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Bach

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simonking

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Has anyone been trying to learn any of J.S. Bach's keyboard (or other) works on the accordion? Obviously free bass is ideal for most of this kind of music, but most of us have only Stradella.

I've managed to play the Gigue from the Lute Sute in C minor BWV997 - it's fairly simple and despite being written for plucked strings, can be made to work surprisingly well on accordion. Also trying a couple of other pieces at the moment.
 

Glenn

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I've been seriously thinking about it Simon but until now have not found any music at my level.
I have thought if arranging some from piano scores I have but have not found the time.
Do you have any sources of Bach arranged for accordion?

I remember hearing an accordionist in Florence pulsing fantastic Bach at z high level so I know it can sound fantastic.
 
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simonking

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I don't know what your level is - most of it is certainly well above my level, but I like practising stuff that I can't play but I know would sound great if I could...! It gives me something to work towards.

The only thing I have a copy of that is specifically arranged for (Stradella bass) accordion is the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 (arr. Anzaghi). Now, this is FAR too long and difficult for me - at one time, I could manage to stumble through a couple of pages of it, maybe it's time to go back to it and try again. It'll still be rock'ard though. I only bought it really because I buy most good accordion music I see in shops, as some stuff is so rare to get hold of that you may never see a copy again.

Some other well-known Bach pieces are also good on accordion - e.g. the famous "Air" (I found an arrangement of that, but I think it must have been for chromatic accordion as some of the right hand voicings we very awakward or impossible on the piano keyboard.

At the moment, I'm working on the Prelude in C minor from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV847) - this works very well without transcription on "poor man's free bass" and is not as difficult as you might think at first, though certainly challenging. The accompanying fugue is possible too but is quite a bit more difficult.

Free bass obviously opens up most keyboard pieces without requiring much (if any) arrangment.

If anyone's wondering what BWVxxx is all about, it stands for something like "Bach Werke Verzeichnis" and is the catalogue number of Bach compositions so that someone knows what you're talking about, rather than saying something ambiguous like "Prelude in D" or "Partita in F".
 

Anyanka

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I love Bach... but so much happens in the left hand that it's hard to translate to Stradella! Instinctively, I feel that his organ works would be more suited for accordionising than the piano (harpsichord) pieces. Toccata & Fugue... I think I'd want to give that a go on the harmonium.
 

Glenn

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I have that impression too Anyanka that the choral works will be better suited to a Stradella.
Still, might be worth trying to see what can be done with the bass notes only. My 3+3 bass note arrangement might stand me in good stead.
 
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simonking

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Talking of harmoniums - there was an item on Saturday Live yesterday morning on Radio 4 about a guy who repairs/restores harmoniums. Might be worth a listen online for you if you missed it.

Because the octave breaks on Stradella bass often arent that noticable with 2 or more bass voices together, you can get away playing the part as written even if the left hand part is active over more than 1 octave. It doesnt always come out convincing enough depending on the key of the piece and your exact bass setup, but you can also use the register switches to help you.

Here is a fairly easy but atmospheric piece written by Richard Galliano, with the essence of Bach harmony and works fine on stradella bass.
http://www.richardgalliano.com/common_pages/score/aria_score.zip

If youre looking to make up your own arrangements/versions of Bach themes, Ive also seen in music shops, a Bach Fakebook, akin to jazz fakebooks where you get the main melody presented with possibly chords/bass. This would be great for trying stuff in a Jacques Loussier style!
 

JIM D.

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When I was in my teens I,m afraid I had no interest in anything Bach had written until the mid 60s when a group called the Swingle Singers recorded some of his works. There recordings got me hooked and I still listen to the group in all their venues. Some of you may be to young to have heard their recordings but an example can be found here -- -- JIM D.
 

jarvo

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Love it or hate it .....but hats off to the Jaques Loussier Trio........I wonder if you could do the bass and keys on Ackordeen.....who would do the drums :shock: :tup:
 

jarvo

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JIM D. said:
When I was in my teens I,m afraid I had no interest in anything Bach had written until the mid 60s when a group called the Swingle Singers recorded some of his works. There recordings got me hooked and I still listen to the group in all their venues. Some of you may be to young to have heard their recordings but an example can be found here -- -- JIM D.

I do remember them! :ugeek:
 

jarvo

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I have just broke out my old copy of The Home Series Of the Great Masters Bach.........Mennuett in G Anna Magdelenas notenbuchlein looks a nice slowy for me to attempt......a bit later on there's Air for the G string.................ahhhh Hamlet.....
 

Anyanka

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The Anna Magdalena booklet was a compilation of tunes that J.S.Bach assembled for his wife, as practice pieces. Most of them are not actually by the great man himself: including that lovely Minuet in G. I was so disappointed when I thought I had just learned to play my first Bach piece, and then discovered it was by a comparatively unknown organist called Petzold.

However, I still play the minuet (and its companion piece in Gmin) on the piano, frequently. It sounds like Bach, anyway.
 

jarvo

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Well, well, well.....that's a turnup for the books....or even the notebooks.Hmmmm,change of plan then.

Fur Elise by Beethoven......unless Joe Green wrote that for him! ;)
 

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Never play Fur Elise on the accordion. You'll be jinxed. :twisted:
 

Glenn

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No, I love it on the piano (sort of) but it sounds like mud on the accordion.
Maybe it should be the next tune of the month?
 

Matt Butcher

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Its not by Bach or Petzold, but it is a Minuet in G, by Petri Makkonen
 

Anyanka

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... which bears no similarity whatsoever to the original tune!

Interesting.

What is a "V" accordion? Made by - or for - extraterrestrial invaders?
 

Matt Butcher

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It's funny, I thought there was a very very strong family resemblance between the two, a little joke, "in the style of" the famous Minuet in G, a blatant rip-off but at the same time with none of the same notes. That's what the whole of the book is like and I took this one in the same way. But anyway, a V-accordion is the Roland one that everyone goes on about...
 

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