Mandolin Instruction-- Materials and Transcriptions by Debora Chen
 J. S. Bach Mandolin Arrangements
"Bach is a colossus of Rhodes, beneath whom all musicians pass and will continue to pass. Mozart is the most beautiful, Rossini the most brilliant, but Bach is the most comprehensive: he has said all there is to say. If all the music written since Bach's time should be lost, it could be reconstructed on the foundation which Bach laid."  - Charles Gounod

  J.S. Bach Selected Two-Part Inventions-- arranged for two mandolins in tab and standard notation, with suggested fingerings-- by Debora Chen.

Review of Chen's Bach Book from Don Stiernberg
Free Play-along MP3's
Free Sample
--Invention 4 excerpt:
Mando I tab , Mando II tab , Score
Eight of the original fifteen inventions are presented here, arranged as mandolin duets, but a mandolinist who learns both (equally melodious) parts will no doubt find playing and hearing both parts rewarding by trading parts with a friend, recording and over-dubbing the other part, or using the pre-recorded tracks below. Inventions included are: 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15. (more)  $16.95

Budget edition (lighter paper, approx. equivalent to Mel Bay publications)
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  Sheet Music--
J.S. Bach Cello Suite 1 , Prelude, arranged for mandolin in tab and notation, with suggested fingerings:
A nice piece to with which to learn the upper registers of the fretboard. (more)  $3.95

J.S. Bach Cello Suite 1 , Allemande, arranged for intermediate mandolin in tab and notation, with suggested fingerings.
Easier to play than the prelude. (more)  $2.95

J.S. Bach Cello Suite 3 , Bourrees 1 & 2, arranged for intermediate mandolin in tab and notation, with suggested fingerings. Easier to play than the prelude. (more)   $2.95

Special: All
four Bach titles & " Standard Notation for the Tab-Addicted Mandolinist " with US domestic shipping: $44.95   One button checkout:

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Optional Guitar transcription of Mandolin II (with tab and notation) will be published later in 2008, and may be purchased separately.

For notice of publication, please put "2-part Bach, guitar" in the subject line and join the email notify list here.

"For centuries now instrumentalists have used the Bach inventions to learn about melody, harmony, and how to operate their instruments. Debora Chen presents them here with the goal of easy access for the mandolinist. Playing these melodies and hearing these harmonies will present many exciting possibilities to mandolinists of every style and level of expertise. Whether you're playing fiddle tunes and looking to get a little more 'flow' in your picking, or a jazz player listening for movement of essential chord tones, or a choro enthusiast attempting to cope better with chromaticism, or someone who wants to work on reading and technique without drilling scales, or someone who wants to play music with another person---THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!" (emphasis Don's) --Don Stiernberg

 For help with practicing the 2-Part Inventions, here are electronic recordings of the set, played slowly with metronome clicks and without ornaments.  Before each invention, you will hear 2 full measures of metronome clicks-- with a higher click on the first beat of each measure--so that you can set yourself in tempo with the recording.  If you like, use them to learn each part, or to play the opposite part from the one you are playing yourself.  (Mandolin 2 is played by recorder or oboe  to make it easier to hear which part is which.)  Have fun!

Click on the name of the invention you would like to play. If you are new to contrapuntal playing, you might consider working on them in this order:  4, 10, 15, 3, 1, 13, 8, 14. 
Top of page/Purchase written music (tab & notation) for J.S. Bach Mandolin Arrangements

Bach Cello Suites for Mandolin     Standard Notation for the Tab-Addicted
Mandolin 2
Invention 1

Invention 3

Invention 4

Invention 8

Invention 10

Invention 13

Invention 14

Invention 15