J. S. BachJeffry Hamilton Steele
Prism Publications: J. S. BACH

Prism Music

When you click any of the "Add to Cart" buttons below, a new window will open, displaying your PayPal Shopping Cart. You may add and remove items easily by clicking the appropriate buttons. If the Shopping Cart window disappears from view, simply click the "View Cart" button. You may use this button [or the text link, "Shopping Cart"] should you change your mind about which items you want after you have entered the Checkout window.

A LA CARTE: PDF [Acrobat Reader] Downloads of Individual Pieces

Here you may download, print and assemble a collection of the pieces you most want (8.5 x 11"). When you have completed the payment process for your list of pieces, hit "Click to Continue." You will then be brought to a page that looks like this one, except that it has a blue background. When you click on the titles for your chosen pieces the corresponding .pdf file downloads immediately.

  music@jeffrysteele.com
(Feel free to write with questions, comments or just to say hello.
Please also let me know if you run into a problem with the credit card payment process!)

TITLE & GIF SAMPLE SCORE LINE
PAGES
.pdf
DOWNLOAD
J.S. BACH: Prelude & Fugue No. 24 from Well-Tempered Clavier, vol. 2 for two guitars (free download) 8
<<click titles
J.S. BACH: First Cello Suite, BWV 1007 (Complete, includes the 6 pieces excerpted below)
Prelude:

Allemande:

Courante:

Sarabande:

Menuet I & II:

Gigue:

9
$3.00
J.S. BACH: Fugue from Violin Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001
My arrangement uses two staves wherever helpful in distinguishing the fugue subject.
fugue excerpt
6
$2.00
J.S. BACH: First Lute Suite, BWV 996 (Complete, includes the 6 pieces sold separately below)
Arranging this Suite in A minor -- as opposed to the usual E minor -- restores the range of the original bass line and utilizes the guitar's upper register. All ornamentation is written out, using smaller noteheads, precisely as performed by the arranger. Please note that the pdf files for purchase are of high quality; the gif samples from here on down are more jagged due to the software they were created in.
10
$3.00
Prelude(First Lute Suite)
2
$1.00
Allemande(First Lute Suite)
1
$1.00
Courante(First Lute Suite)
2
$1.00
Sarabande(First Lute Suite)
2
$1.00
Bourree(First Lute Suite)
1
$1.00
Gigue(First Lute Suite)
2
$1.00
J.S. BACH: Second Violin Partita + 1 (complete -- includes 6 pieces below, cover & introductory notes)
CD of complete partita
23
$4.00
Allemande(Second Violin Partita)
2
$1.00
Courante (Second Violin Partita)
2
$1.00
Sarabande (Second Violin Partita)
1+
$1.00
Gigue(Second Violin Partita)
3
$1.00
Chaconne (Second Violin Partita)
11
$2.00
Andante(Second Violin Sonata)
2
$1.00
J.S. BACH: Third Cello Suite + 1 (includes 7 pieces below, cover & introductory notes)
CD of complete suite
16
$3.00
Prelude(Third Cello Suite) AUDIO EXCERPT: MP3, RealAudio
3
$1.00
Allemande(Third Cello Suite)
2
$1.00
Courante(Third Cello Suite)
2
$1.00
Sarabande (Third Cello Suite)
1
$1.00
Bourree I & II (Third Cello Suite)
2
$1.00
Gigue (Third Cello Suite)
3
$1.00
Sarabande(Sixth Cello Suite)
2
$1.00
"Passion" Chorale (assembled from 8 different harmonizations)
1
$1.00
Prelude in C (from the Well-Tempered Clavier)
1
$1.00

Second Violin Partita

According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music, Bach did not entitle this piece Partita but rather Partia -- the original partita form being a set of variations. Though it concludes with one of the greatest sets of variations [though more properly termed "divisions"] ever composed -- the Chaconne -- the Partia otherwise consists of the dance movements common to the Suite. Though most of Bach's Suites are introduced with a Prelude, this "Suite" -- along with its 17th century predecessors as well as his own First Violin Partita -- begins with the Allemande.

Like most players, I was drawn to this work by the mighty Chaconne. Though I arranged the Sarabande and Gigue many years ago, the Allemande and Courante did not make known their guitaristic potential until recently. The latter movement in particular called out for more than the simple bass line we guitarists usually add to Bach's solo violin and cello works -- resulting in something more akin to the lower part of a two-part invention. I also switched the meter from 3/4 to 9/8, as I doubt the alternating dotted and triplet eighth rhythms of the original were interpreted literally. I have numbered the "divisions" of the Chaconne, inserting a dotted barline where I sense the transition [not always a clear choice] from one to the next. There are numerous foreshadowings of the Chaconne in the earlier movements, the most notable being in the first measure of the Allemande -- anticipating the closing bars of the Chaconne like bookends to a life.

I suggest avoiding the use of a guitar with deep timbre -- seeking instead a dry, bright instrument reminiscent of early plucked instruments.

Third Cello Suite

Like many guitarists, I played Bach's Third Cello Suite in the key of A for years -- owing to the root notes of the three most common chords being available on open strings. But I always felt something was not right, particularly in the dominant pedal section of the Prelude. When played in A, most transcribers put the pedal note on the open sixth string; but this displaces the E one octave down from its original pitch relationship to the harmonically suspended voices above -- diluting the effect of this transcendent passage. I also felt that, when playing the Suite in A, I was doing an inordinate amount of barring at the second fret. In G, the Suite as a whole seems more guitaristic to me (though there are still a few passages that are easier to play in A). Because the Baroque lute was tuned in thirds -- allowing scale passages to be rendered across adjacent strings with harp-like effect -- I frequently emulate this effect in my fingerings. Although influenced by earlier arrangements of this Suite, I have over time evolved my own particular counterpoint to Bach's suggestive solo lines. As the Baroque lute was strung with less tension than is the modern guitar, I suggest that tuning your guitar down a half-step will make it sound more in character with the period. It also makes life easier for the left hand. After a few months tuned down, the wood of the guitar will begin to resonate with greater depth. You may also try lighter guage strings. If possible, avoid using a guitar with deep timbre; find something dry and light in the bass.

TOP OF PAGE