QUESTIONS
REGARDING A PRELUDE
 

from Siglind Bruhn
J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier
In-depth Analysis and Interpretation

1.1

Can you place your prelude in one of the following categories?

a)

Harmonically determined compositions

b)

Motivically determined compositions

c)

Compositions adhering to the principles of invention or fugue

d)

Rhythmically determined compositions

e)

Metrically determined compositions

1.2

What is the overall design of your prelude?

a)

Where does the first harmonic progression conclude?
Has Bach composed this cadence as a structural break,
or does the flow of the piece continue uninterrupted?

b)

Where does the next harmonic progression conclude?
Does this seem to coincide with a structural caesura?

c)

How many such structural sections can you distinguish?

d)

Does the prelude contain any structural analogies?
Does any portion recur, repeated or varied?
Does any portion recur in transposition?
Does any portion show a corresponding structural progression to an earlier portion?

1.3

Practical considerations for performers:

a)

What is the basic character of this prelude, and what tempo and articulation are therefore most appropriate for the material?

b)

If the score contains any ornaments, how should they be executed?

1.4

(Answer those questions from the following choice which apply to your prelude:)

1.4a

What is happening in your harmonically determined prelude?

What kind of dynamic development does the harmonic progression represent?

Are there any secondary features?
How do they relate to the harmonic progression?

1.4b

What is happening in your motivically determined prelude?

What are the relevant motives?

What is their basic character and their dynamic shape?|
How are they developed?
What does the way in which they are developed express?
What is the overall dynamic outline in the prelude?

1.4c

What is happening in your "fugue"- or "invention"- type prelude?

What is the material on which Bach built this composition?
What is the design of the piece?

1.4d

What is happening in your rhythmically determined prelude?

What are the rhythmic patterns?
Are some of them interrelated?
In which different melodic guises does each rhythmic pattern appear?
What means of motivic development does the composer deploy when playing with these patterns?
What kind of dynamic build ups and releases can you detect
in the single parts as well as in the whole piece?

1.4e

What is happening in your metrically determined prelude?

What is the predominant pulse?
What are the secondary features beyond this pulse?
Are there any dynamic build-ups?
If so, by what means are they created?