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Bach Inventions #2923062 12/15/19 08:52 AM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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These are so nice on so many levels. I’m working on 13 now, after completing 1 and 4. Of course, they are tricky little devils. There are so many cool little intricate features that I decided to articulate some.

The drifting of the melody from one have to the other is really fun. Trying to subtlety change the dominant sound while doing this is challenging but rewarding.

I am writing in the chords in some areas. I’m working on fingering a chord as I would while doing its arpeggio. In doing so, I am changing from one chord to another with a slight adjustment in hand position. The chord progressions use the most logical inversions to minimize travel.

It is fun to identify chord progressions and key modulations while working on the piece. It helps build a better understanding of the music and adds to the complexity of the piece.

Of course, the multiple voices is the real challenging part. If it’s not hard enough to play to seemingly different things at one time, it seems the shifts in one hand occur at random points compared with the other - they don’t transition simultaneously.

Great gems, these are. I’m glad to be working on them.


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2923080 12/15/19 09:35 AM
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dobro Offline
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Nice cmb13. I’m subscribed. Im surely interested to hear those other Bach pieces that you are working on. Also that piano is out of this world.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2923082 12/15/19 09:38 AM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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A good example (and the inspiration for this post):
BWV 784 Invention 13
Measures 9-10

There is a progression from Am7 to D7 to Gmaj7 to Cmaj7. This is a ii-V-I-IV in G. Somewhere in M7, the Key seems to have modulated to G. I’ve been spending an hour on getting the fingerings “perfect” so there are seemless transitions. For instance, in the R hand I want the Gmaj7 to Cmaj7 to replicate the preceding Am7 to D7. In the L hand I am using 5-4-2-1 for the Am7, then 2-3-1 for the D, followed by 1-4-2-5 as I play the D in the 1st inversion. This is replicated in the next measure. At first I had slightly different transition points, but decided to redo it so the measures matched each other.

Anyway, yes this is a very technical post, but I’m just to illustrate the complexity and analysis that makes this much more fun and educational than just trying to hit the right keys.


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: dobro] #2923085 12/15/19 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dobro
Nice cmb13. I’m subscribed. Im surely interested to hear those other Bach pieces that you are working on. Also that piano is out of this world.

Thanks, Carolina smile. Still trying to learn! Maybe I will record this one but it’s literally months away. Next up (to record) is my 99% complete Chopin Nocturne in E min.


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2923097 12/15/19 10:17 AM
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My teacher had me play these. For now only Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Czerny. I'm not allowed to play Chopin or Beethoven. But I secretly play a bit of other composers at home, heh heh... And I find the more Bach I play, the easier Schumann becomes. By the way, my teacher also suggested I write my own inventions. The first fun exercise I did was to keep going on Invention 1. Don't end where it does and just keep going on the same theme in the same spirit ie. steal ideas from Bach ;-)

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: wszxbcl] #2923172 12/15/19 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
By the way, my teacher also suggested I write my own inventions. The first fun exercise I did was to keep going on Invention 1. Don't end where it does and just keep going on the same theme in the same spirit ie. steal ideas from Bach ;-)


What a great teacher!

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: wszxbcl] #2923196 12/15/19 03:49 PM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
My teacher had me play these. For now only Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Czerny. I'm not allowed to play Chopin or Beethoven. But I secretly play a bit of other composers at home, heh heh... And I find the more Bach I play, the easier Schumann becomes. By the way, my teacher also suggested I write my own inventions. The first fun exercise I did was to keep going on Invention 1. Don't end where it does and just keep going on the same theme in the same spirit ie. steal ideas from Bach ;-)

Yes - very cool idea. So much fun!


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2923222 12/15/19 04:45 PM
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I think invention 13 is a great piece. It is my fav one of the series. I would like to hear it but I actually dont like Bach music very much and remember when I did play it I found it very frustrating. I think a teacher that has banned Chopin and Beethoven is harsh. I'm not entirely clear on the connection between Schumann and Bach so perhaps enlighten me. Preludes and Fugues by Mendelssohn I played were I'm sure inspired by earlier music so I'm sure there are alternatives if you dont like Bach.

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2924908 12/19/19 11:50 PM
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Nice work on Prelude in C, I hope to get there one day.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2924939 12/20/19 03:04 AM
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Good luck with no. 13, it's beautiful but so hard. At least I found it difficult and dropped it - I guess because of the arpeggios, which means change of hand position, which means I have to look at my hands more than usual and hence memorise the pieces instead of reading it. For now I've moved to no. 8, which I don't like very much and is also way too fast for me, but at least it's simple, apart from a few bars in the middle section which are giving me headaches.

