BWV-index bwv 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 anh I II III
pref 1d 2d 1e 2e 3d 4d 4e app 1 2 3 4 5 6
Catalogue Numbers. It was absolutely essential to retain the systematic order of Bach's works in the second edition of the BWV. A mere numerical listing of the new entries, (see p. 803f. and 916), one after another, was impracticable, although a certain numerical order had to be observed. Thus, the addenda to the BWV were given the numbers following 1080. However, they also needed an additional reference to their appropriate place within the existing BWV number sequence. To this end, we have used a double numbering system with an arrow: for example, the newly discovered 31 chorale settings of the Neumeister Collection now bear the complete catalogue number (hereafter, cat. no.) 1090-1120/598->. Before the slash are the actual BWV numbers, after it is the indication where the work or works are to be found in the new BWV, i.e. in this case, immediately after BWV 598.
Here are two somewhat different examples:
1. It was occasionally necessary to change the location of a work. For example, the motet 0 Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht was previously listed among the cantatas under the cat. no.118, but now had to be placed among the motets. The cat. no. now reads 118/231->.
2. Certain works that have since proven to be spurious also had to be relocated in the catalogue. An example: Ich weiss, dass mein Erloser lebt previously bore the cat. no.160. Now that the composer of this work has been identified as Georg Philipp Telemann, the work had to be placed in Appendix III (= spurious works) and is now found there under the cat. no. 160/Anh. III 157->. There should be no problems if the users of the new BWV bear in mind that the quickest way to find a work is by looking at the indication after the slash in the middle of the catalogue number. There is also a reference to the new position of a relocated work at its former place; and where there is a concentration of addenda at the new location, a logical order has been established.
Thematic Incipits. The citations of the themes confronted us with two problems: how many bars should be given, and to what extent should new thematic material within a larger structure be considered? The length of the incipit was not schematically determined according to a certain number of bars, but according to the structure of the themes. Our principle was to present as much of the theme as necessary to make it clearly recognizable. With fugues, the beginning of the consequent was generally taken as the limit. The indication of another theme within a movement was determined upon its significance. When, for example, a few recitative passages of, say, about one line each are interspersed within the aria of a cantata, they were not generally taken into consideration. But wherever an arioso passage of several lines and bars is found within a recitative, and wherever it constitutes a formally and conceptually substantial part of the whole, then it, too, was listed.
Number of Bars. We counted the bars not as they are notated, but as they are heard, i.e. all single repetitions and all Da capi were counted out without consideration of past and present performance habits.
Description of the Manuscripts. The manuscripts have been chronologically arranged according to a number system ranging from (1) to (6). The preface to the second edition explains how this system is to be used (also see the explanations at the list of abbreviations). We have distinguished between a single manuscript, i.e. a manuscript that contains only one work; a miscellany (Sammelhandschrift - referred to as Smlbd. or Smlhs.), i.e. a volume conceived as a collection and constituting a homogeneous entity from the point of view of its contents as well as its external form (paper and binding); and a composite (Konvolut), i.e. a truly eclectic collection of individual manuscripts that did not belong together originally and were bound together by a bookbinder. The indication of the format follows the standard bibliographical measurements: 80 = up to 25cm, 40 = 25-35 cm, 20 = 35-45 cm, gr.-20 = over 45 cm. With oblong manuscripts, the longer side determines the designation of the format. This is intended to prevent misunderstandings. For example, an oblong manuscript with organ works that is 22 cm high and 38 cm long is not a "quer-80" (oblong octavo) but a "quer-20". The titles, headings, dates and names - generally those of copyists or of the owners of the manuscripts - which have been added in italics were taken from the manuscripts.
Editions. The information provided here is generally limited to the first editions and early editions issued up to around 1850, thus before the publication of the BGA (the old Complete Edition). The same applies to occasional entries under the heading "Textdruck" (printed texts and librettos), "Originaldruck" (original prints) and "Originalausgabe" (original editions).
Special Publications and Editions. This category cannot claim to be exhaustive. It comprises above all arrangements (e.g. piano reductions, instrumentations), attempts at reconstructions, critical new editions undertaken independently of the NBA, Urtext editions as well as facsimile reproductions of autograph manuscripts. This category covers even the most recent publications.
Bibliography. The bibliography stems partly from the first edition of the BWV, whereby many omissions were made in favor of more recent findings. The order within the bibliography section is always as follows: 1. the bibliographic entries, listed with the help of abbreviations in the order of their appearance, 2. other secondary literature, also in chronological order, 3. the Bach-Jahrbuch (BJ), Bach-Festbuch (BFB) and the Jahrbuch Peters (JP).
Chronological Table. The chronological table reflects the present state of the research concerning the presumed chronological order of Bach's works. Unlike the chronological table in the first edition of the BWV, this table only lists the works whose date of origin has been ascertained with a considerable degree of certainty.
Thematic Index. The thematic index of the instrumental works is intended to help the user locate a piece quickly. It contains the opening theme of the first movement of a work, but also the incipits of all the fugues within larger works (see the preface to the first edition of the BWV, p. XXVIII). Only the themes of the chorale settings whose text was set to music several times by Bach were listed. The others can be found easily in the alphabetical index. We have not included the works from Appendix III, i.e. works written by other composers whose identity is now known.
Text Index. In the alphabetical index of the opening words of the texts, the title (= beginning of the text) of the cantatas and motets have been printed in bold-faced type to make them easier to find.