Welcome to Musicapoetica.net! Today is
Musica Poetica Home  
About  |  Bibliography  |  Figures  |  Idomeneo  |  Bach Cantatas

Some Observations on Dispositio and Elocutio in Bach’s
Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten
from BWV 78

George Dadisman
Morgantown, West Virginia

Two tired but determined followers hasten after Jesus, praying for His help, pointing out that He tirelessly seeks to aid the sick and those who have strayed from the faith. Such is the text of the Duetto, the second movement of J.S. Bach’s cantata Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78.1

In Bach’s hands, it becomes the ground of a musical oration that is at once rich in affect, fresh in invention, and strong in structure. It opens a window into Bach’s musical world, the world of strong Lutheran faith and of a musical elite skilled in the art of musica poetica, that musical-oratorical art that flowered in German culture from at least the time of Orlando di Lasso’s stay in Munich in the late 16th century through the 17th and 18th centuries.2 The Duetto is, to be sure, a simple da capo aria for two voices and continuo. But it is also a musical speech, meant to communicate the truth of the text and to teach the listeners the truth of Bach’s sturdy and plainspoken Lutheran faith. He seems to be saying that, if by chance the text itself is not clear enough, the lucky Leipzig listeners on the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity in 17243 will get the message by having the affections of their souls roused by the music itself.4

This short paper puts forth some preliminary observations about the dispositio (organization, Einrichtung) and the elocutio (the figural language, Figuren) of the Duetto. While it will not provide by any means an exhaustive study of the topics, if it helps performers to understand these from an 18th-century musica poetica perspective, it will have met its purpose.

Bach brings the traditions of rhetoric and oratory, faith, and reason together in his music.

Rhetoric and Oratory

He was the product of the Lateinschule tradition, with its roots in the classical tradition, and understood well how to use rhetoric as a pedagogical and motivational tool.

The rules of oratory and rhetoric provided a vocabulary of commonly understood gestures that composers used to "paint" the affects.5 The German practitioner of musica poetica took the text and fashioned the equivalent of it in sound, using musical devices and conventions appropriate to the affect of the text. The northern composer was not so much interested in display or operatic fireworks, or in dramatic effect for its own sake, but in the sober understanding of the text and its presentation in a musical setting that revealed the meaning and communicated the message. Good musical organization was a cornerstone of the practice. The dispositio was carefully considered, and the appropriate tonalities and figures, aspects of the elocutio, were then chosen.6

The dispositio of the speech is obviously the focal point of the [medieval] theory. From classical rhetoric, however, the theory overlapped into the epistolary genre and poetic composition, and acquired special significance in the art of preaching, in which it achieved a medieval perfection which was simultaneously intellectualist and Scholastic. Here it developed -- at the time, moreover, when polyphony was coming into general use -- in accordance with precise rules governing the theme and countertheme, their subdivisions, their development of countertheme, the return or the passage from one sentence to another. This is composition of incredible complexity, the theoretical simplicity and verbal virtuosity of which astonish us just as they were admired by medieval connoisseurs. The medieval sermon, the technical beauty (i.e., the embellishments or curiosities) of which was greatly admired by our ancestors, leads us into the esthetics of formal construction, as understood by the medieval writers, first of all in the literary arts, then in musical polyphony and architecture.7

Now the quotation above, from DeBruyne's Aesthetics of the Middle Ages, fits Bach's use of the art very well. From Boethius (480-524) onwards theorists embraced the Pythagorean ideal of music as a kind of speculative celestial mathematics. It was included among the subjects of the quadrivium, along with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, and so was taught by a member of the mathematics faculty. Practical music, applied music, performance, was considered as more of a craft that dealt with elocution and delivery, and so was aligned with rhetoric and oratory in the trivium, made up of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.8 So it was as an essential part of the curriculum that Bach learned rhetoric and oratory along with music. Musica poetica was an idea and practice of a piece with his education. Music was a speaking art, and a primary tool in teaching, especially the Protestant teaching of salvation by grace through faith.


When we venture to understand musica poetica as practiced by Bach, we encounter another great feat of integration, that of the world of Lutheran salvation by grace through faith with the rationalized figures of musica poetica. It is Bach's uncanny ability to balance these two divergent perspectives, to meld these great streams, that is at the root of his greatness. It is this consilience (the linking of facts and theory across disciplines) that is central to Bach, to 18th-century and Enlightenment thought, and, importantly for us, it also lies at the core of the phenomenon of musica poetica. (Bach was not the "backward-looking" traditionalist he is so often portrayed to be. He was a participant in his times, his times were changing rapidly and continuously, and he was certainly not immune to the zephyrs of the new.)

