Remeš, Derek (2019): Thoroughbass Pedagogy Near Johann Sebastian Bach. Editions and Translations of Four Manuscript Sources. ZGMTH 16/2, 95–108.
eingereicht / submitted: 06/12/2018
angenommen / accepted: 31/03/2019
veröffentlicht / first published: 23/12/2019
zuletzt geändert / last updated: 14/01/2020

Thoroughbass Pedagogy Near Johann Sebastian Bach

Editions and Translations of Four Manuscript Sources[1]

Derek Remeš

Schlagworte/Keywords: 17. Jahrhundert; 17th century; 18. Jahrhundert; 18th century; commentary; Generalbass; historical models of composition; historische Satzlehre; Kommentar; Quellenedition; source edition; thoroughbass


My dissertation, which is currently in progress, attempts to reconstruct the compositional pedagogy of Johann Sebastian Bach using historical sources.[2] In the course of my research I have come across four manuscript sources linked to Bach. Since I have outlined the historical and music-theoretical context of Bach’s pedagogy in greater detail elsewhere,[3] such commentary is kept to a minimum here.

The four sources are:

  1. Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius (1623–1695): Kurtzer doch gründlicher Unterricht vom General-Baß (c. 1655–95); D-W, 2-3-10-musica;[4]

  2. Johann Valentin Eckelt (1675–1732): Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht wie man eine Fuga oder Præludium formiren und einrichten soll (1722); A-Wmk, 221/27;

  3. Johann Valentin Eckelt: Kurtzer unterricht was einen Organist[en] nötig zu wißen seÿ (n.d.); A-Wmk, 546/39;

  4. Johann Christian Kittel (1732–1809): Generalbass Schule (c. 1786–89); US-NH, LM 3911, ma21y11k652.

Not only do all four sources share an indirect relationship to J. S. Bach, they are also thematically and methodologically united in their use of keyboard thoroughbass as a pedagogical tool in the context of practical, example-based instruction. This commonality is of central importance for the reconstruction of Bach’s compositional pedagogy, since accounts of Bach’s teaching and surviving documents suggest that he too emphasized practical matters in his teaching.[5] More importantly, Bach explicitly associated composition with thoroughbass and the keyboard. In a recommendation dated 1727, Bach attested that his student, Friedrich Gottlieb Wild (1700–1762), “has taken special instruction from me in the clavier, thoroughbass, and the fundamental principles [Fundamental-Regeln] of composition which are derived from them.”[6] Yet unfortunately, Bach left only two brief sets of rules outlining his thoroughbass pedagogy.[7] Moreover, the anonymous Vorschriften und Grundsätze (also called the Generalbasslehre of 1738 or the “Precepts and Principles”), which borrows sections from Friedrich Erhard Niedt’s Musicalische Handleitung (1700–17), cannot be conclusively attributed to Bach.[8] The lack of robust evidence stemming directly from Bach forces any attempt to reconstruct his teaching to examine documents from his wider sphere of influence – hence the publication of the above four manuscript sources.

Overview of the Provenance and Content of Each Source

Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius (1623–1695): Kurtzer doch gründlicher Unterricht vom General-Baß (c. 1655–95); D-W, 2-3-10-musica

This brief treatise is the sixth in a volume belonging to Friedrich E. Praetorius (full contents listed below). Praetorius was cantor of the Lüneburg Michaeliskloster from 1655 to 1695. The Unterricht has not been dated with any more precision than to the dates of his time as a teacher there.[9] Its significance for the present article is that the teenage Bach attended this school from 1700 to late 1702 or early 1703. Thus, although Praetorius’s years did not overlap with Bach’s, Praetorius’s treatise is useful in defining the type of thoroughbass instruction typical of the generation before Bach. Whether some of Praetorius’s materials remained in use during Bach’s tenure in Lüneburg remains uncertain.

