A leading Territory music academic has questioned the authorship of Bach’s most famous musical compositions.
Associate Professor of Music at Charles Darwin University (CDU), and artistic director and conductor of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Martin Jarvis, has found evidence to suggest that Johann Sebastian Bach did not compose the highly acclaimed Six Cello Suites.
Dr Jarvis’ findings were presented at the 19th International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences in Melbourne this week.
It is the first time a musician has been invited to deliver a presentation at the Symposium.
Using the principles and techniques of the science of forensic document examination, Dr Jarvis will call into question some of the more entrenched scholarly positions regarding Johann Sebastian Bach’s career, as well as the authorship of the Cello Suites and other works which have long been ascribed to him.
Dr Jarvis suggested that Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena, may have had an important role in producing some of Bach’s most famous works.
“My research has shown that the traditional view that Anna Magdalena was simply a copyist of her husband’s music is not likely to be the case,” Dr Jarvis said.
“It is more likely she was much more, that is a composer herself and probably the composer of the Cello Suites and other works attributed to her husband,” he said.
“If this really is the case, and I am certain that it is, we will need to re-write the history of music.”
Dr Jarvis delivered his keynote address to the 19th International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences in Melbourne this week.