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Clean and Free Sheet Music for Bach Cello Suites

I have over the years looked online for sheet music for Bach Cello Suites. It usually happened when I engaged in one of the annual holiday rituals in my household. This is where I brought my cello of out its cold storage, wiped dust off, and played it until I redevelop finger strength and rediscover the joy of growing callouses on my fingertips.

In the early days of the internet, one had to pay for this 300-year-old music. And usually lots of money got you poorly scanned copies of poorly printed scores. Nowadays the quality is better in general. In addition, good folks have been transcribing this music, and have uploaded them them for you to download, for free, such as this and this.

Some of these modern PDF files are full of transcription errors. Even with the professionally-typeset scores, most of the times bowing and fingering marks don’t work for me. Normally I would white out all markings from a downloaded score. Then I would write my own, on top of the notes. This was the only way I could play this beautiful music without making unpleasant sounds, given my poor skill set.

I imagine I am not the only one to want to do this. So I am going to start making these clean, unmarked sheet music available from now on. I am transcribing them in Sibelius as I play them. At the rate I play, I may not be able to finish them all before I kick the bucket. But it’s still worth a try. It may help a soul or two. I’ll also post my own markings. They probably only work for myself. Use my markings if they help you. Ignore them if they annoy you. Continue reading

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