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Thread: The figured bass

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Sydney, Australia

    The figured bass

    There was a development in the way figured bass lines were interpreted so that long held notes were cut short (despite Bach's written text). There obviously was some scholarly research undertaken and then the entire "authentic movement" decided this was "gospel" (you can't go against the flow afterall, even if you are following a trend without your own research).

    Who was it that decided this was the way to play figured bass? A lot of the time it seems to me to go against the way Bach annotated his harmonic changes, for example, if there's a long held bass note and the harmonies change above (indicated by figures above the notes) in "authentic" practice these are ignored for the sake of shortening the bass note in this "stylistic" attitude ...
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  2. #2
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
    Join Date
    May 2010
    New Rochelle,NY
    I thought a figured bass was a male opera singer dressed in drag.

  3. #3
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    @ superhorn
    Kh ~~.

    Amateur musicians practice until they get it right ...
    fessional musicians practice until they can't get it wrong ...

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