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Bach's Education
Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Bach's sons' formal music studies

Teri Noel Towe wrote (October 20, 2004):
< 2.) Bach never formally studied music (neither did his sons, for that matter). To compare him to one that did would equally be preposterous. >
If memory serves me correctly, JSB sent Wilhelm Friedemann to study with Johann Gottlieb Graun for a while in 1729, and John Christian Bach, while he was in Italy and calling himself Giovanni Cristiano Bach, spent some time under the tutelage of Padre Martini, with whom he remained in regular contact for the rest of his life, and to whom he sent one of the two versions of the Gainsborough portrait as a present.

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 20, 2004):
Matthew Neugebauer wrote:
>>didn't WF and CPE (and probably others) study music at Leipzig University?<<
No! and both of them were university drop-outs without ever getting a degree.

Here are some facts about Wilhelm Friedemann Bach as gleaned from the MGG I Friedrich Blume [Bärenreiter, 1986] and Peter Wollny from the Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2004, acc. 10/20/04:

On December 22, 1723, while WF still continued as a pupil at the St. Thomas School in Leipzig, his father also enrolled him as a gifted student (matriculation as a 'Depositus' in the university [Leipzig, of course], but the formal enrollment as an 'Inscriptus' did not take place until March 5, 1729 when he officially was enlisted as a student of law.

WF never completed any degree from this or any other university.

To quote Wollny directly on this same subject:
>>On 5 March 1729 he [WF] matriculated at Leipzig University, where his father had already registered him as a depositus on 22 December 1723; he attended lectures on law, philosophy, mathematics and other subjects.<<
[WF was attending the St. Thomas School as a 13-year-old while 'auditing' classes/lectures at the university to prepare him for his formal registration as a law student in 1729.]

>>...around 1726 he took violin lessons from J.G. Graun in Merseburg 'to enable him to compose according to the nature of that instrument' (Marpurg).<<

[In 1726, WF was not even residing in Leipzig nor could he be attending both the university and the St. Thomas School.]

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

The information about his university studies comes from articles by Ernst Fritz Schmid in the MGG as listed above and by Ulrich Leisinger in the Grove Music Online as given above:

>>Als Externus trat er 1723 in Leipzig in die Quarta der Thomasschule ein und wurde dort 1730 als Primaner geführt.<<
["As an 'external' student, CPE entered the (middle & high) school St. Thomas in 1723 and continued as a student at a lower level there until 1730 where he was listed in the highest grade level."]
[At this point he would have graduated from high schooll.]

Here is the rest of his academic career as given by Ulrich Leisinger:

>>On 1 October 1731 Emanuel matriculated at Leipzig University. Following his godfather's example, he studied law, although he was obviously destined for a musical career.. In September 1734 he moved to the university in Frankfurt an der Oder.<< [By 1740 or 1741, Emanuel was employed by the Prussian court in Berlin.<<

There is no mention anywhere that CPE ever completed the necessary work for a law degree which he never did receive. His musical activities (and possibly his lack of interest in law) prevented him from completing his degree.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 21, 2004):
Matthew Neugebauer wrote:
>>didn't WF and CPE (and probably others) study music at Leipzig University?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< No! and both of them were university drop-outs without ever getting a degree.
Here are some facts about
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach as gleaned from the MGG I Friedrich Blume [Bärenreiter, 1986] and Peter Wollny from the Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2004, acc. 10/20/04:
On December 22, 1723, while WF still continued as a pupil at the St. Thomas School in
Leipzig, his father also enrolled him as a gifted student (matriculation as a 'Depositus' in the university [Leipzig, of course], but the formal enrollment as an 'Inscriptus' did not take place until March 5, 1729 when he officially was enlisted as a student of law.
WF never completed any degree from this or any other university. >
I would be careful about what you say, The evidence I have seen is that he completed his collegiate career at Halle University (and graduated).

< To quote Wollny directly on this same subject: >>On 5 March 1729 he [WF] matriculated at Leipzig University, where his father had already registered him as a depositus on 22 December 1723; he attended lectures on law, philosophy, mathematics and other subjects.<<
[WF was attending the St. Thomas School as a 13-year-old while 'auditing' classes/lectures at the university to prepare him for his formal registration as a law student in 1729.]
>>...around 1726 he took violin lessons from J.G. Graun in Merseburg `to enable him to compose according to the nature of that instrument' (Marpurg).<<
[In 1726, WF was not even residing in
Leipzig nor could he be attending both the university and the St. Thomas School.] >
That still does not support as evidence that he had "formal musical education".

< Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
The information about his university studies comes from articles by Ernst Fritz Schmid in the MGG as listed above and by Ulrich Leisinger in the Grove Music Online as given above:
>>Als Externus trat er 1723 in
Leipzig in die Quarta der Thomasschule ein und wurde dort 1730 als Primaner geführt.<< ["As an 'external' student, CPE entered the (middle & high) school St. Thomas in 1723 and continued as a student at a lower level there until 1730 where he was listed in the highest grade level."] [At this point he would have graduated from high schooll.]
Here is the rest of his academic career as given by Ulrich Leisinger:
>>On 1 October 1731 Emanuel matriculated at
Leipzig University. Following his godfather's example, he studied law, although he was obviously destined for a musical career.. In September 1734 he moved to the university in Frankfurt an der Oder.<< [By 1740 or 1741, Emanuel was employed by the Prussian court in Berlin.<<
There is no mention anywhere that CPE ever completed the necessary work for a law degree which he never did receive. His musical activities (and possibly his lack of interest in law) prevented him from completing his degree. >
He did complete the degree. There is evidence I have seen (in New Grove's and other places) that bear out his graduation from Frankfurt an der Oder with a Law degree. So too did Johann Kuehnau, Johann David Heinichen, and other German musicians graduate from college with Law degrees, but only two (Heinichen and Kuehnau [?]) ever practiced Law. The reason for the discrepency is that the Law degree meant that the recipient received a liberal education.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 21, 2004):
[To Teri Noel Towe] Again, I refer you to formal study. Private instruction would not be considered formal study. Hence the difference between Bach and Gould. Gould had formal study. He went to a college that specifically dealt only with music. Bach and his sons had Informal study of music (private lessons, family traditions, etc.). It would be the same as saying that I have had formal studies in Pianwhen all I had was private lessons and what I was born with. In fact, I have not had any Formal musical education at all except the two semester of Aural Perception and the five semesters of Music Theory (which I already knew even before taking the classes, and that without any instruction at all) that I took. For the most part, my musical education was Informal. Lots of private lessons, and lots more reading (both scores and books on topics ranging from music history to theory to performance). In fact, if it were up to me, I would not have any music schools. I would instead encourage the style of Informal education I had (self-teaching, researching, and private lessons). These are, I believe, the best teachers-books, scores, and other musicians, not some teacher who probably has nothing better to do and who oftentimes does not either enjoy or have much knowledge of the material they teach. I am a firm believer in the principle of "Experience is the best teacher". There is a load of material that even expert musicians don't even know about and which may affect their playing.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 21, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"For the most part, my musical education was Informal. Lots of private lessons, and lots more reading (both scores and books on topics ranging from music history to theory to performance). In fact, if it were up to me, I would not have any music schools. I would instead encourage the style of Informal education I had (self-teaching, researching, and private lessons). These are, I believe, the best teachers-books, scores, and other musicians, not some teacher who probably has nothing better to do and who oftentimes does not either enjoy or have much knowledge of the material they teach."
If you have not had any formal education in music, how can you be in a position to talk about "some teacher who probably has nothing better to do and who often times does not either enjoy or have much knowledge of the material they teach"? I would hope that any teacher "has nothing better to do"!

