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Bach Perspectives, Vol. 11

Bach Perspectives 11

J. S. Bach and His Sons

Web Companions

Illustrations for "Keyboards, Music Rooms, and the Bach Family at the Court of Frederick the Great," by Mary Oleskiewicz, pp. 24 to 82 in Bach Perspectives, vol. 11: J. S. Bach and His Sons, ed. Mary Oleskiewicz (University of Illinois Press, 2017). The images, captions, and short descriptions online here provide an essential supplement to the printed text. The Web Companions also include corrections and updated information that became available shortly after the manuscript went to press.

Each web companion corresponds to a heading in the printed volume and designates a group of illustrations numbered sequentially below. Page numbers indicate the location where each illustration is discussed in the printed volume. Please click on an image to zoom to a higher resolution.

In architectural floor plans, colored outlines signify apartments that belonged to various royal residents. Red outline denotes music salons within palace apartments, and less-intimate spaces, including theaters, where musical events at court took place. Room numbers are derived from historic palace inventories and from Friedrich Nicolai, Beschreibung der königlichen Residenzstädte Berlin und Potsdam und aller daselbst befindlicher Merkwürdigkeiten, vols. 1–3 (1786); these sources are more fully cited within the printed volume.

A helpful word about floor plan and inventory terminology is needed. 18th-century sources label the stories (or floor levels) of a building in multiple ways that can be confusing for modern readers. Stories and their equivalencies used in this web companion and in the printed book are as follows:

  • ground floor = erste Etage, Erdgeschoss, or 1. Geschoss;
  • 2nd floor (1 story above the ground floor) = zweite Etage, mittlere Etage, 1. Obergeschoss, 2. Geschoss;
  • 3rd floor (2 stories above the ground floor) = dritte Etage; 2. Obergeschoss, 3. Geschoss.

Many thanks to Angelica Neumann of the SPSG for her assistance providing many of the photos used in this Web Companion.



Mary Oleskiewicz is an associate professor of music at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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