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#1306725 - 11/16/09 05:13 PM Bach Inventions: In which order?  
Joined: Jan 2009
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survivordan Offline
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survivordan  Offline
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Ohio
I will, sometime in the near future, be embarking upon Bach's 2-Part Inventions. I was wondering if it would be more convienient for me as a pianist to learn them in order from 1-15 (as they are in ascending order according to key), or from easiest to hardest?


Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor
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#1306733 - 11/16/09 05:21 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]  
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david_a Offline
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david_a  Offline
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There is IMO not a great deal of difference between easiest to hardest and the printed order. I mean, of course we could argue over details of which is harder than which other, but it would be just details. If you find one of them harder or easier, then obviously that's true in your case, and that's what counts. So if you want to save a hard one for later, or do it first to get going on it, then by all means...

Assuming these are not even close to the hardest things you've ever played, and you really mean to get through them all pretty soon, you could learn them two at a time, such as

1 and 15
2 and 14

and so on.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1306746 - 11/16/09 05:40 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]  
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david_a Offline
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OK, after I posted that I glanced at your repertoire list in your signature, if it's still current.

The Bach Inventions are a great idea, and they're harder than some of the things you're doing right now. Maybe two at once could be too much.

I think number 1 is the easiest. If you start with it and everything is going great, then you can decide how to continue after that.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1306750 - 11/16/09 05:50 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]  
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DameMyra Offline
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#1, #4 (the LH trills are the biggest problem), #8, #13 & #14 are probably the most accessible, with #1 being the easiest. #12 & #15 are arguably the most difficult of the set.

Last edited by DameMyra; 11/16/09 05:51 PM.

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#1306757 - 11/16/09 06:02 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: DameMyra]  
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pianoloverus Offline
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I would listen to them on Youtube and choose the ones you like best.

#1306778 - 11/16/09 06:30 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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survivordan Offline
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Ohio
Thanks for the replies!!

I'm definately going to get a few more pieces into my repertoire before I'd begin the Inventions. I was also thinking it might be a good idea just to start off with some shorter minuets and the like as well.


Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor
#1306789 - 11/16/09 06:52 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]  
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david_a Offline
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You can also "mix it up", like choosing a minuet and an invention and learning them at the same time, so that you get some variety of levels. Practicing ONLY "hard stuff" or ONLY "easy stuff" for a long time is usually a mistake.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1306798 - 11/16/09 07:04 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]  
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1RC Offline
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Alberta
I've read that Bach would organize them in ascending then descending diatonic order: C, dm, em, F, G, am, bm, A, G, fm, E, Eb, D, cm... and that there's a logic to this order, the first 3 are built from scale fragments, the next 3 broken chords - and then the rest perhaps some combination, or illustrating various compositional techniques? (haven't investigated the rest myself).

Anyways they're great pieces and you can learn a lot from them, hope you enjoy them!

#1306818 - 11/16/09 07:56 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: 1RC]  
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david_a Offline
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FWIW, I would add number 6 in E major to the "most accessible" list.

I would still maintain (unless there's some irritating little thing like one of those left hand trills getting in your way) that the difficulty differences between the Inventions are mostly fairly minor.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1306831 - 11/16/09 08:23 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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I think this topic has come up before. Do a search.

1, 2, 8, and 14 are not too bad. 6 is easy is you can get past the accidentals like double-sharps. I'm teaching #6 right now, and the student is having a horrible time in the B section.

How are your trills? If you trill really well, 4, 10, and 15 are do-able.

13 is a real exercise in fingering. Lots of logical fingering possibilities.

I'd start with 2, which is my favorite of the set (biased opinion).


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1306856 - 11/16/09 09:19 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: AZNpiano]  
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jnod Offline
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be careful of the fingering in #8 - critical to get it right! Personal fave is #4 - I learned it when I was 9 in 1973 (or was it 1937?) and have played it several times a week ever since.

The 3-part investions (aka Sinfonias) are much harder but also some seriously great stuff.




Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
#1307667 - 11/18/09 10:31 AM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: jnod]  
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apple* Offline
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Kansas
i like sinfonia number 5 - the opportunity to learn ornaments.

Last edited by apple*; 11/18/09 10:32 AM.

accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
#1307731 - 11/18/09 12:35 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: apple*]  
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Nikolas Offline
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I find that most are of almost equal difficulty, and I always teach with the general notion "do you like this? do you like that?" and so on. That said there are differences, and I do make sure I provide ideas that the student CAN perform, and not something they've never seen'played before. wink

#1307880 - 11/18/09 05:06 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: Nikolas]  
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survivordan Offline
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Are there any editions that are "no-no's" or "I love _______'s edition!!"s?


Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor
#1307913 - 11/18/09 05:59 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]  
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david_a Offline
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david_a  Offline
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I would get one of the "editions" that is actually as un-edited as possible.

Barenreiter
Wiener Urtext
Henle

There are other good ones too, but those are three of the best and they're not hard to find. And that list was NOT a 1-2-3 rating - I would give them all basically a tie for top quality.

(Edited to clarify)

Last edited by david_a; 11/18/09 06:00 PM.

(I'm a piano teacher.)

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