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Bach Prelude in C minor BWV 999 on Archlute

Bach Prelude in C minor BWV 999 on Archlute

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The Prelude in C Minor, BWV 999 is a composition for lute by Johann Sebastian Bach. BWV 999’s brief, introductory nature (43 measures), improvisatory feel and reiteration of a defining motif fits squarely within the prelude genre of the 1710s and 1720s. Additionally, the shortness of the motif itself follows the conventions of early sixteenth-century prelude.

It is performed here on an archlute: The archlute (Spanish: archilaúd, Italian: arciliuto, German: Erzlaute) is a European plucked string instrument developed around 1600 as a compromise between the very large theorbo and the Renaissance tenor lute, which lacked the bass range of the theorbo.

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