Johann Sebastian Bach
Invention 8
in F Major

This joyful piece provides an excellent opportunity to practice playing different articulations with each hand.

ID: 89
Johann Sebastian Bach - Inventions:

Invention 8
BWV 779

Key: F Major
Year: 1723
Level: 6
Period: Baroque
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext Download
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piano sheet music Piano score: Autograph manuscript Download
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Dizzying display of charming counterpoint

This joyful and energetic invention is a popular choice for the intermediate piano student. It is well suited to be played in a lively but not too fast tempo, and rewards diligent students with a dizzying display of charming counterpoint to delight both themselves and their audiences. If the eighth notes are played staccato and the sixteenths legato in typical Baroque fashion, the piece provides an excellent opportunity to practice playing different articulations with each hand.

The piece can be thought of as having three parts. The first part lasts through bars 1-12, starting in F major and modulating to C major. It introduces the main idea of upwards bouncing eighth notes followed by a tail of descending sixteenths, providing the musical motifs used to construct the rest of the piece. The first seven bars are in strict canon – both hands play the same melody, but the left hand starts one measure after the right hand! The second part starts in C major and lasts through bars 12-25, exploring the material using minor keys; a small drama in the middle of the joy. The final part starts in bar 26 and is a repeat of the material in bars 4-11, now transposed to begin in Bb major and end in F major, concluding the piece.


The Inventions were originally written as "Praeambula" and "Fantasiae" in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Sebastian's eldest son, and later rewritten as musical exercises, designed to help students obtain a singing style of playing, but also to give them "a strong foretaste of composition". Both the two-part Inventions and the three-part Sinfonias are arranged in order of ascending key, each group covering fifteen major and minor keys.

Forum posts about this piece:

When doing LH and RH together, concentrate on which hand? (Invention No. 8) by senunkan
Hi Everyone, I just joined this forum want to introduce myself. I wanted to share some experience about me learning how to play the piano and at the same time I need some advice on whether I am...

Invention 8 status by shoshin
I've memorized and learned to play at speed 12 measures with my RH....should I keep going with my RH until the end (piece is 34 measures)? Or should I start learning the LH now?

need a plan to learn this Invention by shoshin
I was going to try Bernhard's method of note dropping for invention 8. One question is I learn the left hand and right hand parts separate, but how many measures do I learn them before I blend them...the...

Bach Invention 8 (2p) by Chopinisque
Hellos again... I need help identifying the motives in this piece.  There seems to be four motives: the opening, the turn-like pattern, the ascending thirds and the alternating notes.  Is...

Bach Invention no. 8 in F major by classical_bluebird
Hi all, This is my first post and I have just finished mastering Invention No. 8. Great for hand independance, but took a while though! Any suggestions on the next invention I should tackle after this,...

Piano sheet music and recordings. This piece is from Inventions by Johann Sebastian Bach: Invention No. 8 in F Major (published in 1723) . Level 6, Period: Baroque
Invention No. 8 in F Major, by the baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. This piano piece was initially published in the year 1723 and is included in Inventions by Bach.