In general, seventeenth-century German thoroughbass is characterized by its status as mere accompaniment, subsidiary to the inherited tradition of Renaissance vocal composition.[10] In contrast, by the end of the century, musicians in German-speaking lands increasingly attributed central importance to thoroughbass as a conceptual framework for composition itself. A series of treatises published after c. 1700 can be understood as a turning point in this development.[11] In this respect, F. E. Praetorius’s Unterricht is normative in that it treats thoroughbass primarily as accompaniment.[12] It was also common for seventeenth-century German thoroughbass manuals to combine staff notation for the bassline with realizations in New German Tablature, as Praetorius does in the Unterricht and his Exempla (no. 3 below).[13] What distinguishes the Unterricht, however, is that it is the earliest extant treatise to associate the trias harmonica with thoroughbass.[14] Thus, it exists at the confluence of seventeenth-century German speculative and practical traditions.

The Unterricht appears as the final item in a volume containing the following treatises:

  1. Johann Andreas Herbst, Musica Practica (Nürnberg, 1642) with manuscript additions by F. E. Praetorius;

  2. Johann Andreas Herbst, Musica Poëtica (Nürnberg, 1643);

  3. Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius, Exempla auf den Bassum Continuum (manuscript);[15]

  4. Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius, Kurtzer Bericht vom Monochordo (manuscript);

  5. Esaias Compenius, Kurtzer Bericht waß bey überliefferung einer [] Orgel [] examiniret werden muß (manuscript after Michael Praetorius’s Syntagma Musicum);

  6. Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius, Kurtzer doch gründlicher Unterricht vom General-Baß (manuscript).

While F. E. Praetorius is not named within nos. 3, 4, and 6 on their respective title pages, the volume’s main index identifies him as the author of all three treatises.[16]

Johann Valentin Eckelt (1675–1732): Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht wie man eine Fuga oder Præludium formiren und einrichten soll (1722); A-Wmk, 221/27

Johann Valentin Eckelt was an organist in central Germany who studied with Johann Pachelbel for a few months in 1690 and eventually settled in Sondershausen in 1701, where he remained until his death.[17] J. S. Bach’s older brother, Johann Christoph Bach, also studied with Pachelbel between 1686 and 1689. In 1695, the orphaned J. S. Bach went to Ohrdruf to live with his brother, from whom he received his first musical instruction.[18] As Michael Belotti has argued, it is likely that the instruction Johann Sebastian received from his brother may have been modeled after Pachelbel’s teachings.[19] Thus, Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht may shed light on J. S. Bach’s early education.

The scribe of Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht is Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber (1702–1775), who studied with Eckelt beginning in 1721 and transcribed the Unterricht in 1722. According to Gerber’s son, Eckelt was more of a theorist than an artist, and since there was little that his father could learn from Eckelt, the elder Gerber went to Leipzig in 1724 to study with Bach.[20] Yet the practical orientation of the Kurtzen Unterricht seems to portray a different image of Eckelt. Indeed, in § 11, for example, Eckelt explicitly omits further theoretical explanation because he wishes to maintain a practical orientation. He refers the reader to another unnamed treatise, which may be a reference to one of his other three surviving manuscript treatises, all located at A-Wgm:

  • Prolegomena de musica in genere;

  • Experimenta musicæ compositæ;

  • Curtzer unterricht, was eines Organisten nötig zu wißen sey.

Transcriptions and/or translations of these works would surely cast more light on the pedagogy of Pachelbel’s circle, and perhaps on Bach’s early education as well.[21]

Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht is divided into two parts. The first begins by addressing the topic of preluding according to the eight “church tones,” including brief incipits demonstrating each tone.[22] The tables showing primary (scale degrees , , ) and secondary cadences (scale degrees , ) that conclude part one represent a blend of modal and tonal theory. On the one hand, the modal tradition of taking degrees , , and as primary modulatory goals goes back at least as far as the first edition of Zarlino’s Istitutioni harmoniche in 1558.[23] On the other hand, Eckelt’s tables do not use traditional modal names for keys. Instead, they merely identify the type of third – either major or minor – a clear reflection of the emerging tonal system. For instance, in the title page of the Well-Tempered Clavier I (1722), J. S. Bach identifies major and minor keys based solely on their type of third.[24] The second part of Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht addresses how to arrange the dux and comes (subject and answer) of a fugue based on the incipit of a chorale melody. Possible models for such fugues can be found in the Weimar Tablature, which originates from Pachelbel’s circle of pupils.[25]

