Bach is Beautiful

Well I’m enamored of these minuets.  As I’ve developed a basic competency playing the first one, and am at the spot where I can start to hear what the second one is getting at, I have come to the conclusion that I love Bach.  To hear teacher refer to him, I think all violinists do.

Obviously you don’t start with the tough stuff.  Crawling before walking, walking before running, running before karate, etc.  So prior to the minuets it was simple folk songs, as well as music composed by Shinichi Suzuki as songs, yes, but they are didactic – exercises for use in his instructional method.  They have all kept my interest and I like them well enough, but none of it holds a candle to these minuets.

What is it that makes an interval really sing, or makes a flourish at the end of an arpeggio sounds so elegant?  At present all I have to offer is a tautology – it sounds so freaking good because it sounds so freaking good!  Very slowly I’m learning a little about the whys of harmony, of consonance, and of dissonance, but it’s all still basically a mystery.

To me it says a lot about the quality of Bach that it was in posterity that he really became appreciated as a composer.  During his lifetime he was a prominent musical figure – but he was known mostly as a performer.  He was probably the best organist of his day, and he also played the clavichord/harpsichord, violin, and viola.  He was able to hold prominent posts in a number of different organizations, both secular and religious, over the course of his successful musical career.

Future Suzuki books will bring me more Bach, but even in the present book I still have another minuet to look forward to.  For now, I’m content to be polishing number 1 and working up the first half of number 2.

Thanks for reading.


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