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Tenor Clef?


Christopher Price
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Hello,

I have just downloaded the free score of 'Nun komm' BWV 629, and find that the LH part is written in the tenor clef. Is this a common practice, perhaps on the continent, or is it an oddity? I would have to re-write it all out to be able to play it from this version!

I don't know exactly what you have downloaded. BWV 629 is "Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag" from the Orgelbüchlein. Perhaps another score?

Wellknown is the use of tenor and alto clefs in the Griepenkerl-Edition of Bachs organ works published by Edition Peters.

 

Cheers

tiratutti

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I have just downloaded the free score of 'Nun komm' BWV 629, and find that the LH part is written in the tenor clef. Is this a common practice, perhaps on the continent, or is it an oddity? I would have to re-write it all out to be able to play it from this version!

 

CP

 

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My edition of the Brahm's "Est is ein ros" contains all sorts of strange clefs in my edition. The first time I rambled through it, I thought Brahms was the first atonalist until I noticed the clef markings. :lol:

 

Hate the things!

 

MM

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Hello again,

 

I have just downloaded the free score of 'Nun komm' BWV 629, and find that the LH part is written in the tenor clef. Is this a common practice, perhaps on the continent, or is it an oddity?

if you meant BWV 659 then take a look at the autograph of the Achtzehn Leipziger Choräle. There you can see that Bach wrote the work with alto clef.

 

Cheers

tiratutti

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----------------------------------

 

 

My edition of the Brahm's "Est is ein ros" contains all sorts of strange clefs in my edition. The first time I rambled through it, I thought Brahms was the first atonalist until I noticed the clef markings. :lol:

 

Hate the things!

 

MM

I'm a big fan of the old clefs and I love Brahms for using Alto Clef in his final pieces, Op. 122. It was standard practice to use C clefs (Sop, Alto, Ten) in choral works, particularly in Germany and Austria, in the 19th Century.

 

The so-called facsimile edition of John Stanley organ voluntaries by, I think OUP, from the 1970s "helpfully" rewrites all the C-clef passages in modern clefs.

 

The old Peters Edition of Bach organ works uses C clefs in many of the choral preludes as does, I think, the original Bach Gesellschaft, but Peters changes the Tenor Clef of the LH cantus firmus in Wachet Auf to the Bass Clef whilst preserving Bach's original Alto Clef for the RH obbligato.

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[The so-called facsimile edition of John Stanley organ voluntaries by, I think OUP, from the 1970s "helpfully" rewrites all the C-clef passages in modern clefs.

 

The old Peters Edition of Bach organ works uses C clefs in many of the choral preludes as does, I think, the original Bach Gesellschaft, but Peters changes the Tenor Clef of the LH cantus firmus in Wachet Auf to the Bass Clef whilst preserving Bach's original Alto Clef for the RH obbligato.

 

Alto and tenor clefs were much used in the 18th century including the prints by many of our own composers - John Marsh advsies the necessity of learning it in the preface to his 2nd book of Voluntaries ca 1795. For the RH the usual German practice was to place the C clef on the lowest line of the treble stave, although later the ithe 18th century editiosn were produced in both this and the treble clef on the second line. Notation and clef usage is fascinating; incidentally, Brahms and Chrysander deserve credit for preparing an edition of François Couperin's 4 books of harpsichord ordres, but many of the clefs were incorrectly transcribed by a third!! The early 20th century edition of Johann Walther's works incldues much use of the c clefs.

 

I do agree that the old clefs can be troublesome and still find them tricky at times!

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