For Eckelt, both praeludiren (part one of his treatise) and fugieren (part two) are conceived in terms of the practical, improvisatory skills necessary for an organist to develop. Regarding the difference between the two, I believe Konrad Küster is correct distinguishing between the two genres of Vorspiel (melody presented clearly) and Prelude (melodically free; only defining the key).[26] Note that the number of voices in Eckelt’s non-imitative examples fluctuates mostly between three and four, which implies a lack of strictness in his conception of voice-leading. This contrasts with C. Ph. E. Bach’s description of his father’s teaching, which emphasizes “pure four-part thoroughbass” (“reinen 4stimmigen Generalbaß[]”[27]). Bach’s corrections of Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber’s thoroughbass realization of a violin sonata by Tomaso Albinoni also reveal a preference for four-voice textures in thoroughbass realization.[28]

Johann Valentin Eckelt: Kurtzer unterricht was einen Organist[en] nötig zu wißen seÿ (n.d.); A-Wmk, 546/39

Unlike Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht, neither the date nor the scribe of Kurtzer unterricht is known. Kurtzer unterricht is the longer of the two. The section on preluding and the modes is mostly the same as in Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht. However, the fact that they are not identical, but actually contain very many spelling differences and a few different words, suggests that Eckelt may have dictated his treatises to his pupils. That the instruction on the third mode is out of order in Kurtzer unterricht implies that Eckelt may have initially skipped over it by accident.

On the one hand, Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht contains the tables described above explaining modulation not present in Kurtzer unterricht. On the other hand, Kurtzer unterricht contains two additional sections on thoroughbass and suspensions not present in the other treatise. The additional sections in Kurtzer unterricht are notable in that Eckelt combines the traditional dyadic conception of dissonance typical of the seventeenth-century reception of Renaissance practice (as seen in the treatises of Sweelinck, Bernhard, Printz, and Walther) with thoroughbass instruction. In this view, a chord is considered dissonant when it contains a dissonant interval, usually measured against the bass. This dissonance – either a transitus (passing or neighbor) or syncopatio (suspension) – is treated as a dyadic event between two voices, not as the delay of a chord tone, as later theories tend to conceive of suspensions. Eckelt’s dyadic conception can be seen, for instance, when he emphasizes on two occassions that double thoroughbass figures (like 9/7) are derived from single ones (9 and 7) – each dissonant interval being judged independently against the bass. The most important treatise to combine a traditional dyadic conception of dissonance with thoroughbass is Johann David Heinichen’s Der General-Bass in der Composition (1728), which, notably, Bach sold out of his home in Leipzig, likely on commission.[29] Whether this implies Bach’s endorsement of Heinichen’s music-theoretical views is a question I address in my forthcoming dissertation. The only external source Eckelt names in either treatise is Caspar Kerll’s Modulatio organica (1686), a set of brief Magnificat verses that Eckelt recommends for further instruction regarding keys and key relationships. Eckelt also mentions Christoph Bernhard and Girolamo Frescobaldi by name. As in Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht, Eckelt closes Kurtzer unterricht with a section on fugue.

Johann Christian Kittel (1732–1809): Generalbass Schule (c. 1786–89); US-NH, LM 3911, ma21y11k652

Johann Christian Kittel received his initial musical instruction from Jacob Adlung (1699–1762) and later from J. S. Bach in the years 1748–50.[30] Kittel’s Generalbass Schule is in the hand of his pupil, Johann Christian Heinrich Rinck (1770–1846), who studied with Kittel in Erfurt from 1786 to 1789. Susan McCormick, who has briefly described the contents of the Generalbass Schule, concludes that it likely dates from Rinck’s time as Kittel’s pupil.[31]

