Continuo Playing

Addenda and errata 27/02/2016


In this book I aimed to be as simple and straightforward as possible. One could list many ways of realising the exercises, but that would be counterproductive for people starting at the beginning and wanting a basic workable system. I therefore used a common eighteenth-century German principle of four-part harmonization which at least has historical justification and is a traditional way of learning the basic skill. Actual accompaniment demands a very wide range of textures and techniques, but there is much to be said for disciplined work in a coherent system to start with. The additions and corrections here are of the third revised printing (1995).

Recently much more has become known about eighteenth-century Italian music teaching in general and figured-bass realisation in particular, which is relevant to Handel. For a much fuller presentation of the exercises in the spirit of eighteenth-century improvisation practice, see Ludwig Holtmeier, Johannes Menke, Felix Diergarten, Solfeggi, Bassi e Fughe. Georg Friedrich Händels Übungen zur Satzlehre (Wilhelmshaven: Florian Noetzel Verlag, 2013).

p.19   I now think that Handel intended to distinguish the figure 2 from 6/4/2 and probably meant No.13 as practice for 5/2.

p.35   For realising No.22 it is useful to compare it with the Andante fourth movement of Handel’s Concerto Op.6 No.11.

p.43   Similarly here it is useful to compare No.24 with the Jigg of the G minor harpsichord Suite (1733) HWV 439.

p.49   para.2 lines 2–3:   < in the first half of b. 3, tenths in the second half of b. 4, and sixths in the first half of b. 6. >

p.50   No.4 bar 17: last note should be d not B.

p.55   Exercise bar 11: delete the pitch line above entry letter g ( = tenor g).

p.61   This stretto is taken from Canzone 6 of Johann Caspar Kerll (see F. Di Lernia (ed.), Johann Caspar Kerll. The Complete Works for Keyboard Instruments Vol.II: Toccate e Canzoni, Vienna: Universal Edition, 1991), or it may simply be generic.  Kerll’s Canzone was published in Amsterdam in 1698/99 with reprints in 1706 and 1710, and in London in 1719 (see facsimiles in A. Silbiger (ed.), 17th-Century Keyboard Music Vol.17, New York, Garland Publishing, 1987).

p.64   Bach, line 3   < Eulenburg >

—      D’Anglebert, line 1   < Jean Henry >   no hyphen

—      Heinichen, line 3   < 2/1986 >   not 1992

p.65   last para, line 2: delete bracket before c.1719

p.74   No.11 bar 4: stem down on c”

p.75   No.12 bar 12: add a natural figure under the second LH rest

p.76   No.12 bar 13: add natural before bass B

p.80   No.16 bar 5: add minim f’ sharp to chord on third beat

p.82   No.17 bar 2: would be improved by having two RH crotchet chords g’ b’ flat and g’ b’ flat e” flat on the first two beats

p.101  No.4 bar 17: last bass note d (not B)