An edition of music, like anything else, is a product of its own time. During the 1980s, guitarists of my generation were starting to become aware of stylistic concerns in the interpretation of early music. This growing movement is what first prompted me to research the lute music of Bach and to develop my own edition of it. I tried to find performance solutions on the guitar that were as faithful as possible to the original music and to clearly delineate the necessary editorial alterations. In particular, I attempted to preserve the integrity and independence of Bach's original voicings. I have since come to believe that sometimes I went too far and sometimes I did not go far enough in doing this: I went too far in places where the musical end-results are not justified by overly difficult fingerings needed to achieve them; I did not go far enough when I neglected to provide fingerings that bring out voice lines that are implicit, although not specifically indicated in the score. I believe that in this revised second edition I have been better able to integrate the idiomatic qualities and limitations of the guitar into my transcriptions while still being faithful to the spirit and intent of the original. My goal has been to blend scholarship with practical performance solutions for the guitar.
Updated information on the original manuscripts, stylistic performance practices, the lute and lute-harpsichord, the physical image of Bach, and other items of interest are included. Facsimiles of the original manuscripts (larger and clearer than in the first edition) are found at the end of the book, and a facsimile of the "Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro," which was not available for the first edition, is now also included. Minor changes from the original are identified within the score, and, for some passages, alternative solutions are provided on parallel staves between the main staves. Passages that require more complex alterations, performance suggestions, or critical commentary are marked by asterisks that refer the reader to the notes at the end of the movement. As before, there are fold-outs to avoid awkward page turns.
The intent of this edition is to encourage and assist students in developing an understanding for stylistic and historical concerns in Bach's music. I hope that this work will serve, additionally, as a valuable resource providing new performance options for professional guitarists in search of their own solutions.
Arizona State University, 2002