F sharp major, of all keys!

Western composers uniformly embraced the system of tonality for some two centuries, until it found itself challenged by a radical alternative system called atonality around the year 1900. The more abrasive sounds thrown up by atonality certainly gave the status quo a run for its money, while never actually totally replacing it. Tonality allowed composers Read More …

48 + 72 Preludes and Fugues

Think Preludes and Fugues, and J. S. Bach’s two volumes of the 2-movement sets will for many be the first to spring to mind: with 24 in each volume, his magnificent achievement is known simply as ‘The 48’. Written in 1722 and 1742, Bach’s collection has since inspired many great keyboard players to give searching Read More …

Podcast: Burgess meets Bach

Anthony Burgess wrote The Bad-Tempered Electronic Keyboard in 1985 to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of J. S. Bach. It was also the year he took receipt of a new electronic synthesiser that offered Piano, Organ, Frog and Funny among its pre-set sounds. The musical homage that resulted sports an intriguing mix of Read More …