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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Analysis of the first prelude from the WTC using traditional figured bass and galant schema, note that Roman numerals dont add that much information to the picture. The circled numbers are just the scale degree of the bass, not the fundamental root, which while invented by Rameau, was not widely used until the later 19th century



For example, after the opening 4 bars, here is a modulating prinner to G
Rectangle Slope Line Font Music

and here, from another site, is the equivalent of a lead sheet for the first few WTC preludes, which would have been the structure Bach would have improvised these from

Font Music Parallel Rectangle Number
 

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Rameau's treatise was published in 1722, the same year Bach published the WTC, which I always found to be interesting. Figured bass analysis would be a better tool than roman numeral analysis. As we all know, Bach didn't think in chords. I can't place the quote, but I remember reading somewhere of Bach admonishing other German composers for adopting Rameau's "French nonsense"

even if he didn't actually say anything like that, he should have, because Bach wrote following the rules of counterpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rameau's treatise was published in 1722, the same year Bach published the WTC, which I always found to be interesting. Figured bass analysis would be a better tool than roman numeral analysis. As we all know, Bach didn't think in chords. I can't place the quote, but I remember reading somewhere of Bach admonishing other German composers for adopting Rameau's "French nonsense"

even if he didn't actually say anything like that, he should have, because Bach wrote following the rules of counterpoint.
Think it was JS's son CPE that railed against Rameau's method, but yes
 

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What was so bad about chords back then? Or, what is so good about creating contrapuntal lines?
Harmony is a fairy tale told about counterpoint - supposedly a Nadia Boulanger quote.

all harmony until Debussy is about creating contrapuntal lines

without getting too pedantic, figured bass does represent chords - a 6/5 chord on ti, how the Bach clan would have thought about it, contains the same info as V 6/5
 

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Harmony is a fairy tale told about counterpoint - supposedly a Nadia Boulanger quote.

all harmony until Debussy is about creating contrapuntal lines

without getting too pedantic, figured bass does represent chords - a 6/5 chord on ti, how the Bach clan would have thought about it, contains the same info as V 6/5
Thanks. Yes, I've assumed that keeping both descriptions in our minds is the best.

Lines are the direct ways of moving along from each harmonic center to the next. Chords with selected bass notes only show movement in a very general way.
 
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