But before delving deeper into musica poetica proper, we will need to understand some Luther in order to see how the mid-18th century departed from the God-centered world-view. This will provide us with context so that we can begin to hear what the Duetto is saying to us, how it is attempting to persuade and edify us, how it tries to move our souls.

It is not important for the reader to have faith as Luther did, or to believe in the utter rationality of the world, as the 18th century tended to do. What is important is to enter willingly into these worlds for a while to see things as Bach might have, as his congregations might have, as his children and friends might have, the better to understand how his music works.

Tillich summarizes Luther's thesis for us: one is saved by grace through faith. This was Luther’s great, radical breakthrough against the Roman Catholicism in which he had been brought up, and in which he served.

The Catholic system is a system of objective, quantitative, and relative relations between God and man for the sake of providing eternal happiness for man. This is the basic structure: objective, not personal; quantitative, not qualitative; relative and condititioned, not absolute.12

Tillich summarizes Luther's pointed critique for us:

The relation to God is personal. It is an I-thou relationship, mediated not by anybody or anything, but only by accepting the message of acceptance, which is the content of the Bible. This is not an objective status in which one is; it is a personal relationship which Luther called "faith", not faith in something which one can believe, but acceptance of the fact that one is accepted. It is qualitative, not quantitative. Either a person is separated from God or he is not. There are no quantitative degrees of separation or non-separation. ...Likewise, it is unconditional and not conditioned, as it is in the Roman system. One is not a little bit nearer to God if one does more for the church, or against one’s body, but one is near to God completely and absolutely if one is united with him at all. And if not united, one is separated. The one state is unconditionally positive, the other unconditionally negative. The Reformation restated the unconditional categories of the Bible.13

Bach’s music always teaches. It is always teaching the lesson that one is saved by grace through faith - it is completely sufficient.


Reason is that function of consciousness through which we make sense of our world.

The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason (as it has been called) grew out of the work of Bacon, Locke, Hume, Winckelmann9, Lessing10 and others, permeated all Europe, and Bach was right in the middle of it. His life spans a time when the air was alive with new ideas alongside the old.

He embodies the perspective with its emphasis on preaching the Word inherited from the Reformation as transmitted through the 16th and 17th centuries.

In contrast, the music around him in his maturity and of succeeding generations, was the product of a people who

increasingly came to consider that Christianity itself had been responsible for too many of the crimes of Western civilization, and that, rather than encouraging acceptable social behaviour, Christianity had simply fostered superstition, ignorance, and blind obedience to the rules and dogmas of the Church.14

Philosophy was being taught as secular religion, and the philosophes realized this, and felt keenly the competition, as Diderot wrote to Voltaire:

It is not enough to know more than they do, it must be shown that we are better than they are, and that philosophy can make more people good than grace.15

It is a key differentiator, a cleavage term: grace, the acceptance of being accepted. Grace: a term of salvation to Luther and Bach, a term of ignorance to the 18th-century philosophes, who wanted not to accept through belief, but who wanted simply to know. It is a difference of critical importance to performers of 18th-century music.

To Bach, music was a powerful didactic tool. Its melodic, harmonic, and formal gestures were codified in to a musical-rhetorical vocabulary that provided composers with the resources to communicate the affective content of the text. Instrumental music, too, used the same toolkit to create a "musical oration" capable of "speaking" in and of itself. The music thus became a "redende Kunst", a speaking art, and a bearer of carefully focused affect.

It is important to note in this connection that in saying that the music bears affect we do not imply that music must mean anything other than what it is, a fabric of tensional sonorous dynamic relationships. It is, however, in and through this play of dynamic energies that figures and gestures by their very physiognomy embody and evoke affect. We will point this uncanny capacity of music through a number of examples in the course of this paper, and will hope, through description and association, to point to the subtle mechanism through which the music communicates, in Bach’s hands, the Christian message, while not in and of itself bearing any conceptual meaning outside of itself as dynamic play.16

