"Easy" Two-part Inventions?

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Charles K. Moss

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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I recently received an interesting E-mail message inquiring about which of
the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn. Well, NONE of them
are really easy for students to master. But as a teacher, I usually teach
Invention No. 1 in C Maj., Invention No. 8 in F Maj., and Invention No. 14
in B-Flat Maj. in that order.

Anyone have OTHER ideas about this?

Charles K. Moss
http://www.sumter.net/~ckmoss/


Tord Kallqvist Romstad

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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In article <35a34...@ns3.sumter.net>, Charles K. Moss wrote:
>I recently received an interesting E-mail message inquiring about which of
>the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn. Well, NONE of them
>are really easy for students to master. But as a teacher, I usually teach
>Invention No. 1 in C Maj., Invention No. 8 in F Maj., and Invention No. 14
>in B-Flat Maj. in that order.
>
>Anyone have OTHER ideas about this?

For me, the F major invention was for some reason one of the most difficult
to learn. Only the A major was harder.

Tord

John E. Prussing

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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>Tord

For me, the easiest to learn was B-Flat Maj., perhaps because the tempo
can be taken slower than C Maj. or F Maj. Also the latter two have
sixteenth-note runs than can be difficult for a novice. But the stretto
part near the end of the B-Flat Maj. can be difficult, also.

Which one do people consider the MOST difficult? My vote is for E-Flat
Maj. I still have trouble with it.
--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
John E. Prussing
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

ka...@gnu.org

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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which of the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn.

I learned the d minor sinfonia first, because (a) I really liked it;
(b) you can play it sloooowly. For novices like me, tempo matters.


aj_...@my-dejanews.com

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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In article <vxyaf6j...@suite.deas.harvard.edu>,

Well, Well (see others on "Easy Two-part Inventions" subj.)....

It's a nice question, in fact... I agree with Karl that the d-minor invention
(are we talking about inventions or sinfonias? -- Karl, I believe you meant
invention ("Two-part", not "Three-part")).. So, I agree with Karl that the
d-minor invention is also very appropriate to start with (together with
C-major one).

The d-minor one is good to learn the "(rythmically) independent long trill"
-- hope, you understand what I mean.

If to talk about C-major and d-minor inventions as pieces for "beginners", I
would add to the "intermediate" list also the a-minor invention. It also may
be pleased for whom "tempo matters", I think.

But, I don't think that the d-minor one MAY be played "tooo sloooowly".... :)

If talk about "the hardest" one, I have no ideas which is... At least, we
know the candidates.

As I remember, for me the G-major one was not easy (to keep the fast tempo
and very clear touch). I also agree that F-major is not so easy as it may
look first...

Well, just for fun... I think that the first problem which each teacher
should concern is not which invention to give to a student, but NOT LET
HIM/HER TO USE BUSONI EDITION :)))))))))

Otherwise the music can break off just in first bars of C-major invention....
Question: why did I say this? :))))

AJ


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Charles K. Moss

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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John E. Prussing <prus...@students.uiuc.edu> wrote in message
6o12sf$l0k$1...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu...
I quite agree that the E-Flat Invention is the most difficult for everyone!
(The truth is that many teachers avoid this one like the pleague and just go
on to the Sinfonias and then the W.T.C.). Thank you for your response!

Charles K. Moss

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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<ka...@gnu.org> wrote in message vxyaf6j...@suite.deas.harvard.edu...

> which of the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn.
>
>I learned the d minor sinfonia first, because (a) I really liked it;
>(b) you can play it sloooowly. For novices like me, tempo matters.

I believe that ALL of the Three-part Inventions are MORE difficult than any
of the Two-part. You STARTED with a Sinfonia? You must be a GENIUS!!!!

Charles K. Moss
Piano Teacher

Charles K. Moss

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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I think I am correct when I say that ONLY the Three-part Inventions are
called "Sinfonias" while the Two-part works are called Inventions. Am I
right?

C. K. Moss

Torodd Rasch Hansen

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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Hi!

