Aug 31, 2014

A strange half-bar (1st Suite: Gigue)

1st Suite  in G major  BWV 1007



Bar 32: We find this half-bar only in Anna Magdalena Bach's copy.

I think Bach added this half-bar to his autograph later.
I imagine the process as follows.

 Why did Bach add this half-bar?

Until the 6th phrase, each phrase consists of 4 bars. But the 7th phrase is interrupted at the 3rd bar suddenly (compare with the 3rd phrase). That create confusion about beat. In addition, because of the accents by the appoggiaturas of the second half of bar 29 and 30, we feel the reversion of downbeat and upbeat at the end of the 8th phrase.

Therefore the 9th phrase begins from the second half of bar 31 that is "downbeat". For this reason, Bach inserted later the half-bar as "upbeat". And with this half-bar, we can finish our 1st suite satisfactorily because the 9th phrase become complete 4 bars!

Rostropovich plays this half-bar in his video (at 15:35 and 16:04).

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