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Fantasia in G Major (arr Boyd)

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. John Boyd)

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General Info

Year: 1703-7 / 1957 / 1985
Duration: c. 6:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Ludwig Masters
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The great G Major Fantasia for organ was composed between 1703 and 1707 during Bach's residence in Arnstadt. It was here, at the beginning of his career, that his music was found to be too full of "wonderful variations and foreign tones"; and certainly the Fantasia is strikingly dissonant in its constant texture of suspensions. But the breadth of the five-part polyphonic writing and the richness of the harmonic sonority make the Fantasia one of the grandest of all Bach's compositions for organ. It is also one that lends itself most perfectly to the sound and sonorities of the modern wind band.

- Note by

Perusing the score of Bach's Fantasia in G Major may give the impression that this work has little technical challenge and will come together with ease. While this work can indeed be performed by community bands, honor bands, high school bands, and collegiate groups, ample rehearsal time must be allotted. For younger players, the primary challenge is to look beyond whole notes and half notes to find the expressive musical line in each part. Controlling the timbre and pitch of sustained harmonies will take concentration and muscular development. Fortunately, this piece translates very well to the wind band medium and would program appropriately in the middle portion of a concert set.

- Note from Great Music for Wind Bands

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Kopetz, Barry. (1993). "Bach's Fantasia in G: An Interpretive Analysis." The Instrumentalist 48, no. 1; pp. 25-34.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 481-487.
  • Nicholson, Chad. (2009). Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications. pp 2-3.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 24.