G. P. Telemann’s Exercises in Singing, Keyboard-Playing, and Thoroughbass (ed. and trans. Derek Remeš)

Derek Remeš

In recent years, scholars and pedagogues alike have increasingly recognized the creative potential of thoroughbass. Yet too often, thoroughbass instruction today still lacks good models. G. P. Telemann’s Exercises in Singing, Keyboard-Playing, and Thoroughbass (1733–34) fills this need. This collection contains forty-eight short, simple arias with thoroughbass realizations by Telemann himself. Telemann also provides brief commentary to each aria. This important collection is presented here for the first time as a modern pedagogical edition with English translation (Vol. 1), worksheets for realization (Vol. 2), and audio recordings (with and without voice part). As Telemann’s title suggests, the didactic possibilities are wider than mere thoroughbass and might include:

Aural and Vocal Training: First learn to sing the voice part with the audio recordings that include the voice part, and later sing the melody with the audio recordings that include only the accompaniment.
Variation: Have another student accompany the singer during class.
Variation: Sing on fixed or moveable solmization syllables.

Keyboard-Playing: Play Telemann’s realizations in secondary piano lessons.
Variation: Sing and play at the same time (self-accompaniment).

Harmonic Analysis: Add Roman numerals and label non-chord tones.

Thoroughbass: Play through a few of Telemann’s versions as an introduction. Then realize the figured basslines using the worksheets in the editorial appendix (Vol. 2), which omits Telemann’s realizations. Afterwards check one’s solution against Telemann’s original (Vol. 1).