Márta Ábrahám


A Theoretical and Practical guide to the Chaconne from Johann Sebastian Bach`s Partita in d-minor BWV 1004

A new two-volume publication by Márta Ábrahám, Hungarian violinist, covering decades of research, the Chaconne Handbook offers a theoretical and practical guide to J. S. Bach’s most popular violin work, the Chaconne (BWV 1004). The easy-to-use, clear, and comprehensible two-volume publication (book and sheet music) significantly facilitates the interpretation, learning, and performance of the Chaconne.

Handbook Volume I (book)

The Handbook guides the reader into a previously unknown inner world of Chaconne. The investigation discusses the history of the manuscript and editions of the Sonata-Partita cycle and examines in detail the theme, form, and symbolism of the Chaconne. The comprehensive analysis reveals the connections and hidden dimensions of the work’s 64 variations intertwining into a unified musical network.

Márta Ábrahám’s unique analysis sheds new light on the meaning of the Chaconne. In addition to revealing the internal structure of the piece, it also illuminates the deeper possibilities for interpretation of the musical contexts – related to Bach’s personal life events.

The Chaconne’s pattern or “code” smoothly embedded into the structure is an artefact of musical historical significance. The Handbook contains numerous musical examples, illustrations, and tables which demonstrate the logic and order of the musical relationships, explaining the symbolism of the form. The theory conclusively clarifies the close relationship between the creation of the Chaconne and the death of Maria Barbara Bach, which had long only been assumed by scholars and practitioners.

Volume II (score)

The score of the Chaconne Handbook is uniquely designed sheet music created by the Colorful BACH notational technique. The new method incorporating coloured notes is intended to create new, clear, and transparent forms of visual presentation of polyphony to differentiate the independent voices.  As if in a full orchestral score, the four-bar staves are vertically aligned and rhythmically synchronised. This presentation greatly facilitates visual orientation, since the musical processes within the Chaconne’s variations built one on top of the other can be clearly followed.

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