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: 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…

William H. Scheide Research Grants for 2017

The American Bach Society invites scholars working on J. S. Bach or figures in his circle to apply for the William H. Scheide Research Grant to pay for travel, reproductions of sources, or other research expenses. Each year the Society offers stipends of $500 to $2,000 to support research and publication. Ph.D. candidates writing dissertations, junior faculty, and independent scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. The deadline is December 31, 2016, for grants to be awarded in January 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