BACH, J.S. - Sonata No. 5 for Violin & Clavier BWV 1018 - transcribed for the Viola by Gerald Manning

J.S. Bach
Year of composition
Gerald Manning
Difficult (Grades 7+)
17 minutes
Classical music
Solo instrument + piano (Solo Viola)
Instrumental parts


What can be said about the musical genius of Johann Sebastion Bach that hasn�t already been said? Surely Bach is the supreme exemplification of the thesis that the greatest artists do not so much originate as fulfil; the supreme confutation of the notion that an artist�s greatness reveals itself in the extent to which he �expresses the spirit of his age.� My own veneration and love of the great man�s music began when at the tender age of fourteen my first and only violin teacher introduced me to the six sonatas BWV 1014-19. The impact on my developing mind to say the least was colossal; I was intoxicated by the sheer beauty and spiritual essence of the pure contrapuntal voices as they spoke to me without sentimentality of the immortality of the soul and the mortality of man � this indeed is music created by a genius of the highest intellect. When I started my professional life on the viola I still played these six sonatas transposing them down a perfect fifth at sight but I was frustrated because I never found a pianist who could do the same, so I decided that when the opportunity presented itself I would transcribe the six violin sonatas for the viola and piano. So here is the first sonata, originally in B minor but now transposed into E minor for the viola. This is a long-term project and I am determined to complete this labour of love, for to become engrossed in Bach�s music is to feel that here was the most musical being that ever lived, the incarnation of music�s self.

Composed in Cothen between 1719-20, the contrapuntally rich yet always tuneful six violin sonatas were then revived some ten years later by Bach for performance. Bach would probably have played the harpsichord but it would have been a difficult decision for him as the instrument dearest to his heart was the violin.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

Licensing for this music

This score was published on Score Exchange by Gerald Manning. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:

Sharing the file you download
When you buy the score - make multiple copies
When you buy parts - make multiple copies

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

In order to submit this score to Gerald Manning has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.