Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Jack Guerry


Franz Liszt's piano transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A Minor for organ (BWV 543) is the primary focus of this study. Liszt was a great admirer of Bach's works; therefore, his transcription is very true to the original, changes being made only to make the organ work more playable on the piano. Chapter One sketches the important roles of both composers in keyboard literature. Chapter Two includes information on Bach as an organist and transcriber during the Weimar (1708-1717) and Leipzig (1723-1750) periods. Chapter Three focuses on Liszt as an organist and his personal ideas for registration in Bach's organ works. Chapter Four involves Liszt's interests in transcribing and performing for the piano; Bach's influence on Liszt; and the several Bach-Liszt transcriptions that have influenced other musicians of later generations. Chapter Five is a note-by-note comparison of the similarities and differences between Liszt's piano transcription of the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor and its original. The changes that Liszt made are divided into five categories: different notes, different note values and rests, octave doubling, displacement of pitches, and ties. Chapter Six is a summary that briefly discusses Liszt's reasons for altering Bach's original work, thereby providing evidence that his transcription is inventive, skillful, and idiomatic.