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#1306725 - 11/16/09 04:13 PM Bach Inventions: In which order?
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: 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?
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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 04:21 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
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.
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#1306746 - 11/16/09 04:40 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
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.
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#1306750 - 11/16/09 04:50 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 2151
Loc: South Jersey
#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.


Edited by DameMyra (11/16/09 04:51 PM)
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MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#1306757 - 11/16/09 05:02 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21721
Loc: New York City
I would listen to them on Youtube and choose the ones you like best.

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#1306778 - 11/16/09 05:30 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: pianoloverus]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: 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

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#1306789 - 11/16/09 05:52 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
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.
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#1306798 - 11/16/09 06:04 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]
1RC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 516
Loc: 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!

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#1306818 - 11/16/09 06:56 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: 1RC]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
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.
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#1306831 - 11/16/09 07:23 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: david_a]
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6821
Loc: Orange County, CA
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).
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#1306856 - 11/16/09 08:19 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: AZNpiano]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
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.
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Justin
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Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
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Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

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#1307667 - 11/18/09 09:31 AM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: jnod]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i like sinfonia number 5 - the opportunity to learn ornaments.


Edited by apple* (11/18/09 09:32 AM)
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#1307731 - 11/18/09 11:35 AM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: apple*]
Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6436
Loc: UK
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
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1307880 - 11/18/09 04:06 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: Nikolas]
survivordan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
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

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#1307913 - 11/18/09 04:59 PM Re: Bach Inventions: In which order? [Re: survivordan]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
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)


Edited by david_a (11/18/09 05:00 PM)
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