Discussion:
Bach's Chaconne
(too old to reply)
fshep
2006-06-22 23:13:53 UTC
Permalink
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
Andrew Schulman
2006-06-22 23:24:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
Well sure, this is one of the all time great pieces, and worth all
effort. And there are a lot of pieces that are harder to play.

One thing I would like to bring up about this piece, not a big deal but
anyway...

On the autograph score it is called Ciaccona, the Italian usage,
instead of the French, Chaconne, and the other movements of the Partita
are also in Italian: Allemanda, Corrente, Sarabanda, Giga. Bach was
careful about his titles; in his day the 2 dominant music styles were
the Italian and French and he used those languages accordingly as to
his intent of playing style.

So, for whatever reason, his Ciaccona became a Chaconne. There is a
subtle difference if you take into account the differences in the
playing styles.

Anyone know anything about the transmutation over time of the title
from the Italian to the French?

Andrew
Robert Crim
2006-06-23 00:06:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
Well sure, this is one of the all time great pieces, and worth all
effort. And there are a lot of pieces that are harder to play.
But not as hard to package as one event. Making the notes is not the
problem, IMO. Putting the first measures together with the last
measures in a nice cake is what is difficult.

It is not a "theme and variations." It's a journey from an opening to
an end with some delightful side trips in between.

As always, IMO.

Robert
fshep
2006-06-23 05:55:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
Well sure, this is one of the all time great pieces, and worth all
effort. And there are a lot of pieces that are harder to play.
One thing I would like to bring up about this piece, not a big deal but
anyway...
On the autograph score it is called Ciaccona, the Italian usage,
instead of the French, Chaconne, and the other movements of the Partita
are also in Italian: Allemanda, Corrente, Sarabanda, Giga. Bach was
careful about his titles; in his day the 2 dominant music styles were
the Italian and French and he used those languages accordingly as to
his intent of playing style.
So, for whatever reason, his Ciaccona became a Chaconne. There is a
subtle difference if you take into account the differences in the
playing styles.
Anyone know anything about the transmutation over time of the title
from the Italian to the French?
Andrew
Hi Andrew - interesting about the name change. What would that indicate
about how Bach wanted the piece played? I also gather he was strongly
influenced by Spanish music when he wrote it, basing the rhythm on a
sarabande. Perhaps that's why it works so well on guitar.
Andrew Schulman
2006-06-23 15:47:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
Hi Andrew - interesting about the name change. What would that indicate
about how Bach wanted the piece played? I also gather he was strongly
influenced by Spanish music when he wrote it, basing the rhythm on a
sarabande. Perhaps that's why it works so well on guitar.
Bach was influenced by Aztec music!

Seriously, the Sarabande and other forms originated with the Aztecs,
were brought to Europe by the Spanish. The sarabande was originally
used as a dance for fertility rites, no wonder Bach was drawn to it!

One of my college professors once said there were 4 dominant music
styles in the late Baroque period: the Italian style, the French style,
a mixture of the two which is what most composers did, and the most
dominant style, the BACH style!

There are others on this list that can go into more detail than I can
about this topic, Stanley and Sarn to name two, but I will tell in
short what my professor taught us. The Italian style is more direct,
more virtuosic, more "heart on the sleeve". The French is more
introspective, more subtle, more sophisticated. Think Vivaldi and
Rameau.

You can hear all of these elements in the Ciaccona, but there is a
directness and certainly a virtuosity in it, and the whole Partita,
that leans toward the Italian style, and therefore would be why Bach
wrote a Ciaccona, not a Chaconne. It helps to be aware of this when
you play the piece. And the "heart on the sleeve"; it is a piece
thought by many to be a memorial to his first wife, she died of illness
at a young age.

Also, Bach was very partial to Italian music, after all Vivaldi's music
was one of his most important models and inspirations. He sometimes
even signed his name Giovanni Sebastiani Bach!

The bottom line is, he called it a Ciaccona, not Chaconne, and he knew
the difference.

Andrew
Che'
2006-06-23 23:01:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by fshep
Hi Andrew - interesting about the name change. What would that indicate
about how Bach wanted the piece played? I also gather he was strongly
influenced by Spanish music when he wrote it, basing the rhythm on a
sarabande. Perhaps that's why it works so well on guitar.
Bach was influenced by Aztec music!
Seriously, the Sarabande and other forms originated with the Aztecs,
were brought to Europe by the Spanish. The sarabande was originally
used as a dance for fertility rites, no wonder Bach was drawn to it!<
Yep, it's from Mexico and was first considered a lacivious dance.
Post by Andrew Schulman
One of my college professors once said there were 4 dominant music
styles in the late Baroque period: the Italian style, the French style,
a mixture of the two which is what most composers did, and the most
dominant style, the BACH style!
There are others on this list that can go into more detail than I can
about this topic, Stanley and Sarn to name two, but I will tell in
short what my professor taught us. The Italian style is more direct,
more virtuosic, more "heart on the sleeve". The French is more
introspective, more subtle, more sophisticated. Think Vivaldi and
Rameau.<
Hmm, do I hear *brise*? ... makes a difference in fingerings.
Post by Andrew Schulman
You can hear all of these elements in the Ciaccona, but there is a
directness and certainly a virtuosity in it, and the whole Partita,
that leans toward the Italian style, and therefore would be why Bach
wrote a Ciaccona, not a Chaconne. It helps to be aware of this when
you play the piece. And the "heart on the sleeve"; it is a piece
thought by many to be a memorial to his first wife, she died of illness
at a young age.<
A rose by any other name is still a rose... I've always called it the
"Chaconne'...it's more manly! :-)
Post by Andrew Schulman
Also, Bach was very partial to Italian music, after all Vivaldi's music
was one of his most important models and inspirations. He sometimes
even signed his name Giovanni Sebastiani Bach!<
Like me, "Petadoggy"! :-)
Post by Andrew Schulman
The bottom line is, he called it a Ciaccona, not Chaconne, and he knew
the difference.<
Me too...but I'm a Che' de Guy. :-)

