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Thread: Multiples of 12 pieces in an opus

  1. #1
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    Default Multiples of 12 pieces in an opus

    Just throwing out a curious question, whats with the multiples of 12?
    Paganini wrote 24 caprices
    Chopin wrote 24 preludes and 12+12 etudes
    Schumann wrote 12 Symphonic Etudes
    Liszt wrote 12 transcendental etudes
    Debussy wrote 12+12 preludes and 12 etudes
    Scriabin wrote a group of 12 etudes and a group of 24 preludes
    In each book of Bach's Well-tempered Clavier, theres 24 preludes and fugues

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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    You want to know why all those sets of Preludes, Etudes, etc. are either 12 or 24? It's because they are composed so that every key (major and/or minor) is played. There are 12 notes in the full octave.
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    Makes jolly sense thanks.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    don't forget Pierre Rode's 24 Caprices for solo violin.
    I think Paganini's caprices had key repeated, so not entirely got A to G keys.

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    OR are things multiples of 6 or even of 3?

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    A lot of Vivaldi's published works were in sets of 12 concerti: op3, op6, op12...

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    I see you have no clue... let me enlighten you... these numbers... tell us... when... the... world... s....h....a...l....l......e....n.................. .................................................. .............................
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    Quote Originally Posted by teccomin View Post
    Just throwing out a curious question, whats with the multiples of 12?
    Why this is necessary/essential?

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Probably historic/traditional from a publisher's perspective. Vivaldi and Corelli had their opus numbers containing works in sets of twelve. The Corelli Opus 6 set of 12 concerti grossi reached "classic" status in the Baroque - precisely the very reason that Handel and his publisher wanted to do so, thus came about the greatest set of 12 concerti grossi ever, by Handel (also opus 6).

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    Boccherini, when is being an idiot essential? Teccomin asked a perfectly reasonable question and if you believe it's so unimportant, just don't leave a comment.

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