Bach's Sinfonia 9 BWV 795. A Semiotic Analysis

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GRIN Verlag, Jul 22, 2005 - Music - 13 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject Musicology, grade: 1,7, Free University of Berlin, course: Issues in Musical Semiotics, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Introduction and Overview The idea of this paper is an analysis of Bach’s Sinfonia 9 in f minor, BWV 795, first with the tools of structural analysis I learned in counterpoint and harmony classes, then with a semiotic approach. The project is to try to determine whether semiotic analysis can help us in understanding highly “abstract”, non-programmatic instrumental music. I have chosen this piece for two reasons. The first is simply experience. I have done analyses of it before, in a counterpoint class. I remember the sessions about this piece being hard work, but then there was a moment of understanding and suddenly it all seemed so simple. (A look at the harmonic issues will show it is still very complicated.) The second reason is the seemingly abstract nature of the piece. In spite of this abstraction, I do get emotionally involved when listening to this piece, I cannot ignore the emotion of sadness and suffering. So the semiotic part of this analysis is about the referential elements under the abstract surface, about the expressive content of an instrumental, non-programmatic piece. The goal is to show one of the possible ways in which meaning is attributed to music: in this case, by conventionalized signifiers.

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