This dissertation investigates the practical considerations of executing specific ornaments in a piano performance of JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations BWV 988. Research will be presented which highlights how an understanding of the composition’s large-scale structure has an effect on the tempo choices by the performer, ultimately influencing the rhythm of an ornament. Various scholars’ rules and approaches towards ornamentation in the keyboard music of JS Bach will be scrutinised and applied in music examples from the Goldberg Variations. In some instances these rules will be shown to be contradictory and ineffective. Thus, their use in a modern performance of the Goldberg Variations becomes redundant. An analysis of performing traditions from reputable Bach keyboardists will be discussed, where their approaches to ornaments in the Goldberg Variations will be compared with the academic perspectives previously presented. The present writer will conclude this dissertation by offering his own solutions to ornaments in the Goldberg Variations which take into account the research and evidence gathered in the preceding chapters. To further support his choices of ornamentation a live and unedited recording of his performance of the Goldberg Variations has been included as an appendix. He endeavours for this dissertation to give the performer greater individuality in his/her approach to ornamentation in the keyboard music of JS Bach.
Mini Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2019.