The specific bearers of the Affekten can be any musical element, such as key, tempo, rhythm, or, especially for our Duetto, melodic figures. These figures had been variously defined over the years in treatise after treatise, whose authors included such distinguished musicians as Johann Mattheson, Walther, Vogt, and Spiess. These figures are of signal importance, because they formed the gestural vocabulary of the musical style. The tradition of the musical-rhetorical Figuren was so strong, in fact, that these motives, these temporal gestures, these melodic shapes were carried over into succeeding generations, and key stylistic elements in music of the rococo, galant, empfindsamer, and even the mature classical style, especially in the operas of Mozart, where they manifest as dramatic gestures central to Mozart’s musical style and affective vocabulary.17 Writers such as Forkel, Marpurg, Kirnberger, and Koch wrote on the importance and significance of musical rhetoric, with Forkel even claiming that it was only in his time (the 1780s) that the musical style had matured enough to make a true musical rhetoric possible.18

I venture to say that to understand music before 1800 properly, one must account for the use of the devices of musica poetica and understand how these are used both structurally and with affective intent, to characterize the Affekt implied or overtly stated in the text, and to communicate the message of the text to the listeners in subtle, direct, immediate ways available only to music. Bach was, after all, probably the greatest exponent of Protestant (Lutheran) thought and doctrine after Martin Luther himself, and he is always teaching us something in his music.19

If we come to listen to Bach’s music afresh, and hear it on its own terms, as it is in itself, we can encounter the raw reality of Bach’s teaching. Performers of this music owe it to themselves and to their listeners to educate themselves in the ways of musica poetica, and become at ease with its baroque mechanisms. Every performance should be a meeting of the music and the mind of the listener, an encounter at the boundary of each, so that each may inform the other, and both benefit, the music by being understood and appreciated, and the mind shaped, formed, and energized by the astonishing power and subtlety of Bach’s art.

Dispositio: Organization and Form

If you are going to make a speech, the first thing you must do is to decide what you will talk about: you must choose the subject matter, the theme. This was known as the inventio, and the orator relied on the loci topici, or the likely topics for elaboration.

The topic text (Ex. 1) for this movement is the believers beseeching Lord Jesus for help while trying as hard as they can to reach Him, hastening with faltering, feeble, though eager footsteps along the path. We as humans admit that we fail with each step in life, yet we know that You seek out the sick and those who have strayed , as we regularly do, and we ask that you look upon us mercifully and grant us salvation through your Grace.20

Ex. 1: The Text of the Duetto:
Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten,
O Jesu, o Meister, zu helfen zu dir!
Du suchest die Kranken und Irrenden treulich.
Ach, höre, wie wir die Stimme erheben, um Hilfe zu bitten!
Es sei uns dein gnädiges Antlitz erfreulich!
We hasten with weak [feeble], yet eager footsteps,
Oh Jesus, Oh Master, to seek after your help!
You tirelessly seek out the sick and those who have gone astray.
Oh, hear us, as we, our voices raised, pray for your help!
May your merciful countenance be gracious unto us!

Once the topic was chosen, the musical orator had to structure the presentation such that the message be clearly stated, supported with illustration and example, that contrary points of view be introduced and confuted, and the argument restated in summary. Such was the essence of the dispositio, the next area of concern for the musicus poeticus.

The dispositio has six sections:

Ex. 2: The Six Sections of the Dispositio:
Eingang Bericht Antrag Bekräfftigung Wiederlegung Schluß
Exordium Narratio Propositio Confirmatio Confutatio Peroratio
Introduction statement, commentary, proposal, a laying out of the facts proposal, an offer of the point to be made confirmation, affirmation, supporting arguments argument, rebuttals of differing ideas close, concluding comments

The composer thought as an orator would, and organized the musical elements as the speaker would words and concepts. There must be an opening or introduction, a statement of the main theme, or the laying out of the facts, a clear statement of the point to be made, supporting arguments, rebuttals of differing or contrary points of view, and an affirmation in the close, or concluding comments. For the German composer especially, orderly construction and figural eloquence were favored over dramatic delivery, theatrics, and display.21

If we ignore musica poetica for the moment and analyse the form in purely musical-material terms, the Duetto is a da capo aria, with the first section a ternary form in the key of B-flat, with a movement to the dominant F in mm. 16-30, and a reestablishment of the tonic thereafter. The second section moves to g-minor, and throughout its 47 measures it features the shifting, sometimes inchoate harmonic vocabulary typical of the form. The third section is a literal repeat of the first section.

