J. S. Bach - BWV 808: Gavotte - Guitar...

by Emir Hot

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  • Difficulty: 5
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  • Hello GMC - time for some neoclassical stuff. It was 1989 when I was at primary classical music school and I played this piece with a girl as a guitar duo. I have never forgotten the beauty of this melody and this is a great opportunity to share it with you.

    This is a polyphonic piece originally written for organ. In music term "polyphony" is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). Sometimes you might find the term polyphony can be described as "contrapuntal" approach in writing music.

    Here we have two totally different melodies played on two guitars that match perfectly together. Sometimes guitar 2 takes over the main melody and gets back to its line. Guitar 2 is shown on the small video window and that will be explained in the part 2 of this lesson which should be online soon. This piece is mainly written in 2 scales - A Harmonic minor and E harmonic minor. It is very good exercise for your both hands and alternate picking. I mixed some classical fingering with some more suitable fingering for electric guitar. You can find your own way of doing it but please use your little finger wherever possible.

    Mr. Bach was a true rock and roll guy. He had 20 children - what to say? It might not be a coincidence that many rock/metal musicians love his music and use it in their arrangements. I would say he was definitely our "heavy" family member but in his Baroque time.

    And last, if you wonder what BWV means in the title - J.S. Bach's works are indexed with BWV numbers, an initialism for Bach Werke Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue). This one is taken from English Suite No. 3 in G minor BWV 808 but I rearranged it in A minor for better guitar fingering.

    Have fun!

    P.s. I tried this orange background for a change but it looks horrible, sorry about that.

    Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. (From Wikipedia).


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