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#2118250 - 07/15/13 09:39 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Who would have ever guessed that this subject would cause a war.....

It shouldn't.

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#2118275 - 07/15/13 10:38 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
stores Offline
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Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: BDB
I am sure that there are a great many treatises written recently that would give them more useful to most people playing music of the Baroque and Galant period today than their own efforts trying to understand the literature of that period.


Name one. Why one wouldn't want to take the time to read the words of one C.P.E. Bach, himself, on the matter is beyond me. Then again, as usual, no one wants to do the homework. Cmonnnnnnn...make it easy for meeeeee.....
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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#2118276 - 07/15/13 10:40 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: laguna_greg


... don't compare the Bach family to Lady Gaga.


+1 Thank You!
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2118285 - 07/15/13 11:13 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
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Hi Mark,

Actually, yeah, it should in this day and age. The mediocrity of pop culture, its inexorable dumbing down, and the arrogant, self-reinforcing ignorance that allows it to flourish, has never been put to such a display of venality as it has these days.

It's enough to make even a saint vomit.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118286 - 07/15/13 11:19 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
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HI BDB,

"I am sorry, but did you read where I said that I own the book?"

Great! Care to explain then, why you've spent so much time on this thread belittling and marginalizing both the source and its meaning? I call that last post back-pedaling. Not to mention that you still haven't read the book, by your own admission, even though you own it.

As I said before, it's not charming, that attitude-thing you've got going on there.

And since you brought up Lady Gaga (and Beyonce, even though I like her voice), it has become impossible to take any concern you have seriously.


Edited by laguna_greg (07/15/13 11:26 PM)
Edit Reason: better parenting requires more scolding
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118288 - 07/15/13 11:21 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: wr]
laguna_greg Offline
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Hi Wr,

Apparently you don't consider the value of a so-called "primary source" in your estimation. Or did you read the preface or bibliography that far down?
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118293 - 07/15/13 11:40 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
wr Offline
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Posts: 7776
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg


Apparently you don't consider the value of a so-called "primary source" in your estimation. Or did you read the preface or bibliography that far down?


If you are into reading the primary source, fine. It's not essential (and, I might add, those that do read it don't necessarily do as it says).

After all, prior to this translation, those pianists who didn't read German didn't even have the opportunity to read it, but many still managed to play the music from C.P.E.'s era and earlier, somehow.

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#2118299 - 07/15/13 11:56 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: wr]
laguna_greg Offline
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Loc: guess where in CA and WA
My Point, Wr,

Is that all the newer works are based on this, and a few other documents extant from that period.

Since that's the case, why not just read the original since the new works are going to quote it anyway?
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118301 - 07/16/13 12:05 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7776
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
My Point, Wr,

Is that all the newer works are based on this, and a few other documents extant from that period.

Since that's the case, why not just read the original since the new works are going to quote it anyway?


I'm not sure that "all" of the newer works are based on it, for one thing, but more importantly, they incorporate research that will be missed if one just reads the Bach essay and nothing else. Plus, I think there is an advantage to be had in modern writers writing for modern performers in modern language. And, in my case, I don't read German, which is the language of the original. I have no idea of how dependable the Mitchell translation may be. And even if it is a really fine translation, it is still a translation and not the original.

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#2118327 - 07/16/13 01:27 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
BDB Offline
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Most people who know about it do not understand the most important points of the Bach essay, anyway. If they did, there would be no discussions about whether the score is sacred. They would know he felt the score is just a crutch for those who need it, and even if they were using it, they would be expected to add to it.

It is true that the essay is important to those few people whose view of the world has shrunk to the point that they themselves are even less important than what the book means to almost everyone else. People like that have lost touch with the way the world is today.

Most people today who want to play late baroque music would be better off reading something more contemporary, like Kirkpatrick's introduction to his edition of 60 Scarlatti sonatas. What he writes there, in far easier to understand terms, is also applicable to music from many more periods.
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#2118360 - 07/16/13 02:07 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
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BDB, mon Chér et Vieux,

Conventions have changed. You should be aware of that (as a musician of any moderate stripe), and note the difference. And Kirkpatrick relies heavily on CPE, if you'd bother to read the bibliography.

I find it hard to believe that we are having this turn in the discussion, and I have no intention of leaving it alone.

Oh and BTW, your obvious contempt for the scholarship that goes into understanding the period, and your continual belittling of the vast numbers of people who take this seriously, makes me want to reach for an airsickness bag....

...please...among others...

... as I said earlier, it's neither charming nor persuasive...
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118364 - 07/16/13 02:16 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: wr]
laguna_greg Offline
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Hi wr,

"I'm not sure that "all" of the newer works are based on it, for one thing..."

If you'd read the source materials at all, or even looked at the bibliography closely, you'd KNOW instead of guessing. Since you haven't, I guess we can all ignore what you're saying here...
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118372 - 07/16/13 03:11 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
BDB Offline
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I have no idea where someone would get the idea that I have contempt for scholarship of any sort other than that of those who do not want to put their effort or money into it, and rely on others to do it for them.

