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Bach's youthful period

Dear Friends, Last week I discussed the concepts of linear and vertical development, and some of the ways they have influenced the evolution of music. You might recall that, in simplest terms, linear development deals with melody. Vertical development, however, is related to harmony. While one might consider these two concepts fundamentally different, during the Baroque Period (1685 - 1750) they reached a sort of developmental equilibrium. Melody and harmony played equally important roles in music of this period, and the two became developmentally interchangeable - meaning that a melody could also serve as a harmony part, or a harmony part could be used as a melody. This type of inversion is one of the most fundamental concepts of counterpoint, the primary compositional technique of the Baroque Period. Johann Sebastian Bach was an undisputed master of this discipline, as well as an undisputedly masterful organist. His music is the best possible example of contrapuntal development, maintaining a perfect balance between melody and harmony. This Sunday I will play Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Major, which was written during his Youthful Period. Until we meet again, take care and stay well! David

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