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
< Bach and his sons had Informal study of music (private lessons, family traditions, etc.). It would be the same as saying that I have had formal studies in Piano when all I had was private lessons and what I was born with. In fact, I have not had any Formal musical education at all except the two semester of Aural Perception and the five semesters of Music Theory (which I already knew even before taking the classes, and that without any instruction at all) that I took. For the most part, my musical education was Informal. Lots of private lessons, and lots more reading (both scores and books on topics ranging from music history to theory to performance). In fact, if it were up to me, I would not have any music schools. >
Some days I wake up and find that I'm stuck in scenes co-written by Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, Ira Levin, and Sherwood Schwartz. This is one of those days, leaning especially toward the Carroll.

< I would instead encourage the style of Informal education I had (self-teaching, researching, and private lessons). These are, I believe, the best teachers-books, scores, and other musicians, not some teacher who probably has nothing better to do and who oftentimes does not either enjoy or have much knowledge of the material they teach. I am a firm believer in the principle of "Experience is the best teacher". There is a load of material that even expert musicians don't even know about and which may affect their playing. >
Any evidence for this, whatsoever?

You've said frequently that you don't fancy Willi Apel's work. Well, that's your opinion. What if Apel and his colleagues have documented all kinds of things that you believe expert musicians don't know about, and you've simply missed it by dismissing it all without really looking at it?

< If the music does not have it in it, it does not matter how much you dress it up. Mozart was like Johann Strauss II, with only 1 difference: he did not have the pathos in most of his music that Strauss did in his. However, both were (I feel) utterly incapable of writing serious, emotionally-charged, minor-keyed music. Strauss didn't need to. The pathos was already there in his music. However, with very few exceptions, it is clearly absent from Mozart's. >
There might be things in the music beyond your perception and understanding, then. That's not the same thing as saying that they don't exist.

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 21, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
>>I would be careful about what you say, The evidence I have seen is that he [WF] completed his collegiate career at Halle University (and graduated)....
He [CPE} did complete the degree. There is evidence I have seen (in New Grove's and other places) that bear out his graduation from Frankfurt an der Oder with a Law degree. So too did Johann Kuehnau, Johann David Heinichen, and other German musicians graduate from college with Law degrees, but only two (Heinichen and Kuehnau [?])ever practiced Law. The reason for the discrepency is that the Law degree meant that the recipient received a liberal education.<<
'I would be careful about what you say' about the musical Kuehnau family: there were two Kühnaus with 'Johann' as their first name: Johann Christoph Kühnau (1735-1805) and Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Kühnau (1780-1848). Georg Feder, in his biographical sketch of both lives in the MGG I, [Bärenreiter, 1986], does not indicate that either of them had ever attended a university.

In contrast to the Kühnau family above, there was the more famous Kuhnau family (without the umlaut - German does distinguish between words such as 'Sud' and 'Süd', they should not be confused with each other and carry different meanings. The Kuhnau family would probably have been offended by having their family name confused with that of another.) The Kuhnaus were Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) this is the famous predecessor of J. S. Bach in Leipzig, and his two brothers Andreas Kuhnau (1657-1721) and Gottfried Kuhnau (1674-1736.) The Kuhnau name originated with Johann Kuhnau and was originally simply Kuhn, the name their father had in Bohemia before coming to Saxony.

Johann Kuhnau followed his elder brother to Dresden and finally to Leipzig where both were students of law at Leipzig University. Johann completed his studies with a dissertation entitled: "De Juribus circa musicos Ecclesiasticos" ["On the Laws Governing Church Music"] after which acceptance in 1688, Johann Kuhnau was allowed to practice law. He then had to pass another law exam which had been introduced later on in 1692, after which he added the title 'Org. und Jur. Pract.' [Organist and Law Practitioner] to his published works. These were Kuhnau's happiest years as he had a successful law practice and became famous as organist and composer.

Andreas Kuhnau, after finishing his law studies, successively held the position of 'Kantor' in three different locations: Weesenstein, Groitsch, and St. Annaberg.

Gottfried Kuhnau also attended school in Dresden (Kreuzschule, Kreuzchor) like his brothers and became a 'Kantor' in Johanngeorgenstadt.

All the above information about the Kuhnau family is by Friedrich Wilhelm Riedel from the MGG I as given above. Only in regard to Johann Kuhnau and possibly also his elder brother Andreas, where complete confirmation is missing, is there specific information that any of the Kuhnaus or Kühnaus had completed or had even attempted a university course of study.

The evidence which you mention regarding WF's completion of university studies in Halle or CPE's in Frankfurt an der Oder has not come to the attention of neither Friedrich Blume or Ernst Fritz Schmid (MGG I) nor Peter Wollny or Ulrich Leisinger (Grove Music Online) which should cause any reader of these sources to wonder where your information, if it has any validity at all, comes from, or if, perhaps, you have confused this information with some other source just as the Kuhnaus were confused with the Kühnaus (or Kuehnau as you spell it.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
< He [CPE} did complete the degree. There is evidence I have seen (in New Grove's and other places) that bear out his graduation from Frankfurt an der Oder with a Law degree. >
Indeed. Furthermore, it demonstrates that he was dedicated to completing a formal education, after moving away from Leipzig. Another place it's covered is in the biography of CPE by H-G Ottenberg, 1987, pp23-34. He moved to Frankfurt an der Oder to be a Law student, during which he also taught keyboard lessons and directed a musical ensemble on the side, for some spending money. In CPE's own autobiography he asserted that he finished that Law degree before moving to Berlin.

Likewise, his older brother Wilhelm Friedemann continued his mathematics study in Dresden, after moving away from Leipzig. Doesn't the enrollment in two universities show something about a man's willingness to become educated?

It's only the anti-academicists here who have presented a slanted picture otherwise, coloring it with their own deceptive polemic to take potshots against formal education.

=====

And about Johann Christian Bach, Alfred Einstein in his Mozart biography (pp116-7) pointed out: "Abel's influence [on Mozart] quickly faded before that of Johann Christian Bach, who seems to have interested himself personally also in the young composer, and indeed to have loved him dearly. And Mozart returned this love. Johann Christian is the only musician--perhaps with the exception of Joseph Haydn--about whom not a harsh word appears in Mozart's letters." Einstein goes on to present an excerpt from a Mozart letter, 1778: "Mr Bach from London has been here for the last fortnight. He is going to write a French opera, and has only come to hear the singers. He will then go back to London, and compose the opera, after which he will return here to see it staged. You can easily imagine his delight and mine at meeting again; perhaps his delight may not have been quite as sincere as mine--but one must admit that he is an honorable man and willing to do justice to others. I love him (as you know) and respect him with all my heart; and as for him, there is no doubt that he has praised me warmly, nor only to my face, but to others also, and in all seriousness--not in the exaggerated manner which some affect."

