• E.M.G.


Mis à jour : 26 nov. 2018

Listen to the Allemande: https://youtu.be/KlshTXLjVi8

Read the score: http://hz.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/0/0e/IMSLP07595-BWV0996.pdf

As it is the case for every dance, it is made of 2 parts, each one being played twice. Concerning the rhythm, this Allemande uses a continuous flow of 8th notes. Like in the Fugato, there are 2 melodic lines, but this time the lowest one rather plays a continuus bassus role (a harmonic role). However there are sometimes short imitations between bass and soprano (in this case it plays a melodic role).

Measures 1 to 8:

Measures 1 to 4:

In measure 1 is played a tonic chord arpeggio followed by a downward natural minor scale of E. Like the 1st measure, the 2nd measure begins with an arpeggio, but on the dominant chord. On the 2 last beats of measure 2, the harmonic rhythm accelerates and follows a quarter notes rhythm: BM E- F#- B7. In the bass line on the 2nd beat, below the neighbor tones of D# in the soprano (E - D# - E) the C# is a passing tone.

On the 2 first beats of measure 3 is played a tonic chord. Note the little echo between soprano and bass (B – E and B – E). On the 2 last beats of this 3rd measure begins a modulation to the relative key G major with chords A- and DM.

In the 2nd part of measure 4, after the GM chord, appears a CM subdominant chord. Note the little imitation between bass and soprano on the 2nd and 3rd beats (which is also a short retrograde motion of the soprano).

Measures 5 to 8:

On the 1st beat of measure 5 is a D7 chord. Then appears the GM tonic chord followed by a chromatic upward bass from B to E based on the following chords progression: A-, C#° (dominant of B-), B- and D#° (dominant of E-).

Measure 6 modulates back to the tonic key. But on the 3rd beat appears a modulation to B- with the F#M chord. On the last beat is played B-, with a passing C#-7b5 chord.

In measure 7 the soprano almost plays a downward natural minor scale of B minor. Chords are B-, E-, C#-7b5, F#M. However, note the passing F# in the bass line after the 2nd beat, A# neighbor tone of B in the soprano on the 3rd beat, and the delayed 4th (the embellished B) in the soprano on the F#M chord.

The fact that in measure 8 the resolution on the dominant key is made on a B major chord (instead of B-) can be attributed to various causes: first it is the usual way most of minor pieces were concluded during the Baroque period (with the traditional Tierce Picarde, a major 3rd). Moreover, as each part must be played 2 times, the tonic chord in the 1st measure must be brought back by a dominant chord, so a major chord. Let’s add that the major chord is less unstable than the minor as it fits better with the natural harmonics of its root.

Anyway, note that on the 2 first beats of this 8th measure is played an upward major scale of B. On the last beat is used the minor subdominant chord E- as an approach chord of BM.

Measures 9 to 18:

In measure 9 the 2 lines follow the same pitch contour as in measure 1, but they are transposed on the B7 chord.

In measure 10 is played a E- tonic chord arpeggio followed by a A7 chord, in the shape of a downward D major scale from dominant to dominant.

The same contour is used in measure 11, with a D7 and a GM chord. But on the last beat of measure 11 appears a modulation to the dominant key with the C#-7b5 subdominant chord.

In measure 12 are played F#7 and B-. Note the usual baroque anticipated tonic on the conclusive V – I progression at the end of 12. Let’s also remark that the conclusive pattern on the 3rd beat of measure 12 is the retrograde motion of that of measure 7!

Measures 13 to 15 consist in a harmonic sequence: EM, A- (subdominant key), DM, GM (relative key), and BM to bring back the tonic key. In each first beats of each motif note the little 2 notes echo between soprano and bass which was already used in measure 3 (the 5th and the root of each chord).

Beginning of measure 16 recalls the 1st measure. In measure 16, chords are E-, A-, F#-. In measure 17, there is the conclusive progression B7, E-, F#-7b5, BM.

In measure 18, the 2nd part ends with the same pattern as in measure 8. But it is built on the V/IV chord (E7). This last measure can be compared to an Organ coda with the tonic pedal bass: a V/IV chord (E7), a IV- chord (the A- chord on the 2nd beat) and a tonic major chord (EM) with passing subdominant tones.

The form of this Allemande can be summed up as follows:

A from the tonic key to the dominant key.

A’ from the from the dominant key (conclusive V – I progression in measure 13) to the tonic key.

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