The Schule itself is 257 pages long, the majority of which comprise musical examples. The present edition reproduces only the first 49 folios, since these contain the only textual instruction in the entire source. A facsimile of the entire source is available online.[32] Folios 1–49 consist of ten “rules,” one for each type of thoroughbass figure, mostly focusing on defining the proper auxiliary voices (Hülffs-Stimmen or Neben-Stimmen) and how to avoid voice-leading errors. Each rule is illustrated by examples, nearly all of which are in four-voice Griffnotation (three notes in the right hand in close position, the bass in the left), which appears to have been the standard realization strategy in Bach’s pedagogy and in early eighteenth-century Germany.[33]

Several of Kittel’s examples include some of the most characteristic eighteenth-century sequences. Many other examples are chorale-based, some with written-out Zwischenspiele (interludes), indicating that Kittel’s intended audience included church organists who needed to accompany congregational singing. That Kittel, a Bach pupil, would teach thoroughbass using chorales, seems to suggest that Kittel’s Generalbass Schule may reproduce some aspects of Bach’s own teaching. For instance, like J. S. Bach’s own instruction, Kittel sometimes gives only the outer voices for a chorale.[34] But Kittel also gives non-chorale-based thoroughbass exercises with an upper voice (as on p. [27]). Another similarity with Bach is that Kittel is strict about maintaining a four-voice texture throughout most of his examples. One wonders whether all the upper voices stem directly from Kittel, since on pages [44] to [47] there is an exercise with an incomplete realization. Are some of the realizations Rinck’s? If so, did Kittel correct them? It may be impossible to know for sure.

Like Niedt, Heinichen, and C. Ph. E. Bach, Kittel emphasizes that the pupil should be able to transpose exercises in all three right-hand positions (Lagen).[35] Kittel’s cycling through these positions as an exercise for beginners (pp. [5]–[8]) and the appearance of the term Fundament-Noten to refer to structural tones (p. [19]) both appear in Heinichen’s two treatises as well (1711; 1728). Moreover, like Heinichen, Kittel allows for the dissonances of a fourth, diminished fifth, and seventh to enter unprepared. As mentioned already, J. S. Bach acted as agent for Heinichen’s treatise.[36] Taken together, all these similarities suggest a degree of continuity between Heinichen, J. S. Bach, C. Ph. E. Bach, and Kittel’s pedagogical methods. Indeed, the end of the Generalbass Schule reproduces basses from C. Ph. E. Bach’s instruction on free fantasy, which confirms that Kittel oriented his instruction in part around C. Ph. E. Bach’s.[37]

I have left the word Accord (pl. Accorde) untranslated in Kittel’s treatise. It generally refers to a 5/3 with doubled bass – the so-called “ordinary chord”, or 8/5/3. English-speaking readers may be surprised to see that, as was common at the time, Kittel only recognizes three types of motion: motus rectus, motus obliquus, and motus contrarius. Motus rectus subsumes the two categories of similar and parallel. As was also common, Kittel judges polyphonic textures in terms of the contrapuntal motion between the outer voices, conceived as “right hand vs. left hand.” In Griffnotation, such thinking greatly simplifies improvised thoroughbass realization.

Notes on the transcriptions

An effort was made to reproduce the original sources as faithfully as possible. This includes preserving original spelling (e.g. “Qvint” instead of “Quint”); however, the distinction between “s” and “ʃ” was not preserved. Bars over individual letters signaling the doubling of consonants have been omitted throughout. Non-German words are generally not given in italics, even though the italicization of Latin words was common in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century printed works. The reason for this is that all four sources are manuscripts, where the difference between standard and italic scripts can hardly (if at all) be recognized. Numbers appearing in text are generally transcribed as text (terza = third), while numbers given as Arabic numerals are transcribed as numerals. Square brackets [ ] designate editorial remarks and are also used to indicate the beginning of each page number in the original source. The original punctuation, although sometimes not entirely consistent, has largely been maintained.

