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Bach: Prelude & Fugue

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices
ID:392
Johann Sebastian Bach - WTC 1 :
Prelude & Fugue, BWV 846 No. 1
Prelude & Fugue BWV 846 No. 1   in C Major by Bach piano sheet music
Key: C Major Published: 1722
Level: 8 Period: Baroque
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (77 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Czerny edition (834 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Bach-Gesellschaft edition (706 kB)
piano music mp3 recording Prelude & Fugue BWV 846 No. 1 Prelude - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)
piano music mp3 recording Prelude & Fugue BWV 846 No. 1 Fugue - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

Indispensable Bach

J S Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier has been called the “Old Testament of piano music”. And if that is the case, then this prelude must be Genesis, chapter 1: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…. In any case, this is not only one of the most popular preludes by Bach, it is one of the most indispensable pieces for anyone wanting to learn to play the piano. It has served as an inspiration for many composers throughout the years. For example, it was used as the accompaniment for Gounod’s setting of Ave Maria, and Chopin alluded to it in his first etude for piano, op. 10 no 1.

This is one of the rare pieces that you can listen to or practice thousands of times without tiring of it. In much the same way as the first verses of the Bible, it speaks a universal language, characterized by solemn simplicity and soothing repetitiveness.



Practice & Performance Tips:
Bach   probably played this piece as a chorale first and then broke the chords   into arpeggios. In order to understand the harmonic structure of this   piece, play the chord progressions first. If possible, write down the   label for each harmony. Play each group of sixteenth-notes (semiquavers)   as a chord, making the piece sound like a chorale.
  While   you play... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

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Members who like this piece have also downloaded:

Bach - Prelude & Fugue - BWV 847 No. 2 in C Minor:
http://www.pianostreet.com/bach-sheet-music/wtc-1/prelude-fugue-bwv-847-2.htm

Debussy - Clair de Lune (moonlight) - No. 3 in D-flat Major:
http://www.pianostreet.com/debussy-sheet-music/suite-bergamasque/clair-de-lune-moonlight-3.htm

Beethoven - Für Elise - in A Minor:
http://www.pianostreet.com/beethoven-sheet-music/fur-elise-a-minor.htm

Bach - Small Prelude - in C Major:
http://www.pianostreet.com/bach-sheet-music/small-prelude-c-major.htm




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Videos of pianists performing this piece
Glenn Gould
Prelude only
Rosalyn Tureck
Prelude only
Sviatoslav Richter
Preludes & fugues no. 1-3


Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx J.S.Bach Praeludium-1
March 05, 2012, 03:18:40 AM by bateria

Took me about 2 hours to learn and memorize this piece. The easiest piece for keyboard I've learned yet. First I play at slow tempo. Then comes a funny dialogue about it being "boring" so I play it a second time faster w/ added special effects (this is for a kid who's taking his first piano lessons!).
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EKUk4jBoLQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EKUk4jBoLQ</a>


xx Prelude & Fuge No.1 WTC Book 1
May 10, 2011, 02:51:45 PM by feliszt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmh1uyiPbNU     Hi i hope you like it! Wink


xx J.S. Bach's Prelude & Fugue I BWV 846 in C Major - request for Score & guidance
January 20, 2011, 01:15:24 AM by niewue01

Re: J.S. Bach's Prelude & Fugue I BWV 846 in C Major - request for Score

Dear All,

Hello.

I am new on the piano and (also seeking to learn the b flat trumpet) wondering if anyone might want to help on the aspects related to piano and music theory, per chance? I would be most grateful for your thoughts on the following:

1. I am seeking the music score for the above mentioned piece by Bach and cannot find it anywhere on this site.  I am only a silver member, and cannot justify getting a gold membership.  Would anyone be able to help?

2. I am new on learning music theory, and have commenced on a beginner's piano course, which comprises of a block of ten lessons, that's all.  Book prescribed is : The Classic Piano Course Book1: Starting to Play, by Carol Barratt.  And want to be able to learn more at a deeper level and hope to continue to do so, but have become extremely frustrated at the scope of the lectures already, as it does not cover off the music theory and essentials.  Hence, I have embarked on making a discovery on topics related to major and minor scales and music theory.  Topics such as: Cycle of fifths (which I am struggling on and would greatly appreaciate some help on assisting me to grasp the concepts and the system). 

Basically, I have commenced on reading the following text:  The AB Guide to Music Theory Part1 by Eric Taylor, ABRSM.

3. Also struggling on the follwoing topics:  Tonics and Triads, Key Signatures; Name of scale degrees.


I look forward to hearing from you.  If you have any scores and soft copies of materials, then my address is :neeraj64@hotmail.com


Thanking you in advance.

Kind regards,

neeraj


xx Prelude in C Major, Bach
November 23, 2009, 10:03:08 PM by superdominus

I have just recently started practicing the prelude in C major from book I of the WTC. There's a footnote in my book about a measure that may be omitted. Its authenticity has not been verified. I'm sure you guys know which measure this is. I'm not sure whether should I play this measure or not. My teacher told me to play the measure. However, I don't want to play it if Bach didn't wrote it down, and in my opinion, omitting this measure makes that part more dramatic.

