Johann David Heinichen's Comprehensive Instruction on Basso Continuo
with Historical Biographies
This book is the first translation of Johann David Heinichen's Gründliche Anweisung from 1711, in which he sought to develop a novel, methodical approach to basso continuo instruction. He begins...
This book is the first translation of Johann David Heinichen's Gründliche Anweisung from 1711, in which he sought to develop a novel, methodical approach to basso continuo instruction. He begins with an extensive Foreword, in which he provides valuable insight into the vivid discussion of musical aesthetics taking place at that time. In the first part, conceived for the beginner, Heinichen lays out the fundamentals of figures, chords, meter andsimple ornaments. In the second part, in a thorough discussion of various methods for realizing basso continuo where no figures are given, an entire cantata by Francesco Cesarini (1664-1730) is analyzed down to the smallest detail, and the figures which belong are explained. After this he unveils for the first time in music history the circle of fifths with interspersed major and minor keys, through the understanding of which one could traverse through all the keys without offense. The Neu erfundene und gründliche Anweisung supplied what Heinichen perceived to be lacking in instruction at that time: a thorough and orderly method of instruction, providing a short path to the acquisition of basso continuo. One of this translation's distinguishing features is its comprehensive Appendix A, which contains the largest amount of information on the life of Johann David Heinichen currently available. Itconsists of biographies by well-known German authors including those of Johann Gottfried Walther, Ernst Ludwig Gerber, Hugo Riemann, Gustav Adolph Seibel as well as letters of Johann David Heinichen."