1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

J.S Bach Suite No. 1 -Question-

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Marc Decho, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Hey all i've got one of these stupid questions.....i've printed off a sample of Francois Rabbath's edited version of Suite No. 1 in G from liben music, now as there is no information on there about tuning, would any of you know if this is in solo tuning or not ? i'm pretty sure it's not by reading it, which actually leads me to a new question how are we able to tell by looking at a piece of sheet music if it's in solo tuning or not ? I would imagine for the most part it's written in there, other then that are there any other ways to tell ? again excuse my lack o' theory

  2. Charles Shores

    Charles Shores Commercial User

    Jul 26, 2005
    I think that it doesn't matter unless you are playing with an ensemble. Your part identifies the intervals, and the piece will sound the same except for a step lower.

    Unless im wrong...
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, I don't know from nothing, but that's never stopped me before. Does "solo" tuning transpose up a whole step from where it's written? Or do you just play the notes written in their "new" location?

    I would think that a low E somewhere in the score would be one clue that you are in standard tuning.

    The other thing is; don't the cello suites get transposed a lot for bass anyway? To be as "faithful" as they can to the intent of the original (open strings, etc.), reduce awkward fingerings ( that are elegant fingerings on cello)?
  4. I glanced at the PDF from Liben's site. It appears to be written in orchestra tuning. However, if you were to tune your bass to solo tuning (as Edgar Meyer does) but played it as written, it would still work. It would sound like A major rather than G major

    The Rabbath edition is also written in treble clef, (which means you're going to spend a lot of time in thumb position), one octave above Bach's original cello score. Since bass sounds one octave below what's written, you'll be playing it at cello pitch.

    This has become a pretty common M.O. for playing the cello suites.

  5. sounds good, thanks for the info fellas, hey Mike how could you tell it was in solo tuning ? does the F# have anything to do with it by any chance ?
  6. Charles Shores

    Charles Shores Commercial User

    Jul 26, 2005
    Ok, does the page have "tuning" or "stimmung" or some other word that means tuning on it?

    If it does, it should have a staff with four notes on it, such as F#, B, E, and A. If it has this, this means to tune your bass up a whole step from it's normal tuning (orchestral.)

    If you don't tune up (if you don't have solo strings like me) then you still play the notes in the places they are written on the page. If the piece says to play a C on the A string, you will play a C there. If you are tuned in solo tuning, you will still play the same position's note there, but it will come out as a D, get it?

    It took me some time to figure it out but I think ive got it... I'm not sure though.

  7. Charles Shores

    Charles Shores Commercial User

    Jul 26, 2005
  8. The Liben/Rabbath edition is orchestra tuning. You don't need to retune your bass to play it. But you could if you wanted.

    Edgar Meyer's bass is tuned for solo playing, so if you listen to his version, it sounds one whole step up from where Bach wrote it. (Not to confuse things, but he sometimes tunes his lowest string down from F# to E).

  9. Yup that's the one...and yeah that's what I thought, if they wanted you to use solo tuning they'd write it...it's crystal clear..thanks again fellas