That was great Andrew I just couldn't contain myself. :-)

Che'
Post by Andrew Schulman
Andrew
Andrew Schulman
2006-06-24 04:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Che'
Hmm, do I hear *brise*? ... makes a difference in fingerings.
Yes, a brise in the trees...
Post by Che'
A rose by any other name is still a rose... I've always called it the
"Chaconne'...it's more manly! :-)
Makes sense, sounds like Charcroute...after all, you Che' d' Food Guy
Post by Che'
That was great Andrew I just couldn't contain myself. :-)
As long as it didn't involve a stool that's cool :-)

A. d' Other Guy
fshep
2006-06-24 13:22:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by fshep
Hi Andrew - interesting about the name change. What would that indicate
about how Bach wanted the piece played? I also gather he was strongly
influenced by Spanish music when he wrote it, basing the rhythm on a
sarabande. Perhaps that's why it works so well on guitar.
Bach was influenced by Aztec music!
Seriously, the Sarabande and other forms originated with the Aztecs,
were brought to Europe by the Spanish. The sarabande was originally
used as a dance for fertility rites, no wonder Bach was drawn to it!
One of my college professors once said there were 4 dominant music
styles in the late Baroque period: the Italian style, the French style,
a mixture of the two which is what most composers did, and the most
dominant style, the BACH style!
There are others on this list that can go into more detail than I can
about this topic, Stanley and Sarn to name two, but I will tell in
short what my professor taught us. The Italian style is more direct,
more virtuosic, more "heart on the sleeve". The French is more
introspective, more subtle, more sophisticated. Think Vivaldi and
Rameau.
You can hear all of these elements in the Ciaccona, but there is a
directness and certainly a virtuosity in it, and the whole Partita,
that leans toward the Italian style, and therefore would be why Bach
wrote a Ciaccona, not a Chaconne. It helps to be aware of this when
you play the piece. And the "heart on the sleeve"; it is a piece
thought by many to be a memorial to his first wife, she died of illness
at a young age.
Also, Bach was very partial to Italian music, after all Vivaldi's music
was one of his most important models and inspirations. He sometimes
even signed his name Giovanni Sebastiani Bach!
The bottom line is, he called it a Ciaccona, not Chaconne, and he knew
the difference.
Andrew
Fascinating stuff - I wonder how he got to hear Aztec music?
thomas
2006-06-25 00:01:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
It helps to be aware of this when
you play the piece. And the "heart on the sleeve"; it is a piece
thought by many to be a memorial to his first wife, she died of illness
at a young age.
Most historians note that she had already birthed eight children. When
Back informed her that he intended to pound out thirteen more, she had
a heart attack and keeled over.
Tommy Grand
2006-06-22 23:43:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment
Hehe, my (ex) teacher pointed out that no arpeggio pattern is specified
by Bach in the autograph manuscript, and therefore this piece can be
made easy.
Che'
2006-06-23 00:02:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
David Raleigh Arnold
2006-06-23 00:19:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
If you love it, do it.

Larry Schnitzler (George Mason U.) did that earlier than he 'should have'.
I never heard that he ever regretted it. You're in good company.

The worst that could happen is that you would put it aside for later.
Break it down and work on the hardest parts the most, with a
metronome. Don't just play through it. daveA
--
Free download of technical exercises worth a lifetime of practice:
"Dynamic Guitar Technique": http://www.openguitar.com/instruction.html
Repertoire and/or licks are ammunition. Tech is a gun.
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fshep
2006-06-23 06:03:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
If you love it, do it.
Larry Schnitzler (George Mason U.) did that earlier than he 'should have'.
I never heard that he ever regretted it. You're in good company.
The worst that could happen is that you would put it aside for later.
Break it down and work on the hardest parts the most, with a
metronome. Don't just play through it. daveA
I've broken it down into about 8 sections and have been working on the
fast progression which follows a long run of scales (about 5 minutes in)
which is where the piece arguably "peaks". A metronome is a good idea
actually - it's not an easy rhythm to keep in your head.
David Raleigh Arnold
2006-06-23 08:05:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by fshep
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
Post by fshep
I'm just ploughing through Bach's Chaconne at the moment - I think it is
the most captivating piece of music ever transcribed for guitar. My
teacher keeps telling me to leave it for now or it will hijacvk all my
time and effort for months. He's probably right, but it's addictive!
Anybody got any views on how difficult it is to master and whether it's
worth the effort?
If you love it, do it.
Larry Schnitzler (George Mason U.) did that earlier than he 'should have'.
I never heard that he ever regretted it. You're in good company.
The worst that could happen is that you would put it aside for later.
Break it down and work on the hardest parts the most, with a
metronome. Don't just play through it. daveA
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