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Largo e Dolce, from Bach's Flute Sonata in Bm, BWV 1030

Howard Levy

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Did Bach ever write a harmonica piece? No, but a lot of his music can be played on diatonic harmonica by those who have sufficient technique. If you are up for a challenge, this might be something for you to try! (the piano track is a free download) A little background… This particular slow movement from Bach’s Bm Flute Sonata always sounded like Blues to me- the opening 6 notes are basically the same as the opening notes of Little Walter’s “Off the Wall”!

So, I recorded a bluesy, gospel-tinged piano part to play harmonica with.

I played a diatonic harmonica in the key of G instead of flute, trying to balance the beauty and elegance of Bach’s writing with the feeling of blues and jazz. Much of my harmonica part is improvised, but I transcribed and notated it exactly. (The entire piano part was improvised, but only after I memorized the piece- the notated piano part is very close to what I played. Classical pianists will find it fairly easy to play.)

Other instrumentalists are welcome to try playing my arrangement as well- it fits perfectly on violin, for example.

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If you would like to play it, here are the score and part:

Largo e dolce
  • Largo e dolce
In cart Not available Out of stock
$15.00

Piano score & harmonica part

Instrumentation: Piano and harmonica

Composed: ~1735 Arranged: 2016

Did Bach ever write a harmonica piece? No, but a lot of his music can be played on diatonic harmonica by those who have sufficient technique. If you are up for a challenge, this might be something for you to try! (the piano track is a free download) A little background…

This particular slow movement from Bach’s Bm Flute Sonata always sounded like Blues to me- the opening 6 notes are basically the same as the opening notes of Little Walter’s “Off the Wall”!

So, I recorded a bluesy, gospel-tinged piano part to play harmonica with.

I played a diatonic harmonica in the key of G instead of flute, trying to balance the beauty and elegance of Bach’s writing with the feeling of blues and jazz. Much of my harmonica part is improvised, but I transcribed and notated it exactly. (The entire piano part was improvised, but only after I memorized the piece- the notated piano part is very close to what I played. Classical pianists will find it fairly easy to play.)

Other instrumentalists are welcome to try playing my arrangement as well- it fits perfectly on violin, for example.

Read more… close