Bach’s Prelude in D minor, BWV 999 for Guitar

Prelude BWV 999 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Sheet music or Tab for classical guitar. The level is mid to late intermediate (Grade 7). Originally for lute in C minor it adapts nicely when arranged for guitar in D minor. It was likely written on lute- harpsichord (lautenwerk), an uncommon instrument, and so it became popularly known as a Lute Suite.  The first appearance of the work was found in a collection of keyboard works collected by Johann Peter Kellner (1705-1772). That said, the Prelude aspect of the work is certainly in a style common to lutes works of the era. An unfingered edition is also available upon request. Here’s the YouTube Lesson Link if you want to watch it there.

PDF Sheet Music or TAB Edition – Includes fingering, notation-only edition, and notation+TAB edition.

Samples

More info on BWV 999 by Bach

Prelude in C minorBWV 999, is often compared stylistically to preludes of Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier. Here, and throughout this recording, keyboard changes (that is, the alternate use of two separate eight-foot stops) are used in much the same way that a lute-player makes use of different timbres by playing closer or farther away from the bridge. The transcription of the Fugue in G minorBWV 1000, originally for solo violin, exists in a copy by the lutenist J. C. Weyrauch. Bach also transcribed this fugue for organ, changing the key to D minor. Although one can easily recognise this piece in each of its three versions – solo violin, lute (lute-harpsichord), and organ – each instrumental sound gives it a unique communication and colours its affekt.” [via Elizabeth Farr on this Naxos].

“The Prelude in C minor, BWV 999, has come down to us in a manuscript of Johann Peter Kellner, a pupil of Bach. On the cover is written Praelude in C mol pour la Lute di Johann Sebastian Bach, and inside Praelude pour la Lute. It is frequently played on the keyboard, appearing among the Twelve Little Preludes. The style is that of broken chords, the bass articulating a repetitive melodic shape which also denotes the harmonic progressions.” [via Graham Wade on this Naxos].

More Bach from the Site

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for a truly superb lesson on BWV 999 Brad. I’ve just started working on this piece and your instruction is extremely helpful. Warm regards, Mark

Leave a Reply