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.

Announcing the Frances Alford Brokaw Grant

The American Bach Society is pleased to announce the establishment of the Francis Alford Brokaw Grant, a grant of $750.00 is awarded annually to an undergraduate student to provide support for research at the Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH, on projects relating to Bach or figures in his circle. Grants will be awarded for research to be completed during the calendar year 2018. To apply, please send your research proposal and the letter of reference by December 31, 2017, to Andrew Talle at andrew.talle (at) northwestern.edu. Awards will be announced in January of 2018. Read more…

CFP: Bach Reworked — Parody, Transcription, Adaptation (Bach Perspectives 13)

The American Bach Society invites submissions for consideration for Bach Perspectives 13, an essay collection on the theme of “Bach Reworked—Parody, Transcription, Adaptation.” Papers on all aspects of the subject are welcome, and will be selected after peer review for publication in 2020. Potential topics include Bach’s adaptations of music by other composers; his transcriptions and parodies of his own works; similar reworkings by other composers in the Bach circle; and the use of Bach’s music by composers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Submissions should be approximately 6000 words and should be sent in electronic form to Laura Buch (lbuch [at] fas.harvard.edu) by 1 April 2018. Information on the series is available at americanbachsociety.org/perspectives.html.

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.

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 (andrew.talle (at) northwestern.ed). The committee’s decisions will be announced by the middle of November 2017. 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