Document Type



Bach's Wind and Brass Instruments.pdf

Publication Date



wind instrument, brass instrument, composer techniques, scoring, horn, trombone, trumpet, numerical symbolism


Each time period has its own social, cultural and religious rules from which composers obey. Bach’s sacred and secular works walk a fine line and are hard to distinguish between, but each has been performed throughout the ages in a variety of settings.

This paper investigates Bach’s: Ideologies and Scoring which include his petition of August 23, 1730, his Horn (Corno) and its many names and uses. The author details Bach’s trombone (s), how he use them and in what compositions they can be found as well as Bach’s trumpet (s), their various keys and uses including musical excerpts, ornaments and trills. This paper examines and defines what Bach would have considered to be his most important musical element and role, the art of numerical symbolism. Used by many Baroque composers, Bach used it in his fugal, cantata’s and chorale writing, which became an important part of his intellectual life. From his death bed, Bach conveyed his religious beliefs and final evangelist message through this element.

Music Examples include:

"Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen," from BWV 51, meas. 1 - 6, meas. 25 - 30

"Ach, es bleibt in meiner Liebe," from BWV 77.

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