'Clavierübung': The Tradition and Its History


This paper studies the corpora of the instrumental collections under the common title Clavierübung. These 
editions, written “to delight the soul” (zur Gemüths Ergötzung) and meant for connoisseurs as well as for 
amateurs, are a special kind of music publishing products in Germany and Austria during the late 17th and 
first half of 18th century. They form a broader context for J. S. Bach’s series of Clavierübung; some of them 
show the influence of Bach’s work.
Studying editions under discussion let us classify “Clavierübung” by the number of parts (separate editions 
and series) and by its composition (collections of single-type pieces and miscellaneous collections). The 
collections consist mostly of dances combined to the suite sequences. Exceptionally variations and pieces 
of such genres as sonatas, sonatinas, chorale preludes, preambulum and preludes, as well as ouverture and 
concert also can be found in these collections.