Bass Motions in a Handel Gigue

This is probably a highly technical post to start off with. However, it’s something I worked on yesterday and I thought I’d get started with posting such stuff. I do plan to write more generally about my interest in historical improvisation, but that will have to wait until later.

The following is a copy of the gigue from Handel’s Suite in F minor (HWV433), with the bass motions marked. I was surprised to see how obvious the patterns are. Hope to work on this scheme and create some variations.

The abbreviations used (following the conventions of Dr. John Mortensen) are:

  • TDO – Tonic Dominant Oscillation
  • C5 – Circle of Fifths
  • RO – Rule of the Octave
  • Pedal pt V – Dominant Pedal Point
  • DA3 – Descending Alternating Thirds

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