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Analysis and Exercises on Musette in D BWV Anh 126

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Teacher's Notes

Knowledge Skills

The composer wrote this Musette as a teaching piece for Bach's second wife Anna Magdalane. It was originally thought to have been composed by Bach but now it is believed to be by one of his sons or students.

The piece is in ternary form A1, B, A2 with the middle passage ending in the key of the dominant.

Learner Skills

​The range of this piece should be considered when choosing it for a learner as both hands contain a feature octave jump. The contrary motion movement into a third finger crossing jump moving towards similar motion semiquavers can be complex for learners who lack confidence in moving.

Stylistic Skills

The Musette is a dance that mimics the sound of a small bagpipe that is native to the area where the original dance was performed. The left hand requires confident positioning over the ostinato octave with an infectious vitality. The right hand semiquavers should be crisp and accurately placed allowing the full count for the longer notes.

Sound Skills

This piece was written for a learner to play on a harpsichord or a clavier. The touch would be expected to be light and Bach is recorded to have emphasised the need for clearness and distinctness.

Articulation Skills

The score does not show any phrasing marks, which is expected for the Baroque era. Encourage your learner to listen to the piece to hear the natural phrasing which follows the musical motif.

An effective way of enhancing this is to encourage a learner to vocalise the written melody of one clef while playing the music on the alternate clef with the one hand, and vice versa.

Technical Skills

The piece is in simple duple time with the primary motif starting with gusto. This short piece does not lose time on speed variations keeping a quick beat to the end. Careful practice of each movement will ensure this can be maintained.

The exercise book requires mastering before starting this piece to equip the learner with the required skills for a motivating first attempt with an acceptable continuous tempo.

Awareness of the scales used will prepare for the accidentals removing the unvoiced question of why they are included.

Pedal Skills

There is no pedal requirement for this piece.

Teaching Skills

Warm up with the scale and seventh chords used in the piece.

The right hand of the scales would benefit from practise with the left hand ostinato bass.

Practice Skills

Choose an appropriate practice starting time and encourage the learner to maintain an even tempo throughout practice.

Careful observation of recommended finger positioning, irrespective of speed, needs to be followed to allow a smooth presentation.

Performance Skills

We know from his biography that Bach believed in accuracy of execution emphasising the need for clearness and distinctness.

A performance should include all these things alongside dynamics that enhance the performance rather than overpower it.

Exam Skills

An accomplished learner will be confident with a clear sound with an accurate semiquavers. The tempo would be brisk with complementary dynamics and phrasing.

A satisfying performance will have accurate rhythm, some dynamic interest and a good balance between hands.

On completion of the learning process an acceptable performance may be a little under time but will have a satisfactory rhythm with acceptable decoration.


Workbooks available

Technical Workbook Musette BWV Anh
. II 1
Download II 1 • 2.44MB
FOS Knowledge Musette in D
Download PDF • 2.59MB
FOS Teacher's Guide - Musette BWV Anh
. I
Download I • 3.69MB


Resources Available

Certificate on Completion

Quote Stickers

In final preparations Knowledge, Teachers, Theory, Musicianship Workbooks. Latest expected release date 27/06/2020


Chris Caton-Greasley LLCM(TD) MA (Mus)(Open)

Ethnographic Musicologist, Teacher, Researcher

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