I used to play NO. 4, 8, and 13 mostly myself...


Kind regards,

Torodd Rasch Hansen
http://home.sol.no/~todd/

Charles K. Moss skrev i meldingen <35a34...@ns3.sumter.net>...


>I recently received an interesting E-mail message inquiring about which of
>the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn. Well, NONE of them
>are really easy for students to master. But as a teacher, I usually teach
>Invention No. 1 in C Maj., Invention No. 8 in F Maj., and Invention No. 14
>in B-Flat Maj. in that order.
>
>Anyone have OTHER ideas about this?
>

Charles K. Moss

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
to

<aj_...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in message
6o2em1$n7a$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com...

.. So, I agree with Karl that the
>d-minor invention is also very appropriate to start with (together with
>C-major one).

Well, for me the d minor Invention is a difficult one, because I teach it
with an interpretation in which the hand that has the sixteenth notes plays
legato while the hand that has the eighth notes plays staccato. For students
just learning pieces in polyphonic texture for the first time, this is a
difficult technique to master. Therefore, I do not consider the d minor
Invention as an easy one when it is also learned as a "touch" etude in this
way.

Charles K. Moss


aj_...@my-dejanews.com

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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In article <35a50...@ns3.sumter.net>,

"Charles K. Moss" <ckm...@sumter.net> wrote:
> I think I am correct when I say that ONLY the Three-part Inventions are
> called "Sinfonias" while the Two-part works are called Inventions. Am I
> right?
>

Probably better to say that Sinfonias are called "Three-Part inventions" ;)


AJ, Dr. math.
posting dude

aj_...@my-dejanews.com

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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In article <35a54...@ns3.sumter.net>,

"Charles K. Moss" <ckm...@sumter.net> wrote:
>
>
> Well, for me the d minor Invention is a difficult one, because I teach it
> with an interpretation in which the hand that has the sixteenth notes plays
> legato while the hand that has the eighth notes plays staccato. For students
> just learning pieces in polyphonic texture for the first time, this is a
> difficult technique to master. Therefore, I do not consider the d minor
> Invention as an easy one when it is also learned as a "touch" etude in this
> way.
>

Dear Mr Moss:

You're certainly right. From this position of course, probably the C-major is
a bit easier. I would like to accentuate the fact, that for me the d-minor is
also important as an introduction to long independent trillos. I think it is
a good guide for students to be introduced with. I new some teachers who
taught to play it strictly by thirty-twos. As for me, it sounds terrible... I
don't like Busoni's "elucidation" as triplet-rythm... The strict execusion
with exactly same lengthes is not good, to my mind. Probably, the best
solution is to play it with recipe: expressible and such that it would be not
possible to determine exactly, how it could be "decoded". That was my
opinion. --

AJ, Dr. math.

s...@mypants.net.au

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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On Wed, 8 Jul 1998 06:35:54 -0400, "Charles K. Moss"
<ckm...@sumter.net> wrote:

>I recently received an interesting E-mail message inquiring about which of
>the Bach Two-part Inventions were the easiest to learn. Well, NONE of them
>are really easy for students to master. But as a teacher, I usually teach
>Invention No. 1 in C Maj., Invention No. 8 in F Maj., and Invention No. 14
>in B-Flat Maj. in that order.
>
>Anyone have OTHER ideas about this?
>
>Charles K. Moss
>http://www.sumter.net/~ckmoss/
>
>

When I started going through them, my piano teacher called #8 her old
"bete noire" - It's not as easy as it appears.

I'd say #4, #1, #6 were the easiest for me.

Robert Bril
b...@global.net.au

ka...@gnu.org

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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(are we talking about inventions or sinfonias? -- Karl, I believe you meant
invention ("Two-part", not "Three-part")).. So, I agree with Karl that the

No, I meant three-part. I know that's not an invention and thus outside
the bounds of the original question, but I threw it in anyway :-).
Sorry, I should have been a bit more explicit.

