Dissertation
Dissertation > Art > Music > Instrumental music theory and performance of law > Keyboard, reed music theory and playing method > Piano

A Study of the Biblical Sonatas

Author LiuJiaYou
Tutor QianYiPing
School Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Course Musicology
Keywords Kuhnau,Johann Bible Story Sonata Programme music Word-painting
CLC J624.1
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Kuhnau, Johann, a German Composer, keyboard music player and music theorist, was one of the significant exponents of German music in late Baroque, he was also the first man who transformed the group instrumental music sonata to keyboard sonata. Musicalische Vorstellung einiger Biblischer Historien in6sonaten or The Biblical Sonatas for short, which was published in Leipzig in1700, was hailed as the model for title musical creation. This music composition not just promoted the development process of title music, but influenced the concept for musical creation of composers after him as well, including the famous composer Bach, and consequently pushing the course and progress of German music. The six sonatas were based on six stories from the Old Testament. As for means of musical creation, it applied the technique of words description which was very popular since the Renaissance. It described the stories vividly through language of music, fully exemplifying the features of music creation and its structure in Baroque period.The paper established itself on comprehensive analysis and study of the Kuhnau’s composition from multi-perspectives. It consists of three chapters, the contents of which concern the following:the background of ancient piano sonata; the course of personal musical creation; the interpretation of the title and literary text for Bible Sonata; the representation in the composition of its classification of formal structure, its advance technique for music theme and means of multiple shaping for words description. Chapter1pays attention to the social and economical environment and the living background of the composer while he created the ancient piano sonata.Chapter2discusses the characters and the classification of title, the origins of the six Bible stories and the selection of title text for Bible Sonata:Chapter3elaborates on musical interpretation of the Bible by analyzing the feature of formal structure, the advance technique of musical theme, the multiple shaping of musical character and words description.On basis of the first three chapters, as a final conclusion of thinking, is the comprehensive statement on the historical status and influence of Kuhnau’s Bible Sonata, which had set models for the earliest title music and the means of words description, of which very much sought after in the Baroque period.

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