If JCB was respectable enough for the critical and no-mincing-of-words personality of Mozart, he's respectable enough for me. JCB, WFB, and CPEB all certainly knew the musical material, from their training and experience, better than do the autodidacts here who disdain training and experience. It shows up in the music, and in the influence these Bachs had on other musicians.

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Indeed. Furthermore, it demonstrates that he was dedicated to completing a formal education, after moving away from Leipzig. Another place it's covered is in the biography of CPE by H-G Ottenberg, 1987, pp23-34. He moved to Frankfurt an der Oder to be a Law student, during which he also taught keyboard lessons and directed a musical ensemble on the side, for some spending money.<<
His extra-curricular activities very likely prevented him from completing his law degree. Neither Ulrich Leisinger [Grove Music Online] nor Ernst Fritz Schmid [MGG] have noted this 'fact' that CPE allegedly completed his degree.

>>In CPE's own autobiography he asserted that he finished that Law degree before moving to Berlin.<<
CPE's record on accurately describing history, particular his own or his father's (the deathbed note in CPE's hand that his father died just as he had stopped in the middle of a composition which he left unfinished) is certainly open to question. Telemann wrote three autobiographies with numerous fanciful variants which do not 'mesh.' Today's reader/scholar is forced to pick and choose. I assume, in this instance, that those who wrote the biographical sketches on CPE's life had pondered CPE's statement and decided to discount it as deliberate mythology to enhance his own stature.

>>Likewise, his older brother Wilhelm Friedemann continued his mathematics study in Dresden, after moving away from Leipzig. Doesn't the enrollment in two universities show something about a man's willingness to become educated?<<
Stretching the point, as usual, and not becoming of an individual with a degree in musicology: Dresden did not have a university and WF took private math lessons from Johann Gottlieb Waltz, court mathematician and Kommissionsrat in Dresden.

A man's willingness to become educated does not rest solely or primarily upon attending and achieving degrees at colleges and universities. J. S. Bach's life is a case in point.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Likewise, his older brother Wilhelm Friedemann continued his mathematics study in Dresden, after moving away from Leipzig. Doesn't the enrollment in two universities show something about a man's willingness to become educated?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Stretching the point, as usual, and not becoming of an individual with a degree in musicology: Dresden did not have a university and WF took private math lessons from Johann Gottlieb Waltz, court mathematician and Kommissionsrat in Dresden. >
I suspect you've misread the New Grove article, Mr Braatz, or perhaps I have. It says: "At the same time [WF] Bach was teaching JG Goldberg, and continuing the study of mathematics he had begun in Leipzig under Johann Gottlieb Waltz (later court mathematician and Kommissionsrat)." That sentence, obviously, is unclear as to whether Waltz taught in Leipzig or Dresden. When I read it earlier this morning, before my posting, I naturally enough took it as an assertion that Waltz was in Leipzig.

That's page 383, first column, in the print edition of the newest New Grove. I have no idea what it looks like in the online search engine you use to divine and extrapolate information.

If the error is mine, which hasn't been demonstrated one way or the other, I apologize for reading that sentence incorrectly. Will you retract your gratuitous bash about what in your opinion is "becoming of an individual with a degree in musicology"?

Whether WFB's further math study was through a university or through private lessons is really beside the point, anyway. The man wanted to further his education. He did so by working with qualified teacher(s). It's formal study with a master, whether that's under the auspices of a university or not; it's formal education. This is the OPPOSITE of autodidacticism, being displayed by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. I believe that your assertions about him being an autodidact need to be retracted. He studied music with his father (at least) in formal lessons. He studied mathematics with Waltz (at least) in formal lessons, somewhere. He took training from qualified masters. He wasn't an autodidact. His father wrote a textbook for him, for *&*#&@%'s sake! This bespeaks a seriousness about formal study, both on the part of the student and the master, his father, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Clear enough now?

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
>>In CPE's own autobiography he asserted that he finished that Law degree before moving to Berlin.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote: < CPE's record on accurately describing history, particular his own or his father's (the deathbed note in CPE's hand that his father died just as he had stopped in the middle of a composwhich he left unfinished) is certainly open to question. >
We see here the same old tired strategy of casting doubt upon the veracity of a witness. That's called ad hominem argumentation, in this case against CPE Bach. Please stop doing it. It's all hearsay, and it doesn't prove your point. The man makes one error of judgment about the Art of Fugue, and you're ready to throw out ALL HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT ALL TOPICS. That's unreasonable. Your process of rationalization might convince yourself, but it really isn't convincing in a fair treatment of facts and witnesses, for reasonable doubt! (Your game is to make us disbelieve anybody and everybody, because you say so, but we're then supposed to believe you and your interpretations as the most credible witness of all...? Hello, double standard.)

CPE wasn't there when his father died. Friedemann (yes, Friedemann!, who also had studied law) handled the legal interests of CPE in the division of the estate, because CPE wasn't there. CPE himself also thought highly of Friedemann's musical skills, saying that WFB "could provide a better substitute for our father than the rest of us put together."


< Telemann wrote three autobiographies with numerous fanciful variants which do not 'mesh.' Today's reader/scholar is forced to pick and choose. I assume, in this instance, that those who wrote the biographical sketches on CPE's life had pondered CPE's statement and decided to discount it as deliberate mythology to enhance his own stature. >
Let's be clear about this: You assume that you know better than the biographers do how to sift what's credible and what's not! And you assume that you know what's in the minds of scholars as they write about their topics! Well, you don't.

CPE held a professional position, for the last 20 years of his life, that could be held only by people who had academic degrees. How much more proof do you need, O Thou Who Doubtest People In Order To Knock Them Down Unreasonably Whenever Convenient? And what is your purpose, really, in trying to strip CPE Bach of his academic degree? What has he ever done to you? Who are you to be so sure that he didn't earn one, as claimed?

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Will you retract your gratuitous bash about what in your opinion is "becoming of an individual with a degree in musicology"?<<
No, because a degreed musicologist ought to be aware of the fact that Dresden had no university. The fact that it did not completely undermines the thrust of your original statement: "Doesn't the enrollment in two universities show something about a man's willingness to become educated?"

>>Whether WFB's further math study was through a university or through private lessons is really beside the point, anyway.<<
No, it isn't. This is the very point of the discussion here where 'autodidaxia' is involved: private lessons initiated by the individual with a teacher are not the same as being formally enrolled at a university with specific course requirements but also general requirements like knowing Latin and Greek.

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>CPE held a professional position, for the last 20 years of his life, that could be held only by people who had academic degrees.<<
Once again you are clutching at straws and not stating your 'facts' correctly. Read the following carefully:

Ulrich Leisinger, in his article on CPE Bach in Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2004; acc. 10/21/04] states the following about CPE's position in Hamburg:
>>His duties in Hamburg were much like his father's in Leipzig. He was on the staff of the Hamburg Lateinschule (still in existence today as the Johanneum) and was responsible for the teaching of music there. However, he claimed one of Telemann's privileges, that of engaging a deputy at his own expense to teach at the school. His main task was the organization of the music in Hamburg's five principal churches, the Michaeliskirche, Jakobikirche, St Katharinen, Nikolaikirche and Petrikirche. According to a report made after Bach's death, the number of musical performances was almost 200 a year - a difficult task for a small choral establishment consisting of pupils from the Johanneum and a few professional singers.

