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On Interpreting Bach's Keyboard Music (Recording)

SG $80.00SG $150.00

Note: The live version of this course has recently concluded. You are purchasing recordings of the sessions.

Bach’s output constitutes one of the most significant bodies of work to have emerged in the entire history of Western classical music.

In the first three lectures, we will explore several aspects on performance practice and stylistic approach of Bach’s music, particularly on his keyboard works. We will discuss how performers would decide on their choices of tempo, articulation, phrasing, and rhythm, as well as the possibilities of ornamentation and improvisation in Baroque style.

The following three lectures will take the principles laid out and apply them to some of the more frequently taught and played Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, with in-depth discussions on the interpretative approaches to playing or teaching them on the piano.

Dr. David Chin

Dr. David Chin is the founder and Artistic Director of Bachfest Malaysia, and the conductor of the award-winning Malaysia Bach Festival Singers and Orchestra, as well as Mendelssohnchor Malaysia. He has recently been appointed as Senior Fellow of Bach-Archiv Leipzig. In 2020, Dr. Chin produced “Encountering Bach”, a documentary film on the life and music of J.S. Bach filmed exclusively in Germany. He has been commissioned by Bach-Archiv Leipzig to produce a Chinese version of the monumental Bach database website, and to translate renowned Bach scholar Michael Maul’s latest Bach biography from German into Chinese. In addition to his home country Malaysia and the United States, Dr. Chin has been invited to teach and perform in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, and Italy. David has conducted all the major works by J.S. Bach and more than three dozens of Bach cantatas. In addition, he has also led choirs and orchestras around the world in numerous major works by composers ranging from the Renaissance era to the 21st century and world-premieres, a capella to choral-orchestral works, and standard repertoire to vocal jazz and Broadway musicals. He has served as Director of Choral Activities and Music Professor at multiple universities in the United States, and his conducting students have been admitted to graduate programs at prominent institutions such as the Westminster Choir College, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, Georgia State University, University of Tennessee, and University of Connecticut, to name a few. Dr. Chin holds both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, where he received full scholarship to pursue both degrees. Website:

Loo Bang Hean

Since his return to Malaysia after studying at the Royal College of Music, London under an ABRSM scholarship as well as postgraduate studies in Italy, Bang Hean has made regular appearances in solo recitals, chamber concerts as well as concerto performances. He has appeared in most major concert venues in Malaysia and has been featured as a soloist with various local orchestras, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). An active chamber musician, he collaborates frequently with various instrumentalists and vocalists, and is a frequent guest pianist at the MPO chamber concert series. Bang Hean has performed abroad in countries such as England, Italy, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Korea. Bang Hean has frequently been invited to adjudicate, examine, and conduct masterclasses and in various countries. A frequent presenter for ABRSM, he has presented seminars around South East Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and China, India and the Middle East.

Active participants are invited to bring along music excerpts to ask questions and discuss

Week 1 – 3

General introduction to Bach’s keyboard works and instruments
Harmonic progression and the basso continuo
Tempo, dynamic, phrasing, and articulation
Stylized dances in Bach’s music
Ornaments and improvisation based on historical sources

Week 4 – 6 discussions of issues laid out in the first three weeks, with annotated scores provided.

The list of Preludes and Fugues discussed is as follows (with the approximate levels indicated in the brackets):

Well-Tempered Clavier Bk 1

1. C minor BWV 847 (Gr 8)
2. D major BWV 850 (Gr 8, ATCL)
3. D minor BWV 851 (Gr 8, ATCL)
4. F minor BWV 857 (ARSM, ATCL)
5. F sharp minor BWV 859 (ARSM, ATCL)
6. G minor BWV 861 (ARSM, ATCL)
7. B major BWV 868 (ATCL)

Well-Tempered Clavier Bk 2
1. D major BWV 874 (ARSM, ATCL)
2. D minor BWV 875 (Gr 8, ATCL)
3. G major BWV 884 (Gr 8)


This course is supported under UTAP for 50% course fee support.

National Instructors and Coaches Association (NICA) was formed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to be the collective voice to support freelance coaches and instructors from sports, outdoor learning and adventure, visual and performing arts, fitness, wellness, and enrichment, to strengthen skills, standards and opportunities.

In supporting NICA members with skills deepening programmes at the Academy, NICA members enjoy lower course and conference fees through the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) which provides 50% subsidy of the balance unfunded course/conference fee, up to $250 or $500 (for NTUC union members aged 40 and above).*

If you wish to be part of a bigger voice for coaches and instructors, please sign up to be a NICA member at: (Note: to indicate ‘NICA’ under the field for Company Name). Find out more about NICA at: or

*This excludes miscellaneous fees such as GST and registration fee etc.

Here are some additional info regarding UTAP eligibility:

Please note that members are required to fulfil the following conditions to be eligible for UTAP reimbursement:

  1. Paid-up union membership before course commencement, throughout whole course duration and at the point of claim
  2. Course by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period
  3. Course must not be funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding
  4. Unfunded course fee must be S$20.00 and above
  5. Member must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application and sat for all prescribed examination(s), if any
  6. UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after course completion

Please refer to the UTAP Application Guide for members to apply UTAP via the U-Portal. Should trainees have queries on the funding scheme, they can email to or call NTUC Membership Hotline at 6213-8008.