commentary to Arrangement of Bach Invention
Invention a-minor BWV 784 for 4 Marimbaphones (or 2 Vibraphones and 2 Marimbaphones)
Zimmermann Frankfurt ZM 35450 / ISMN M-010-35450-7
Preface (Zimmermann Frankfurt ZM 35450)
in A minor for 4 mallet Instruments" by Bertold Hummel was the result of
an idea for an attempt at musical experimentation and refers to the well-known
"Invention in A minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach. Originally, J. S. Bach
wrote down these musical ideas in 1723 as didactic pieces and as an instruction
in how to "achieve a cantabile style of playing". This collection of
pieces has served as ideal material for the musical education of young artists
for nearly 300 years now.
B. Hummel's arrangement, the two-part piano piece is presented as a patchwork
divided among four parts, thus giving four percussionists the opportunity to practise
cantabile playing on mallet Instruments. In his draft of the score, B. Hummel
prescribes the use of 4 marimbas (with the possible alternative of 2 vibraphones
and 2 marimbas). He explains this as follows: "The parts contained in brackets
are original and should be played louder than the "counterpoints" l
have invented throughout". In his Inventions, J.S.Bach is known to have done
without dynamic instructions, and, therefore, in the first 4 bars of the arrangement,
the musical Interpretation is suggested by the dynamic marks added for guidance.
As in the original, the musicians are given free rein to apply their musical creativity
as the composition progresses.
Percussive Notes, October 2007
keyboard percussion quartet is scored for two vibraphones and two marimbas (one
low-A and one four-octave). The editor also gives the option of using four marimbas.
The parts are equally distributed in difficulty among the four players. Brackets
are provided to identify the inventions, and should be performed louder than the