If you play flute, then you either already love J.S. Bach, or you're about to (hopefully, and very likely) discover that you love Bach. His music is enriching for slow warmups, fun and thrilling for fast and light finger technique, great for playing along with the tuning drone while improvising over a Bach riff, or for re-arranging at will, creating your own fantasies and variations. As they say in the BBC film below, this is the music that inspired Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky! And you too!
I know that what summer flute students want is to catch that J.S. inspiration and soar with it! Well, here it is; an eight part documentary from the BBC on what makes Bach great and links to go play the sheetmusic you hear!
Catch the enthusiasm, then look up the pieces with the links provided, as almost all are free sheetmusic in public domain and available as pdf sheetmusic, and so it's easy to play along with the computer speakers blasting out the best Bach you could hear!
What a fun way to hog the living room or practice space! Hours of inspiration and fun! It's the most fun thing to do when practicing this summer besides playing duets by recording one of the parts. Go try it! Great for the mind and soul!
The wonderful BBC Bach documentary is embedded here (so captivating! who knew Bach was such a rebel at 19?) and links to free J.S. Bach flute music below, as well as best recommended Bach flute works for free or worth buying.
For flutists who are intermediates, "outlining" (playing only one longtone per bar, or two, or three to outline the fundamental melodic line) works amazingly with Bach!
You'll see for yourself. Or search my blog for more "outlining" information on this blog or from my fluteloops radio show no. 10-11.
First, a quick, captivating film: I was glued to this passionate portrayal by the BBC and the musicians who took part.
Great Composers Bach BBC TV series 1997
Now for sheetmusic you can look for:
Best Bach Books for Flute (Jen highly recommends)
The Bach Handbook by Robert Stallman: suits novice, intermediate and advanced students with short transcriptions of Preludes, Allemandes, Bourees, Gigues, Minuets, all transposed to suit the modern flute, and beautifully edited. This is the best single buy for $10 that any flutist can make. Super fun as warmups, and a great gig book for solo flute.
Bach Sonata books by Paul Edmund Davies: These are the six flute sonatas with piano parts, flute book, and two CDs; one with the flutist performing, and one without.
Beautifully edited, good quality printing, great tempi and interpretations. Very enjoyable to use at home to perform with the backing tracks of cellist and harpsichordist.
See and hear samples of Davies Bach books: Volume 1 here.
All Three volumes at Davies website under Bach tab.
Free J.S. Bach flute sheetmusic on on the net
Some useful free sheetmusic for flutists!
The Cello Suites:
Bach Six Solo Cello Sonatas transcribed for violin/flute
Bach's Six Flute sonatas
in pdf, free online:
Freescores flute collection
File4share Public Domain flute sheetmusic - See Bach on left sidebar
Concert Etudes by J.S. Bach (transposed) for flute
free online in pdf:
24 Concert Etudes transcribed from Bach: click on Bach when you arrive.
And click below on the blog COMMENT button below to see a list of these 24 etudes and which J.S. Bach pieces from which they originally derive.
J.S. Bach Orchestral flute parts: you can play along with online recordings or youtube videos. Oboe parts, voice parts, or string parts also interesting to play. Check out all the Brandenburg Concertos that have flute parts. Or play oboe parts! All are beautiful and interesting to learn.
St. Matthew's Passion
Flute 1 part free pdf.
Flute Duo Brandenburg No.4
Flute Solo Brandenburg No.2
Brandenburg no. 5 flute part
If you have to go to the homepage on the free sheetmusic site try starting here
for Brandenburg flute parts:
Whole Brandenburg no. 5:
Or go to the link below for Brandenburg or other works.
All free Bach sheetmusic
Search all free sheetmusic by Bach by piece title
Search all free sheetmusic by Bach by BWV number
All Icking Music Archive Bach transcriptions and free pdf sheetmusic
And, just because it's so interesting after watching how much music copying Bach did every week, see Bach's actual manuscripts with their lovely curving lines (as mentioned in documentary by BBC.)
And finally; here's what Bach can do with one single melody, and what a great flutist can do with that Chaconne BWV 1004. Bouriakov plays part 1 on youtube.
Part 2 of Denis Bouriakov playing the Bach Chaconne is here.
And here's one of the several transcriptions in pdf of theChaconne for flute BWV 1004.