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Bach’s Minuet in G significant from the Notebooks because that Anna Magdalena Bach is famous enough today the you may have even had it as your mobile ring tone. The piece is so an easy and elegant that it’s often one that the an initial pieces musicians discover to play in ~ the keyboard, though it deserve to be conveniently arranged for any kind of instrument or ensemble.

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One that the most well known arrangements that this Minuet was recorded by the Toys, a girl team from Jamaica, brand-new York, together “A Lover’s Concerto.” The song was a #1 solitary in the US and reached #5 ~ above the UK worldwide charts. Its total sales surpassed two million copies. Later, it to be famously spanned by the Supremes and Sarah Vaughan, and by other musicians in Spanish, German, Finnish, Japanese, and Italian.

Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell gave Bach’s Minuet a Motown makeover in 1965. Technically, the item was videotaped by DynoVoice Records, not Motown. However, it still incorporates countless musical aspects of the sound that made Motown records famous.


But, how did the Linzer, Randell, and also the toys transform this well-known timeless work right into an American popular music classic? The prize is, primarily, while signature. Minuets are constantly in a triple meter, and also so is this renowned piece by Bach.

However, if the song were collection to this meter, the lyrics would sound awkward. If you shot singing the opened lyric come the tune (“How gentle is the rain / that falls softly top top the meadow?”) in the original meter, you’ll recognize what kind of problems arise an extremely quickly!

Linzer and Randell decided to arrange the melody in typical time. In this time signature, the arrangers simply expand the note that fall on the first beat the every measure by one beat, and also made other minor rhythmic adjustments, as you can see below.


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The opening actions of the Minuet in G


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The opening measures of the vocal heat of “A Lover’s Concerto”


Of course, in addition to transforming the rhythms and also meter that the original Minuet, the arrangers have actually scored “A Lover’s Concerto” for a band and three voices. Bach could’ve easily expanded the item for a room ensemble and voices himself. What holds whatever together is the simple harmonic structure, which allows the composer or arranger to add an infinite variety of parts, and the melody.

But the alters don’t stop there. It i will not ~ be a pop tune unless there were one half-step an essential change in ~ least. In compositions from Bach’s time, if a composer is functioning in a significant key, they’d most likely modulate to new keys what throughout the piece. Though typically, the composer will certainly modulate to keys approximately the “circle of fifths.” So, in the Minuet in G, if Bach were to include a modulation, the piece would probably move indigenous G major to D major, the an essential five notes away (G-A-B-C-D), despite one crucial away ~ above the “circle that fifths.”

In “A Lover’s Concerto,” the piece first modulates not up a fifth, together Bach might do, but instead, up a fourth, to C major. In popular music music and jazz, music often modulates around the “circle the fourths,” rather than the one of fifths, which is the same as the circle of fifths in reverse order.

The modulation to C significant happens in ~ 0:51 in the YouTube clip above. Then, the piece has actually three half-step modulations, which have actually the impact of literally kicking the piece up a notch, and of intensifying the emotionally quality. In ~ 1:24, “A Lover’s Concerto” move from C major to C# major. Climate a 2:12, it move from C# significant to D major. The song lastly ends in D# major, through the modulation from D significant happening roughly 2:29 in the clip above.

So, Bach’s famous Minuet in G gained a makeover in several stages. First, the arrangers adjusted the time signature. Then, lock orchestrated it for an broadened ensemble. Finally, they included some half-step crucial changes.

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Curiously, despite we understand the Minuet in G together Bach’s, musicologists now believe the piece is no by Bach in ~ all but by Christian Petzold. The notebooks he created for his wife had actually original works and pieces through his contemporaries favor Petzold, François Couperin, and also Georg Böhm. But, today, that popularly recognized as Bach’s Minuet in G.