Bach's essay was an important work of its time. But its time has passed, and today it is no more necessary for most musicians, let alone all people, than is learning Morse code if you want to use a cell phone. If you are a historian of the subject, or someone dedicated to historical performances, it should be read. Otherwise, it is just a curiosity.

I would be interested if anyone posting here has read more than, say, half of it, unless it is your area of scholarly study.
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#2118375 - 07/16/13 03:22 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
sandalholme Online   content
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Registered: 12/31/09
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If C P E Bach writing about performance practice is a curiosity, presumably you would regard a similar work by his father, if it were to turn up, in a similar vein.

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#2118382 - 07/16/13 03:39 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
BDB Offline
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Absolutely. There is some documentation of how J S Bach performed, and his methods are curiosities today, ignored by most performers, mostly because they would not be practical under modern circumstances.
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#2118390 - 07/16/13 04:18 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB


Bach's essay was an important work of its time. But its time has passed, and today it is no more necessary for most musicians, let alone all people, than is learning Morse code if you want to use a cell phone.


Ummm... no. In a day and age when the vast majority of educators have no idea what to do when it comes to Bach and the baroque in general, the essay needs to get into more hands. Clearly, you don't teach.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2118424 - 07/16/13 07:39 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7776
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Hi wr,

"I'm not sure that "all" of the newer works are based on it, for one thing..."

If you'd read the source materials at all, or even looked at the bibliography closely, you'd KNOW instead of guessing. Since you haven't, I guess we can all ignore what you're saying here...


Okay, I'll say it differently: not all of the newer books on performance practice of the time are based on the Bach essay. And having it as one of multiple sources in a bibliography doesn't mean it can be said that the book is based on it, any more than one would say the book was based on any other single source listed.

But anyway, the points I made aren't dependent whether I have some comprehensive knowledge of the last 50 years worth of books and other writings on Baroque performance practice (I don't). I think most people here can understand why it might be more useful to spend time reading a comprehensive current overview instead of just Bach's essay. Of course, it's still there for anyone who might want to read it.

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#2118492 - 07/16/13 11:12 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: wr]
laguna_greg Offline
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Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Wr,

" And having it as one of multiple sources in a bibliography doesn't mean it can be said that the book is based on it, any more than one would say the book was based on any other single source listed."

Is that how you do research, do you? Really? You just list books with incomprehensible titles but don't read, analyze or quote them?

"I think most people here can understand why it might be more useful to spend time reading a comprehensive current overview instead of just Bach's essay."

I agree with you that people ought to read widely in a subject, especially one where so much forensic reconstruction has been done as the late Renaissance. Let's consider some of the problems of preparing such work.

First, there are very, very few primary sources that have survived to this day. C.P.E. Bach's "Essay" is one of the oldest, most comprehensive and authoritative that we have. Aside from the (relatively) few J.S. Bach autographs that are held in archive, the Essay is the only direct insight available into how J.S. actually performed his music. After all, the son was taught by the father. He learned it directly from him. And there are no other written sources available to compare it to in regard to J.S.'s playing.

Second, the reason we have so few written sources from this period and before, is because at the time music teaching was done by apprenticeship, often from father to son. There were no music schools, nor private lessons, nor "music teachers", nor textbooks as we think of them today. All teaching was done by the master to the apprentice, with the aim of producing professionals. And these were mostly singers, not instrumentalists. The reason the Essay seems incomplete in its thoroughbass instructions, for example, is because it was written to document a particular style of improvisation for other professionals, not as a teaching course for beginners or amateurs. Rudimentary teaching materials were written out by the master on the spot, as needed. Very, very few of those survive.

Third, the "amateur player" and the "commercial pop artist" did not yet exist. Those are an invention of the 19th century, along with the conservatory system and all that went with it. At that time, lots of textbooks, manuals and teaching courses and methods were written to support it. These all document the NEW style of playing in imitation of Italian bel canto homophony. They generally avoid discussing the OLD style of contrapuntal playing as it fell completely out of fashion almost the minute J.S. Bach died in 1750. Even after the Paris revival in 1849, later theoretical treatises describe Baroque performance practice in terms of the 19th century, not the 18th or 17th. So we can't trust those sources as an accurate description of the Bach performance style.

Consider that, in the 18th century, there was no commercial or pop music, no amateur players, no sheet music or books about music, no keyboard instruments in middle-class homes, as we have them today. If you were a musician, you were a professional for life. Your employer was the court or the church, and they told you what to sing or play, what kind of music to write, and very specifically how to write it. You learned how from your dad and then, if you were lucky, underwent a long, indentured apprenticeship with a master, usually an organist. There was no music publishing of any kind native to Germany until about the middle of Bach's life. So written sources are very few on the ground.

Those contemporary works you prefer to read are the results of decades of detective work by musicologists, reconstructing practices for which there are almost no primary source materials available. For instance, one of my history professors in college made quite a name for herself when she published a paper describing how a particular Baroque ornament was probably performed, using marginal notes written on a madrigal score she found in a church library in Italy. It took her 3 years of searching to find it, and she only knew it existed because it was part of a large bequest to that church noted in city records. Don't tell her that a contemporary overview is more useful than the "Essay". She'd tell you how stupid that is, and then probably kick you in the shins.

