A great pianist and friend of ours commented recently that if you don’t understand Bach then you don’t understand music. I actually found this comment to be a bit incorrect, I’m not sure whether John Lennon understood the intricacies of Bach but he was still an amazingly talented musician who wrote some of the world’s best loved songs. However, it is most certainly true that Bach cemented the foundations of modern harmony and almost invented a whole set of rules which were diligently followed for a very long period of time. For anyone who is interested in classical music and has never played any Bach, shame on you!
The following Minuet is in F Major and comes from a series of compositions from late on in Bach’s career. There is no tempo marking on this sheet music but we have heard two wonderful recordings which sit at around 80 beats per minutes. We have also heard the likes of Lang Lang absolutely roast this piece at speeds of up to 180 beats per minute. It’s up to you which end of the spectrum you go for but somewhere in the middle is probably about right. The melody does becomes a bit rushed of the tempo is too high so bare that in mind.
This piece, as with a lot of Baroque music, is all about the left hand. Bach wrote wonderful bass parts and this is shown beautifully in this work. Be sure to set a steady rhythm and always focus on the bottom part. The melody can really float over the top but the left hand must stay fairly rigid and mark out the time and feel of the song. Anyway, we hope that you enjoy playing this Minuet in F Major by J.S. Bach as much as we do.
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