The Purpose of the Bach Inventions, and the Man Behind Them

Bach

The Bach Inventions are a collection of exercise pieces, with a style original to the composer Bonporti. These pieces were based to a large extent on the art of improvisation. As time passed, this sort of exercise music, composed in two parts, became a signature work of Johann Sebastian Bach for the purpose of teaching his son, Wilhelm, how to “compose good inventions and develop them well and to acquire a taste for the many elements of composition.” It is said that the first versions of the fifteen inventions were composed during Wilhelm’s lessons, based on the above phrase from the forward in the Autograph of 1723.

It is interesting to note that, in the order that Bach presented them to his son, the first three of the two-part Inventions – C major, D minor, and E minor – are based largely on portions of scales, sometimes on a scale in entirety. The three following, being F major, G major, and A minor, were composed using patterns derived from broken chords. B minor uses a combination of both ideas. The final eight Inventions were placed in descending order of keys, revealing another interesting fact about Bach as a very orderly instructor.

The two-part Inventions are now used primarily to teach students two things, the first being to play cleanly while only using two parts, and the second, after having mastered the first, to be able to successfully accomplish the learning of three-part contrapuntal pieces, such as Sinfonias. A large advantage given after having learned the Inventions and Sinfonias, is that, with regard to strength and technique, both hands are built up to an equal point.

Life of Bach:

J.S. Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach on March 21, 1685, to Johann Ambrosius Bach and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. His father was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professionals in the world of music. Young Bach was immersed in music from a young age, with his father as his instructor in violin and the basic theory of music. One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach, first introduced his nephew to organ, one of the greatest factors in J.S.’s great success as a church musician.

After his parents’ death only eight months apart, J.S. moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (not to be confused with the uncle, Johann Christoph.) While living with J.C., he capitalized on his opportunities by copying, performing, and studying music, later going on to further music studies at the prestigious St. Michael’s School.

At the age of eighteen, Bach began a career as church organist, which he continued in until 1723. The life of a musician carried him to work in several different churches during this time. Following his church organist career, Bach worked as the Cantor in the St. Thomas Church. This position involved instructing students in Thomasschule in singing, providing the main churches in the area with music, and teaching Latin (for which he was allowed to hire a deputy). He served in this capacity for the next twenty-three years, until his death in 1750.

 

This essay was written at the request of my wonderful piano instructor, Allison Chetta (Pinner Studios, Greenville, SC).

 


Click below to purchase all of the two-part inventions for Sheet Music Plus today!

Delicious Use for Old Cookies: “Peanut Butter Mountains”

Who likes to eat stale cookies?

At our house, fresh-baked cookies (and even the un-baked ones, for that matter Smile) have a tendency to disappear quite rapidly. But alas! For the poor neglected old ones… those that have been sitting on the counter for days… those that dried out because someone accidently forgot to seal the container after an afternoon snitch… those that weren’t really the favorite recipe (or didn’t contain enough chocolate Winking smile)…

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Recently we had a bag of stale peanut butter cookies on our counter. Not wanting to waste them, and also desiring to concoct a special dessert to have together on Dad and Mom’s date night, Victoria and I had a little fun making up “Peanut Butter Mountains.”

These can be done with any kind of cookie.

We spread them with a layer of peanut butter (and, next time we’ll be more generous with it) and put a scoop of ice cream on top (chocolate/vanilla in this case, but almost any flavor would be great).

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Then we put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. This kept the ice cream hard while we continued working on dinner, and allowed the cookie/peanut butter to get cold.

Before serving, we topped it all off with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Smile

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You should try them! They were a definite hit with all of the kiddos, everyone unanimously agreeing that the layer of peanut butter was the touch of amazingness. Smile

Other ideas:

  • For those that are peanut intolerant, try a layer of almond butter. Or better yet, use Nutella (chocolate hazelnut) spread.
  • Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips, finely chopped nuts, or colored candy sprinkles after the whipped cream.
  • Add some banana slices between the peanut butter/ice cream layers.

Inventory CLEARANCE! Confederate Candles

Check out our Spring sale! ALL Confederate Candles are 50% off!