I am eager to hear your opinions on this measure. Do you play it or leave it out? 


xx Bach - Prelude in C and inventions (VIDEO)
May 26, 2009, 06:15:10 PM by feddera

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sdkLTjQR74&feature=channel_page

My first Bach-pieces on youtube!  Cheesy


xx Bach BWV 846 (Fugue in C major) comment please!
August 20, 2008, 08:33:12 PM by lelle

Hello there!
My name is Leo, and I am 15 years old.
I looooove playing Bach, his WTC fugues are really fun to play. It's so fun that I sometimes can sit down with a fugue that I am not really practising, and play it badly, but still love it. They are so amazing to just sit and watch, and when YOU are behind the keys and play, it is wonderful no matter how godawfully bad you actually play (for me it feels like that at least).
However I have picked a number of fugues that I am gonna really work on until I play them well. It is the C major, C minor, C# minor, d minor (maybe D major also, havent decided), maybe Eb major, F# major, g minor, G# minor, maybe a minor though it is almost too difficult, and maybe also the h minor Fugue. (I would love to play Bb major also, but it feels too difficult. Same applies to C# major).

I would be happy if someone could watch my performance (though the sound isnt very good) and tell me what I need to work the most on, and also what is good since only negative feedback wont do any good except putting me off from playing the piece.

Since I did the recording 4 hours ago I have already spotted thousands of unforgivable errors but I want to hear your opinion also. Despite the most apparent one, hitting the wrong key at a place, I sometimes feel that I am not bringing out some voices as much as I should and want sometimes. The tempo is also waving around a bit, since I am pretty tired of playing the piece today (I played it 15 times and recorded it but there always was some error, this one has the least errors except the waving tempo WHY CANT I EVER RECORD SOMETHING WITHOUT ERRORS???++ sigh). There is also some lol background noises from my family at the end... well well...

I am playing from the notes since I don't know the piece by heart yet.

Well here is a link to the C major fugue played by me at youtube anyway:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f92a4NFiafw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f92a4NFiafw</a>

I repeat:

Quote
I would be happy if someone could watch my performance (though the sound isnt very good) and tell me what I need to work the most on, and also what is good since only negative feedback wont do any good except putting me off from playing the piece

Comments plix Tongue


xx J.S. Bach - Prelude in C [WTC, Book I]
May 07, 2008, 03:15:07 AM by aewanko

sorry if it's the prelude only, i'm still learning the fugue.


xx Pedaling and Bach prelude in C
October 12, 2007, 07:47:29 PM by sewillis

I am very much a beginner at piano and was wondering how to use the pedal when playing the Bach Prelude in C.  The music I've seen of it never has pedal markings.  I tend to have the pedal down through the whole piece (at least as much as I can play so far).  But that seems to be a bit too much.  Unless I am just playing to loud and too slow.  I could play quieter, but I'm not ready to be able to play much faster yet.  Any thoughts?


xx Bach Prelude in C Major WTC I on Bechstein No. 5796
July 29, 2007, 02:29:23 AM by iumonito

You know how you take before and after pictures?

This is the "before" for my new Bechstein.  New to me.  The piano is from the 1870s.

It is set to arrive next Friday.  After it settles and gets tunned I'll post an "after" recording of the same piece on this same thread.  I have no plans to do a full rebuild at this time, but my heroes at Pianocraft are fixing it up a little bit for me anyway.  This is why I like them so much and will never buy a piano from anyone else: they just can't let a bad piano leave their shop.

Enjoy.


xx Bach: WTC I C Major - preliminary recording for comments
June 23, 2007, 08:24:14 AM by iumonito

I plan to post this again in a few weeks.  Comments are welcome.


xx 2 WTC Preludes and Fugues: Bk 1 No. 1 and Bk 2 No. 5
October 19, 2006, 04:29:44 PM by glk

Hi:

I have just discovered Pianostreet and it is a wonderful resource.  Posting for comments is a bit intimidating but here goes. 

By way of background, I'm and older piano student (now 48).  I played, but not seriously, when 5 or 6 years when I was growing up and, in retrospect, did not have the best of instruction.  About 3 years ago, I began looking for a piano teacher/program for my 5 year old son, and became interested in starting lessons again myself.  (In addition to hoping to finally learn properly, I thought my son would have more motivation to practice if he saw me doing so as well.)    As it turned out, I discovered that the spouse of one of my colleagues at work is wonderful pianist who teaches at a university nearby, and she agreed to take me on as a student.  Of course, I've become totally addicted and generally practice a couple hours a day (usually after my family is asleep!).  (Note:  My son still takes lessons, but my theory of motivation didn't really work, since it is a still a struggle to get him to practice.  My younger son though has just started, and he seems a bit more inclined/enthusiastic).

Anyway, both my teacher and friends have encouraged me to play a recital, but I have a very hard time with memorization and a hectic work schedule, which would make it difficult to prepare for one.  (Besides, its too scary!!).  As an alternative, I've decided, with my teacher's encouragement, to make a quasi recital CD, which I hope to complete by years' end. (The nice things about a CD are that I can use my music and prepare 1 or 2 pieces at time for recording.)  (I also invested in some recording gear, so I could record at home as my schedule permits.)

 I'm planning on including 3 WTC Preludes and Fugues (Book 1 No. 1 and 2 in C major and c minor, and Book 2 in D major), Schubert Impromptu No. 4 in Ab minor, Op. 899, 2 Chopin Nocturnes (No. 1 in Bb minor, and No. 15 in F minor) and finally Chopin Waltz in C# minor.    The Bach pieces have been the most difficult for me, so I thought I would work on them first.  So here goes 2 of them!

Your thoughts will be appreciated (but be nice!).  In addition to comments on the music, any recording advice would be appreciated as well.  (I spoke with a recording engineer last night who suggested a different microphone configuration, slightly further away from the strings.)

Best,

Gary K


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