Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Green, Robert A., 1943-

Degree Name

M. Mus. (Master of Music)

Legacy Department

School of Music


Bach; Johann Sebastian; 1685-1750. Cantatas; Cantata


This study focuses on the formal analyses and typology of the Bach sacred cantata arias from one of the most productive periods of his cantata composition. This period covers approximately Bach's first six months as the Kapellmeister of the Leipzig churches and corresponds to the liturgical season of Trinity in the year 1723. Recent improvements in Bach chronology have allowed for new musical analyses of the cantata literature; however, few scholars have pursued research in this area. Cantata arias composed for the Sunday services from this period have been analyzed for their formal features and classified into a typology according to their structural design. Bach's compositional characteristics with regard to ritornello sections, repetition, text setting, manipulation of motivic material, and how these relate to musical form play a decisive role in the classification of these arias into their various types. Representative arias of each type are analyzed on the formal and motivic levels and presented along with time-line graphs, followed by discussion. Variants of each type are also given attention with their distinguishing features highlighted.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [73]-74)


[vi], 112 pages




Northern Illinois University

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