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Bach and Tuning


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 6: Thuringian Aesthetic of Irregularity


Thuringian aesthetic of irregularity expressed in the myriad of cut stone shapes [Photo: Johnny Reinhard]

Baroque era Thuringians loved their rough hewn scales, just like they loved their half-timber houses. But it wore thin for many others, especially those who could not make sense of all the variation, who simply could not hear it, or understand what all the fuss was about.

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