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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.




Minuet in G






Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

Arr: Merv Rowley


One must read the entire biography of Johann S. Bach to appreciate fully his contributions to the world of music. As to his character and his life accomplishments, one reviewer has said, “He lived but to worship God and to write music. This hard-working man, so little appreciated by himself, his children, his contemporaries, and even his immediate successors, was one of the geniuses of music. And if you should be one of those who consider him the greatest composer of them all, you would find yourself in good company, indeed!” In later years, Richard Wagner referred to Bach as “The most stupendous miracle in all music”.


Prior to Bach, classical music had been “polyphonic”, written as separate melody lines of four to eight parts, and sung without instrumental accompaniment (a capella) as a part of church services. By the 16th century, secular polyphonic music also appeared in the form of madrigals. The 17th century (Baroque Period) saw the change to “homophonic” music, stressing a single melody line with harmonic accompaniment, arranged for musical instruments. Bach played a key role as a composer of this type of new music (Nouve musiche), for virtually all types of arrangements other than operas.


Western music during this era still used only partially-tempered scales, such as Mean tone, and note pairs such as F#/Gb and C#/Db had differing frequencies. Instruments such as harpsichords, with fixed” tunings, required extra keys for such notes. This made it very difficult to modulate from one key to another. This problem was solved by the introduction of the concept of “equal-temperament”, wherein tones on a keyboard were tuned so as to produce equal frequency ratios between all twelve successive notes in each octave. Bach helped promote this new concept by arranging a booklet of musical arrangements he entitled Das Wohltempierte Klavier (The Well-Tempered Keyboard). It contained arrangements in all 12 major and minor keys.



This month’s selection is an uncomplicated melody, with chord accompaniment inserted at intervals to illustrate the basic idea of what music majors call “homophonic” arrangements. For clarification, the individual notes of each chord are included for those who play from the music notation. Notice that the music is written in two parts. Consider measures 1 to 8 (page 1 of the PDF) to be part A, and measures 9-16 (page 2 of the PDF) to be Part B. The “repeat” signs, as shown, indicate that each part is to be repeated in the order A-A-B-B. The MIDI and TEF files will give you both the tempo and sounds of the music… perhaps as a harpsichord.


Playing Hints: Minuets were slow, stately dances by couples. They consisted often of a series of short steps, followed by posturing, bowing and curtsying of the dancers in prescribed manners. You should emphasize the chord beats with the thought that these are the hesitations for the posturing, while the following slow runs of melody notes represent the walking of the dancers to a new location and position. If you have a second player with whom to practice this music, you may want to start as a duet, with one playing the chords and the other playing the run of melody notes. To learn both, take turns playing each part. When you know both, go solo! This piece is a bit challenging regarding finger positioning, but the tempo is slow enough that you should be able to master it with a little practice.


We hope you enjoy this well-known classic by Herr Bach.




Historical links:







Music files for download:   


Bach minuet in G.pdf  - PDF music file


Bach Minuet in G.mid - MIDI file 


Bach Minuet in G.tef - TablEdit file 



  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





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