The Music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

September 2014
59 line illustrations
434 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS006000, MUS050000, BIO004000

The Music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

David Schulenberg

eBook for Handhelds
In this first comprehensive examination of the music of the most prolific Bach son, David Schulenberg offers new perspectives on the career, style, and originality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.
Of Bach's four sons who became composers, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-88) was the most prolific, the most original, and the most influential both during and after his lifetime. This is the first comprehensive study of his music, examining not only the famous keyboard sonatas and concertos but also the songs, the chamber music, and the sacred works, many of which resurfaced only recently and have not previously been evaluated. A compositional biography, the book surveys C. P. E. Bach's extensive output of nearly a thousand works while tracing his musical development-from his student days at Leipzig and Frankfurt (Oder), through his nearly three decades as court musician to Prussian King Frederick "the Great," to his final twenty years as cantor and music director at Hamburg.
David Schulenberg, author of important books on the music of J. S. Bach and his first son, W. F. Bach, here considers the legacy of the second son from a compelling new perspective. Focusing on C. P. E. Bach's compositional choices within his social and historical context, Schulenberg shows how C. P. E. Bach deliberately avoided his father's style while borrowing from the manner of his Berlin colleagues, who were themselves inspired by Italian opera. Schulenberg also shows how C. P. E. Bach, now best known for his virtuoso keyboard works, responded to changing cultural and aesthetic trends by refashioning himself as a writer of vocal music and popular chamber compositions. Audio versions of the book's musical examples, as well as further examples and supplementary tables and texts, are available on a companion website.

David Schulenberg is professor of music at Wagner College and teaches historical performance at the Juilliard School. He is the author of The Music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (University of Rochester Press, 2010).

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Table of Contents

Note about Online Supporting Material
Emmanuel Bach in Context
A Student in Leipzig
Leipzig: First Works
From Leipzig to Frankfurt (Oder) and Berlin
Joining the Court: Bach at Berlin
Bach's Works of the 1740s: Sonatas, Concertos, Trios
Beyond the Court
Berlin and After: Songs and the New Aesthetic of Vocal Music
Leaving the Court: Music Mainly for Concerts
The Later Keyboard Music
Church Piece and Oratorio at Hamburg
Swan Songs


Intriguing . . . [and] lucid. An attractive bonus is an extensive online supplement. INTERNATIONAL PIANO

Well-researched and thoroughly documented. A first-rate addition to the growing literature on C.P.E. Bach. One of the best aspects of this book is the attention paid to Bach's less-known lieder and choral output. CHOICE

Schulenberg's comprehensive knowledge of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works...allows him to make ready connections between similar characteristics in one of Bach's works and those of another composer. [Offers] keen insights into the people in the Berlin court, Bach's role, and how carefully he fit in musically and personally. Schulenberg's survey elucidates Bach's works through his insights and vivid prose. BACH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute

Packed with analytical and historical detail; the prose is lucid. This important book should find a place in all research libraries. Schulenberg notes similarities and divergences between the early keyboard music of his subject and [of CPE's brother] Wilhelm Friedemann. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES

The book is a marvelous celebration of the 300th anniversary of [C.P.E. Bach's] birth, honestly showing the figure of . . . one of the most important composers of the eighteenth century. DOCENOTAS [Mario Guada] Full review at

"This is an important book that not only reflects the present state of knowledge regarding C.P.E Bach's music but also has great potential to stimulate further research. Full of insight, it will be essential reading for scholars and students with a serious interest in C.P.E. Bach and mid- to late-eighteenth-century music generally." --Steven Zohn, author of Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann's Instrumental Works

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