[Dixielandjazz] Bach, The First Jazzman?

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Jan 22 18:58:52 PST 2005

Bill Haesler commented that one could tap one's feet to J.S. Bach. I've been
googling since the weather here cancelled tonight's and tomorrow's gigs and
found this interesting snippet on Bach from a graduate music student thesis,
University of California, circa mid 1990s

--- begin snip

"Bach, and many other composers of his time, were experts at improvisation,
composing musical pieces at will, instantly, on the spot - similar to jazz
players today. It was not considered rude to add whatever the player desired
into the written context of the composer himself. Thus, early music was very
free and flexible to play. Unfortunately, because Bach improvised so much,
most of his pieces were not contained on paper. Some people consider that
most of Bach's works that are on paper are not worth saving anyway, since
music written for one occasion (in Bach's case, church) should be discarded
anyhow. But all people have a certain level of curiosity, to hear what Bach
had to say with the language of music. More than a thousand of Bach's works
have been saved, but it is mind-boggling to think of how many more - and how
much greater - his other thousand or so compositions could be."

--- end snip

Steve Barbone

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