FUGUE (BWV 1000) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Free sheet music and PDF for guitar
ABOUT THIS EDITION BY DOUGLAS NIEDT
There are three versions of this Fugue. One is for the solo violin (from the second movement of the Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001 in G minor), one for the lute (BWV 1000 in G minor), and one for the organ (BWV 539 in D minor).
Only the violin score exists in Bach's hand. The lute version is in tablature, intabulated probably by Johann Christian Weyrauch (1694-1771), sometime between 1720 and 1730. There is no lute score in Bach's hand. Likewise, there is no autograph copy of the organ score.
Although my version (in A minor) adheres closest to the lute score, I include alternatives for many measures using notes from the violin score and, occasionally, from the organ score. Feel free to pick and choose among the many alternative versions I present in my score.
In general, I choose fingerings for musical reasons 90% of the time. I choose fingerings for technical reasons or ease of playing about 10% of the time. Therefore, in this Fugue, because I give priority to the musical inner workings, beauty of the counterpoint, and interplay of the voices rather than technical considerations, some fingerings may seem awkward and, at times, very difficult.
So, if you want to play the Fugue fast and are looking for easy, fluid fingerings, this edition is not for you. But if you want to hear the interplay and independence of the voices and the magic of Bach's polyphony, this is the edition to use.
I color-coded the voices to make it easy to identify which notes I think belong to which voice. Also, from measure two on, I notated the notes that comprise the subject with square note heads for easy visibility.
The guitarist can use this information to decide which voice to emphasize at any given moment and to phrase the music so that the notes within each voice are musically connected and separate from their neighbors.
Have a look at this sample page:
The Douglas Niedt edition of Johann Sebastian Bach's Fugue, BWV 1000 in A minor for guitar includes:
- Performance notes about the fingerings, implied polyphony, voicings, tempo, rests, articulations, and slurs
- Notation key
- The musical score in standard notation (29 pages)
IMPORTANT: Comparing the three versions can be confusing. The lute and organ versions both consist of 96 measures. But the violin version only has 94 measures. The lute version has additional material in measures 3, 4, and 7. The two versions finally sync up at measure 9, although from then on, there are many differences in harmonization, rhythms, and even the melodic line.
What this means is that when you compare the lute and violin versions, because of the additional material in the lute version, from measure 9 on, you must decrease the measure numbers in the violin version by two. In other words, measure 30 in the lute version is measure 28 in the violin version. Measure 56 in the lute version is measure 54 in the violin version.
The organ version's additions differ from those in the lute version. The organ version has new material between measures 7 and 8 and between measures 30 and 31. From measure 31 onward, the measure numbers of the organ version coincide with those of the lute version. But understandingly, the harmonization, rhythms, and melodic enhancements are much more significant in the organ version.
Here is page one of Johann Christian Weyrauch's handwritten manuscript of the lute version (BWV 1000) in French lute tablature:
Here is page one of Johann Sebastian Bach's handwritten manuscript of the violin version, BWV 1001:
Here is page one of a modern printed edition of the violin version (BWV 1001) from the New Bach Edition (Neue Bach-Ausgabe) edited by Günter Haußwald (1908-1974):
Here is page one of a handwritten manuscript of the lute version (BWV 1000) transcribed by Carl Ferdinand Becker (1804-1877) into modern piano notation on two staves:
Here is page one of a modern printed edition of the organ version (BWV 539/2) from the New Bach Edition (Neue Bach-Ausgabe) edited by Dietrich Kilian: