“Six Preludes (für Anfänger auf dem Clavier) by. J.S. Bach”

“Six Preludes (für Anfänger auf dem Clavier) par. J.S. Bach”
[Six Little Preludes (for beginners at the clavier) by J.S. Bach]


01. Præludium BWV 933 in C Maj. (n. 01 of Six Preludes)
02. Præludium BWV 934 in C Min. (n. 02 of Six Preludes)
03. Præludium BWV 935 in D Min. (n. 03 of Six Preludes)
04. Præludium BWV 936 in D Maj. (n. 04 of Six Preludes)
05. Præludium BWV 937 in E Maj. (n. 05 of Six Preludes)
06. Præludium BWV 938 in E Min. (n. 06 of Six Preludes)


The “Six Little Preludes BWV 933-938 by J.S. Bach”, (the title dating from 1781) are other short pieces used for didactic purposes, their composition most probably dating back to his time in Cöthen between 1717 and 1720. These preludes, which, in Bach’s catalogued works number from BWV 933 to BWV 938, have survived in copies of various origins, found in different collections. Until now, unfortunately, the original manuscripts have still not been found.

Thanks to the www.bach-digital.de project, I was able to gain access to the facsimile of the copy by Johann Christian Kittel (1732-1809) done sometime between 1802 and 1809, catalogued as P 885 and deposited in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz [Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage], which is in fact, a collection of different handwritten copies.

The title page is “Six Preludes (für Anfänger auf dem Clavier) par. J.S. Bach”, and on the same page in the top right hand corner, the wording “geschrieben von Kittel in Erfurt | erhalten durch seinen Schüler Dröbs” [written by Kittel at Erfurt | obtained from his pupil Dröbs] (Johann Andreas Dröbs, 1784-1825).

Subsequently I was able to consult the first edition edited by Hoffmeister & Kühnel probably from 1802, in its reprinted edition done in Leipzig in 1805 by Ambroise Kühnel, entitled “Six préludes à l'usage des commençants pour le clavecin” [Six Preludes for piano for beginners] currently held in the Harvard University Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA).


To see Johann Christian Kittel's copy:


Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv:
[Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage, Music
Department with Mendelssohn archive]
A. Record card D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 885                             
B. Manuscript


To see the first edition:


Harvard Library Portal:
“Six préludes à l'usage des commençants pour le clavecin”


                                                                                                            Tullio Forlenza