Johann Sebastian Bach
The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1

About Johann Sebastian Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1

Each of the two volumes of the Well-tempered Clavier contains one prelude and one fugue in every major and minor key. Often called “the 48”, or the “Old Testament” of piano music (the new being Beethoven’s sonatas) it is perhaps the most important keyboard work of all time, and something that every pianist and every composer must tackle in one way or another – Chopin’s obvious allusion to the C major prelude BWV 846 in his Study Op. 10 no 1 is but one illustration of this.
The preludes are very varied in style and often deal with a specific technical feature, while the fugues are remarkable for their wide range of contrapuntal techniques and modes of expression.
The title suggests that Bach intended a well-tempered tuning system which gives a single instrument the ability to play in all 24 keys.
The opposing system in Bach´s day was meantone temperament in which keys with many accidentals sound out of tune.

ID:9
Preview TitleKey Year Level
Prelude & Fugue 1 BWV 846  in C Major by Bach piano sheet music AAB Prelude & Fugue 1 BWV 8461 C Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 2 BWV 847  in C Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAC Prelude & Fugue 2 BWV 8472 C Minor 1722 7
Prelude & Fugue 3 BWV 848  in C-sharp Major by Bach piano sheet music AAD Prelude & Fugue 3 BWV 8483 C-sharp Major 1722 7
Prelude & Fugue 4 BWV 849  in C-sharp Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAE Prelude & Fugue 4 BWV 8495 C-sharp Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 5 BWV 850  in D Major by Bach piano sheet music AAF Prelude & Fugue 5 BWV 8507 D Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 6 BWV 851  in D Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAG Prelude & Fugue 6 BWV 8518 D Minor 1722 7
Prelude & Fugue 7 BWV 852  in E-flat Major by Bach piano sheet music AAH Prelude & Fugue 7 BWV 85211 E-flat Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 8 BWV 853  in E-flat Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAI Prelude & Fugue 8 BWV 85312 E-flat Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 9 BWV 854  in E Major by Bach piano sheet music AAJ Prelude & Fugue 9 BWV 85413 E Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 10 BWV 855  in E Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAK Prelude & Fugue 10 BWV 85514 E Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 11 BWV 856  in F Major by Bach piano sheet music AAL Prelude & Fugue 11 BWV 85617 F Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 12 BWV 857  in F Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAM Prelude & Fugue 12 BWV 85718 F Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 13 BWV 858  in F-sharp Major by Bach piano sheet music AAN Prelude & Fugue 13 BWV 85819 F-sharp Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 14 BWV 859  in F-sharp Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAO Prelude & Fugue 14 BWV 85920 F-sharp Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 15 BWV 860  in G Major by Bach piano sheet music AAP Prelude & Fugue 15 BWV 86023 G Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 16 BWV 861  in G Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAQ Prelude & Fugue 16 BWV 86124 G Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 17 BWV 862  in A-flat Major by Bach piano sheet music AAR Prelude & Fugue 17 BWV 86227 A-flat Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 18 BWV 863  in G-sharp Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAS Prelude & Fugue 18 BWV 86326 G-sharp Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 19 BWV 864  in A Major by Bach piano sheet music AAT Prelude & Fugue 19 BWV 86429 A Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 20 BWV 865  in A Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAU Prelude & Fugue 20 BWV 86530 A Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 21 BWV 866  in B-flat Major by Bach piano sheet music AAV Prelude & Fugue 21 BWV 86633 B-flat Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 22 BWV 867  in B-flat Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAW Prelude & Fugue 22 BWV 86734 B-flat Minor 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 23 BWV 868  in B Major by Bach piano sheet music AAX Prelude & Fugue 23 BWV 86835 B Major 1722 8
Prelude & Fugue 24 BWV 869  in B Minor by Bach piano sheet music AAY Prelude & Fugue 24 BWV 86936 B Minor 1722 8

Forum posts about the The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Favorite Bach prelude and fugue by sonata_5
What is your favorite Bach pair of pieces with a fugue and an introductory piece? It has to be from the pair and it can be from the wtc, the...

What to learn after Prelude and Fugue in c minor in Bach's WTC? by doubleconcerto
I learned both over the summer and felt like I played them at a satisfactory level. What piece in the WTC would be a logical next step from ...

What's your favorite Bach Prelude & Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier? by lelle
I recently dusted off my Well-Tempered Clavier books. Last time I remember touching these pieces was during the first few months of the pand...

Unpopular Opinion by imnotapianist
From my experience, playing Bach is harder than playing Liszt. The transcendental etudes are hard but thinking in 4-5 independent voices in ...

Pieces without Teacher by rtheunissen
Dear people, For the coming 6 weeks or so my teacher is on vacation and he allowed me to learn some pieces on my own for fun during this ti...

Help with repertoire by alux9
Hi guys, i haven't been playing classical music for like 2 years but i still have the tecnical aspect with me and I would like some sugg...

College Audition Repitoire Selection by charles-piano
Hi everyone, I am working on selecting pieces for my college audition. I have over six months to prepare. The requirements are: Bach Prelud...

Which pieces do you think are the bare minimum to play to master the instrument? by anacrusis
Hey y'all, this is a half serious question that I thought could be fun to speculate around. I'm thinking a bit about which pieces yo...

What pieces to listen to by lilyng
Hello everyone This is my first post on this forum :) I'm an intermediate pianist (I think? I've been learning piano for 6 years n...

Bach Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, complete, using Hans Zimmer Piano vst. by johnlewisgrant
Hans Zimmer Piano doing Bach's Well-tempered Clavier, Book 1, complete. I've made some major revisions since I last posted this ...

A full recital (one hour) by andhow04
dear everyone, here is the link to my full video-recital, Poets of the Piano: Contrasts which premiered on youtube yesterday. in the descri...

complete Well-tempered sequenced by johnlewisgrant
This is near the end of my time analyzing the preludes and fugues Sequencing helps in some instances.  I definitely think about these ...

Glenn Gould vs. Andrs Schiff by bachforlife
Just like the title, this is a topic asking for your opinions on Gould and Schiff and who plays Bach better. Everyone's taste is differ...

Favourite Bach Preludes and Fugues? by ggrant4569
Hello. I'm pretty new to learning Bach pieces, and I'm looking at some of his WTC Preludes and Fugues to learn. I've already ...

Need suggestion to a Bach fugue by sandvik
I have played piano for quite a while, but have never really played any Bach, and I am not very familiar with the pieces in Bach's book...