Johann Sebastian Bach (1684 -1750) was one of the great teachers of his day. His prolific work as a composer of music for keyboard instruction is astounding and unparalleled. Acquiring good technique was very important to Bach, and he spent much of his time creating exercises to help improve his students' playing. He often developed these "exercises" into music of great beauty and intellectual genius. Among these works, the "Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach," the "Eighteen Little Preludes," and the "Two-Part Inventions" are still at the core of piano instruction and learning today.
The "Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach" was a gift from J.S. Bach to his wife, Anna Magdalena, on her 25th birthday. The notebook was intended for her to copy into it music of her own choosing. Most of the pieces in the notebook are in Anna Magdalena's own handwriting, and therefore it is not known for certain who the composers were for many of the pieces. They may be J.S. Bach, family members, or friends.
In 1720 Bach began work on the "Clavier-Buchlein for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach," to assist him in teaching his nine-year-old son. In addition to an explanation of clefs, ornaments, and fingering, the book contains the first version of the "Two-Part Inventions." Bach's goal was to teach students "...to learn to play cleanly and in two parts...to achieve a 'cantabile' style of playing, and to acquire a taste for the elements of composition."
The Neil A. Kjos Music Company hopes that this will be a practical resource and valuable contribution to your music library. If we fail to live up to your expectations in any way, please feel free to write to me personally.
Pianist Diane Hidy made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991 after completing her studies with John Perry and Leon Fleisher. In 1987 Diane was the first woman to become a Fellow of the American Pianists Association and in 1982 was the winner of the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra s First Prize winner of the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Diane attended the Juilliard School of Music, and holds music degrees from the University of Southern California and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She spent her high school years in Seattle, Washington, where she was a student of Michiko Miyamoto.
Diane and her husband, J. Tony Smith, live in San Francisco, CA, where she teaches young beginners through advanced high school students and adults.