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Heinrich Gerber's Manuscript of the Well-tempered Clavier: Further reading


Albinoni, Tomaso. Sonata [A-Moll] Für Violine Und Bezifferten Bass (Violine Und Klavier, Cembalo Oder Orgel). Von Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber (1702-1775) ausgesetzt und von seinem Lehrer Johann Sebastian Bach eigenhändig korrigiert. Neuausg. für den praktischen Gebrauch von Bernhard Paumgartner. Violinmusik Des Barock. Zürich: Hug, 1951. [an edition of Gerber's copy of Albinoni's Sonata].

Bach, Johann Sebastian. Das Wohltempirirte Clavir Oder Preludia Und Fugen Durch Alle Tone Und Semitonia so Wohl Tertiam Majorem Oder Ut, Re, Mi, Anlagend Als Auch Tertiam Minorem Oder Re, Mi, Fa,Betreffend Zum Nützen Und Gebrauch Der Lehr- Begierigen Musicalischen Jugend, Als Auch Derer in Die- Sem Studio Schon Habil Seyenden Besondered Zeit Vertreibt Auff Gesetzund Verfertith. Gt Von Johann Sebastian Bach. H. Cöth. Capell Meister Und Dir. Der Cam. M. Ae 1723. Decopirt H NGerber. Lipsia. Die 31. Novemb. 17.25, n.d. [Gerber's MS of the WCT, the subject of this exhibit].

Bach, Johann Sebastian. Toccata Ex E Manualiter, 1725. Front flyleaf identifies copyist as H. Gerber, and bears name of "Dr. Rust, Berlin, 1877.

Boyd, Malcolm, and John Butt, eds. J.S. Bach. Oxford Composer Companions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Butt, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Bach. Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Crist, Stephen A., ed. Bach in America. Bach Perspectives, vol. 5. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

David, Hans T., and Arthur Mendel. The Bach Reader: A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents. Revised, with a supplement. New York: W.W. Norton, 1966.

Dürr, Alfred. “[Bach Tercentenary Facsimile Publication Project: H. N. Gerber’s Eighteenth Century Manuscript Copy of J. S. Bach’s ’Das Wohl-Temperierte Clavier’] From the Editor’s Desk.” Bach 15, no. 1 (1984): 25–27. [a letter to the editor of BACH about the MS].

———. “Heinrich Nicolaus Gerber Als Schüler Bachs.” Bach-Jahrbuch 64 (January 1, 1978): 7–18.

Erickson, Raymond, ed. The Worlds of Johann Sebastian Bach. New York: Amadeus Press, 2009.

Gerber, Ernst Ludwig. Historisch-Biographisches Lexikon Der Tonkünstler, WelchesNachrichten von Dem Leben Und Werken Musikalischer Schriftsteller, Berühmter Componisten, Sänger [Etc.] ... Leipzig: J. G. I. Breitkopf, 1790.

Gerber, Heinrich Nikolaus. Four Inventions. Susi Jeans, ed. Early Organ Music, no. 20. Borough Green, Kent: Novello, 1974.

Glöckner, Andreas. “Gerber, Heinrich Nikolaus” in Grove Music Online.” Accessed March 13, 2020.

Herz, Gerhard. Bach-Quellen in Amerika =: Bach Sources in America. Kassel ; New York : Ann Arbor, Mich: Bärenreiter ; Distributed in North America by UMI Research Press, 1984.

Leaver, Robin A., ed. The Routledge Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach. London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017.

Öhm-Kühnle, Christoph. “Heinrich Nikolaus Gerber’s Rediscovered Manuscript of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite in E Minor (Bwv 996): A Copy of Bach’s Hitherto Unknown Revised Version.” Bach 38, no. 1 (2007): 45–66.

Orgelmusik Um Johann Sebastian Bach. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1985. [Includes three works by H.N. Gerber].

Rampe, Siegbert, ed. Deutsche Orgel- Und Claviermusik Der Bach-Zeit: Werke InErstausgaben = German Organ and Keyboard Music from Bach’s Period: Collection of First Editions. Kassel ; New York: Bärenreiter, 2007. [Includes three (other) works by H.N. Gerber].

“Riemenschneider Bach Library Vault Holdings.” Bach 1, no. 1 (1970): 17–18. [a description of the Gerber MS].

Sammlung von Orgelstücken, 1805. [A manuscript at Yale University containing four inventions by H.N. Gerber.]

Snyder, Kerala J. ed. The Organist as Scholar: Essays in Memory of Russell Saunders. Festschrift Series, no. 12. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1994.

Schulze, Hans-Joachim, ed. Dokumente zum Nachwirken Johann Sebastian Bachs, 1750-1800. Bach-Dokumente, Bd. 3. Kassel: Barenreiter, 1984.

“Translation from Gerber’s Historischbiographisches Lexikon Der Tonkünstler (1790).” Walter Winzenburger, trans. Bach 1, no. 2 (1970): 26–30. [a translation of E.L. Gerber's article on Bach].

Wolff, Christoph. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000.



There are hundreds of recordings of the Well-Tempered Clavier (Das Wohltemperierte Klavier) on various streaming platforms, performed on harpsichord, clavichord, piano, and arranged for just about any ensemble you can imagine., We are not linking to them here because it is difficult to determine the copyright status of most of the freely available recordings. Use your favorite platform and search for either form of the title.

There is one clearly public domain recording, at the Open Well-Tempered Clavier, performed on piano by Kimiko Ishizaka. It is downloadable, though, not streaming.

Those affiliated with Baldwin Wallace can also login to Naxos Music Library and access any number of recordings, including one on harpsichord by Kenneth Gilbert.


This list represents sources used in curating this exhibit as well as other sources that may be helpful for the study of Gerber and his manuscript.  Bracketed notes are added only when deemed necessary to clarify a source's contents or its connection to the topic.

For help with resources, interested parties may contact Paul Cary, Conservatory Librarian at Baldwin Wallace University at

Paul Cary

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