Telemann's 40 years and more in Hamburg and his extraordinary creative powers, which remained with him into old age, had aroused expectations which Bach certainly could not satisfy. He worked relatively slowly, and consequently tried to avoid the pressure of deadlines by planning well ahead..

Besides performing his official duties as director of church music - a post that (except during a severe illness from February to April 1772) he filled conscientiously until his last years while (unlike Telemann and Schwencke) remaining on good terms with the contentious Hamburg clergy - Bach assumed from the beginning a leading position in the city's concert life. In winter 1768-9 he announced a series of 20 subscription concerts; the following winter there were at least six concerts, and 12 Wednesday concerts were advertised for winter 1771-2. Over the next few years there were considerably fewer concerts in which Bach featured as a keyboard player; as far as is known, he stopped giving public concerts when he was 65.<<

From this it should be apparent that Bach took over the duties of his predecessor, Telemann, who also had no university degree and was a self-declared autodidact just as J. S. Bach was in Leipzig, where CPE's father held a rather similar 'professional' position which required no university degree (law or otherwise.) To hold important 'professional' positions in music at this time did not require the possession of a degree from an institution of higher learning.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>CPE held a professional position, for the last 20 years of his life, that could be held only by people who had academic degrees.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Once again you are clutching at straws and not stating your 'facts' correctly. Read the following carefully:
Ulrich Leisinger, in his article on CPE Bach in Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2004; acc. 10/21/04] states the following about CPE's position in Hamburg: >
Blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah blah!

That Grove article wasn't my source of the above statement! Stop accusing me of "clutching at straws", which doesn't even make sense! And stop assuming that you have everything that is necessary to know, in the form of the Grove article where nothing else could possibly matter, such that you can accuse me (with your astoundingly patronizing tone) of reading it less than carefully! Your assumption is that I'm limited to use only the sources which you happen to have on hand. Well, you're wrong!

I based my remark on this passage from page 23 of the H-G Ottenberg biography of CPE Bach (Oxford University Press, 1987), which I mentioned earlier and have right here:
"In the late summer of 1734 CPE Bach moved to Frankfuft in order to continue his studies at the Viadrana University. One can only guess at the reasons for the move. Was Bach looking for more self-sufficiency and greater independence from his parents? A significant question, certainly, is whether he really intended to obtain a professional qualification in law. After three years of academic training in Leipzig he could have taken the necessary examinations which would have entitled him to practise in the Saxon provinces. Did he wish to avoid a decision of this kind by going to Frankfurt? It is likely, however, that he was merely using his legal studies--just as composers like Heinrich Schütz, Johann Mattheson, George Frideric Hän, and his own brother Wilhelm Friedemann had done--in order to obtain better opportunities to develop as a musician. Education was certainly an asset in this respect; the teaching post which Bach held at the Johanneum in Hamburg from 1768 until his death in 1788 was tenable only by those who had received an academic training. Was Bach perhaps looking for an opening in the nearby Prussian capital? Undoubtedly the social situation there at the time was so bleak that it could not have seemed attractive either to a prospective lawyer or to a musician. These questions must remain unanswered for the present."

How hard is it to understand this sentence: "Education was certainly an asset in this respect; the teaching post which Bach held at the Johanneum in Hamburg from 1768 until his death in 1788 was tenable only by those who had received an academic training."?? I believe I read it correctly. Just because I've chosen to read about this further in a full-length biography about CPE Bach, and not rely only on summary mini-biographies in New Grove, you really have no basis to tell me to go read the New Grove more carefully that I may come to the same limiting conclusions you do!

Furthermore, this is all (once again) beside the point. The point is that CPE Bach was well-educated. He was not an autodidact.

And your point is merely to pick at every stupid little thing, forever and ever, to try to show that you're smarter and a more careful and better-informed reader than real musicologists are. Your smug nitpicking, itself, does not make that case. It only shows your stubborn refusal to believe that you DO NOT have all the facts that could be relevant, and that you DO NOT have the academic training (in music) to understand everything you read. Nobody understands everything they read.

Your conclusion:
< From this it should be apparent that Bach took over the duties of his predecessor, Telemann, who also had no university degree and was a self-declared autodidact just as J. S. Bach was in Leipzig, where CPE's father held a rather similar 'professional' position which required no university degree (law or otherwise.) To hold important 'professional' positions in music at this time did not require the possession of a degree from an institution of higher learning. >
Telemann studied law in Leipzig, beginning in 1701. Your assertions that he was "a self-declared autodidact" are certainly misleading!

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 21, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Will you retract your gratuitous bash about what in your opinion is "becoming of an individual with a degree in musicology"?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< No, because a degreed musicologist ought to be aware of the fact that Dresden had no university. The fact that it did not completely undermines the thrust of your original statement: "Doesn't the enrollment in two universities show something about a man's willingness to become educated?" >
"Completely" undermines it? I make one incorrect assumption about the presence of a university in Dresden in the 1730s (sorry!), and therefore all the correct things I said are automatically false by association? Granted, I should have said it like this: "Doesn't the formal study of a topic in two cities, in two distinct periods of a man's life, show something about his willingness to become educated?" That's at least as strong a statement as my first one.

Did you notice, in the opening paragraphs of the New Grove article, that WFB started at the Leipzig university at age 19, but that his father had already put down a registered deposit for him there when the boy was only 13? That says a lot, I believe, about Johann Sebastian's faith in his son's ability and his commitment that his son should have a good formal university education! "Law, philosophy, mathematics and other subjects."

Then, after WFB had moved away to Dresden, he took up the study of mathematics again at his own initiative (and presumably at his own expense), to improve himself through formal education. This, too, says something about the value he placed on formal study with a teacher. He went on to a musical career, but he studied other things as well, formally.

>>Whether WFB's further math study was through a university or through private lessons is really beside the point, anyway.<<
< No, it isn't. This is the very point of the discussion here where 'autodidaxia' is involved: private lessons initiated by the individual with a teacher are not the same as being formally enrolled at a university with specific course requirements but also general requirements like knowing Latin and Greek. >
Autodidaxia, as it's being argued here in this increasingly fruitless discussion, has been the dichotomy between (1) pick it all up on one's own with no formal lessons or university courses of any kind, vs (2) study with qualified and preferably accredited teachers who really know the material and how to teach it (whether under the official auspices of a university or not).

According to my observation of the arguments presented: the adherents of (1) have been trying to make the radical and destructive case that formal study is not even worth bothering with, that it's somehow "better" to learn everything on one's own without help, and that the knowledge so gained is somehow more accurate than the knowledge and experience earned through work in formal study. And, somehow, they also try to convince us that Bach himself not only refused study with any masters, but deliberately stood outside the value of study with a master...even though he himself was master to many very good pupils, and even though some of his own children attended university. This case makes no reasonable sense!

