Pausing for reflection: Re-evaluating Bach's use of the fermata

Hampson, Christopher Martin (2007) Pausing for reflection: Re-evaluating Bach's use of the fermata. MMus(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 10754049.pdf] PDF
Download (2MB)


The fermata sign placed above a note is nowadays used more or less exclusively to signify a pause of indeterminate length on the affected note. Within Bach's works, the fermata makes appearances in connection with chorales in both the vocal works and chorale preludes for organ. The fermata also occurs in secular pieces such as the suites and Well-Tempered Clavier. Various viewpoints as to the meaning of the fermata have developed, including calls to ignore them as pauses altogether, to signify breathing points, to hold the affected note for twice its length followed by a rest and so on. In the organ chorale preludes, there is sufficient movement in other parts for Koopman (2003) and others to assume that treating the fermata symbol as a pause would be impossible. Others have also claimed that other I?"'- and 18*.

Item Type: Thesis (MMus(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: John Butt
Keywords: Music history, Music theory
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-74136
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year