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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bach Preludes for 12-string

While my fingers heal and things slowly get back to normal, I've arranged a couple of pieces for 12-string guitar. They are both preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach, and in this case, they are preludes that consist primarily of arpeggiated chords.

Das Wohltemperierte Clavier I, Prelude 1 written by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) has a beautiful chord progression in C. You may also recognize it as the background to Ave Maria. My arrangement for 12 String Guitar takes few liberties with the original score at the Mutopia Project.

Measure 22 is a problem for me - my left hand is kind of messed up from various accidents and age, so I had to substitute an open A for what should really be the A on the third fret. However I find this slightly easier fingering sounds ok to me on the octave 12-strings. You can get the score from my web site here. You can hear me play it on SoundClick using this widget:

The second piece is the Prelude from the First Cello Suite, in G. This sounds very beautiful on a 12-string, and it was easy to transcribe. I use drop D tuning. Only 3 bars from 20 through 23 needed changing. Here is the original:

The low C and C# were obviously out of range, but the phrase needed to start on a low note, so I substituted this:

The score has some chord indications and fret diagrams - I hang around with Gary Robinson, music director, doctor and conductor, so I feel somewhat compelled to do some music analysis which I also hope will help me memorize the piece. Does it? I'm not positive, but I did memorize this enough to play at speed in about a week. Most pieces take me a lot longer time. You can get this score as well from my web site here.

Update March 17, 2010
I found some errors in the Cello score and sent this to the maintainer, but the email is no longer valid:

Are you still maintaining Bach's Cello Suites at mutopia? I am using your score for the prelude of the first suite and noticed that lilypond seems to have messed around with the octaves in measure 34. The Anna Magdelana facsimile here has the d b c d b in beats 3 and 4 in the lower voice one octave up.
In any case, I corrected my version. Does anyone know how to fix errors on mutopia?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am glad to read that your hands are getting better. Thank you for posting this. I am going to try adapting this into DADGAD - why change now?

I have been listening to quite a bit of Classical lately, and it is begining to show up in my playing. I recently arranged Für Elise on the 12-string in DADGAD, and I am working on Romanza.

Keep and eye on my YouTube channel.

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