:"BWV is also the SIL code for the language Bahau River Kenyah spoken in Borneo."

The Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue) is the numbering system identifying compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. The prefix BWV, followed by the work's number now is the shorthand identification for Bach's compositions. The works are grouped thematically, not chronologically.

Wolfgang Schmieder assigned the BWV numbers in 1950, to indicate the work's placement in the Bach works catalogue titled "Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach" (Thematic-systematic catalogue of musical works of Johann Sebastian Bach). The BWV numbers are universally used and accepted as the standard numbering of Bach's works; for example, "Mass in B minor" is BWV 232. Works believed incomplete or of doubtful authenticity at the time of cataloguing were listed in the BWV Anhang (BWV appendix), and are identified by BWV Anh number. The BWV catalogue is occasionally updated, with newly discovered works added at its end, though spurious works do not have their numbers removed.

The BWV numbers are occasionally found in older publications as, e.g. S. 232, and referred to as Schmieder Numbers, though Schmieder opposed this nomenclature and usage, not wishing his name overtly linked to the works (as a point of modesty).


Unlike chronologically arranged catalogues for other classical composers, Schmieder's Bach catalogue is arranged by genre. It is a thematical catalogue: choral works first, then organ works, then other keyboard works, and so on; hence, a low BWV number does not necessarily indicate an early work.

Schmieder chose thematical arrangement instead of chronological for several reasons, of which, probably, the two most important were:
*Many of Bach's works have uncertain composition dates. Even if the score is dated, it could mean nothing more than the date it was copied, or re-arranged, et cetera. Nonetheless, since Schmieder's original publication of the BWV catalogue, music scholars have established many more probable and certain composition dates than were imaginable in the 1950s (c.f. below).
*The Bach Gesellschaft had been publishing Bach's works since 1851; these existing publications grouped Bach's works by "genre" (or musical form), so listing according to this established practice was less confusing.

Works found after the list's first compilation generally are added to the end of the list, so, for example, the Neumeister organ chorales have numbers around BWV 1100, rather than in the catalogue's organ section numbers, BWV 600. Works found to be spurious or doubtful, such as the little preludes and fugues for organ, BWV 553-560, have not had their BWV numbers removed.

Other cataloguing systems for Bach's compositions

Opus number and publication date

Ordering the complete list of Bach's compositions by Opus number or by publication date were both out of the question: Bach didn't use Opus numbers, and few of his works were published in his lifetime.


Philippe (and Gérard) Zwang published an alternate system for numbering the cantatas (BWV 1-215 + 248-249), taking a "chronology" into account [] .

This list was published in 1982 as "Guide pratique des cantates de Bach" in Paris, ISBN 2-221-00749-2.The 1990 edition of the BWV is ISBN 3-7651-0255-5.

See also

*Buxtehude-Werke-Verzeichnis - a catalogue of Buxtehude's compositions.
*Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis - a catalogue of Handel's compositions.
*Köchel-Verzeichnis - a catalogue of Mozart's compositions.
*Deutsch-Verzeichnis - a catalogue of Schubert's compositions.
*Ryom-Verzeichnis - a catalogue of Vivaldi's compositions.

External links

* [ BWV catalogue (downloadable)]
* [ BWV catalogue in French]
* [ Wolf's Thematic Index of the Works of the Great Composers]

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  • BWV — (общепринятое сокращение от нем. Bach Werke Verzeichnis «Каталог работ Баха») система нумерации всех известных произведений Иоганна Себастьяна Баха. Номера BWV были присвоены Шмидером в 1950 г. всем произведениям из каталога работ Баха… …   Википедия

  • BWV — steht als Abkürzung für: Bach Werke Verzeichnis, das bekannteste Verzeichnis der Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach Berufsbildungswerk der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e. V. Bodensee Wasserversorgung, ein Zweckverband mit Sitz in Stuttgart… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BWV — 〈Abk. für〉 Bach Werke Verzeichnis (das thematisch systematische Verzeichnis der Werke J. S. Bachs von W. Schmieder, 1950) * * * BWV = Bach Werke Verzeichnis. * * * BWV,   Abkürzung für Bach Werke Verzeichnis, das unter dem Titel »Thematisch… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • BWV — siglas de Bach Werke Verzeichnis (Catálogo de las obras de Bach) Sistema de numeración usado para identificar las obras de Johann Sebastian Bach. Creado por el musicólogo alemán Wolfgang Schmieder en 1950. A diferencia de otros catálogos que… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BWV — Bach Werke Verzeichnis …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • BWV — Para el listado completo de las obras de Bach, véase Composiciones de Johann Sebastian Bach Las siglas BWV (Bach Werke Verzeichnis, Catálogo de las obras de Bach en alemán) se usan como abreviatura que numera cada una de las obras musicales del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • BWV 49 — Bachkantate Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen BWV: 49 Anlass: 20. Sonntag nach Trinitatis Entstehungsjahr: 1726 Entstehungsort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BWV 58 — Bachkantate Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid BWV: 58 Anlass: Sonntag nach Neujahr Entstehungsjahr: 1727? Entstehungsort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BWV 71 — Bachkantate Gott ist mein König BWV: 71 Anlass: Ratswechsel Entstehungsjahr: 1708 Entstehungsort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BWV 1 — Bachkantate Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern BWV: 1 Anlass: Mariae Verkündigung Entstehungsjahr: 1725 Entstehungsort …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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