Meanwhile, (2) is the normal way to learn music: through lessons with qualified teachers, and perhaps also through academic work that makes the student well-rounded in additional ways, musical and otherwise. The adherents of (1), to press their case, would have to show that classroom instruction actually harms a student's mind in some way, such that it would be better to eschew it altogether. Do the adherents of (1) realize how profoundly insulting that is to anyone who has a stake in (2), either as a current or former student, or as an accredited instructor or administrator in educational systems?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Because oftentimes that is what one finds in Music Education, at least on the primary and/or secondary level.

Also, which would you think would be a better teacher of music, one that has had practical experience with it or one that has not?

Whilst I am all for studying music, I favor more than just the standard procedure of music education, especially in the areas of music scholarship, music history, and music theory. No students are actively encouraged to do their own research, to use the materials already available (i.e., music theory treatices, treatices on music performance, scores, etc.). And this knowledge has come to me from having had music classes, so I know what I am talking about. The standard procedure is to assign a textbook for the students to read, discuss the textbook, and get tested on the material. There is no use made whatsoever of other, primary sources of information.

Adding to that is the problem I find with the education procedure in general in public schools on any level. The whole semester or year (depending on the situation) is spent in the teacher presenting his biases on a subject to the students, their trying to see what the teacher's bias is, and regurgitating this bias on tests. There is no active encouragement of critical inquiry at all in schools.

On top of that is the emphasis of schooling on vocational instead of liberal education. If I were in charge, I would reinstitute the guilds and return the emphasis to one of liberal education.

Case in point: When I was a sophomore in college, I took and interest survey (one of thjob aptitude testing things on the computer which asks you a series of questions, and based on the answers spits out a series of possible career positions with a description of each and such statistics as starting wages and educational requirements). I discovered that most of the career potentials that it recommended for me had as a possible degree major History. So I changed from a Music major to a History major. When I transfered from Community College to Arizona State University, I had signed up to follow the course for a BA in History. One of the required courses was Teaching History, which (as the title implies) is geared for History teachers. The problem was that I had no intentions at all to teach history or any subject at the time. But in order to get the degree one must go into teaching History or be a Historian or the like. The only reason I had signed up as a History major was because that was one possible degree that most of if not all of the positions I had seen in the results of my insterest survey listed.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
<< I would instead encourage the style of Informal education I had (self-teaching, researching, and private lessons). These are, I believe, the best teachers-books, scores, and other musicians, not some teacher who probably has nothing better to do and who oftentimes does not either enjoy or have much knowledge of the material they teach. I am a firm believer in the principle of "Experience is the best teacher". There is a load of material that even expert musicians don't even know about and which may affect their playing. >>
< Any evidence for this, whatsoever?
You've said frequently that you don't fancy Willi Apel's work. Well, that's your opinion. What if Apel and his colleagues have documented all kinds of things that you believe expert musicians don't know about, and you've simply missed it by dismissing it all without really looking at it? >
Let's see here....Couperin, Rameau, Matthesson, Praetorius, Leopold Mozart, Geminiani, Marais, Emanuel Bach, etc. The list is endless, but all seldom used.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Thomas Braatz] I talk of neither of the two you mention, but of the one that was Bach's predecessor at Leipzig and died in 1722. He did study Law and practiced Law before becoming Kantor.

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 22, 2004):
Thomas Braatz wrtote:
< No, it isn't. This is the very point of the discussion here where 'autodidaxia' is involved: private lessons initiated by the individual with a teacher are not the same as being formally enrolled at a university with specific course requirements but also general requirements like knowing Latin and Greek. >
If learning Latin was the way to sharpen the musical ear, then can't we assume Bach's sons had learned Latin? Papa taught the subject and it was a pretty common subject in a Latin School like St. Thomas. Before being made a final job offer Bach himself was examined in Latin on theology. Wolf notes that Bach would have been expected to spend much of his time dishing out Latin syntax, but was rescued because his music duties were so heavy. So we've got Latin pretty well covered degree or no degree. As I understand it, Greek was always kind of the poor sister to Latin unless one studied theology. Mastery of Greek, or so I was told in my Berkeley days, was pretty rare among academics in Western Europe (dabbling was a different matter). As to the study of math, I'm not so sure. At Luther's time music was part of the Quadrivium - the four mathematical liberal arts that included arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. This grouping went back to Plato. By the Enlightenment concepts like "music of the spheres" were losing ground rapidly and the old academic concept of "liberal arts" being redefined. I am not sure, however, if the separation of music from math was so total in mid-18th Century Germany.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] Johann Christian was still quite young when Bach died, and there is no evidence (or at least none that I have seen) that even speaks of him even going to university.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] As I said, there is evidence that he did get his degree from Halle university.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] While I do agree with your argument, there is an item of truth in the questionability of Emanuel Bach's word, but not in regards to himself. It is in regards to Sebastian Bach, and is borne out by the fact that he had to make so many corrections to his Obituary of his father (which was not done as was stated on Sebastian Bach's deathbed, but rather in 1754) in his postings to Forkel when the latter embarked on his biography of Sebastian Bach.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< From this it should be apparent that Bach took over the duties of his predecessor, Telemann, who also had no university degree and was a self-declared autodidact just as J. S. Bach was in Leipzig, where CPE's father held a rather similar `professional' position which required no university degree (law or otherwise.) To hold important `professional' positions in music at this time did not require the possession of a degree from an institution of higher learning. >
Actually, he did. He was a Theology student.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 22, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"Whilst I am all for studying music, I favor more than just the standard procedure of music education, especially in the areas of music scholarship, music history, and music theory. No students are actively encouraged to do their own research, to use the materials already available (i.e., music theory treatices, treatices on music performance, scores, etc.)."
This simply isn't true.

Thomas Braatz wrote (October 22, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Stop accusing me of "clutching at straws", which doesn't even make sense! And stop assuming that you have everything that is necessary to know, in the form of the Grove article where nothing else could possibly matter, such that you can accuse me (with your astoundingly patronizing tone) of reading it less than carefully!<<
Are you following the established guidelines, particularly 'G' for discussion here?

>>Your assumption is that I'm limited to use only the sources which you happen to have on hand. Well, you're wrong!<<
So which source is it that tells you that Dresden had a university which WF attended while residing there???

For closer examination, here is part of H-G. Ottenberg's statement at the end of which he comments:

>>These questions must remain unanswered for the present.<<
This means that almost everything that he has presented previously in this paragraph is completely open to speculations of the type in which he indulged the reader. Nowhere does he offer proof ('urkundlich belegt' or a record of actual registration) at 'Viadrina' or the University at Frankfurt an der Oder) or have I missed something here or have you failed to quote the passage where this is contained? You may not have found Ottenberg's sources listed for this bit of information about CPE's university studies in Frankfurt an der Oder, or perhaps Ottenberg did not specifically provide a footnote for this bit of information, but here it is as given by Adam Adrio in the MGG I [Bärenreiter, 1986:]

>>»Nach geendigten Schulstudien auf der Leipziger Thomasschule, habe ich die Rechte sowohl in Leipzig als nachher in Frankfurt an der Oder studirt, und dabey am letztern Orte sowohl eine musikalische Akademie als auch alle damals vorfallenden
öffentlichen Musiken bey Feyerlichkeiten dirigirt und komponirt
«
["After having finished my studies at the St. Thomas School in Leipzig, I studied law in Leipzig as well as later in Frankfurt an der Oder and while dso in the last location mentioned, I conducted and composed music for a musical academy [Adrio's article makes clear that this academy was not officially a part of the university program although students were involved] and for all the other public concerts for special occasions."]