But the Duetto demands that we hear it as a musical oration. It follows the classical recipe of the dispositio: exordium, narratio, propositio, confirmatio, confutatio, and peroratio. The first section has an exordium of 8 measures, which exposes the material that will be worked with and elaborated. This is followed by a narratio, also of 8 measures, which is the first statement of the canonic vocal theme above a repetition of the exordium in the continuo. The propositio stretches for 14 measures, elaborating on the material stated in the exordium and narratio. The confirmatio, starting in m. 30, restates the opening material, and reinforces its message through repetition. The peroratio (mm. 37-50) brings the section to a close by summarizing the thematic material with a succinct restatement.

The Aria Duetto is also formally a da capo aria, with the first section a ternary form in the key of B-flat, with a movement to the dominant F in mm. 16-30, and a re-establishment of the tonic thereafter. The B section moves to the relative minor on G, and is characterized by unstable, shifting tonality, and by the introduction of contrasting musical material. It is a true confutatio section, where the contrasting musical "arguments" are dealt with and, with the reestablishment of the dominant of the home key of B-flat, successfully rebutted.The third section is a literal repeat of the first: it constitutes an extended peroratio, for it reestablishes the main thematic material and brings the movement to a close.22

Ex. 3: Form of the Duetto (da capo sections, dispositio elements, and key areas):
mm. 1-8
B-flat: I
mm. 9-16
mm. 16-30
mm. 30-36
mm. 36-42
mm. 43-50
mm. 51-64
mm. 64-69
ii -
mm. 69-80
vi - iii
mm. 80-91
mm. 91-98
II - V
unstable, shifting tonality, moving to cadence firmly in the dominant  ==>
mm. 1-8
B-flat: I

mm. 9-16

mm. 16-30

mm. 30-36

mm. 36-42

mm. 43-50

Elocutio: Figures and Affect

The exordium exposes the material that forms the basis for subsequent elaboration: the stepwise movement, first ascending, then descending, balanced three measures each.

The organ and violoncello parts outline both a pedal on F as well as an ascending line (anabasis) that moves from A to D. The pedal for the first 3 measures is below the moving line. Bach inverts this in mm. 4-6, where the pedal, now on B-flat is above the moving line that descends diatonically from E-flat through B-flat, forming a retrograde inversion of the opening four measures. This is an epanodos,23 or hypallage,24 a chiastic figure which forms a musical cross.25

The voices make their entries in mm. 8 and 10, one following the other canonically at the interval of a second. As Alfred Dürr has pointed out, this imitative writing embodies the idea of "following" presented in the text.26 The vocal statements are elaborations of the diatonic material exposed in the exordium. The core gesture of the vocal lines is a circulatio figure set to a rhythm of an eighth, two sixteenths, and two eighths. The first eighth and two sixteenths (long-short-short, _ u u) form a dactyl, a common musica poetica rhythmic foot having the connotation of serious, grave, solemn. The two eighths on beat two form a trochee (long-short, _u), a rhythmic foot associated with running, movement, or even with dancing. In mm. 16ff, Bach sets the words "o Jesu" with a gesture of supplication: a descent of a third followed by a lower neighbor, then back to the original note.

The voices then return to the theme, this time with the alto leading the way. The voices start at the same pitches on which they entered earlier, in mm. 8-11, but the tonal movement here at the beginning of the narratio is toward the tonic B-flat, whereas the initial statement had been clearly in the dominant. The propositio extends from mm. 16-30. In m. 25, an A-flat is introduced in the alto, signaling a move to the subdominant. But by m. 36, in the confirmatio, the tonic has been reestablished, and the section is closed out with a reiteration of the instrumental exordium.

A following confutatio in the relative G-minor comprises three episodes that develop material from the exordium. These are separated by instrumental ritornelli that vary the material of the opening eight measures. The text speaks of the sick and those who stray ("die Kranken und Irrenden"). The tonality exhibits a shiftiness, a straying from the stability and confident directness of the opening section. This is the dubitatio, a section of uncertainty that characterizes the doubt in the minds of those who are sick or who are straying. These unfortunates are reflected in the tonal "straying" from the relative minor to its subdominant, then to distant F-minor, finally to cadence firmly in C-minor in m. 60. The melodic writing in mm. 51-60 continues dactyls, but stretches and reshapes them by lengthening the initial syllable, and by chromatically altering the line. Particularly striking is the saltus duriusculus (the leap)27 of a diminished seventh in the soprano in m. 58, which evokes the extreme situation of those in need of help.

