Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of His Time


C. P. E. Bach’s Essay on the Keyboard
horizontal rule
C. P. E. Bach (1714-1788), the second surviving son of J. S. Bach, had an enormous impact on succeeding generations of composers. His Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments says a great deal about not only issues of harmony, ornamentation, and improvisation, but also performance subtleties that he deems essential to proper expression. The examples shown here illustrate when the ordinary note values should be either held back or shortened, depending on the musical context. "In slower or reserved tempos the phrase segments are mostly drawn out longer than normally, especially when the bass has the same notes and pauses as the upper notes."

horizontal rule
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (1762). Sibley Library, Eastman School of Music
horizontal rule

view image

continue tour

From Sketch to Completed Work
From Print to CD
How did Mozart Compose?
The Mozart Myth: Tales of a Forgery
Mozart's Images
Mozart's Images Imagined
What the Score Doesn't Tell Us
The Piano Lesson
The Cult of Mozart
Commodification & Kitsch
Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

Copyright 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524

For reference questions, send mail to:
If you have questions or comments about the site, send mail to: webmaster.