Bach - Partitia No.4 in D, BWV 828: Sarabande and Gigue

2011 instrumental set works

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  • Created by: Joe
  • Created on: 21-04-11 11:33

Background

- 2 movements from a Partita - series of dances usually in the same key

- Composed in 1728 (late Baroque)

- Intended for domestic performance on harpsichord

- At this time composers allowed their musical invention to operate freely

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Rhythm and metre

- Sarabande = slow, triple time dance

  • 2nd beat of the bar emphasised via length or accent
  • This happens in bars 1-2, 14 and 29-30

- Elsewhere there is less dance-like semiquaver and demisemiquaver movement

- Gigue traditionally in compound time

- Continuous semiquaver movement

  • Longer dotted quaver chords
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Melody

- In the Sarabande, melody is evolved from a basic motif

- This process (Fortspinnung) involves:

  • Repetition
  • Sequence
  • Variation of intervals
  • Rhythmic variation

- Gigue opens with broken-chord pattern

- Then gives way to more conjunct movement

- Occasional chromaticism in both dances

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Harmony

- Functional

- Cadences

- Dominant 7ths (some inverted)

- Secondary 7ths

- Diminished 7th

- Neopolitan 6th

- Suspensions

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Tonality

- Both in D major

- Clearly defined by:

  • Cadences
  • Modulations to related keys
    • A major at bar 12
    • E minor at bar 24 (Sarabande)
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Structure

- Binary with repeats

- 1st sections finish in the dominant and returns to the tonic in the second

- Unusually the 2nd section of the Gigue is the same length as the 1st.

  • In most binary movements the 2nd section is longer
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Resources/Texture

- Written for harpsichord

  • Therefore intended for an instrument with smaller dynamic range and less sustaining power than the modern piano

- Sarabande has variety of textures:

  • Homophony (bar 1)
  • Monophony (bar 2)
  • 2 part with steady moving quaver bass supporting more rhythmic upper part
  • Free voiced textures - Passage with varying numbers of parts (bars 11-12)

- Gigue opens fugally - each part entering imitatively

- 2nd section opens with new melody which becomes a countersubject to the original subject when it returns in bar 55

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