Mad Teddy's Variation on J.S.Bach's Three-Part Invention No.2

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Variation on J.S.Bach's Three-Part Invention No.2 in C minor, BWV 788

Copyright 1998 by Mad Teddy

Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

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Although there was a piano in our family home when I was a school-kid, I never learned to play it properly. I could pick out a tune OK, using the right hand to play the melody and the left to "vamp" the chords (having taught myself about chords via the guitar). However, I never progressed beyond a somewhat "plonky" style, which I knew was pretty ordinary.

In 1994, I decided that it was high time I made an attempt to do something about it. I took lessons for a while, but with little success. Advancing age, combined with decades of bad playing habits and an inability to read music fluently (not helped by my less-than-brilliant eyesight), meant that I made very little progress. I did arrive at a point where I could play Enya's delightful "Watermark" as written, but only hesitantly and with difficulty.

Eventually, I gave up the lessons. That's all right - I've still got my guitar (now where have we heard THAT before??!).

Just for interest, while I was still taking lessons, my teacher once played Johann Sebastian Bach's Three-Part Invention in C minor for me. I liked it, sadly noting that performance of the piece was forever out of my reach.

When we acquired our first PC a couple of years later, I typed Bach's little gem into Noteworthy Composer, and "played around" with it a bit. I made the first voice a clarinet; the second, an ocarina; and the third, a sitar. I also added a silly "tsssh dit-de tsssh dit-de..." swing cymbal line, thus transforming it into a four-part invention - with an even sillier "ta-ter-tum" patter on the drums at the end.

Would old J.S. have approved?

Well, this is not the first time someone's had some fun with his music. Remember "Switched-On Bach", by Walter Carlos, from 1968? This was an album of Bach pieces played on a Moog synthesizer. Some liked it; some didn't - but that's always been the way, n'est-ce pas?

I think Bach would have been amused by it; and I like to think he might also have been slightly tickled by my little effort here...

Here's a link to the midi file, bach_var.mid:

(To save this midi file to your hard disc, right-click here.)

If you'd like to see the musical notation with all the detail I included in the original, you can right-click to download the Noteworthy Composer file, bach_var.nwc . If you go to Noteworthy's website, you can download their freeware Noteworthy Player, which will play the file for you.

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