Founded in 1972 as a chapter of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, the American Bach Society supports the study, performance, and appreciation of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in the United States and Canada.

The ABS produces Bach Notes and Bach Perspectives, sponsors a biennial meeting and conference, and offers grants and prizes for research on Bach.

Information on membership is available here, along with a short history of the Society and information on its administration.

On this site you can also find links to other Bach organizations and to Bach festivals, as well as a small selection of interesting Bach illustrations.

CFP: Society for Eighteenth-Century Music Eighth Biennial Conference, Tallahassee, FL, 22–25 February 2018

The eighth biennial conference of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music will be hosted by the Florida State University at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee on February 22–25, 2018. The society invites proposals for papers and presentations on all aspects of eighteenth-century music, including those that highlight Tallahassee’s location near the Gulf Coast by exploring the greater Atlantic world as well as the history of music in colonial missions. Presentations may be traditional papers of 25 minutes (35-minute slot), work-in-progress presentations of 10 minutes (20-minute slot), panels (45 minutes) or lecture recitals (up to 45 minutes). Preference will be given to those who did not present at the 2016 meeting in Austin. All presenters must be current members of SECM.

Submit your proposal (250 words) as an e-mail attachment to the chair of the program committee, Drew Edward Davies. The deadline for proposals is October 30, 2017. Only one submission per author will be considered. Please provide a cover sheet and proposal in separate documents. The cover sheet should contain your name, e-mail address, phone number, and proposal title. The proposal should contain only the title, abstract, and audio-visual requirements. The committee’s decision will be announced in mid-November.

CFP: Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Orlando, FL, 22–25 March 2018

The Society for Eighteenth-Century Music will offer a session during the 2018 ASECS meeting, planned to feature intersections of music with topics and issues that will interest scholars of the period generally. (Session chair: Douglass Seaton, Florida State University).

The call for papers welcomes studies that situate music in culture, apply to musical subjects research methods or materials adapted from other disciplines, pursue transmedial relationships between music and other arts. Examples would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gender in music and in musicking
  • Music in material culture and the bourgeois home
  • Music reflecting and critiquing politics and religion
  • Music and drama – on the stage and beyond
  • Music of empire and colony
  • Music in literature and publishing
  • Music within nature and gardens

Three presenters will be selected to deliver papers of twenty minutes each. All presenters and participants are required to be members of ASECS or a constituent society of ISECS at the time of the conference.

Please include your name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), contact information, audio-visual needs, and the title of your paper in the body of an email. Abstracts of no more than 350 words should include the title of the paper and represent the presentation as fully as possible. Please send abstracts as .doc or .pdf attachments to dseaton@fsu.edu by 15 September 2017.

Call for Papers for 2018 Annual Meeting

The American Bach Society invites paper proposals for its upcoming meeting, to be held at Yale University and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, April 26–28, 2018. The meeting’s theme will be “Bach Reworked – Parody, Transcription, Adaptation.” Transcription, adaptation, and parody are integral parts of Bach’s compositional process. He transcribed works by Vivaldi, adapted Palestrina masses, and parodied earlier secular works in his Christmas Oratorio. The symposium will explore Bach’s adaptations of music by other composers and his transcriptions and parodies of his own works. The program committee also invites proposals that will trace the impact of Bach’s music on composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The committee particularly encourages analytical approaches to the topic of the symposium. Paper proposals focusing on the conference topic will be given preference, but submissions on any aspect of musical culture in Bach’s Germany will be considered. In addition to the scholarly symposium, the conference will also feature performances by the Yale Schola Cantorum and the Yale Voxtet, led by conductors Masaaki Suzuki and David Hill. Proposals (250 words) should be sent as an e-mail attachment by October 1, 2017, to the chair of the program committee: Andrew Talle (atalle -at- gmail.com). The committee’s decisions will be announced by the middle of November 2017. Read more…

Bach Notes no. 26 (Spring 2017) just published

We‘re pleased to announce the publication of Bach Notes no. 26 (Spring 2017). This issue features contributions from David Yearsley, Moira Hill, and David Schulenberg, plus announcements of the Scheide Grant winner, several conferences, and member news. We‘re also honored to be able to introduce to you the Bach shark! Read more…


  1. Oil painting of J. S. Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, 1748
  2. Engraving of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig
  3. Title page of Bach’s Calov Bible, 1681 (Concordia Seminary Library, St. Louis)
  4. First page of autograph score of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, 1721