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Click here to purchase your favorite fragrances!

 

Confederate Candles

These highly fragrant and beautiful candles are hand-poured and carefully prepared for the highest quality possible. The canning jars give them a unique look, so they are excellent gifts for any candle lover! Each comes with a complimentary gift box. Most burn for over 35 hours, making them a incredible value for the price.

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Ribbons & Hair Bows Galore | Visit Us on Udemy.com!

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Ribbons & Hair Bows Galore – a step-by-step video course designed for anyone who would love to create stylish personal accessories and who wants step-by-step guidance in starting out!

Join us on Udemy.com, as we explore several different ideas to get you started on your own hair bows and hair accessories, ranging from casual “play day” bows to ones suitable to adorn a darling little flower girl at your next family wedding. (Also included is the practical hair bow organizer — sure to be Mom’s favorite!) Each lecture provides step by step instruction, and clear video footage, so that even the most hesitant beginner can learn with ease. My goal is to equip you — no matter what your past experience or skill may be — with the knowledge you need to create accessories for your own families, for gifts, or for an on-the-side entrepreneurial venture.

Hair bows and accessories can be quickly and easily made at home for a fraction of the retail cost, and the projects themselves are so much fun that it may just serve to satisfy and “arts and crafts” craving that overwhelms you at times. So, grab your ribbon, scissors, and creativity, and prepare to have a blast! Let’s get started!

 

Course description:

  • Over 10 lectures and 1.5 hours of content
  • By the end of the course, you will be equipped to confidently create feminine, fashionable hair accessories to use for your own families, for gifts, or for an on-the-side entrepreneurial venture.
  • Make 4 different hairbows, ranging from ones appropriate for a “run around at the park” kind of day, to ones fancily formal and the perfect, stunning addition to a mass of curls at the next wedding or music recital!
  • Make a wild hair tie to hold those flyaway ponytails!
  • Make a hair band/bow set, perfect for busy mornings when Mom doesn’t have time to style the hair. Just comb it out, slip it in, and run!
  • Make the classic hair bow organizer — Mom’s favorite! No more mess in the bathroom or on the dresser — simply hang the organizer on the back of the door and clip the bows to it! Viola!! — you have a far more tidy room and it will be a simple job to select the bow you want for the day.

Classic Belgian Waffles

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Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 cup applesauce

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate, larger bowl mix together the maple syrup, apple sauce, milk, and vanilla. Once the wet ingredients are well incorporated, add in the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Cook according to your waffle maker’s directions. Serve with your favorite waffle toppings and eat with loved ones. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe from allrecipes.com

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Special thanks to our dear friends, the Wilkes Team, for giving us the most amazing Christmas gift of a double waffle maker! What once took hours-and-hours to make for a family of our size now only takes a few minutes! My sweet daughter and I had fun making them together.

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The Story of Blind Samuel

Samuel was a blind boy. He had been away, and was now going home with his father. His father led him, and he walked along by his side. Presently, they came to a large brook; they heard it roaring before they came near.

His father said, “Samuel, I think there is a freshet.”*

“I think so, too,” said Samuel, “for I hear the water roaring.”

When they came in sight of the stream, his father said, “Yes, Samuel, there has been a great freshet, and the bridge is carried away.”

“And what shall we do now?” said Samuel.

“Why, we must go ‘round by the path through the woods.”

“That will be bad for me,” said Samuel.

“But I will lead you,” said his father, “all the way; just trust everything to me.”

“Yes, father,” said Samuel, “I will.

So his father took a string out of his pocket and gave one end of it to Samuel. “There, Samuel,” he said, “take hold of that, and it will guide you; and walk directly after me.”

After they had walked a short distance, he said, “Father, I wish you would let me take hold of your hand.”

“But you said,” replied his father, “that you would trust everything to me.”

“So I will, father,” said Samuel, “but I do wish you would let me take hold of your hand instead of this string.”

“Very well,” said his father. “You may try your way.” So Samuel came and took hold of his father’s hand, and tried to walk along by his father’s side. But the path was narrow; there was not room for more than one, and though his father walked as far on one side as possible, yet Samuel had not room enough. The branches scratched his face, and he stumbled continually upon roots and stones.

At length he said, “Father, you know best. I will take hold of the string and walk behind.” So after that he was patient and submissive, and followed his father wherever he led. After a time, his father saw a serpent in the road directly before them. So he turned aside, to go round by a compass, or a round about way, in the woods. But the compass was rough and stony.  Presently, Samuel stopped and said, “Father, it seems pretty stony; haven’t we gotten off the path?”

“Yes,” said his father, “but you promised to be patient and submissive, and trust everything to me.”

“Well, father,” said Samuel, “you know best, and I will follow.” So he walked on again. When they had gone safely around the serpent, his father told him why he had led him off the road.

And so, when God leads us in a difficult way that we don’t understand at the time, we sometimes see the reason for it afterwards.

By and by, his father came within the sound of the brook again, and stopped a minute or two, and then he told Samuel that he should have to leave him a short time, and that he might sit down upon a log and wait until he came back. “But, Father,” said Samuel, “I don’t want to be left alone here in the woods, in the dark.”

“It is not dark,” said his father.

“It is all dark to me,” said Samuel.

“I know it is,” said his father, “and I am very sorry; but you promised to leave everything to me, and be obedient and submissive.”

“So I will, father; you know best, and I will do just as you say.” So Samuel sat down upon a log, and his father went away. He was a little terrified by the solitude, and the darkness, and the roaring of the water; but he trusted his father, and was still.

By and by, he heard a noise as of something heavy falling into the water. He was frightened, for he thought it was his father. But it was not his father; it was only the end of the stem of a small tree, which Samuel’s father was trying to fix across the brook, so that he could lead his blind boy over. It was lying upon the ground, and he took it and raised it upon its end near the edge of the bank on one side, and then let it fall over, in hopes that the other end would fall upon the opposite bank. But it did not happen to fall straight across, and so the end fell into the water—and this was the noise that Samuel heard. He drew the stick back again, and then contrived to raise it upon its end once more; and this time he was more successful. It fell across, and so extended from bank to bank. In a few minutes, he succeeded in getting another by its side, and then he came back to Samuel.

“Samuel,” he said, “I have built a bridge.”

“A bridge!” said Samuel.

“Yes,” he said, “a sort of a bridge; and now I am going to try to lead you over.”

“But, father, I am afraid.”

And his father replied, “You said you would trust yourself entirely to me, and go wherever I should say.”

“Well, father,” said Samuel, “I will. You know best, after all.” So Samuel took hold of his father’s hand, and with slow and very careful steps, he walked over the roaring torrent; they soon came out into a broad, smooth road, and returned safely home.

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This story is an excerpt from a charming and character building child’s tale titled “Caleb in the Country,” written by Jacob Abbott and produced in reprint by Lamplighter Publishing.

Gen2 Conference – Review

What a blessing it was to journey northward a few weeks ago to take part in the Gen2 Conference! Hosted by Generations with Vision (taking place at the Creation Museum), this conference focused on the millennial generation and why a large percentage of it is walking away from the faith.

Sweet fellowship with many dear friends —

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The sessions, presented by Kevin Swanson, Daniel Craig, Ken Ham, Rick Boyer, Norm Wakefield, Brian Ray, Woody Robertson, Israel Wayne, and many others, left us challenged and encouraged. May we each, in the coming days, not only reject the apostasy that is sweeping our culture, but continue pressing onward in the strength of the LORD, seeking His grace, and pursuing lives of godliness for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom.

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Music from Danny Craig was once again a tremendous blessing"Why We Aren't Giving Up" - panel session with Isaac Botkin, Grace Mally, Chad Roach, Danny Craig, Stephen Craig, Jonathan Lewis, Joshua Erber, and others

An added joy was that Matthew & Amanda were able to join us for the weekend! We treasured the opportunity to minister in song a couple of times throughout the conference, and having them there to participate with us again blessed us immensely.

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Other snapshots —

Vending at the conference - two faithful booth managers :)Uncle & niece <3

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Special thanks to Sarah Bryant for the use of her photos!