on what the composer specifies. ... 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler Beethoven redirects here. ... Ludwig van Beethovens Piano Concerto No. ... Leopold Godowsky (Leopold Godowski) (February 13, 1870–November 21, 1938) was a Polish pianist, composer, and teacher. ...


In a comprehensive study published in the catalogue for the 1985 exhibition "300 Jahre Johann Sebastian Bach" ("300 years Johann Sebastian Bach") in Stuttgart, Germany Ulrich Prinz lists 409 works by 330 composers from the 17th to the 20th century using the BACH motif (ISBN 3-7952-0459-3). City Center seen from Weinsteige Road Stuttgart Palace Square - New Palace Solitude Palace The 1956 TV Tower U.S. Army Kelley Barracks Stuttgart [], located in southern Germany, is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of 591,528 (as of April 2006) in the city...


In popular music, the BACH motif is found in the basslines of the Radiohead songs "Optimistic" and "Go to Sleep," and in the bassline of the solo Thom Yorke song "Black Swan." Radiohead are an English rock band from Oxfordshire, initially formed in 1985 under the name On a Friday. ... Thomas Edward Yorke (born October 7, 1968 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England) is best known as the lead singer of the English alternative rock band Radiohead. ...


Other signature motifs

Note: These are possible because, in German, E-flat is "Es" sounding the same as 'S', and A-flat is "As"

Other signature motifs include:

  • F, E flat, C, B natural for Franz Schubert (F. Schubert)
  • E flat, C, B natural, B flat, E, G for Arnold Schoenberg (Schönberg)
  • D, E flat, C, B natural for Dmitri Shostakovich (D. Schostakowitsch; see DSCH)
  • B, E, B, A or B, A, B, E for Béla Bartók (la Bartók, the latter motif recognizing the Hungarian practice of placing the family name before the personal name, see eastern order)
  • C, A, G, E for John Cage, used by Pauline Oliveros[1] and, in the composition "CAGE DEAD", by Simon Jeffes of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
  • A, B flat, B natural, F for Alban Berg and Hanna Fuchs-Robettin (A. B. and H. F.), used in Berg's Lyric Suite
  • A, B flat, E, G, G for Meta Abegg, the inspiration for Robert Schumann's Abegg Variations, Op. 1
  • A, S, C, H and As, C, H (in English notation A - E flat - C - B and A flat - C - B), used in Schumann's Carnaval. He was romantically involved with one Ernestine von Fricken, who came from the town of Aš, whose name in German is "Asch". These letters also appear in Schumann's own name. Every piece in the whole cycle is based on one or other of these motifs.
  • H, A, E, A, Es (in English notation B - A - E - A - E flat) is used by Thomas Mann in his novel Doktor Faustus for "hetaera Esmeralda", the prostitute Esmeralda his protagonist Adrian Leverkühn is involved with.

  Results from FactBites:
 
BACH motif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (712 words)
In music, the BACH motif is the sequence of notes B flat, A, C, B natural.
A fugue for keyboard in F major by one of Bach's sons, probably either Johann Christian Bach or Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, exists using the motif, but it was not until the 19th century when interest in Bach was revived that the motif began to be used with any regularity.
Perhaps because it was used by Bach himself in a fugue, the motif is often used by other composers in fugues or other complex contrapuntal writing.
Bach (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (203 words)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), composer, harpsichordist and pianist
Johann Bernhard Bach (1676–1749) composer, harpsichordist and organist
BACH motif, a four-note sequence (b-flat, a natural, c natural, b natural) which features in a number of pieces of music, usually in homage to J.S.Bach.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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