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June 16, 2003
Vol. III, No. 19

"Time is of the Essence"
Don't wait to learn more Bach. Here are the two reasons:
1. It can take a while to learn some of the organ pieces, especially if you learn at a slow pace like I do. I endorse learning things in small chunks over long periods. It's more practical given the time restraints many of us have and that makes it more likely that we'll stick with something and get it completed. The tortoise won the race, not the hare.
2. There is gratification while, and immediately after, learning Bach but the super-huge payoffs kick in after you've been playing a piece for, say, 3 years or more. The enjoyment at that comfort level is incredible and it grows with the length of time you know the piece. Plus, the re-discovery process is amazing and endless because of Bach's attention to detail on every level when composing.

The pieces that I've played for 20 years are like the air that I breathe, especially the G Major Fantasia (BWV572) and the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor (BWV 543). There are more that I haven't played quite as long but that have aged almost as well. Bach's music is comfort food. Comfort food with a long shelf life. But that's no reason to keep it on the shelf like a can of corned beef, saving it to eat in case of an emergency. It's ready to eat now!
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Workshop #11 Update (For Those Keeping Score)
Regarding the Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 539) that I'm memorizing as I learn, I'm just now passing the halfway point in the 96-bar fugue. Workshop #11 was emailed on March 27 of this year and at that point I'd been working on the fugue for about 4 weeks. At that rate, I figure I could have the whole fugue roughly memorized-learned in another 15 weeks or sometime in October, allowing for two weeks vacation. As for the prelude, I'm glad it's short. I'll deal with it at the end. Then, once I'm able to get through the whole thing, the years of polishing can begin.

Interactive Pages
Don't forget that you can contribute directly to the pages of by using interactive pages that work the same way as the Feedback page. Here are links to them:
Teacher Tributes
Musician Jokes
Community Links

Have a great week!

Dan Long

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