Musical examples are given in their original note values and beaming. Note, however, that all treble clefs were originally soprano (or, in rare cases, alto) clefs in the original sources (this change being introduced for greater legibility for today’s readers). Despite this change of clef, all notes are reproduced on their original staff. Stem direction indicating separate voices has been maintained, but stem direction in general could not always be maintained due to the change from soprano to treble clef. In rare cases, double bar lines have been added to distinguish more clearly between separate examples on the same line. All small note heads are editorial additions. Dashed slurs are also editorial. Hypothetical thoroughbass realizations are occasionally given for convenience. Parenthesis ( ) indicate editorial accidentals. Octave designations are C, c, c1, c², c³, where A=440 Hz is a1.

Notes on the translations

The following commonly recurring terms are occasionally left untranslated, particularly in the Kittel treatise, where they appear quite often.

  • dur = major

  • moll = minor

  • -is = sharp

  • -es/-s = flat

  • B = B-flat

  • H = B

  • vel = or.


The following overview of the contents of LM 3911 (Johann Christian Kittel, Generalbass Schule) is largely a translation of an unpublished handout prepared by Jörg-Andreas Bötticher (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland) on January 21, 2014.[38]





Erster Theil [First Part]: Allegro. A 3 Voc. / a 4 Voc.

figured and realized



after pp. 52–56 no longer realized


Allegro (in C major)

figured and realized



only bassline and figures



figured and realized; with imitative opening

59 (twice)


continuation of previous piece



figured and realized


Andante (in A minor), Allegro



Fantasia (in C major)

first four measures realized


Fantasia (in C minor)

not realized


Fantasia (in D major)

not realized


Fantasia (in D minor)

not realized



imitative piece in A minor


Allegro (in C major)



Andante (in C major)

only upper voice notated


Moderato (in C major)

only bass and figures


Quint-Sexten Accorde [6/5 chords]

three-measure, realized piece





Zweiter Theil [Second Part]: Allegro (in C major)

figured and realized


Adagio (in C minor)

three voices


Allegro (in C major)

figured and realized


Largo (in A minor)

figured and realized


Allegro (in D minor)

figured and realized


Andante (in D minor)

often only three voices


Allegro molto (in F major)

often only three voices


Adagio (in D minor)



Allegro (in C major)

unison beginning; overture or symphony?


Andante (in F major)

figured and realized


Allegro assai (in F major)

figured and realized


Vivace (in C major)

figured and realized; beginning like Bach’s Italian Concerto


Allegretto (in C major)

figured and realized


Allegro molto (in F major)

figured and realized


Andante (in D minor) a 3 voc / a 4 voc



Allegretto (in G major)

figured and realized


Von der Secunde [on the second]

thoroughbass example


Andante (in A minor)

figured and realized


Allegro (in A major)

figured and realized


Andante (in D minor)

figured and realized with imitation


Dritter Theil [Third Part]. Allegro (in B-flat major)

fugue-like beginning


Adagio (in E-flat major)

often only three voices


Largo (in B-flat major)

figured and realized


Andante (in D minor)

figured and realized


Andante (in C major)

ostinato rhythm


Allegro (in C major)

ostinato rhythm


Andantino (in D minor)

figured and realized


Vivace (in C major)

figured and realized


Andante (in G major)



Adagio (in E minor)

figured and realized


Allegro (in G major)



Allegro (in D major)






Thoroughbass exercises and bass progressions



Durchgehende Secunden [passing seconds].

Two short examples


various harmonizations of 4 upper-voice pitches



harmonizations of longer phrases






Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


Alle Menschen müssen sterben

four-voice, realized thoroughbass chorale


various chorale exercises






various bass and melody patterns



Choral: Valet will ich dir geben



various bass and melody patterns



ascending and descending scales

bass with figures


ascending and descending scales

bass with figures


ascending and descending scales

bass with figures


various cadences

bass with figures


bass progressions

bass with figures


bass progressions

partially realized


short pieces

only bass and figures


short bass progressions

figured and realized





short bass progressions

figured and realized



chromatic and enharmonic basses; partially realized


“Chromatische Sätze müssen nur dann und wann, mit guter Art, und langsam vorgetragen werden.” [Chromatic passages should only be used occasionally, properly, and slowly.]