Who was really behind this statement? None other than the infamous Charles Burney, the same Burney who claimed that Domenico Scarlatti stopped composing keyboard sonatas using a cross-hand technique because Scarlatti had become too fat. Another such quote about Scarlatti's music by Burney is this: "»those acquainted with the original and happy freaks of this composer in his harpsichord pieces, would be surprised at the sobriety and almost dulness of his songs. His genius was not yet expanded«.

The source for the CPE autobiographical statement is an oral reminiscence recorded by a somewhat unreliable and opinionated author. This quote is contained in Charles Burney's "Tagebuch seiner musicalischen Reisen" ["Diary of his Musical Journeys"] Vol. 3 [Hamburg, 1773.]

Adrio also states: "Von 1734 bis 1738 hat sich der Student der Rechte Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach um das Frankfurter Musikleben bemüht" [From 1734 to 1738, the
law student CPE Bach made a great effort in supporting [any way that he could] musical life in Frankfurt.]

Only Burney's recollection of CPE Bach's conversation with him actually makes it appear as if CPE actually attended the university there as a law student.

Nowhere is there evidence that he completed his studies, submitted a dissertation and passed the required examination in this field. Where is the official proof from the university records?

There is also a serious flaw in Ottenberg's statement:
>>Education was certainly an asset in this respect; the teaching post which Bach held at the Johanneum in Hamburg from 1768 until his death in 1788 was tenable only by those who had received an academic training.<<

This error should be quite apparent to those who read carefully what Ulrich Leisinger [Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, 2004; acc. 10/21/04] wrote about the situation that faced CPE in Hamburg:
>>His [CPE's] duties in Hamburg were much like his father's in Leipzig. He was on the staff of the Hamburg Lateinschule (still in existence today as the Johanneum) and was responsible for the teaching of music there. However, he claimed one of Telemann's privileges, that of engaging a deputy at his own expense to teach at the school.<<

In which way was education [academic training at the university level] an asset in holding a teaching post which he (CPE) never carried out? How can the teaching post at the Johanneum in Hamburg be tenable only by those who had received an academic training if Telemann, without any such training, was automatically entrusted with this same position, but later found a way eventually to free himself of this obligation?

Brad: >>Telemann studied law in Leipzig, beginning in 1701. Your assertions that he was "a self-declared autodidact" are certainly misleading!<<
According to one of Telemann's three autobiographical recollections, among which numerous discrepancies exist, he did begin his first year of university study (law) in Leipzig, but dropped out at some point because his musical interests took him in another direction. [He may only have wanted to demonstrate to his family (all the members were against his pursuing a musical career) his good intentions toward fulfilling their hopes for his career in law, which he never did seriously pursue.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] I would ask you to come out here then. It is true.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] I have heard all sorts of excuses for learning Latin and teaching but to sharpen the musical ear? Italian,Polynesian, and Greek would do just as well.

Latin was originally the International Language of the middle ages and was perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church and the cause was picked up and championed during the days of Elizabeth I and further championed by the great English Poet Milton who required his family to speak Latin to him as well as write him in Latin. Milton was probally the last Great Latin writer and has a large body of poety and other works in Latin worthy of the same literary praises of Ovid and others of the days when Latin was spoken as the language of the Nation of Rome.

I myself have suffered through Caesar's Gallic Wars, Ovid, Juvenal in High School where I was urged to take Latin as a vocabulary builder of English and supposedly for it's clarity and logic. As for clarity and logic --I can not agree. The Syntax literally seems to be thrown together in any old way one wishes which can lead to some very confusing understandings. One can have an syntax of Object noun/subject verb adjectives or Verb Object adjective Subject/Noun or any combination thereof thorougly mixed up. It was so confusing to me as student I almost never took another foreign language.

I have found that only the most elementary Latin achieved this goal.It was not necessary to study in depth the language. My Teacher could not even speak the language she taught and when asked why we did not speak it in class she replied "because it is a dead language". I did find it made it possible for me to get along in most Eueopean languages even though I have never studied them.

Although some of the Latin Classics were very interesting stories ----most of the texts I got to read as a student were censored especially in stories regarding Jupiter and Ganymede. (Jupiter and Ganymede had a homosexual relationship.) I am told the same is definitely true of Greek and there are few if any English translations of Homer that read as Homer wrote his literary works because of the pedophilic nature of early Greeks (even encoded by the Spartans in their laws that an older man must take a young male lover) and because many of them were also homosexuals. Many translators have taken "he and he" and translated them into "he and she" and have given male names feminine forms to complete the heterosexual picture. I have seen the poems of Lesbos translated to read as if heterosexual relationships were being spoken of instead of the Love of a Woman for another Woman.

Yet when I was a High School Junior; I was assigned to read for English Literature James Joyce's ULYSEES completely unabridged when has some rather graphic reading in it--not to mention graphic expletives. Strange that I would be allowed to read about heterosexual sexual acts in Ulysees but not Homosexual ones in Homer or Lesbos which are not as graphic.

Latin was a de riguer part of any European curricula until the late 1950s tp 1960s at many Universities as Oxford , Cambridge, Bologna,Heidelberg and Sorbonne. One could not graduate without it or take a higher degree. So it is not mere speculation that Bach's sons would have been taught Latin or Greek. Even as late as 1977; Oxford required certain researchers who were involved in Mediaevil Studies to know Latin almost as well as they did English before they would allow access to certain Library areas.

As for Math; when one studied Greek one also studied Euclid and other such authors. Basic Math would have been taught from a physics point of view as related to music. We can infer from Bach's knowledge of Organbuilding that he was well versed in Geometry and Physics (not called Physics then) and Algebra as well as basic math. Geometry was essential to knowledge of tuning under Pythagorian systems in use and was also necessary to find the halving points of Organ Pipes. For instance an 8 foot Principal Stop design to halve using the golden mean of 5/3=1.66666666666666666666667. If the diameter of the 8 foot pipe is 6 inches what is t4 foot diameter? which can be calculated by dividing 6/golden mean +3.6" and the 2 foot pipe would be 2.16 ,theorectically ( in practice this would somewhat larger to prevent the falling off of power in the upper ranges of the stop). Furthermore, to get the diameters of the pipes in between we have to take the 12th root of the base number. In the days before computers were common; this was a very difficult and near impossible time consuming process but could be done using the logarithms invented by Napier in 1614, Wilhelm Schickard in 1623 and the computers of Pascal,(1642) and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz in 1671.

He would not have been well versed in the Calculus as it at that time was not a widespread subject and still primarily studied at Cambridge where supposedly Newton had just invented it.

