Scriabin - Prelude - Op. Schubert - Moment Musical - Op. Brahms - Waltz - Op. It is an excellent resource for students and teachers alike and there is very rarely any need to visit another website or music store in search of sheet music. The pieces are all well-graded and the audio is really useful, especially for pieces not heard before.
Prélude No. 9 BWV 854 in E Major
I have recommended the site to many of my friends who play the piano. Keep up the good work. At the last minute they requested some Chopin, which I had not brought with me. So, I google-searched for classical downloads and found your site. I was able to print out excellent editions of the pieces I needed within minutes. To find the scores locally would have been inpossible as it was a smaller town, the nearest music store 45 minutes away.
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It is helpful that many of the scores include an audio clip of the piece being played. I have recommended to my advanced students that they also join Piano Street since getting sheet music from there is a much less expensive alternative to ordering and paying for the music. Steve D. Before the advent of modern tonality in the late 17th century, numerous composers produced collections of pieces in all seven modes : Johann Pachelbel 's magnificat fugues composed — , Georg Muffat 's Apparatus Musico-organisticus of and Johann Speth 's Ars magna of for example.
Furthermore, some two hundred years before Bach's time, equal temperament was realized on plucked string instruments, such as the lute and the theorbo , resulting in several collections of pieces in all keys although the music was not yet tonal in the modern sense of the word :. Fischer 's Ariadne musica neo-organoedum published in and reissued is a set of 20 prelude-fugue pairs in ten major and nine minor keys and the Phrygian mode , plus five chorale -based ricercars.
Bach knew the collection and borrowed some of the themes from Fischer for the Well-Tempered Clavier. It was long believed that Bach had taken the title The Well-Tempered Clavier from a similarly-named set of 24 Preludes and Fugues in all the keys, for which a manuscript dated was found in the library of the Brussels Conservatoire.
It was in fact written in —50, and in imitation of Bach's example.
Prelude No. 9 scored for Piano Solo
Bach's title suggests that he had written for a note well-tempered tuning system in which all keys sounded in tune also known as "circular temperament". The opposing system in Bach's day was meantone temperament [ citation needed ] in which keys with many accidentals sound out of tune. See also musical tuning. Bach would have been familiar with different tuning systems, and in particular as an organist would have played instruments tuned to a meantone system.
It is sometimes assumed that by "well-tempered" Bach intended equal temperament , the standard modern keyboard tuning which became popular after Bach's death, but modern scholars suggest instead a form of well temperament.
During much of the 20th century it was assumed that Bach wanted equal temperament , which had been described by theorists and musicians for at least a century before Bach's birth. This represents an equation of the most tonally remote enharmonic keys where the flat and sharp arms of the circle of fifths cross each other opposite to C major. Any performance of this pair would have required both of these enharmonic keys to sound identically tuned, thus implying equal temperament in the one pair, as the entire work implies as a whole.
However, research has continued into various unequal systems contemporary with Bach's career. Accounts of Bach's own tuning practice are few and inexact. The three most cited sources are Forkel , Bach's first biographer ; Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg , who received information from Bach's sons and pupils; and Johann Kirnberger , one of those pupils. Forkel reports that Bach tuned his own harpsichords and clavichords and found other people's tunings unsatisfactory; his own allowed him to play in all keys and to modulate into distant keys almost without the listeners noticing it. Marpurg and Kirnberger, in the course of a heated debate, appear to agree that Bach required all the major thirds to be sharper than pure—which is in any case virtually a prerequisite for any temperament to be good in all keys.
Johann Georg Neidhardt, writing in and , described a range of unequal and near-equal temperaments as well as equal temperament itself , which can be successfully used to perform some of Bach's music, and were later praised by some of Bach's pupils and associates. Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach himself published a rather vague tuning method which was close to but still not equal temperament: having only "most of" the fifths tempered, without saying which ones nor by how much.
Since there have been many other proposals and many performances of the work in different and unequal tunings, some derived from historical sources, some by modern authors.
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Whatever their provenances, these schemes all promote the existence of subtly different musical characters in different keys, due to the sizes of their intervals. However, they disagree as to which key receives which character:. More recently there has been a series of proposals of temperaments derived from the handwritten pattern of loops on Bach's title page. These loops though truncated by a later clipping of the page can be seen at the top of the title page image at the beginning of the article.
Nevertheless, some musicologists say it is insufficiently proven that Bach's looped drawing signifies anything reliable about a tuning method. Bach may have tuned differently per occasion, or per composition, throughout his career. Each Prelude is followed by a Fugue in the same key.
In each book the first Prelude and Fugue is in C major , followed by a Prelude and Fugue in its parallel minor key C minor. The first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier was composed in the early s, with Bach's autograph dated Apart from the early versions of several preludes included in W. Zum Nutzen und Gebrauch der Lehrbegierigen Musicalischen Jugend, als auch derer in diesem studio schon habil seyenden besonderem Zeitvertreib auffgesetzet und verfertiget von Johann Sebastian Bach.
Anno In English: .
The well-tempered Clavier, or Preludes and Fugues through all the tones and semitones, both as regards the tertiam majorem or Ut Re Mi [i. For the profit and use of the studious musical young, and also for the special diversion of those who are already skilful in this study, composed and made by Johann Sebastian Bach, for the time being Capellmeister and Director of the Chamber-music of the Prince of Anhalt-Cothen.
In the year The two major primary sources for this collection of Preludes and Fugues are the "London Original" LO manuscript, dated between and , with scribes including Bach, his wife Anna Magdalena and his oldest son Wilhelm Friedeman, which is the basis for Version A of WTC II ,  and for Version B, that is the version published by the 19th-century Bach-Gesellschaft , a copy primarily written by Johann Christoph Altnickol Bach's son-in-law , with some corrections by Bach, and later also by Altnickol and others.
Prelude as a theme with variations. Fugue in three voices. Musically, the structural regularities of the Well-Tempered Clavier encompass an extraordinarily wide range of styles, more so than most pieces in the literature. The preludes are also notable for their odd or irregular numbers of measures, in terms of both the phrases and the total number of measures in a given prelude.
Each fugue is marked with the number of voices, from two to five. Most are three- and four-voiced fugues, and there are only two five-voiced fugues BWV and , and one two-voiced fugue BWV The fugues employ a full range of contrapuntal devices fugal exposition, thematic inversion, stretto , etc. Several attempts have been made to analyse the motivic connections between each prelude and fugue,  — most notably Wilhelm Werker  and Johann Nepomuk David  The most direct motivic reference appears in the B major set from Book 1, in which the fugue subject uses the first four notes of the prelude, in the same metric position but at half speed.
Both books of the Well-Tempered Clavier were widely circulated in manuscript, but printed copies were not made until , by three publishers almost simultaneously in Bonn, Leipzig and Zurich. But, with the maturing of the Classical style in the s, the Well-Tempered Clavier began to influence the course of musical history, with Haydn and Mozart studying the work closely. Mozart transcribed some of the fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier for string ensemble:  .
Fantasy No. Bach's example inspired numerous composers of the 19th century, for instance in Chopin started composing his 24 Preludes, Op. In the 20th century Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his 24 Preludes and Fugues , an even closer reference to Bach's model. The best-known piece from either book is the first prelude of Book I. Anna Magdalena Bach copied a short version of this prelude in her Notebook No. Helmut Walcha , better known as an organist, recorded both books between and on a harpsichord.