[Smt-talk] Realizing a figured bass in the curriculum

hoffmaba . hoffmaba at gmail.com
Fri Dec 12 10:33:49 PST 2014


The past several years I have attempted to make classroom activities and
assignments as practical as possible for future performers, educators, and
ensemble directors. As a result, I find myself spending less and less time
on realizing a figured bass. I still teach its history and its usefulness
in modeling voice leading, but I have trouble justifying for myself the
skill of turning figured-bass notation into voice leading. I realize this
is still a performance practice in very specific performance situations,
but as far as I'm aware, not beyond that.

For those who feel that realizing a figured bass is an important part of a
musical education, I would welcome any insight you have to offer since I
feel uneasy about marginalizing such a widely-used portion of the
curriculum. For those that spend little time on realizing a figured bass, I
would welcome any thoughts you have as well.

Brian Hoffman

Dr. Brian D. Hoffman
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Butler University
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