He went to town in a hat that made all the people stare.
September 7, 2021 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Lyrics to Bach's Well-tempered clavier, courtesy of 19th cent. English professor of music Ebenezer Prout.
posted by Capt. Renault (7 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
At the Great Books college I went to, one of the exercises we did for learning about counterpoint was singing snippets from the Well-Tempered Clavier, though the lyrics we used came from the Bible. So the Fugue in C Major used Isaiah 32:1 ("Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness..."), while the Fugue in C# Minor used 2 Samuel 18:33 ("O my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son!"). I like that this approach evidently is an old technique for teaching music.
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:54 AM on September 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

The FPP article seems to be missing most of them, but they can be found elsewhere.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

This is so... ridiculous. I want to hear someone sing these!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:51 PM on September 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

My dad learned the "words" to a bunch of classical standards in a music appreciation class in the New York City public school system. They were made up to help children remember what the piece was and who wrote it. All I remember of what he told me:

"Morning is dawning
and Peer Gynt is yawning
and Grieg is washing his feet."

(Morning rhymes with dawning when you grew up in NYC in the mid-20th century.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:58 PM on September 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Sigmund Spaeth produced a lot of lyrics for symphonic works. The books aren't public domain yet, but the words are collected here: https://sumpygump.github.io/great-symphonies/
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 10:43 AM on September 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

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