I don't see that all the sinfonias are harder than the all inventions.
I'm definitely not a genius :-), as someone else wrote (in jest, I hope).

Surely the best order in which to learn Bach pieces depends on the
student. Rather than prescribing a given order for everyone, I would
suggest learning the works which mean the most to you. Clearly as a
beginner one has to be somewhat realistic (I simply can't play the fast
movements of the e minor partita yet no matter how much I love it [or
how much I slow it down :-)]), but Bach wrote so much great music
playable by anyone.

Anyway, besides Anna Magdalena, I'd also suggest looking into the little
preludes -- although some of them aren't so little, of course :-).

BasFawlty

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Jul 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/10/98
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In article <35a50...@ns3.sumter.net>, "Charles K. Moss" <ckm...@sumter.net>
writes:

>I think I am correct when I say that ONLY the Three-part Inventions are
>called "Sinfonias" while the Two-part works are called Inventions. Am I
>right?

Certainly. I have read that the designations "Two-Part Inventions" and
"Three-Part Inventions" originated with Forkel's 1802 biography of Bach.
Bach's own terms were "Inventions" for the 2-part pieces and "Sinfonias" for
the 3-part ones, but Forkel seems to have wanted to avoid the term "Sinfonia,"
which by 1802 had become strongly associated with orchestral pieces.

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Steve Andersen

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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John E. Prussing <prus...@students.uiuc.edu> wrote in article
<6o12sf$l0k$1...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>...


>
> Which one do people consider the MOST difficult? My vote is for E-Flat
> Maj. I still have trouble with it.
> --

> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> John E. Prussing
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
>


Yeah, the E flat major is a bugger but for some reason I have more trouble
with the E minor and the A major.

SA

Steve Andersen

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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The first ones I learned were nos 1,8,13,14. I still can't consider them to
be mastered although I am looking for something transcendent in Bachs
music. I can sight read all of the 2 part inventions and pretty much have
them all memorized. The experience of serenity while playing them is the
elusive goal. There seems to be no end to developmental possibilities.


> Charles K. Moss skrev i meldingen <35a34...@ns3.sumter.net>...

Steve Andersen

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Jul 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/11/98
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Charles K. Moss <ckm...@sumter.net> wrote in article
<35a50...@ns3.sumter.net>...


> I think I am correct when I say that ONLY the Three-part Inventions are
> called "Sinfonias" while the Two-part works are called Inventions. Am I
> right?
>

> C. K. Moss
>

Yes, you are correct.

SA

Tom

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Jul 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/14/98
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I had a terrible time with the d-minor invention, because I couldn't stand
the dissonance between the left-hand trill & the other voice. But that was
on the piano. Later, when I tried it on the harpsichord, I enjoyed the
angry buzz in the left hand, & the dissonance just made it all the better.
It became one of my favorites.

Tom Parsons
--
--
t...@panix.com | All progress has resulted from people
| who took unpopular positions.
http://www.panix.com/~twp | --Adlai Stevenson

jan....@gmail.com

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Dec 28, 2017, 1:44:05 AM12/28/17
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My teacher just introduced me to the 2 part inventions. She is very experienced pedagogue in excellent school in Espoo. Myself I am adult beginner, admiring Bach. And here are my points.

- I memorized hands separate with precise fingering first of all.
- took me two weeks to put hands together
- another two weeks to be able to keep the voices fluid, and to play with some dynamic changes (theme well articulated mf, and slightly more mp if I use correct terms)
- only once i managed to play fast to my taste without mistakes, bit the feeling is divine, the speed was around 1 minute.
- the multiple bars trills ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE. RH is no problem, but left hand is way slower than 1/32, kind of free trill and so far I do not manage to control LH trill volume. Working hard on it:)
- incredible how much I learned on this piece, including the ear training! I can now hear much better uneveness of speed, tone strenght etc.
- I started to work on nr.1, and I would like to ad nr.13 for its beauty.

Anybody wants to start Inventions, go ahead! Rewarding pieces with a lot to learn!
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