We now know that Newton did not discover or invent Calculus but rediscovered it. The true discoverer and developer of Calculus was Archimedes.

Educated people in Bach's time were expected to follow the Renaissance example. So Bach would have known much more than we have direct evidence that he did.

Today the study of Latin in Public High Schools and lower grades, across the United States and territories,has just about fallen into extinction. Many school districts in the United States are crying for Latin teachers which are themselves are very rare. Which is quiet a change from the 1800s when Boston Latin School dictated to the Public Schools of the Nation that everyone should study Latin and it's faculty member Gildersleeve wrote a now classic grammar that has been in use continiously for over 100 years.

Boston Latin School still exists today, as one of the oldest continuing operating public schools in the United States, pre-dating even the founding of Harvard University, in Boston Massachusettes but it may no longer have students studying Latin.

William Rowland, composer, organist, carillonneur and musicologist.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 22, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"I would ask you to come out here then. It is true."
So despite not having studied music at university level, you still know exactly how it is taught all over the United Stetes? I don't think so!

Charles Francis wrote (October 22, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"I would ask you to come out here then. It is true."
To be fair, you cannot assume that education in other countries is like the US. Imagine, you were a student in Leipzig or Berlin, for example. Then the source documents about Bach and his time would be readily accessible to students, and there would be no need to risk the corruption of modern English textbooks and translations.

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 22, 2004):
[To Charles Francis] I must be missing something. Is someone claiming that a graduate level US student is ignorant of foreign languages (especially German) and doesn't understand research techniques? If so musicology in the US must have slid like a stone since my grad school days at Berkeley in the 70's. Berkeley had (has?) a pretty high powered music department at the time. The discipline was known for unusual rigor and by definition required fluency in German, French and probably a third language to allow students to keep up with journal articles and do research. (This was certainly true if one studied history.) I knew music students and those folks were very bright indeed. And cosmopolitan too - there were many European students and I'd guess half the faculty was European. Anyone that thinks that US graduate schools are deficient in rigor has never been on the hot seat during an oral exam. Having sampled pedagogy on both sides of the Atlantic, it strikes me that the educational systems are inverted. Euro "high schools" are very demanding. Euro undergrad studies are a little less so. Euro grad schools definitely lighten up (I'm not saying they're easy mind you.) In the US the progression is exactly the opposite. A bud of mine was German and he used to curse (good naturedly) his decision to spend a year at Berkeley's history department. He claimed that proper German students were drinking beer and chasing girls (that struck me as true while hanging around the Free University in Berlin) while American grad students were slaving. He got the worst of both worlds.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 23, 2004):
Gabriel Jackson wrote:
< So despite not having studied music at university level, you still know exactly how it is taught all over the United Stetes? I don't think so! >
Yes, I do. Reread my posts again.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 23, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] I am not talking here about foreign languages (although I might, since they are not at all anymore a prerequisite of a Music degree). I am talking about the fundamentals needed for a music degree: excellent knowledge of music theory and history, some practical experience in the field (of music), etc.

As far as resources are concerned, I would argue that the average music teacher does not use one iota of any music theory treatises available or music history or performance treatises available. This I know from the various Music History and Music Theory classes I have taken at college. We were instead expected just to read the textbook and discuss it in class and use what we had read on the tests.

Gabriel Jackson wrote (October 23, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
"Yes, I do. Reread my posts again."
Of course you don't.

Ludwig wrote (October 23, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Thanks this is most encouraging for me to pursue a post doc abroad.

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 23, 2004):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] At what level are we speaking? Even at San Francisco State (not exactly Oxford) undergrads are required to fulfill a foreign language requirement to graduate in any degree program. (Unfortunately that doesn't imply fluency.) If you're talking about graduate level, we're in an entirely different realm. Please correct me if I'm off base here. I operate under the assumption that the US produces a goodly number of world-class musicians and a goodly number of world-class scholars. If so, they don't come from thin air. I would expect a greater number of musicians and scholars to appear in Europe - the music is, after all, uniquely theirs. But I think the US has contributed quite a bit over the years.

I would not be quick to generalize about undergraduate programs either. My son has taken a number of undergrad music classes and SF State and I've looked at the courses available. It's true that majors wouldn't necessarily have to plumb the depths of heavy duty composition, but such courses are certainly available and would, I'm sure, be taken by anyone thinking of going on to study music at a decent grad school. I should think music is much like a number of other fields - how much is learned is very much up to the student.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 23, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] Eric, you're not "missing something." Charles is making up unsubstantiated garbage in his slam of US higher education, of which he's not a product himself. (His degrees, that I've been able to determine, are in solid state electrical engineering and related technical fields, in Scotland. Nothing in live musical performance or historical musicology, that he's ever admitted. From the perspective of music, he's mainly a consumer and belittler of other people's work.) He's taking his usual role here of pouring petrol on other people's fires, and starting more fires of his own. Check the archives; you'll see that this is his regular pattern of posting, for years.

In my grad programs at a US university, in both music and musicology, there really was no way to get the research done without working knowledge of at least five languages, although they tested us in only three. I've counted at least nine from which I've had to decipher useful information for the work, over the years...and that's without touching Russian, Japanese, or Chinese (yet). And it's without counting music itself (surely a language with numerous dia, creoles, and patois, by periods and countries), or any of the computer languages, or algebra or logic.

I second the remark below about the "hot seat" of oral exams, for the rigor. My committee came up with a couple of blind-siding questions that left me red-eared, but they were looking for (at least) an acknowledgment of things that I didn't know, but could figure out how to go look up...they were testing the research instincts and knowledge of available tools, as much as the subject knowledge itself. That, after all, is a lot more useful than any bunch of rote-memorized answers. Everything in a sufficiently complicated field, as music is, is so contextual and cultural anyway...rote "answers" really have little meaning. Toss the words "toccata" or "sonata" onto the table, and they could mean any of a dozen things, depending who's saying them and where and when.

Ludwig wrote (October 24, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] May I also add the word "Symphony" which Bach uses for a short keyboard piece Händel uses for a short instrumental piece and Haydn uses for a major Orchestra work.

Ludwig wrote (October 24, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] I am confused as to if your statements below were directed at me or not.

First of all the United States does produce it's share of notable musicians such as Yo Yo Ma just for starters.

As for foreign languages----I am really against languages being taught as they currently are in United States High Schools , Colleges and Universities. This is why---a student here is not forced to use what they have learned and often learn another language totally wrong. I feel that some basics should be taught and then the student sent abroad for at least two years and not allowed to speak English or their mother tongue in the country that they are sent to nor may they associate with anyone who speaks English during this time.

When I was in high school; my French teacher did not understand the differences between "de","à" and other fine points because she had never lived in France and spoke French with a very insulting American accent to French ears. My University professor was not much better but at least she had lived in France for some 6 years. Fortunately I had a neighbor whose mother tongue was French who helped me develope a proper Parisian accent so that native speakers who hear me think that i am from Paris. I still have some problems with the language when others are speaking it because they speak so fast and tend to slur words.

