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Bach and Tuning

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Johnny Reinhard

Bach and Tuning is strictly concerned with the identification of a historically accurate tuning paradigm that applies to the great majority of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. Once Bach has his personal tuning aesthetic acknowledged, a new dimension of meaning is invoked in performance through the intended interplay of diverse musical intervals. This new narrative lays bare Bach’s mental calculations regarding his idealized intonation. Bach, the true chromatic composer of the Baroque, was the scion of a great music family. Likewise, Andreas Werckmeister was the bright star in a neighboring musical family, only a generation earlier. Bach and Tuning connects the valuable tuning contribution made by Werckmeister to Bach’s musical masterpieces.

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Chapter 3: Andreas Werckmeister

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Werckmeister family crest featured the symbols of the triad in numbers, used in correspondence by his son, Johann Bartholomaüs Werckmeister



The Werckmeister family was not unlike the Bach family. Both families consisted of devout musicians and committed educators in neighboring cities. There seems to have been a hard line drawn between Nordhausen and Mühlhausen, the separation between where the Werckmeister family worked, and the adjacent area host to the Bach family to its south. In actuality, these towns form a very narrow geographical area in northwestern Thuringia.

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