Anon (BWV ANH.II 116) - Menuet in G
This piece is from the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook.
The notebook was probably written during the composer’s period at Leipzig (1723-1750) and is a selection of pieces collected by Bach for his second wife Anna Magdalena.
Most are keyboard pieces but as she was a singer, there are some songs as well.
The pieces were composed by JS Bach, his family and friends and that famous composer- anonymous!
It contains some of the most accessible pieces by JS Bach
Pupil Match & Suitability
This is quite a straight forward piece if your pupil can play one octave arpeggios.
There are just a couple of tricky corners; chiefly the jumps at bars 15 /16, 19/20 and 28/29.
Style & Tempo
To see what a formal minuet performed, look at:
Phrasing & Articulation
Gently detaching the crotchets gives the LH a pizzicato cello feel and lightens the piece.
Keep the quavers smooth and flowing.
Don’t worry about the editorial quaver slurs in bars 5,6 and 7 etc. They are a little too fussy.
Tone & Texture
This is two-voice writing so although the RH has most of the interest the LH deserves a little more attention at the arpeggios and in bars 17-24 where it has an interesting counter melody.
One of the features of this piece and Baroque keyboard music in general, is the expansion and contraction of the hand. Make sure that your pupil notices this and that you show them where it happens and demonstrate the shape of the hand at, for example, bar 1 compared with bar 17.
Secure the fingering with some slow hands separately practice
Make sure that the RH finger 4 plays the F # every time or bar 2 will never happen!
At bar 7 RH write the word “squash” over the C (finger 1) and D (finger 4).
Ask your pupil to find out what a minuet is or to discover 3 interesting facts about the Bach family (there were 17 surviving children, Bach once got arrested…)
Make sure that your pupil practises:
Hands separately, hands together section by section, slowly increasing the speed.
Practises with the metronome from crotchet = 116 upwards.
Plays the G major and E minor arpeggios and scales as warm ups.
Practise the jumps until they can almost play them blind.
Practise the jumps at bars 18/19 and 28/29 by playing bar 19 followed by the first beat of bar 20, hands separately and then together, slowly at first and then quicker.
To secure the RH arpeggio fingering, try it out on the lid of the piano first and then on the keys.
Do a great deal of LH/ RH duetting with your pupil.
An excellent performance will have secure notes and rhythms and demonstrate good two part playing. The tempo will be consistent and close to the suggested metronome mark and the dynamics will add to the tone colour and be appropriate for a baroque piece.
A good performance will be closer to the suggested metronome mark, have secure notes and rhythms, a consistent tempo and some variation in dynamics.
A sound performance will probably be slower than the metronome mark, the notes and rhythms will be largely correct.