Sonata No. II, BWV 1003/964

Sonata No. II, BWV 1003/964

Model: 13179 / CNP74337
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Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged for guitar by Stanley Yates

Publication's Style: Soft Cover
Level of Difficulty: Advanced
General Description: from the Baroque
Pages: 19

This guitar arrangement of J. S. Bach's second unaccompanied violin sonata (bwv 1003) is itself based on an arrangement—Bach's keyboard version of the work (bwv 964). Since adapting Bach's unaccompanied string music to the guitar usually involves adding notes to a sparse original while arranging full-textured keyboard music inevitably requires us to leave notes out, this arrangement lies somewhere between the two.

Rather than supply my own particular fingerings in this edition, I decided instead to provide what amounts to an Urtext of my realization of this music for the guitar—the music is presented as a texturally and contrapuntally-complete musical score that leaves solutions to such issues as voice-leading and texture to each player (requiring a similar approach a guitarist would take in playing Bach's suites for the lute). Players may therefore make their own decisions regarding sonority (the use of open-strings and campanela-style fingerings), ornaments (slurred or cross-string), and left-hand slurring, as their preference dictates.

Finally, I would like to mention that this arrangement employs articulate (continuo-style) basses (as found in the original sources), especially in the Fuga and Allegro. Although this style (in which short basses are followed by rests) is an important element of much baroque and classical-period music modern performers sometimes disregard the rests and written note-durations. This not only reduces the rhythmic vitality of the music, it also removes the desirable side-effect of increased options for left-hand fingering (since, when played as written, notes do not need to be held beyond their indicated duration).

This arrangement was made in the summer of 1990 for performance at the Guitar Foundation of America International Guitar Competition, where I performed the work in the competition final.


  • Model: 13179 / CNP74337
  • Manufactured by: 1 - C - CNP-Consignment
  • Condition: new
Sonata No. II, BWV 1003/964