Today’s video is on the Minuets from the d minor Suite, and because it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, Bach is offering a great deal on chords. As we’ve seen, once Bach got an idea in his head, he used it for all it was worth, and this movement has more double and triple stops than the entire first Suite (and before you say anything, fellow music nerds, yes, I counted.)

The very first chord will sound especially familiar – watch the video to see yet another example of Bach stealing his own material! And if you’re tired of shopping and want to support a good cause, please click the button below the video to make a donation to the 4-Way String Project. Thanks, and I’ll see you for #GivingTuesday with the Gigue

Sweatin’ To The Oldies

We’ve already learned about Bach’s influence on modern music, parenting, and movies. He was also a pioneer in fitness, discovering the importance of aerobic exercise nearly 300 years before it became popular.

In today’s video, we go on a run – literally, the word Courante means “running” – and right from the get go, Bach’s got us on the move. Hope you enjoy it, and please show your support by clicking on the link below, to make a donation to the 4-Way String Project – thanks!

Dance With The Devil

In today’s video, we hear the Allemande from the d minor Suite, which contains one of the most shocking moments in all of Bach’s cello music. Bach surprises us with the most dissonant chord he can – the tritone, sometimes called “The Devil In Music”, followed by a sudden flurry of very fast notes. To me, it sounds like someone pulling a fire alarm and running away – maybe Bach, a profoundly religious man, felt guilty after dancing with the Devil.

As always, these videos are to raise support for 4-Way’s free education program for underserved kids- please consider making a donation by clicking the button below the video, and please like, share and post comments!

Don’t Be So Binary

Today’s video is on the Minuets from the G major Suite, and that means we have to talk about form.


Wait, come back! I promise, it will be ok. As you’ll see, it takes a pop musician to explain baroque paired dance form effectively, and as a bonus, you’ll get to see my soon-to-be world famous James Brown impression. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Pairs of dances in classical music have a basic structure – A-B-A. In other words, you play the first Minuet (here, sunny and bright, in G Major), followed by the second one (darker and mysterious, in g minor), and then return to play the first one again. Simple, right?  You wish – classical musicians are good at making things complicated, so we call this “Rounded Binary Form.”


Luckily, there’s a much better way to say the same thing, and it comes courtesy of the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. His many valuable contributions include assembling one of the tightest bands in history, displaying astonishing dance moves, and eliminating the need for understandable lyrics. The original is great, but since I don’t want to get sued, in the video I recreate one of the greatest moments in his 1970 masterpiece “Get Up”, where he offers a much better alternative to “rounded binary form”. I think you’ll appreciate his description much better, and at the risk of boasting, I think my impression is pretty good, too – enjoy!



Please share this if you like it, and post your comments – I’ll see you next time for the Gigue!


Getting A Word In

Today’s video is a reminder of how simple classical music really is. To understand it, you only need to know one thing – that Bach had 20 children. That’s all there is to it. In the Courante from the G major Suite, Bach gives us a musical conversation that any parent will recognize, and he must have had all the time. To learn more, watch the video below! And if you like it, please consider supporting 4-Way’s free lessons program for underserved children with a donation by clicking on the Donate button below the video.


Thanks for watching – and be sure to tune in next week for a very different kind of piece – the G major Sarabande, the Baroque era’s equivalent of “Dirty Dancing.” See you then!