Modulation exercises

partially realized


Modulation exercises



“Dieses Allegro ist das Gerippe zur folgenden Fantasie di P. E. Bach. Allegro” [This Allegro is the skeleton of the following fantasy by C. Ph. E. Bach.]

Bassline copied from Bach, C. Ph. E. (1753/1762, 2:341).


6 Lessons

in a different hand; in treble clef; two voices with figures; ascending scale in upper voice outlining progressively bigger intervals






My sincere thanks to Christa Maria Richter (; for her help in transcribing the text of the four manuscripts.


Derek Remeš, Thoroughbass, Chorale, and Fugue: Reconstructing J. S. Bach’s Fundamental-Regeln Through Historical Sources, Hochschule für Musik Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), advisor: Felix Diergarten (projected completion: summer 2020).


See Remeš 2019.


All library sigla follow the RISM standards: (15 Dec 2019).


Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach described his father in a letter to Johann Nikolaus Forkel thus: “The departed, like myself or any true musician, was no lover of dry, mathematical stuff. […] In composition he started his pupils right in with what was practical, and omitted all the dry species of counterpoint that are given in Fux and others.” (“Der seelige war, wie ich u. alle eigentlichen Musici, kein Liebhaber, von trocknem mathematischen Zeuge. […] In der Composition gieng er gleich an das Nützliche mit seinen Scholaren, mit Hinweglaßung aller der trockenen Arten von Contrapuncten, wie sie in Fuxen u. andern stehen”; Bach-Archiv Leipzig 1963–2017 [henceforth: Bach-Dok], vol. 3, 288–289, my translation). Bach’s corrections of Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber’s thoroughbass realization of a violin sonata by Tomaso Albinoni also emphasize the practical bent of Bach’s instruction (D-B 455). See Spitta 1884–99, vol. 3, 388–398, for a transcription.


“Als habe solches wegen christlicher Schuldigkeit nicht abschlagen, sondern vielmehr mit Bestand der Wahrheit attestiren können, daß wohlgedachter Mons: Wild in die Vier Jahre so er auf hiesiger Vniversitæt gelebet sich allezeit fleißig und emsig erwießen, solchergestallt, daß er nicht allein Unsere Kirchen Music durch seine wohlerlernte Flaute-traversiere und Clavecin zieren helffen, sondern auch sich bey mir gar speciell in Clavier, General-Bass und denen daraus fließenden Fundamental-Regeln der Composition informiren laßen […].” (Bach-Dok, vol. 1, 127)


These are the very brief and error-filled “Einige höchst nöthige Regeln vom General Basse” (scribe: Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach) and the slightly longer “Einige Reguln vom General Bass” (scribe: Anna Magdalena Bach). Both lists are found at the end of the Klavierbüchlein für A. M. Bach 1725 (D-B Mus. ms. P 225). Regarding provenance, see Dadelsen 1957. German transcriptions may be found in Spitta 1873/80, vol. 2, 951–952, and Wollny 2011, 37; an English transcription can be found in Poulin 1994, 102–103.


Anonymous 1738. See Braatz 2012 regarding the authenticity of the Vorschriften.


See Birke 1961, 371.


Seventeenth-century German treatises that treat thoroughbass primarily as accompaniment include: M. Praetorius 1619, Staden 1626, Albert 1640, Ebner (before 1653), Poglietti 1676, Prinner 1677 (100–120), Speer 1687, Baudrexel 1689, Printz 1676–96 (vol. 2, ch. 17–23). In contrast, the Sweelinck manuscripts (Gehrmann 1901) and Christoph Bernhard’s treatises (Müller-Blattau 1963) do not treat thoroughbass at all, but take a more vocally-oriented approach.


Werckmeister 1698, Werckmeister 1702, Muffat 1699, Muffat c. 1710, Niedt 1700–17, Samber 1704, Heinichen 1711, and Heinichen 1728. Naturally, no absolute line can be drawn between these treatises and those listed in the previous note. For instance, Speer 1687 and Baudrexel 1689 inhabit the middle ground.


