BWV 167.5

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Original source: Cantata, Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe, BWV 167
Chorale Text: Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren (verse 5), by Johann Gramann (1540)
Tune: Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, by Hans Kugelmann, based on a 15th c. melody (Zahn 8244)
First Performance: 24 June 1723, Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist
Appearance in Early Collections (Key): None
Other Harmonizations: BWVs 17.7, 29.8, 389, 390


Measures 11/25–12/26 contains parallel octaves between the tenor and bass (F#–E), created by an incomplete neighbor in the tenor and a passing tone in the bass. This is one of only two (BWV 306) instances of octaves in parallel motion among the Bach chorales. These parallels are rather curious considering that they can be easily eliminated. The tenor’s leap to the F# is needless and the bass could easily move to D# instead of F# just as the continuo part does (shown below). So baffling are these parallels that the scholars of the BGA (Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe) inserted a question mark by the bass’s F#:

For a complete account of consecutive fifths and octaves in the Bach chorales, see "Consecutive Fifths & Octaves in the Bach Chorales" featured on the Articles & Research page.

bach– by Luke Dahn. Copyright 2017.