Composition - - American Recorder Society
2 Part Inventions (#1 through #15)
By Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
 Arranged By Boyd Osgood 2012
Mostly tenor and bass, but can be played on soprano and bass. One piece is for tenor and great bass(C)
In 2011 to 2012 I transcribed the Bach 2 and 3 part inventions so that I could play them with my friends. Over the years I have gotten much pleasure playing these. Baroque counterpoint is so much fun to play, and Bach is the master. In no way have I intended  these to be academically rigorous. Almost all of the adjustments of the parts to fit on the instruments are accomplished by octave shifts. Choices were made to make the counterpoint work and have pleasing part leading.

The two part inventions are mostly for tenor and bass. That is because I prefer the bigger instruments. They of course can be played on soprano and bass if you prefer. This would avoid some of the part crossings caused by the range adjustments. The Symphonia [3 part Inventions] are transcribed for various instruments from soprano to great bass(C), depending on, what in my judgment, fitted the music best for each piece.

I have purposefully not given any tempo marks. I feel that you should play at a tempo that is comfortable for you, a tempo that gives you the most enjoyment. In generating MIDI files to go with these, I had to decide on a tempo. I tended to choose tempos slower than, for instance, the 1904 Carl Fisher Inc keyboard edition edited by Carl Czerny (on IMSLP). For home practice with these MIDI files, I use MidiPlay_v1p17.exe. It can be downloaded for free at It allows you to set whatever tempo you like and adjust the volumes or mute individual parts. For those of you with 415 instruments, this program will allow you to adjust pitch as well. For the 3 Part Inventions I have added a couple bars of beats to the beginning of each MIDI file to make it easier to use as a practice tool.

The PDF file can be printed and made into a 20 page booklet. You also could print or extract individual pieces. I use program, “PDF Split and Merge Basic” to combine or extract PDF pages. It is free, open-source software available at

I apologize to those people with a bass that does not have a low F#. I made no effort to avoid that. Some people have suggested that some of the pieces in unfamiliar keys should be transposed to keys that are more comfortable on recorders. I kept all of them in the original keys.

-- Boyd Osgood
These beloved classics for keyboard are finally available in one set for recorders! Everyone has a favorite, and now they’ll take on new meaning as wind music. Arranger Boyd Osgood has remained as faithful to Bach’s original as possible, including the key signatures- he did not transpose any of them to fit better on recorders, rather we recorder players must adapt to fit the music. The Inventions are presented in their original order, moving through the major and minor keys C-D-Eb-E-F-G-A-Bb-B. The majority of them are scored for Tenor and Bass, with the final one moving the bottom line down to C-bass.
-- Glen Shannon

ZIP file of MIDI files When downloaded and unzipped on your computer, these files can be manipulated as described above.

ZIP file of XML files When downloaded and unzipped on your computer, these files can be opened by some music notation software.

The links below are .mp3 files.
#1 BWV 772     
#2 BWV 773      
#3 BWV 774      
#4 BWV 775      
#5 BWV 776      
#6 BWV 777      
#7 BWV 778      
#8 BWV 779         
#9 BWV 780          
#10 BWV 781    
#11 BWV 782    
#12 BWV 783    
#13 BWV 784    
#14 BWV 785    
#15 BWV 786 TgB    
No. of Recorder Parts:
Arrangements and Transcriptions
Date Added:
Social/Casual, Renaissance/Baroque/Classical