1. BWV 1079, i

From the recording BWV 1079, i

When J. S. Bach played continuo, he converted trios into quartets. How? He improvised a melodic line in his right hand that sounded as if it were a fourth obbligato voice. Bach taught us how to do this in his composed harpsichord parts to BWVs 1014–19 and 1030. In Chapter 11 of Bach and the Art of Improvisation, Vol. Two, I give examples of how Bach used 3Ds to improvise continuo: dialogue, debate, and duet with the other composed voices. In this audio file, I demonstrate how alive and organic a continuo part can sound when applying Bach's linear, harmonic approach of the 3Ds. Try it out in your own continuo playing, and discover how playing continuo can become much more stimulating and musical!