In the 1960s and later it was tradition that anyone who even remotely thought about going to graduate school had to have at least one language and the choice of language depended on one's major: music one needed French, Italian, German and maybe Spanish. Chemistry and Physics majors needed to know German and French; Biology and Medical sciences majors had to have French, Latin, and German and maybe some Italian. Theology students had to have Greek,Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew and the list goes on an on.

As far as I know that is still true in undergrad classes today at places like Yale, Stanford, and Harvard.

Unfortunately , the United States does not have any world class schools as Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne(where I once enrolled),Bologne, Heidelberg. The closest that we come are certain Ivey League schools, Cal tech, Stanford University and the Massachusettes Insitute of Technology.

When we come to Music--that finally at last after being belittled for more than 200 years --we have the Boston,New England, Peabody University Conservatories of Music as well as Colleges such as Oberlin, Berkelee and Berkley of USC and that is just for started of world class schools we have for Music.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (October 24, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] At any level in collegiate areas. I have seen Masters and Doctorate candidates who know nothing of German or Italian. I have also seen the same level candidates that have no idea of who Matthesson was or what he wrote or who Andreas Werckmeister was or what he wrote or even what theoretical treatises Michael Praetorius wrote. There are countless volumes of books at the Arizona State University Library that don't even get thought of, let alone used.

And here is the irony: whilst a History Major (or at least someone that is pursuing a BA in History) is required to take a foreign language (even though they will likely never use it), a Music Major is not required to take one (even though they are more apt to use one).

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 24, 2004):
< Unfortunately , the United States does not have any world class schools as Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne (where I once enrolled),Bologne, Heidelberg. The closest that we come are certain Ivey League schools, Cal tech,Stanford University and the Massachusettes Insitute of Technology.
When we come to Music--that finally at last after being belittled for more than 200 years --we have the Boston,New England, Peabody University Conservatories of Music as well as Colleges such as Oberlin, Berkelee and Berkley of USC and that is just for started of world class schools we have for Music. >
I've kinda got lost on this thread and it's really not working out in detail. Would you please define your terms here? Are you claiming that the US does not have any "world class schools" or any world class music departments? If you're claiming the latter, I will yield to wiser heads - it may be true. If you're claiming the former, you're living in the 19th Century. At the top end Universities don't get any better than the elite US schools - no where, no place, period. Now when you get down to particulars, you really want to compare departments or even individuals inside the departments. That said, do you seriously think that there's a university in Europe or Japan that looks down its nose at Harvard, MIT or Cal Tec in the natural sciences? (Even Berkeley holds up pretty well in several, although it's not the truly great institution it was 40 years ago.) Hmm...you want to count up Nobel prizes, or is that just show? Shall we simply say that in most major fields of technology the US is either at the top alone or equal to the best of anything in Europe. The field I know best is history. At their best American historians, trained in the US, are every bit as good as their European counterparts. Indeed America imports huge numbers of college students. Top foreign students flock to institutions like MIT or Stanford. (Do hope Mr. Ridge doesn't screw this up too badly.) They may well be taught by foreign born faculty members. Why do the students and faculty come? Because, at it's best American higher education, is tops. The Great Republic is going through a rough time and nothing is forever. But for now, the United States continues its prodigious contributions to advances in science, medicine and technology. And, I would like to think, we put in our nickle to the humanities and social science. Now if one of Bach's sons would have come over, maybe we'd have made a little more music in music. <G>

Charles Francis wrote (October 24, 2004):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< Hmm...you want to count up Nobel prizes, or is that just show? Shall we simply say that in most major fields of technology the US is either at the top alone or equal to the best of anything in Europe. >
The statistics don't really back that up: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/peo_nob_pri_lau_cap

In music, my perception is perhaps coloured by a doctoral student I met in the early 80s. Astonishingly, this guy, a US citizen and violinist, didn't even realise that Ronald Reagan, the then president of the US, was a Rebublican. I really must question an educational system that produces such specialists.

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 24, 2004):
[To Charles Francis] That reminds me of a paper I saw "published" on the web, in June, purportedly about harpsichord tuning. The author--one "John Charles Francis"--stuck a couple of degrees next to his name (whether they're relevant to the topic or not; he didn't say what field(s) they are in). But in the paper there welementary faux pas in his presentation of the topic, such as dismissing a discrepancy as "about two cents" without explaining that it's technically the schisma (or explaining why it's important). And in the works cited the author showed little awareness of the contemporary literature on his topic (or, much outside the English language, in a topic where some of the very best historical and modern sources are not available in English).

I even saw in a discussion group later that he was asking if anybody could send him a copy of an article he'd cited, after his paper had already been "published" on the web in this manner. Evidently he'd cited it in his paper only by guesswork as to what it says, and as to what it doesn't say. Not a very responsible use of source material, in my opinion!

I really must question an educational system, anywhere, that produces such people who purport to put scientific degrees next to their names. This paper led me to conclude, tentatively, that its author gives no scientific credence to musicology itself, as to research methods or the usefulness of its existing literature, and that his paper itself is only a mockery of the field. (Superficiality and irresponsibility, masquerading as an allegedly adequately researched paper...not that his reasoning and conclusions in the paper had internal consistency, themselves! Just a mess.) Frankly, it looked to me as if he brought no formal musical or musicological training to the paper at all, didn't hold himself to valid logic along the way, and it's dismaying that he (evidently) saw no need to do so.

Peter Bright wrote (October 24, 2004):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< I've kinda got lost on this thread and it's really not working out in detail. Would you please define your terms here? Are you claiming that the US does not have any "world class schools" or any world class music departments? If you're claiming the latter, I will yield to wiser heads - it may be true. If you're claiming the former, you're living in the 19th Century. At the top end Universities don't get any better than the elite US schools - no where, no place, period. Now when you get down to >
This is true. I'm lucky enough to be at the third ranking University in the World - which is in Europe - but it falls well short of Harvard:

See: http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2004/top500(1-100).htm for the top 100.

In this list, 51 of the top 100 are in the States. Britain has 11 of the 37 European Universities in the top 100 (including the top 4 places). The first non-UK European university is at no. 27, followed by the Netherlands at 39, France at 41 and Germany at 45.

You can read about the ranking methodology here: http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2004/Methodology.htm

It seems pretty thorough. Anyone who thinks that the finest US universities are lagging behind probably needs their head examined...

Eric Bergerud wrote (October 24, 2004):
[To Charles Francis] This is absolutely the last OT post for the forseeable future.

Sorry that you had an bad run-in with someone that might well have been jerking your chain. I do think most Americans knew Reagan was a Republican. As far as the Nobles go, and outside of peace & literature I think they signify something important, please try: http://www.britannica.com/nobel/tally.html for a simple tale of the tape. The amusing stats you wanted us to check do show the hilarious prejudice showed by the Noble Committee before WWII for Scandinavians, particularly authors. The good Swedes and Norwegians have cleaned up the act since then, although NOT winning a NP in Literature is still considered something of an honor. (We are discussing the good people that ignored Leo Tolstoy and Joseph Conrad just to name a pair.) But in the sciences and medicine the facts clearly support a contention that no sane person should have to argue about - the US has and continues to be a world leader in all fields of theoretical and applied sciences, especially since WWII. This situation would not exist if top American universities were not top.

 

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