Suite in E Minor, BWV 996 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – PDF sheet music for classical guitar. Popularly known as Lute Suite in E Minor. Comes with both a notation-only edition and a tab edition. Left hand fingering. PDF Download. The overall level is advanced but certain movements are easier than others. Movements: Praeludio-Presto, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Bourrée, Gigue.
Unfingered Edition (Free PDF) – The free unfingered edition of this work has been created so advanced players and professionals can add their own fingerings and create your own edition.
Fingered Sheet Music and Tab Edition (PDF) – Includes both notation-only edition and TAB edition.
- Suite in E Minor BWV 996 by Bach (Fully Fingered) from Werner Guitar Editions, my dedicated sheet music store.
I’ve played through this suite for years but wanted to create my own edition based on the Johann Gottfried Walther (1684–1748) manuscript while curiously looking at the Heinrich Nikolaus Gerber (1702– 1775) which are both available on IMSLP. I believe my additional unfingered edition will be of great interest to professional guitarists just as the fingered edition will be to students. Although any performance of this suite on the guitar will require some editing due to register, I wanted my score to embrace as much of the manuscript as possible.
These pieces are advanced in level and are not always idiomatic to the six string guitar. They were likely written for the lute-harpsichord (lautenwerk), an uncommon Baroque keyboard instrument. For a variety of reasons and a few surviving lute tablature manuscripts (for other similar works) the suites became popularly known as the Lute Suites. Bach was familiar with lute players of the day such as Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687–1750) and so it is not inconceivable that he could have imagined or even intended a lute to perform the works. For this suite, in terms of the manuscript, performance difficulty, key signature, and suitability, this is a keyboard composition. However, the overall lighter texture compared to his keyboard works hints at the texture capable by a lute. Nevertheless, modern guitar players have embraced the work and have found various arranging solutions for successful performance. Any serious performer will want to consult various editors but I hope this edition is useful and engaging. The Bouree is also available as a free score.
Performance & Lesson Videos
I also have this lesson and free sheet music for the Bouree from BWV 996 on my other previous post.
For now, enjoy these excellent performances from professional guitarists using various editions. The excellent Marcin Dylla playing the entire suite is below.
A harpsichord performance!