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The rhythms Bach writes right in the opening, measures of figure 7 , not repeated in patterns, suggest an attempt to notate, with measures, a free and improvisatory piece of music. This prelude is much more complex than the C major from Book 1, with contrapuntal writing that needs to be carefully addressed and practiced with each hand separately and with a clear idea of where the many overlapping phrases begin and end.

It presents free contrapuntal style. The Prelude in Bb major, Book 1 , is toccata-like. It is a great piece for working on evenness. Practicing hands separate in this case is not ideal since the continuous line is split between hands, and practicing each hand alone could create unwanted accents.

Each group of four thirty-second notes, as in measures 1 though the second beat of measure 3 see figure 8a , should be blocked in a way to help the student understand the harmony, seeing groups of notes instead of each note individually.


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After becoming comfortable with grouping, and more familiar with the notes, the student should be able to make decisions on how to shape this piece. This prelude is toccata-like. Since there are no indications in the score, the student needs to choose dynamics and whether or not to take some time in specific places based on the harmony and structural points of the piece. The short cadenza-like passages found throughout the second page, demonstrated in measures of figure 8b , of this prelude are good exercises for learning the concept of "cadenza".

Working on shaping cadenzas in short passages like this can be a very useful tool in preparation to playing linger concerti cadenzas. This piece is recommended in preparation for concerti cadenzas.

Quick Overview

The Prelude in C minor from Book 2 is an example of two-part invention. Hands separate practice is ideal since hands will be trading roles between having the melody and providing accompaniment. Rotation exercises in thirds would be helpful to apply in each hand separately. Since each beat of the first two measures is composed of chords with a neighbor tone, one should play only the real notes of the chord when applying rotation.

Two-Part Invention No. 12 in A Major piano sheet music by J.S. Bach - Solo piano

Also important is to work on the rotation and alignment or "arm supporting the fingers," isolating the two-beat pattern - as in measures This prelude presents characteristics of a two-part invention. It would be good for the student to be familiar with some of the two-part inventions.


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  5. Invention No. Its brilliant opening in the first two measures suggests a tutti followed by the soloist in measure 3.

    J.S. Bach's Two-Part Inventions | Gruber

    Later in the piece, measures for instance see figure 11b , it seems there are two soloists alternating with the tutti, perhaps a violin and a flute. This prelude has different sections, some sounding like little cadenzas in the middle of the concerto, others sounding like solos or tutti. The student should definitely take advantage of this aspect to create different colors and contrast within the piece. Concerto-like prelude. Its opening measures suggest a tutti mm. This specific passage shows a texture that could represent two soloists in the upper voices.

    Finding the different sections will enable the student to identify main differences in textures and patterns. Since this piece was written with many sequences, it is very important to find its main patterns. For instance, measures 3 is a model for measures see figure 11a thus, practicing each measure and stopping on the downbeat of the next one is a good strategy.

    The cadenza-like passages mm.

    Bach BWV 783 - Two Part Invention no.12, A major ver. Megpoid

    This is a very challenging prelude for its virtuoso character and constant flow of sixteenth notes in at least one of the hands, with the eventual addition of a third voice in measure In the case of the Prelude in G minor - key of discontentment, resentment and dislike - the double dots should definitely be applied since it increases the drama. A careful study of the voices separately is necessary since they float in between hands, as we can see in figure 12 , being very important to know where exactly a certain voice ends or begins.

    This prelude presents characteristics of the French overture style, characterized by the practice of double dots. The Preludes of the Well-Tempered Clavier are pieces that present a great variety of styles. It is undeniably important to be familiar with these different styles before approaching the Preludes so that one can achieve a well-informed interpretation. Bach's Little Preludes , the French and sometimes English Suites , and also the two and three part inventions offer the variety of styles that we need in order to play these Preludes with spontaneity, character and style.

    A student does not need to have played an entire French suite in order to understand a Prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Learning some of the dances or a specific one that relates to the style of the assigned Prelude can be a helpful and clarifying way to introduce the concept of style to a student. In addition to teaching students about the many styles of Bach, these Preludes are fascinating pieces of music, effective repertoire and performance material.

    After working on these Preludes , the student will have a better understanding of Bach's language and will be able to make more conscious artistic decisions. Clavier Companion.


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    Accessed December 7, Grove Online. Well-Tempered Clavier. Henle Verlag. Accessed November 26, Dance and the Music of J. Accessed November 30, Bach Notebook A. Bach Twelve Little Preludes. Namespaces Article Talk.

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