The algebra and neuroscience of Bach’s transcriptions for various instruments and cognitive effects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Vincent Cheung has done an outstanding and careful study of Bach’s transcriptions for organ of Vivaldi violin concertos. He catalogs the additions and small changes Bach makes presumably to improve perception of the pieces (or adapt the perception of the pieces for performance on an organ). Cheung’s study thus provides us a look at Bach’s view and perspective of the perceptual landscape. Bach also arranged and transcribed many of his own pieces for new uses. We look at one example, the addition of a choir of two horns and timpani to the opening chorus of the cantata Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (BWV 99) for adaption of the piece for a festive secular use (BWV 100/1), and see that this small addition not only adds perceptually to the piece, but has significant cognitive consequences for listeners as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Neuroscience of Bach's Music
Subtitle of host publicationPerception, Action, and Cognition Effects on the Brain
PublisherElsevier
Pages171-184
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780443135194
ISBN (Print)9780443135200
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cantata 100
  • Cantata 99
  • Cognition
  • Marcello
  • Perception
  • Transcriptions
  • Vivaldi

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