Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

Baroque Compoer - Johann Sebastian Bach

Monday, October 4, 2021 by Paula Augustine | Music History

Johann Sebastian Bach

So much has been written about Bach. His music and his life is well known. He was born in what is now Germany during a time when many princes ruled over the area. He worked for a few of the Princes and made a living writing music for their courts and for the church as well as playing the organ and teaching. 

Click here for a more detailed history to read on J.S. Bach

Here is a video for kids on the life of J.S. Bach



Prelude in C Major BVW 846 from The Well Tempered Clavier

Most students will recognize the Prelude in C Major. Many students also get to play this piece! This recording is played by Lang Lang, a very well known pianist today throughout the world. Lang Lang began playing piano when he was three and began his full-time professional music career at age 17. This recording has an interesting twist. Lang Lang wants to share classical music and make it more interesting with everyone. Watch this to see one way he does it.


Fugue no. 1 in C major [BWV 846]

In the Book The Well Tempered Clavier, Bach wrote a Prelude and a Fugue that went together. This is the fugue. Fugues are more difficult, they have three or four parts that play. Watch this version of the fugue and see the four colors they use to show each of the parts. Each color comes in playing the main theme, can you hear it?


Flute Sonata in E minor

Here are two of the four movements of the Bach Flute Sonata. When Bach was alive, they did not have a piano yet, only a harpsichord. The flute was also made of wood. These two recordings are made from instruments they would have played during Bach's time. The first is just harpsichord and flute, but the second video you will notice more instruments. These sonatas for flute may have been performed with just a harpsichord, or could have been performed with other instruments. Bach wrote a flute solo and for Continuo - which was an accompaniment like the one on the right with a line of music and numbers under. The Continuo part was to play the harmony and improv based on the numbers, called figured bass.



I hope you enjoy this month's listening!

Retro Music Education - Bethoven's Wig

Monday, December 7, 2020 by Paula Augustine | Music History

Beethoven's Wig

To finish off our semester of the classical era of music history here is a cartoon of Beethoven's 5th Symphony called - Beethoven's Wig.

Listening Assignment 3 for Fall 2020

Monday, November 2, 2020 by Paula Augustine | Music History

Listening Assignment 3 - Fall 2020

This is the final listening assignment for the fall semester. I hope you have enjoyed not only hearing music from the classical period of music history, but also seeing some excellent musicians on youtube. 

There are three different composers, one for each instrument - piano, flute and clarinet. Each video shows a famous composer for the instrument and one of their most famous pieces. 

Piano - Clementi - Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 50 no. 3, "Didone abbandonata" (Played on a Period Instrument)

Flute - Johann Joachin Quantz, Flute Concerto in G major

This is just the first movement, there are two more. For some reason this recording was put up as three separate videos.

Clarinet - Gioachinno Rossinni, Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra