Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas?

Posted by: Hrodulf

Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/05/14 11:30 PM

Here's my list:

Book I:c minor c# minor d major d minor e minor (second half) f major g major b flat major

Book II:d minor g major

The larger number of toccatas in book I is interesting and points to a difference between book I and II.
Posted by: Bullard

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 02:08 AM

Well...someone had to tell you, might as well be me. None of them. They're all preludes, or fugues. Bach did write toccatas, but they're labeled as so.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 01:41 PM

I should have mentioned in the style of toccatas I suppose if you want to split hairs.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 03:37 PM

I'm not sure why this thread is in the Composers' Lounge.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 06:23 PM

It's a question about a composition.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 06:41 PM

Well then.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/06/14 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It's a question about a composition.
But that question is one that would be of more interest to music theorists and historians than to composers. The harmonic analysis in the other thread is perhaps relevant, but this question holds even less interest to me.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 07:58 AM

I'm curious how the OP is defining toccatas, come to that. Where does he draw the line?
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:41 AM

Pieces based on scales, arpeggiated chords or repetitive figures.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It's a question about a composition.
But that question is one that would be of more interest to music theorists and historians than to composers. The harmonic analysis in the other thread is perhaps relevant, but this question holds even less interest to me.


I didn't really know where else to put it since it isn't a question about playing the piano. It's more one about style of a particular group of compositions so I thought it went here.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
It's a question about a composition.
But that question is one that would be of more interest to music theorists and historians than to composers. The harmonic analysis in the other thread is perhaps relevant, but this question holds even less interest to me.


I didn't really know where else to put it since it isn't a question about playing the piano. It's more one about style of a particular group of compositions so I thought it went here.

The Pianist Corner also hosts questions about repertoire. This one is more for composers to post their works and discuss others'.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 12:14 PM

Ok, although this isn't very clear from the forum description.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 12:23 PM

"Welcome to The Pianist Corner, the place to talk about technique, performance, piano pieces, composers, competitions, etc."

Seems pretty clear to me...
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 02:31 PM

I meant the composer's lounge forum description.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 04:05 PM

Composers Lounge forum description:
Please limit this forum to discussions by composers or about composers. Of course, this is the place to ask composers questions too.

I suppose if your intent was to get a composer's viewpoint on Bach's well tempered clavier and toccatas in general then your inquiry was appropriately placed. In general I find Pianist Corner to be where analysis of existing repertoire questions usually get asked. This is typically a place for composers to post their work and get feedback from other composers. That's why I found your inquiry to be out of place. It also seemed as if you were asking a question to which you already had an answer. If your inquiry had been more about toccata composition in general then the inquiry would have been entirely appropriate.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 04:23 PM

I didn't see that description, I was referring to the forum summary listing which reads "A forum for composers to hang out, and the rest of us to ask them questions"
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 05:19 PM

The problem is, I haven't seen Bach around on this forum lately. grin
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 05:46 PM

The question was obviously not directed towards Bach, who has been dead for 264 years. It was directed towards composers, about a question of style, in regard to these particular pieces. If I put it in the wrong place then I'm sorry. The last time I posted here was in 2009 and I don't remember every little detail of what is supposed to go where or what posts people want to see and what they don't. It's funny how people get into a multi-post argument about whatever mistakes I may have actually made. instead of talking about piano music.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 05:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
The question was obviously not directed towards Bach, who has been dead for 264 years.

Really?

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
Pieces based on scales, arpeggiated chords or repetitive figures.

Then why isn't the C# major from Book I a toccata?
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 05:59 PM

And I didn't start the same thread in pianist corner, so you see I'm learning.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:01 PM

It was supposed to be. c# minor was a mistyping for c# major.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:01 PM

Then why isn't the C# minor a toccata?
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:02 PM

If you're debating whether Bach is dead then perhaps there is a bridge in brooklyn you may be willing to buy.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:02 PM

I don't remember what the C# minor is but I will look.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:05 PM

I don't consider this a piece emphasizing the performer's ability to nimbly play a lot of notes with good touch and quickly. The question is one of what the piece appears to be. I don't think this one is a toccata. I suppose you could play it really fast. But that would sound awful in my opinion.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
If you're debating whether Bach is dead then perhaps there is a bridge in brooklyn you may be willing to buy.

Bach is DEAD?

cry
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
I don't consider this a piece emphasizing the performer's ability to nimbly play a lot of notes with good touch and quickly.

That wasn't your definition of toccata.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:07 PM

Most of them are, apparently.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:09 PM

Then I was wrong. I think the main thing is the nature of the piece being fast passagework, and yes, relying on scales and arpeggios like the G major prelude from book one being a great example. I think the definition of a toccata is on wikipedia and I will agree to whatever definition is there.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 06:11 PM

Perhaps the problem we're having is it's difficult to define some artistic terms with specificity. I am sure that toccatas written by different composers may be difficult to precisely categorize by a set of strict rules as to what a toccata is.

Fwiw

Originally Posted By: Wikipedia
Toccata (from Italian toccare, "to touch") is a virtuoso piece of music typically for a keyboard or plucked string instrument featuring fast-moving, lightly fingered or otherwise virtuosic passages or sections, with or without imitative or fugal interludes, generally emphasizing the dexterity of the performer's fingers.


So I added the chord and scale thing. The G major Book 1 and D minor Book 2 seem to have those patterns. I was thinking of the C minor Book 1 and B flat major Book 2 regarding the repetitious patterns of notes.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:11 PM

What about the C minor from Book 2?
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:20 PM

I thought about that one but it just didn't seem like one to me in the same way the g major from book I was. It didn't strike me as a piece that worked if played at toccata speed.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:21 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq18ziIaO7U
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:23 PM

If you just compare it to the b flat major Book I you'll see what I mean.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/07/14 11:24 PM

I don't see what you mean.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 12:18 AM

It works if you play it fast because it's a repeated spelled out chordal passage. It's just like similar figures in the organ toccata and fugue in d minor.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 12:31 AM

I don't see your point. Just because it's one type of toccata doesn't mean it's the only type.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 10:40 AM

I never said there was only one type of toccata
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 10:58 AM

Here I'll make it clearer:

Organ Toccata and Fugue in d minor (toccata):



B flat major prelude book I:

Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 03:03 PM

Why are you obsessing over comparing these two pieces?
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 06:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Why are you obsessing over comparing these two pieces?


It's just a thought I had.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 06:54 PM

Again: why is the C minor prelude from book 2 not a toccata? The answer is not "because it isn't like the B flat major prelude from book 1."
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 08:06 PM

Maybe it is one, I didn't think it was one because the melody line wasn't one that I considered to be particularly virtuosic.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 11:30 PM

This is a Toccata (and fugue) by Bach, and doesn't match any of your arbitrary criteria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAPJwjzvdh8
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 11:45 PM

At least can we agree the b flat major is one? Maybe I'm wrong about trying to define a musical style, but the b flat major seems to obviously be a toccata. Look at the scores. Can we agree to disagree on the rest of them? It's obviously a subjective decision about the nature of the pieces and how they're played.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 11:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Hrodulf
At least can we agree the b flat major is one?

When have I disputed that?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 11:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
This is a Toccata (and fugue) by Bach, and doesn't match any of your arbitrary criteria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAPJwjzvdh8

I'm not sure about that.
Posted by: Hrodulf

Re: Which preludes from the well tempered clavier are toccatas? - 03/08/14 11:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
When have I disputed that?


Good, compromise?