Welcome to the official MAPLE Lab Tempo Visualizer for JS Bach’s Well
Tempered Clavier (Book 1). This tool is an online supplement to our
publication exploring the use of timing in this influential work (Poon & Schutz, 2015).
These values are based on a survey of tempi for seven different sets of
tempo markings – two by commentators and five by editors. These are grouped
as two categories on the horizontal axis. We have also included Dr. Willard Palmer’s
suggestions from this edition as a third category, in recognition to his
contribution to understanding this set of 48 pieces.
To see tempo guidelines for a particular piece, simply select the type
(Prelude/Fugue) and mode (Major/minor) as well as the pertinent pitch from
João Carlos Martins
June 25, 1940 –
Recorded in 1964 (age 24)
Acclaimed Brazillian classical Pianist and Conductor. His collection of the
complete keyboard works of Bach are the most extensive series of Bach
keyboard recordings by a single pianist.
Dec 19, 1914 – Jul 17, 2003
Recorded in 1953 (age 39)
American pianist and harpsichordist. In her audition for The Julliard School of Music, a 16-year-old Tureck offered to play most of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier from memory. In her first week there, she also auditioned and won a scholarship to play the theremin for a year.
Dec 2, 1928 –
Recorded in 1970 (age 42)
An Austrian pianist. He has been active as a Lied accompanist and a chamber
music partner. He received the Mozart Medal of the Mozartgemeinde Wien in
1979. Among his students is the pianist Domenico Piccichè.
Oct 6, 1886 – Jan 24, 1960
Recorded in 1934-1935 (age 48-49)
Swiss classical pianist and conductor, he is widely regarded as one of the
greatest interpreters of traditional Germanic repertoire of the twentieth
century, and one of the finest piano pedagogues of the modern era.
Sept 25, 1932 – Oct 4, 1982
Recorded between 1962-1965 (age 30-33)
Celebrated Canadian pianist, five-time Grammy Award Winner, and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee. Gould was known for his eccentric habits, like always sitting very low at the piano on a chair his father made and practicing with loud background noise.
May 16, 1930 – Jan 27, 2000
Recorded in 1972 (age 42)
Austrian pianist and composer whose improvisations mixed jazz and classical genres. He was awarded the Cross of Honour for Science and Art and the Honorary Ring of Vienna. Ever the rebel, he won but rejected the L.V. Beethoven Ring and even faked his own death in 1988 as a statement to the music world.
Mar 7, 1915 – Aug 1, 1997
Recorded between 1972-1973 (age 57-58)
Soviet pianist who was considered one of the greatest of the 20th century. Among his many achievements he was awarded a Grammy, the Stalin Prize, the Lenin Prize, and two honorary doctorates. Renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz said, “Of the Russian pianists, I like only one: Richter.”
Dec 14, 1932 – Nov 22, 2003
Recorded in 1965 (age 33)
Harpsichordist from Victoria, Canada. He studied harpsichord at the
University of Washington in Seattle and then taught piano and harpsichord
at the University of Southern California for 30 years.
Recorded in 1964 (age 29)
German pianist, harpsichordist and chamber musician. In 2003 he founded the
piano duo Galling-Olivieri. Galling used a modern harpsichord with stops not found on harpsichords
modeled on ancient
instruments, including a 16-foot stop.
Jul 5, 1879 – Aug 16, 1959
Recorded between 1949-1951 (age 70-72)
Polish harpsichordist, teacher, and influential figure in the revival of the harpsichord as a popular
instrument. She established L’École de Musique Ancienne in Paris (1925) and was the first to record
Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord (1930s).
June 10, 1911 – Apr 13, 1984
Recorded in 1959 (age 48)
American harpsichordist and scholar who studied Art History at Harvard University. He received the John
Knowles Paine Traveling Scholarship, enabling him to study manuscripts in Europe, and later he became a
lecturer and performer at Yale University.
May 30, 1928 – Jan 16, 2012
Recorded in 1967 (age 39)
Dutch keyboardist, conductor, and musicologist. He was greatly influenced by Bach and interpreted Bach’s
works as leader of the Leonhardt Baroque Ensemble (later the Leonhardt Consort).
May 12, 1941 –
Published in 1994 (age 53)
American organist, harpsichordist, and composer, he is considered by fellow artists as “The High Priest” of Bach and of the harpsichord. Newman directs Bach Works and Bedford Chamber Concerts, and continues to perform today.
Dr. Willard A. Palmer
Jan 31, 1917 – Apr 30, 1996
Published in 1994
American pianist, accordionist, composer, Doctor of Music (Millsaps College, 1983), and expert of Baroque ornamentation. He co-produced music technique books under Alfred Publishing Co., which are still popular amongst music students today.
Dr. Hans Bischoff
Feb 17, 1852 – June 12, 1889
Published in 1883 (age 31)
German concert pianist and teacher, highly influenced by Bach’s works. He studied under pianist Theodor Kullak and later taught piano and theory at Kullak’s music academy. Bischoff earned a PhD in philosophy and modern languages from the University of Gottingen (1873).
Mar 25, 1881 – Sept 26, 1945
Published in 1908 (age 27)
Influential Hungarian composer and pianist. His musical works encompassed a wide range of styles, from
string quartets to folk songs. Bartok was one of the early pioneers of ethnomusicology.
Aug 15, 1884 – Jul 17, 1965
Published in 1924 (age 40)
American pianist and arranger. Hughes taught at various schools, such as the Volpe Institute of Music, and performed recitals along with his wife, pianist Jewel Bethany. He also performed at the White House for President Roosevelt.
Nov 20, 1885 — Aug 17, 1967
German musicologist and church organist. Keller taught at several institutions, such as the Grand Ducal
School of Music and Institute of Technology, and was director of the Stuttgart Music Academy.
Dec 24, 1871 – Jan 15, 1912
Italian pianist, composer, and teacher. Mugellini performed as a piano soloist and as part of the group he founded, “Quintetto Mugellini”. He was a key figure in refining piano theory and technique and published musical works as well as books about teaching piano.