The soprano sings two agogically-accented overlapping Phrygian inflections28 in mm. 53-57 to the words "die Kranken und Irrenden". The first is F-E-flat-D-flat-C, the second is a diminished fourth E-flat-D-flat-C-B-natural, while the tonality hovers around a cadence in C-minor. In mm. 53-55, the long notes F, D, and E-flat form a subsumptio, an extended form of the same gesture that first appeared in mm. 16-18.29 The cross-relations of D to D-flat and B-natural to B-flat reflect the pain and suffering of the wanderers.

The cadence in C-minor at m. 60 closes the first episode. The following ritornello further establishes the key. Starting in m. 64, the soprano and alto (in thirds) beseech that their voices be heard in the second episode. They pray "Ach! Höre" three times, with the words separated by rests. The first marked by the descent of a half-step, the next a repetition a third lower. These musical sighs are suspiratio figures that evoke the longing of the faithful.30 The third "Ach! Höre" is strikingly set with a Phrygian inflection in both voices, as the seekers reach their lowest point emotionally on a dominant seventh of G-minor. But then their voices rise up ("erheben") in the same dactyl-trochee rhythm as in the exordium. The soprano reaches the highest note of the entire movement with the B-flat in m.72.

The alto in mm.72ff has a wonderful pathopoeia figure descending from D down through A, with the notes D, C-sharp, B-flat, A forming another Phrygian inflection, and then another pathopoeia from F down through E, E-flat, D, and finally to C-sharp, for yet another Phrygian. This drama is followed by the leap of a sixth immediately followed by a saltus duriusculus of a diminished seventh from B-flat to C-sharp. These melodic grotesqueries reflect the psyche in turmoil, desperately praying for help. The second episode concludes in m. 80 in D-minor. After a ritornello telescoped from four to three measures, the third episode (a confirmatio) begins in F with the voices once again following each other canonically as they pray optimistically for blessing. The episode ends in m. 98, cadencing in the dominant of the home key of the movement, B-flat.31

Through an understanding Bach’s use of oratorical organization, the musical figures, and the rhythmic feet, seasoned with some insight into Luther and the Enlightenment, we can hear his music not as a depiction, nor representation, of the text, but rather as the actual embodiment of the affects of the text in music.

The music does not "mean" or "represent" anything, it actually "is" the hastening, the weakness, the determination, the doubt, the beseeching, the desperation, the confidence. Bach has created for us a musical parallel to the text to bring us to see the light.

Somewhere T.S. Eliot says that we are the music while the music lasts. I find this uncannily so with the Bach cantatas. He was truly the foremost musicus poeticus of his, and perhaps any, era.


1Schmieder, Wolfgang, Thematisch-Systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis), 5. unveränderte Auflage, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1973, pp.105-106. The text is from the second strophe of a redaction by an unknown author of a hymn by Johann Rist dating from 1641. See Dürr, Alfred, Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1975, Band 2, p. 433.

2See Leuchtmann, Horst, Die musikalischen Wortausdeutungen in den Motetten des Magnum opus musicum von Orlando di Lasso (Collection d'études musicologiques, Bd. 38), Baden-Baden: Koerner, 1972, 149 p.; esp. pp. 7-29 on di Lasso's understanding of rhetoric, oratory, and the musical-rhetorical figures in his music, the bulk of which was written in Munich. See also Bartel, Dietrich, Musica Poetica: Musical-Rhetorical Figures in German Baroque Music, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, 471 p.; esp. vii-xiv for a succinct overview in English.

3Bach was installed as Kantor at the Thomas-Kirche on June 1, 1723. His debut was actually on May 30, the First Sunday after Trinity, in the same year. BWV 78 dates from the 14th Sunday after Trinity, 1724. See David, Hans T., and Arthur Mendel, eds., The Bach Reader, Revised Edition, New York: W. W. Norton, 1966, 474 p., esp. pp. 89ff. on his new job in Leipzig.

4Mattheson, Johann, Der volkommene Kapellmeister, Hamburg, 1739, Faksimile-Nachdruck hrsg. Margarete Reimann, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1954, p.207; the passage is also cited in Bartel, p. 29.

5Schmitz, Arnold, Die Bildlichkeit der wortgebundenen Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs, Mainz: Schott, 1949, (Neue Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, I), pp.17f.

6Bartel, pp. 60ff.

