August 2018 Convention
Orlando, FL

What Was Bach Thinking?

Leonard Garrison

Leonard Garrison has served the NFA in several posts as program chair, president, and treasurer, among others. In his lecture “What Was Bach Thinking? Musicians Need to Breathe!” he described ambiguities in how breathing is indicated in Baroque flute music. Some composers, such as Blavet, placed breathing marks themselves, while others—notably Bach—did not.

Garrison listened to 17 soundtracks of the Allemande from Bach’s Partita and showed us in a hand-out how many flute players took breaths between which notes—so participants could compare their own breathing choices with those of others!

He also played his own version, but the lecture ended with a real cliffhanger. One “solution” was impossible!

—Mia Dreese