Strategie compositive del contrappunto BWV 1076 Canon triplex á 6 voc. di J. S. Bach

Giovanni Doro

This article examines Johann Sebastian Bach’s Canon triplex á 6 voc., BWV 1076, focusing on the programming strategies used by the composer and the logical-mathematical assumptions at the basis of this famous canon. More in detail, it analyses the conditions of existence of the contrapuntal procedures used by Bach and the rules which allow to predefine their outcomes. Besides, the text explains how to build notational grids, based on first-species counterpoint, which can direct the harmonic language on a triadic basis, namely the most important innovation of baroque composers. Finally, the article hypothesizes the existence of a composition technique inherited from the past that aided the composers of this period to write their works, an ars canonica that fell progressively into disuse and was then forgotten. According to the conclusions the
author arrives at, the Canon triplex can be evaluated from an original musical and historical point of view, offering at the same time a complete redefinition of the multiple solutions of Bach’s enigma.

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