Music 395—Worksheet 10              Name:

The Chorale Prelude & Vocal Polyphony

Score Analysis—Chorale Prelude
Score Analysis—Vocal Polyphony
Suggested Recordings

Due Date: Monday, May 3, 2004


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Score Analysis 1

Bach, “O Gott, du frommer Gott”—Burkhart, p. 126 (see p. 133 in 5th ed.)

Below is the chorale melody that Bach embellished to create the chorale prelude “O Gott, du frommer Gott.” Make a photocopy of p. 126 (or 133 in 5/e) from Burkhart. Then compare the original chorale melody with the embellished version by circling (on the photocopy) notes of the original melody as you follow it through the prelude (top voice only!).

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Score Analysis 2

Bach, B minor Mass, “Et expecto resurrectionem”—Palisca, Norton Anthology of Western Music, Vol. 1, pp. 560-574 (pick up photocopy if you don’t have NAWM)

On p. 45 of his essay, Tovey reprints the ritornello melody from a cantata movement that Bach used as the basis for this chorus. Diagram this chorus as an example of ritornello form. First you must distinguish between ritornello statements and episodes in this work.

Curiously, Bach never once states the ritornello in its entirety in this chorus, so you can treat any statement of at least 8 measures from “Tovey’s” ritornello as a ritornello statement. The only exception is a very brief statement of the ritornello at the tail end of the chorus. Everything else may be treated as episode. Look carefully—Bach often rearranges the order of events in the middle of some ritornello statements. To further confuse matters, Bach often uses fragments from the ritornello in his episodes (just as in his fugues), especially those motives that Tovey marks as (a) and (b).

Label and number each ritornello statement on your diagram (Ritornello I, Ritornello II, etc.), and tell me (with measure numbers) which portion of “Tovey’s” ritornello Bach used in each statement. [Ex. “Ritornello I (m,. 17-24)”] Label episodes so as to show clear similarities or contrasts between the episodes (i.e., if the second episode is similar to the first, call it A’; otherwise call it B!). Under the time-line on your diagram, indicate the measure number where each ritornello or episode begins and name the principal key for each section.

Once you have found your ritornelli and episodes, identify (on the diagram) those sections that are primarily for chorus, those primarily for orchestra, and those in which chorus and orchestra both participate.

Answer these questions:

  1. Does Bach use changes in scoring/instrumentation to help distinguish between ritornello and episode sections? If so, explain. How do these sections express the principles of ritornello form (as found in Baroque concertos—see pp. 234-240 in Green if you need to review)?
  2. Which sections of the chorus fit the definition of “point of imitation,” Ritornelli or episodes? Explain.

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Suggested Recordings—

Buehler Library

Created 4/28/04 by Mark Harbold—last updated 4/28/04.