We are very lucky to have such a work as the "Essay" available to us from that period. As far is its influence goes, well, how many people have played, sang or listened to J.S. Bach over the last 170 years? More than have heard Michael Jackson, arguably.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118496 - 07/16/13 11:20 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
BDB Offline
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Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Consider that, in the 18th century, there was no commercial or pop music, no amateur players, no sheet music or books about music, no keyboard instruments in middle-class homes, as we have them today. If you were a musician, you were a professional for life.


What an absurd statement!
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#2118498 - 07/16/13 11:26 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB
Absolutely. There is some documentation of how J S Bach performed, and his methods are curiosities today, ignored by most performers, mostly because they would not be practical under modern circumstances.


BDB,

You realize you have just nullified the entire period performance movement with that pronouncement? Don't say that to John Elliott Gardiner, or William Christie, or Melvyn Tan, or Rosalyn Turek, or Anonymous 4, or...well, it's a long list, including every living countertenor you've just insulted.

Or better yet, say it and duck. Quickly.


Edited by laguna_greg (07/16/13 11:28 AM)
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1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118500 - 07/16/13 11:30 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Consider that, in the 18th century, there was no commercial or pop music, no amateur players, no sheet music or books about music, no keyboard instruments in middle-class homes, as we have them today. If you were a musician, you were a professional for life.


What an absurd statement!


It happens to be true.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118504 - 07/16/13 11:54 AM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
BDB Offline
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While I probably have more influence on performance practice than most people here, my ability to nullify any aspect of it is exaggerated.
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#2118525 - 07/16/13 12:32 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
chopin_r_us Offline
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Haydn says he learned everything he knew from Bach's book. Beethoven was taught from it and he insisted Czerny teach his nephew from it.

While we're on the topic - anyone got Hummel's great tome in an English pdf?

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#2118554 - 07/16/13 01:18 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: chopin_r_us]
laguna_greg Offline
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Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
Haydn says he learned everything he knew from Bach's book. Beethoven was taught from it and he insisted Czerny teach his nephew from it.

While we're on the topic - anyone got Hummel's great tome in an English pdf?


THANK YOU CHOPIN!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118577 - 07/16/13 02:10 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: laguna_greg]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13773
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Consider that, in the 18th century, there was no commercial or pop music, no amateur players, no sheet music or books about music, no keyboard instruments in middle-class homes, as we have them today. If you were a musician, you were a professional for life.


What an absurd statement!


It happens to be true.


For keyboard music, perhaps, although Artaria was making sheet music available in the latter part of the 18th century.

But there was certainly a strong tradition of amateur music making in the 18th century and earlier. Madrigal societies were popular in 17th and 18th century England.

In terms of the heyday of amateur keyboard playing, though, laguna is correct. A unique confluence of events created the opportunity and environment for amateur music making at the piano: The invention of the upright piano at the end of the 18th century, advances in manufacturing in the industrial revolution, and the rise of the middle class after the French Revolution. That Beethoven's genius coincided with these events is not a coincidence. I would argue that Beethoven's genius was enabled by them.

For those who have read Outliers, we could easily see Beethoven as the product of his time in much the same way that Steve Jobs was a product of his.
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#2118597 - 07/16/13 03:26 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: Kreisler]
laguna_greg Offline
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Hi Kriesler,

"But there was certainly a strong tradition of amateur music making in the 18th century and earlier. Madrigal societies were popular in 17th and 18th century England."

Yeah, but that's England. It could be argued that the Lutheran/Calvinist influence in the Reformation had a heavy dampening effect on all popular culture in Germany, the Low Countries and Switzerland, while ultimately enriching the musical tradition within the Protestant church.

When do you think the female voice became a regular part of the typical Catholic Church choir?

And I agree with you 100% about Beethoven. He couldn't have happened the way he did even 50 years prior.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2118617 - 07/16/13 04:15 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: Kreisler]
chopin_r_us Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The invention of the upright piano at the end of the 18th century,
Dare I be pedantic and point out that really didn't happen till the 1810's and didn't take off (replace squares) till much later.

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#2118643 - 07/16/13 04:56 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: kcostell]
BDB Offline
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There were amateur keyboard instruments like spinets and clavichords all over Europe in the 18th century, including Germany. C. P. E. Bach published some of his own music, including keyboard works specifically denoted "for connoisseurs and amateurs."
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#2118649 - 07/16/13 05:14 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
chopin_r_us Offline
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Originally Posted By: BDB
There were amateur keyboard instruments like spinets and clavichords all over Europe in the 18th century, including Germany. C. P. E. Bach published some of his own music, including keyboard works specifically denoted "for connoisseurs and amateurs."
I more or less have his complete oeuvre for keyboard. He took a shine to the piano later in life - much of the "for connoisseurs and amateurs." set are quite pianistic.

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#2118681 - 07/16/13 06:12 PM Re: Public Domain translation of C.P.E. Bach's Keyboard Essay? [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1337
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Yes but BDB, in whose homes do you find those instruments?


Edited by laguna_greg (07/16/13 06:13 PM)
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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