Many will argue that no other composer has contributed as much as Bach to sacred vocal music. (Syntax)

UniversityPhysics

Member
English - US
Hi all, I'm trying to translate the sentence: "Many will argue that no other composer has contributed as much as Bach to sacred vocal music." The German sentence I have right now is: "Viele werden den Standpunkt vertreten, dass kein anderer Komponist so viel wie Bach zu geistliche Vokalmusik beigetragen hat."

I'm confused about the grammar after the word "dass." Is my sentence correct? If not, should it be "..., dass kein anderer Komponist zu geistliche Vokalmusik so viel wie Bach beigetragen hat"? If so, could you please explain why, or give another suggestion?

I would really appreciate any help.
Thank you very much!
 
  • Dan2

    Senior Member
    US
    English (US)
    I wonder if your question really has, as your thread title suggests, anything to do with the word order under question being within a relative clause. [EDIT: before modification by a moderator, the thread title was approximately, "Word order in a complex relative clause".] Couldn't one ask exactly the same question if we promote your relative clauses to main clauses, giving:

    "Kein anderer Komponist hat so viel wie Bach zu geistlicher Vokalmusik beigetragen."
    vs.
    "Kein anderer Komponist hat zu geistlicher Vokalmusik so viel wie Bach beigetragen."

    And since I often see comparison clauses moved out of the "bracket", yet another possibility might be:
    "Kein anderer Komponist hat zu geistlicher Vokalmusik so viel beigetragen wie Bach."

    As a non-native speaker I can't answer your question, but perhaps eliminating the complication of the relative clause will simplify matters and lead to a more general answer.

    (Note that I've changed the ending to -er on "geistlich". If there are other errors, I've missed them...)

    EDIT: One more point: For the English version of your main clause, I prefer "Many would argue...". I wonder how German NS's view "Viele werden ..." vs. "Viele würden ..." in this context.
     
    Last edited:

    Glockenblume

    Senior Member
    Deutsch (Hochdeutsch und "Frängisch")
    A little remark concerning declension:
    Dan2, you are right: "zu geistliche Vokalmusik" is not correct, and "zu geistlicher Vokalmusik" is right declension.
    But I would prefer the definite article: "zur geistlichen Vokalmusik" (it's a question of semantics)
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    A little remark concerning declension:
    Dan2, you are right: "zu geistliche Vokalmusik" is not correct, and "zu geistlicher Vokalmusik" is right declension.
    But I would prefer the definite article: "zur geistlichen Vokalmusik" (it's a question of semantics)
    That is exactly right.

    German often (not always) prefers to use the the definite article as an abstractum-marker where English would prefers no article. This sentence is an example: the sentence makes a statement about sacred music in general and not about certain pieces or types of sacred music.
     

    UniversityPhysics

    Member
    English - US
    Thanks so much for all your responses! So just to confirm, the sentence would be: "Viele würden den Standpunkt vertreten, dass kein anderer Komponist zur geistlicher Vokalmusik so viel beigetragen hat wie Bach"?
     
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