The study of Recueil d'Airs de Danse Caracteristiques by Johann Philipp Kirnberger
Sun, Jung Won
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The purpose of this study is to explore Kirnberger's compositional treatments in Recueil d'Airs de danse Caracteristiques. This study will discover the motivation of this piece and the style it expresses. It will also examine the similarities and differences between this piece and other former or contemporary composers' suites. To examine this piece in the historical context and to help understand the concept of dance movements, Chapter One traces the origin and the development of characteristic dance movements that were composed in the Baroque and early Classic periods, including the circumstances and features of the suite after 1750, when Recueil d'Airs de danse Caracteristiques was composed (ca. 1777). Chapter Two presents Kirnberger's biography, focusing on his musical education and his relationship with other contemporary musicians. This chapter examines the influence of J. S. Bach, Kirnberger's relationship with Princess Anna Amalie and Frederick II of Prussia, and his association with the Berlin court in the eighteenth century. Chapter Three deals with his compositional methods in seven smaller sections of (1) fundamental bass, chord, and harmony: (2) structure and form: (3) modulation: (4) melodic progression: (5) tempo, meter, and rhythm: (6) doctrine of affections: (7) theoretical works: and (8) influence on succeeding composers and their reception. Chapter Four examines Recueil d'Airs de danse Caracteristiques in three small sections: (1) Sources, Editions, and Notation, (2) Purpose and Importance, and (3) Organization. Chapter Five provides a detailed analysis of Recueil d'Airs de danse Caracteristiques in the various aspects such as form, structure, cadence, melodic and harmonic periodicity, key relationship, rhythm, texture, articulation, and harmony. This chapter also compares Mahlert's edition and the 1777 edition. Chapter Six describes the characteristics of the piano instrument in the second half of the eighteenth century. Using contemporary documents, this chapter examines the tone quality of the piano at that time. The dissemination and the popularity of the piano as the keyboard instrument in the 1770's will be discussed. Finally, Chapter Seven will summarize the stylistic features of Kimberger's compositional methods in this piece, and discuss the motivation and the meaning of the piece, and the contribution to the future generation.
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