The only reference to an external work in the Unterricht is to concerti by Samuel Scheidt. This may refer to Scheidt’s Pars prima concertuum sacrorum (1622) or the Geistliche Concerte (4 vols., 1631–40).


Even Heinichen 1711 uses New German Tablature, likely to lower printing costs.


To my knowledge, the next treatises to do this are Niedt 1700–17, vol. 1, Werckmeister 1702, and Heinichen 1728. For the concept of trias harmonica see Remeš 2019.


See Birke 1961 for a full transcription in modern notation from the original tablature.


Birke (1961, 371) seems to have overlooked this point.


Eckelt’s Tabulaturbuch gives some idea of the content of these lessons. Belotti (2001, 24–44) gives an index and concordances. Boote (1997, 70–216) reproduces selected pieces.


See Bach-Dok, vol. 3, 81.


“Es liegt nahe, anzunehmen, daß sich Plan und Repertoire des Unterrichts an Pachelbels Vorbild orientierten” (Belotti 2001, 8).


See Dürr 1978, 8. See note 5 regarding a document from H. N. Gerber’s lessons with Bach.


Contrary to Welter 2008 (9), neither Diesen Kurtzen Unterricht nor Unterricht, was ein Organist wissen soll are lost.


The church tones are outlined in Banchieri 1605, 40–41. See Dodds 1998a, 344, and 1998b for an overview. According to Banchieri, the eight modes in order are D, G (1 ), A, E, C, F (1 ), D (1 ), and G. Unlike the traditional modes, the church tones are not defined by their ambitus (i.e. authentic or plagal), but rather by their pitch content and cadential degrees.


See Zarlino 1983, xiv.


“Das Wohltemperirte Clavier. oder Præludia, und Fugen durch alle Tone und Semitonia, So wohl tertiam majorem oder Ut Re Mi anlangend, als auch tertiam minorem oder Re Mi Fa betreffend” (Bach-Dok, vol. 1, 219, emphasis original).


See Schwenkedel 1993.


See Küster 2010.


See note 33.


See note 5.


Bach’s role as agent for Heinichen 1728 treatise was first announced in the Leipziger Post-Zeitung on April 4, 1729 (see Bach-Dok, vol. 2, 191).


A manuscript from Adlung’s own teaching, the Anweisung zum Fantasieren, was recently discovered and presented at a conference at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. See Remeš 2018 for a conference report and more detail on the Adlung source.


See McCormick 2015, 125.

32 (15 Dec 2019).


C. Ph. E. Bach wrote that, “His [J. S. Bach’s] students had to start by learning four-part thoroughbass.” (“Den Anfang musten seine Schüler mit der Erlernung des reinen 4stimmigen Generalbaßes machen”; Bach-Dok, vol. 3, 289; my translation). See Gerber’s realizations mentioned in note 5. Heinichen 1728 (130–132) explicitly recommends four-voice Griffnotation, saying it is the modern style of realization. The following authors also endorse four-voice realizations: Buttstett c. 1715–16, 65, 79; C. Ph. E. Bach 1753/62, vol. 2, 7; Werckmeister 1702, 2; Printz 1676–96, vol. 1, ch. 22; Kittel 1801–08, vol. 1, 15; Kirnberger 1771–79, vol. 1, 142; and Kellner 1732, 15.


See Remeš 2019, 58 note 16.


See Niedt 1700–17 (vol. 1, chap. 8), Heinichen 1728 (121, 380, 472, 509, 816, 931), C. Ph. E. Bach 1753/62 (vol. 2, 9, 32). Werckmeister 1698 (31) and 1702 (47) seems to be the first to describe the three Lagen, or Haupt-Griffe, in connection with thoroughbass instruction.


See note 29.


C. Ph. E. Bach 1753/62, vol. 2, 352. To view Kittel’s borrowings from C. Ph. E. Bach, see the facsimile cited in note 32.


Published by courtesy of the author.


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