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2924951 12/20/19 04:35 AM
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Getting to the point where you are ready for the Inventions is a milestone reached, so enjoy.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: earlofmar] #2924971 12/20/19 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Getting to the point where you are ready for the Inventions is a milestone reached, so enjoy.

That's nice of you to say, but even after 6 years, when hitting this one, I'm not sure sure! 1 and 4 went much more quickly.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2924979 12/20/19 07:24 AM
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I love 13 as well but slightly too challenging for me at this point as I'd like to pick one that I can play decently within a month. I was considering 15 in b minor which became my favourite out of nowhere but that's also slightly challenging.

It's also great timing on this post because I was researching the Henle website last night and saw that 1, 4 and 6 are the only ones ranked 3/9 (the higher the number the harder the piece). The others are all marked 4/9. A Henle 4 is higher than ABRSM grade 4 since Henle 7-9 encompasses pretty basically all the ABRSM diplomas.

Based on this (and my own opinion of what I could handle), I think I'd like to make my life easier and pick the 4th as a second Invention (only learnt No1) and hopefully work my way through 4,8,11,13,14,15 at some point in the next couple years.

It's great that you're analysing it. As you said, your musical knowledge will improve that way too.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2925010 12/20/19 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
A good example (and the inspiration for this post):
BWV 784 Invention 13
Measures 9-10

There is a progression from Am7 to D7 to Gmaj7 to Cmaj7. This is a ii-V-I-IV in G. Somewhere in M7, the Key seems to have modulated to G. I’ve been spending an hour on getting the fingerings “perfect” so there are seemless transitions. For instance, in the R hand I want the Gmaj7 to Cmaj7 to replicate the preceding Am7 to D7. In the L hand I am using 5-4-2-1 for the Am7, then 2-3-1 for the D, followed by 1-4-2-5 as I play the D in the 1st inversion. This is replicated in the next measure. At first I had slightly different transition points, but decided to redo it so the measures matched each other.



cmb13, I'll send you a PM with some more details.

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2925022 12/20/19 09:38 AM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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Thanks...I'll keep an eye out for it!


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: Peter Hontaru] #2925291 12/21/19 03:55 AM
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sinophilia Offline

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Originally Posted by Peter Hontaru
...I was researching the Henle website last night and saw that 1, 4 and 6 are the only ones ranked 3/9 (the higher the number the harder the piece).


That's why I did number 6 this year, and it took me about a month to learn (would have needed another month to polish though!). If you don't mind the E major key and the double sharps it's very feasible. Definitely easier than no. 13.

As an aside, I don't think no. 1 is easy as one's first invention - the different rhythms in the two hands are very challenging. No. 8 is much more straightforward, two notes in one hand and one in the other, or two in both, and no ornaments at all (unless you want to add them yourself). Here the challenges are only the speed and a few dissonant bars in the middle.

Re: Bach Inventions [Re: sinophilia] #2925376 12/21/19 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
Originally Posted by Peter Hontaru
...I was researching the Henle website last night and saw that 1, 4 and 6 are the only ones ranked 3/9 (the higher the number the harder the piece).


That's why I did number 6 this year, and it took me about a month to learn (would have needed another month to polish though!). If you don't mind the E major key and the double sharps it's very feasible. Definitely easier than no. 13.

As an aside, I don't think no. 1 is easy as one's first invention - the different rhythms in the two hands are very challenging. No. 8 is much more straightforward, two notes in one hand and one in the other, or two in both, and no ornaments at all (unless you want to add them yourself). Here the challenges are only the speed and a few dissonant bars in the middle.
No. 8 seems a bit easier for me as well. The Piano Syllabus ranking, on the other hand, is 4 for No. 1 and 5 for No. 8. Not much different, but the difference isn't in the direction I would have thought.


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2925993 12/23/19 08:15 AM
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For me, no 8 was much harder than no 1 and no 4. Although it looks easy on paper and even does not sound so hard, I was having a hard time getting my fingers to play it correctly


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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2926059 12/23/19 11:15 AM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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I agree 8 was more difficult, and I didn't love it, so went to 13 next which is also difficult but I like it a lot better so willing to spend the few months required.


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Bach Inventions

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Re: Bach Inventions [Re: cmb13] #2926076 12/23/19 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I agree 8 was more difficult, and I didn't love it, so went to 13 next which is also difficult but I like it a lot better so willing to spend the few months required.

I really love No. 13, but I believe it is still too advanced for me. Soon though!


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