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Bach: Invention No. 4 in D Minor

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ID:85
Johann Sebastian Bach - Inventions :
Invention, No. 4
Invention  No. 4  in D Minor by Bach piano sheet music
Key: D Minor Year: 1723
Level: 5 Period: Baroque
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext
piano sheet music Piano score: Czerny edition
piano sheet music Piano score: Autograph manuscript
Recordings in Naxos Music Library


Sophisticated simplicity

The first two measures of this invention is nothing but a d harmonic minor scale from d to c sharp, with the c sharp displaced an octave down to add a more interesting and expressive interval. Then Bach adds two simple broken chords, d minor and A7 to complete a subject and countersubject that has enough musical substance to form the basis of the whole invention. Using sequences and inversions (transposing the subject and turning it upside down) Bach creates a stirring, wave-like piece. The interplay between smooth legato sixteenth-notes and springy, dance-like eighth-notes pulls the music forward. The long trills, appearing in both hands, are an exciting feature.

Practice & Performance Tips:

As you learn each invention, try to locate all the subjects, which might appear transposed. Practice the inventions hands separately. Try to memorize each hand first, in order to develop independence and touch control. Strive for an even playing. You may want to practice each voice (or each hand) non-legato first. Double check that your fingers are always relaxed before and after playing each note. Practice slowly!

There are many ways to choose a fingering, but one of the best fingerings for the beginning of this invention (mm. 1-2) is 2-1-2-3-4-5-1-5-4-3-2-1). The left hand (mm. 3-4) can use the following fingering: 5-4-3-2-1-2-5-2-1-2-3-4).

The time signature is 3/8, with three eighth notes per beat. However, the harmony changes at every downbeat. This is what we call harmonic rhythm. Try to analyze each measure harmonically and write down the chord in between the staves. For example, the first measure implies a D minor chord while the second measure implies an A Major chord. In the third measure, the left hand uses imitation and repeats the same notes (and therefore the same chord) of m. 1. The right hand outlines a D Minor chord too!

Look at mm. 9-10 (right hand). These two measures form a sequence, which is a repeat of... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

DOWNLOAD Invention in D Minor No. 4 by Johann Sebastian Bach (published in 1723) . High quality classical piano scores from the Piano Street sheet music library.

Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the prominent composers active in the Baroque era, has written this piece titled Invention No. 4 in D Minor from Inventions. The composition is categorized as "Polyphonic, Piece" in Piano Street's sheet music library and the level of difficulty is 5.
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