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Thread: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

  1. #26
    Mike Fox mandolinfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    I play mandola in the Philadelphia Mandolin Ensemble. We tune the mandola to the European/tenor tuning - a full octave below the mandolin. I have been playing the Cello Suite #3 on my mandola using violin transcriptions (transposed from C to G). I came across this thread today, and I would love to have mandolin transcriptions that I can play on my mandola a full octave lower. I plan to get this book if it is still available.

    Just curious - has anyone tried the Cello suites on the mandocello? I bet that would sound nice.
    Last edited by mandolinfox; Aug-11-2017 at 11:12am. Reason: typo
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  2. #27

    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    Absolutely wonderful on mandocello. There are a bunch of folks out there doing exactly that.
    John D

  3. #28
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    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    I'm playing the Bach Cello Suite #1 on mandocello. Nice to be able to just use the cello sheets. What I like about them on mandocello is the ability to chord certain sections using all 4 strings, whereas on cello you only get 2 at a time, unless you have the ability to bow into 3 strings and keep decent tone. I don't have that ability.
    My son is learning it on the cello and we are playing some of it together. I really like how the percussive faster sections sound on the mandocello and how the lower slower sections sound on the cello.

  4. #29

    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    mandolinfox, since you obviously read, you can get the all manner of classical music at imslp.org

    Here's the cello suites on their site: http://imslp.org/wiki/6_Cello_Suites...ann_Sebastian) If you click on the transcriptions/arrangements tab, you find the cello suites for a variety of instruments.

    The referenced book here adds tab--the only reason to get it is if you don't read.
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  6. #30
    Summit County, Colorado
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    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    Tab below the notation is like that woman in the low cut dress. A man's eyes are drawn to where he knows he is not supposed to be looking.
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  7. #31

    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    I have been slowly working my way through these and enjoying the experience very much. I do wish that Mr. Sellman had also provided a version of the fifth suite using a scordatura equivalent to that of Bach's original, tuning the mandolin E strings down to D. I am trying to do that for myself and must admit the effort does mess with your mind and get a bit confusing. I also feel I must point out the one mistake that I have found. The first downbeat of the Allemande of Suite 5 should be corrected to a G minor chord, open G and D strings, B-flat first fret on the A string and G natural third fret on the E string. It is the same chord that concludes that movement. If you try it you should notice how it does sound much better than the chord that is printed.

  8. #32

    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    I have one more correction to suggest. In the Prelude to the sixth suite, the ninth eighth note in measure 103 should be an A natural which can be played as the open A string. I can only think that this mistake in the transcription occurred due to it's being exactly at the point where there is a change in clef sign in the cello version.

  9. #33
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    Default Re: J. S. Bach The Cello Suites for Mandolin

    I understand SLT's question, and I think a possible answer is simply that many people have mandolins, fewer people have mandocellos. That is improving, though--we had 25 in the orchestra at the last CMSA. Just because of its size the MC presents some different problems. Chords, buzzy low C string, much wider fret spacing and positions ... we have seen entries in the CBOM thread from people who just gave up. And when I proposed a workshop for MCellos a few years back, many people told me there was no music for solo mandocello (there is, and more is coming). So it makes sense to take great music and put it in an arrangement for a more popular instrument. But you're right. the "big low sounding instrument" is ideal for the music itself.

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