7De Bruyne, Edgar, transl. Eileen B. Hennessy, The Esthetics of the Middle Ages, New York: Ungar, 1969, p. 203.

8Highet, Gilbert, The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature, New York: Oxford, 1949, pp. 367ff.

9Cf., on the validity of Enlightenment thought, Edward O. Wilson's fascinating article, "Back from Chaos," Atlantic Monthly 281,3, March, 1998; from the header copy,"Enlightenment thinkers knew a lot about everything, today's specialists know a lot about a little, and postmodernists doubt that we can know anything at all. One of the century's most important scientists argues, against fashion, that we can know what we need to know, and that we will discover underlying all forms of knowledge a fundamental unity." See also Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, Gedanken über die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerei und Bildhauerkunst (Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture), 1755; Highet describes it as "the beginning of the German Renaissance" (p. 369).

10Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, Laokoon, 1766, in which Lessing takes issue with Winckelmann on the inherent similarity among the arts. A version in English is available as Laocoön: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry, transl. Edward Allen McCormick, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1962, xxx, 259p.

11Wilson, p.48.

12Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought From Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism, ed. by Carl E. Braaten, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967, 1968, p. 228.

13Tillich, p. 229.

14Till, Nicholas, Mozart and the Enlightenment: Truth, Virtue and Beauty in Mozart's Operas, New York: W.W. Norton, 1992, pp. 118f.

15Till, p. 119.

16I am particularly indebted in this connection Prof. William B. Kimmel, late of Hunter College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, for his classes and commentary on musica poetica and the music of Bach and Mozart.

17The present author's work-in-progress on dramatic gesture in Mozart's Idomeneo will document Mozart's use of traditional figural gestures in the context of the classical style.

18Forkel, Johann N. Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik, Göttingen, 1788. Facs. ed. B. Engelke, Magdeburg, Geschichtsblätter für Stadt und Land Magdeburg, 1914; cited in Bartel, p. 159.

19Cf. Smend, Friedrich, Bach-Studien: Gesammelte Reden und Aufsätze, hrsg. Christoph Wolff, Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1969, 280 p.; on p. 157 we read, "As Luther himself placed music right after theology in order of importance, for Bach, theology was next in importance after his own profession, music."

20Cf. the Gospel of Luke xvii, 11-19, on the healing of the lepers.

21Cf. Bartel, Musica poetica, pp. 66ff.; see also Dammann, Rolf, Der Musikbegriff im Deutschen Barock, Köln: Arno Volk, 1967, 523 p., esp. 128ff.; Mattheson, Der Volkommene Kapellmeister, 235ff.

22For further on form in the da capo aria, see Berry, Wallace, Form in Music, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966, 472 p., esp. pp. 80ff.

23Walther, Johann G., Musikalisches Lexikon, Leipzig, 1732, facs. ed. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1967. See also Bartel, pp. 260ff.

24Burmeister, Joachim, Musica poetica, Rostock, 1606, facs. ed. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1966. See also Bartel, pp. 298ff.

25Lanham, Richard A., A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms: A Guide for Students of English Literature, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969, pp. 22-23. It is also known as the antimetabole or commutatio. See also Sonnino, Lee A., A Handbook to Sixteenth Century Rhetoric, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968, pp.42-43, and Bartel, pp. 298ff., on the hypallage figure (fugal inversion) in Burmeister's Musica poetica. See further in Peacham's Garden of Eloquence, 164: "a forme of speech which inverteth a sentence by the contrary, thus: It behoveth thee to eate that thou maist live, and not to live that thou maist eat."

26Dürr, p. 433.

27Bartel, pp. 381-384.

28The descent, usually through a fourth, often in the form of a pathopoeia, with the concluding interval of a half step. Prof. William B. Kimmel coined the term in classes and in his unpublished paper, "The Phrygian Inflection and the Appearances of Death in Music," New York, 1977.

29Bartel, pp. 385-389.

30Bartel, pp. 392-394.

31The reader is referred to the score in the Neue Bach Ausgabe for reference or, if the NBA is not available, to the Eulenburg miniature score (Nr. 1031). A fine recording of BWV 78 is by The Bach Ensemble led by Joshua Rifkin, L'Oiseau-Lyre 455 706-2, a bargain 2-CD set that also includes BWV 8, 51, 80, 140, and 147.

Contact Musica Poetica via the Burmeister.

© 2000-2007 Musicapoetica.net