Basso Continuo and Accompaniment - 2nd semester


a) To acquire skills that will enable performance on a keyboard instrument (or, optionally, classic guitar or lute) of harmonies, figured in the score.
b) To perfect the technique of harmonization of bass and melody.
c) To understand the historical context of the basso continuo, the differences between systems of notation and performance in different national traditions or individual styles; to discuss questions relating publishing sources with basso continuo; to be familiar with the various educational trends in teaching basso continuo.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Svetlana Poliakova


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Lamas E. (2008). Sebenta de harmonia com vista à realização do baixo-cifrado. Lisboa: Juventude Musical Portuguesa.
Strunk O. (1981). Source Readings in Music History, v. 3: The Baroque Era. London: Faber and Faber.
Williams P. (1970). Figured Bass Accompaniment, Edinburg: University Press
Williams P. (2001). Continuo. Sadie, S. (ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Music Musicians, v. 4, 685- 699, London: Mamillan.

Teaching method

Classes include a theoretical component, providing an exposition by the lecturer of the elements of the syllabus, and a practical component which includes written and listening exercises, performance on the piano of music examples, and discussion of historical and interpretative questions relating to the repertoire. All classes include both components, in a proportion of 20% theoretical to 80% practical.

Evaluation method

Evaluation includes the following elements:
a) The performance of 8-10 excerpts from works by various composers, which have been prepare in advance;
b) A written test of transcription in full score of a figured bass;
c) Individual oral presentation on the historical-analytical context.

Subject matter

a) Interpretation, on the piano, of the basso continuo part, on pieces and music excerpts.
b) Transcribing to a score and playing harmonic ciphered sequences.
c) Written transcription through ciphers, of harmonic sequences, contained in a score.
d) Exercises of improvisation on the piano of harmonic sequences for a given melody.
e) Discussion of matters related to the history of transcription and interpretation of the basso continuo, regarding the role of national traditions and individual styles, the editorial traditions and educational strands of the basso continuo.


Programs where the course is taught: