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Bach: The Orgelbüchlein$
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Russell Stinson

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780193862142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780193862142.001.0001

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The Orgelbüchlein Project

The Orgelbüchlein Project

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Orgelbüchlein Project
Bach: The Orgelbüchlein

Russell Stinson

Oxford University Press

To study the Orgelbüchlein is to witness a familiar scene in the history of the Western church: an organist compiling organ music for use during worship. In other words, the Orgelbüchlein belongs to the tradition of liturgical organ music. The birth of the chorale as a musical genre changed the role of the organist forever, for in the Lutheran church it became his responsibility not only to accompany congregational singing but also to arrange chorales as organ solos. Thus the inception of the chorale spawned a new keyboard genre, the organ chorale, in which a chorale melody is set for organ. The literature of organ chorales is almost as old as the Reformation itself. From the 16th century onward, organ chorales were preserved in both manuscript and print, often in the form of collections designed for year-round use. The compiler of such a collection either composed all the settings himself or mixed his own settings with works by other composers.

Keywords:   liturgical organ music, Lutheran church, congregational singing, keyboard, Reformation

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