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The Langloz Manuscript

Fugal Improvisation through Figured Bass

by William Renwick

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list price: $540.00
category: Music
published: 2000

What sorts of processes were going through the mind of J.S. Bach as he improvised a fugue in three, four, or even six parts? And what sort of training equipped an organist of the early eighteenth century to practise the art of accompaniment and improvisation successfully? The practical method which linked keyboard technique, improvisation, performance, and composition in a continuum was the thoroughbass, the centre of the Baroque musicians art. The Langloz Manuscript, originating in the era and proximity of Bach's region of activity, and containing the largest extant collection of figured bass fugues, provides a window into this very process, and demonstrates more clearly than any words can the method by which the art of thoroughbass provided a foundation for extemporised fugue. The present edition is the first publication of this manuscript.

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Contributor notes

William Renwick is at McMaster University, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

'Renwick's edition of the Langloz Manuscript proves the point - one of great historical significance - that improvisation, even in a genre as seemingly intricate and seamless as a fugue, can be taught. This edition should be a required text for all keyboard teachers and theory instructors. It is a small, modest book tht beautifully demonstrates the truth that improvisation need not be a grand and mystical enterprise reserved for titans, but can also be an intimate, challenging, frustrating, and, at last, deeply rewarding pursuit for the eager and open-minded.' Early Music, August 2001

'four excellent introductory chapters ... The book is a valuable scholarly document, but it also has its use in the practical teaching of baroque keyboard playing.' Clifford Bartlett, Early Music Review, No. 71, June 2001

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