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Learning a J.S Bach Sinfonia from the ground up (F Major, BWV 794)

On to three voice counterpoint, following a two-dimensional Bach Invention journey in the company of several piano students.

So why not open the door to my private practice room for a layered learning sample a trois.

I’m no different than those I teach. The double standard does not exist for those of us who embark upon the study of new music.


My latest undertaking is the J.S. Bach Sinfonia in F, BWV 794, and while my iMac decided not to synchronize my hands voice, and music for most of the track, one can rely on the ears, and gain some insights about voice parceling and counterpoint.

In the video attached, I mapped out the first page, separately playing each of three voices as a paradigm for learning the whole work in a stepwise fashion.

Then in very slow tempo, I played through the composition, noting the SUBJECT as it appeared either alone, overlapping itself, or rendered in parallel motion (in 6ths) as the CLIMAX of the composition. (I considered the Alto, Soprano and Bass parts with attention to Key as well as interweaving counterpoint)

(Not to be overlooked, are pieces of the subject that play off each other in various voices)

This is my second day delving into the Sinfonia’s fabric and as I tell students time and again, slow and steady practicing without built-in deadlines makes the process itself joyful and satisfying.

The rest will come naturally in its time in a patient, self-nurturing environment.

In tempo:

Sinfonia in F p.1

Sinfonia in F p. 2

Sinfonia in F p. 3

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