Midi files of piano accompaniment to selected flute and piccolo music

New, June 7, 2011 (PROVISIONAL): This is an experiment; a beta test, if you will. In This directory I have posted mp4 audio files of the all four movements of the J. S. Bach Trio Sonata for two flutes (BWV1039), in four versions. Each movement has a bare accompaniment part (the files called "noflutes") with digitized harpsichord and cello parts. Each movement has a version with me playing the 1st flute part, for you to play along on 2nd flute (the files called "noflute2"). Each movement has a version with me playing 2nd flute, for you to play along on 1st flute (the files called "noflute1"). And each movement has the full version with me playing both flute parts ("allparts"). It doesn't make sense to do this one as MIDI files, because the flute parts capture much better as audio.

Anyway, actually playing these parts on a real flute is a whole different game for me than making score-perfect digital accompaniment parts, so I've been hesitating to put myself out here before the world flute community. But here we go. Please check these out and tell me what you think -- how is the balance of flute and accompaniment parts? Am I reasonably in tune? Am I reasonably accurate with tempo and notes? Do you enjoy playing along with virtual me? How would you suggest doing these differently? Please write, and don't be too kind -- I want to know what you think!

August 11, 2008: At the request of a baroque flute player whose instruments are tuned to A415, I have posted a zip file of all the Bach sonatas with the accompaniment tuned down a half-step.

I made these files for my own practice, and one day it struck me that other musicians out there might find them useful, too. Judging by the number of responses I've had from flautists all over the world, this seems to have been a good hunch. The selection is limited to what I have transcribed for my own use or by request, namely the complete Bach flute sonatas [the four authentic Bach flute sonatas, BWV 1030 (B minor), 1032 (A major), 1034 (E minor), and 1035 (E major); and the three attributed Bach flute sonatas, BWV 1020 (G minor), 1031 (Eb major), and 1033 (C major)]; one of the Vivaldi piccolo concerti (C Major; F VI, 4); a Handel Sonata (IV, C Major), the Schubert Ave Maria in 2 keys (Bb or G), and the Telemann D Major sonata. Each file below is the accompaniment part (original keyboard parts for the Bach, Handel and Telemann; a piano reduction of the Vivaldi orchestra parts) for one movement.

You can play them in your browser (in which case you should be hearing the B minor Bach right now; note, it worked in my browser (Netscape 4.6 for Macintosh) only after upgrading to Quicktime 4). They sound OK with the Quicktime synthesizer, better if you have a midi output device hooked up. Each file has one bar of click track at the start if the flute enters at measure one so you have time to pick up your flute after you click play (though at fast tempo this can be a pretty quick grab).

You can also download the files. The links on this page take you to a separate page for each sonata. Then you can download a file for each movement using the links marked (download). Note: don't just left-click on these "download" links, you will probably bring up a page of random characters; in Windows you need to right-click to bring up the link menu, then choose "Save this Link As...". Likewise in MacOS you option-click (somebody tell me if this does not work).

Note that these files do not contain captured expressions. In other words, they are basically digital representations of the score, not captured performances (you wouldn't want to hear my performance on piano). They are, therefore, a bit mechanical, but it is still a big step up from a metronome. And, let's face it, if you could find a human accompanist to practice with you wouldn't be here.

Please e-mail me if you use these -- I really would like to know if anybody out there finds them useful. If you ask really nicely I might even redo the files at your preferred tempo...

These are the "authentic" Bach flute sonatas, at least according to Hans Eppstein and Henle Verlag.

The next three sonatas are most likely by C.P.E. Bach, although C.P.E. Bach himself attributed 1031 and 1033 to his father.

Here is a Zip file of the complete set of seven Bach (or attributed) sonatas tuned down one half-step so that players with baroque flutes tuned to A415 can play along without transposing. Thanks to Lea Wilds for suggesting I do this.

Enough Bach; here is the other stuff...

Or, download The whole schmeer as a zip file.