Toccata in Dm
by J.S. Bach

Toccata in Dm by Bach is exciting and dramatic!  Let your beginning students have the fun of playing the opening theme notes of this famous Bach music.

Almost everyone recognizes the arresting 3-note motif, "A - G - A!" and most kids will want to play this theme.  This is one of those important melodies that never lose their "coolness".

Toccata in Dm by Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

This arrangement is just the very beginning of the Toccata, the first part of page one of a four-page keyboard piece.


The timing in my beginning version is ONLY APPROXIMATE, meant to assist players in giving a feeling of drama to these phrases.  

A tip: as the notes are so close together, and there is much back-and-forth, some of my students have found it helpful to draw RED loops around the RIGHT hand notes, and LIME loops (green, in other words) around the LEFT hand notes.

I leave it to your discretion to advise your students about pedaling - but I love lots of pedal in the last line, with the C# diminished seventh chord.  

Then I suggest a very careful pedal change in the final two measures during the D suspension - have your students practice holding down the left hand D and right hand A, while the pedal goes Up-Down for the change from E to F#.  

Ask if they can hear the mystery inherent in the tension-and-release of the D suspension resolving.

Okay, the arrangement below is almost as simple as it gets.  But wait -- you're going to make it even simpler, if you take my advice!  I suggest you make it easier for your students, by teaching this little melody by rote!  

Simple piano version of Bach Toccata in Dm, for young beginners

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Try this: Instead of giving your student this music, show them the motive on the piano: 

"Duh-duh-dum!! Down-down-down-down-DOWN, turn around!" That is my vocalization of the theme and the direction of the fingers.  

Then, just write on his or her lesson sheet, A-G-A!   G-F   E-D-C# D.  

Show it split between the hands.  This way, even non-readers can have fun with this piece.

Let them work on that the first week, over & over.  Before you send them home, have them play it in descending octaves all the way down the piano.  It will be quite a feat just for them to find their spot on the piano keys reliably, over and over.

If you would like either of these arrangements with ALPHANOTES to help in the reading (letters inside some or all of the note heads), visit my Note-Naming Worksheet page.

Have fun!





The links to the piano music:


Download Toccata in Dm beginning theme for piano


Download simplest Bach music Toccata in Dm












Recent Articles

  1. O Susanna Easy Piano & Guitar Sheet Music

    O Susanna is a song from the olden days of gold panning, and it's still fun to sing and play! Get the sheet music for beginning piano, and easy tabs for guitar here.

    Read More

  2. Toccata by Monteverdi for Piano Trio, or Piano Ensemble

    Toccata, from an opera: vigorous & bright trio and ensemble arrangements with lots of rhythm - surprisingly EASY & FUN! With many rehearsal suggestions.

    Read More

  3. Classical Piano Sheet Music - a Collection of Short Introductions

    Classical piano sheet music collection - easy one-page introductions for note-writing practice & gaining familiarity with the literature!

    Read More

  4. Should I Even Bother Trying to Re-Learn Piano, Or Is It a Waste of Time?

    Comments or Questions: I was just reading about autism and music. I am recovering from a subarachnoid hemmorhage (bleeding in the brain) that ended up

    Read More

  5. Skye Boat Song Vocal & Guitar Sheet Music

    "Skye Boat Song" from Scotland, with a lovely NEW finger-picking version for guitar, as well as the 2 original EASY arrangements!

    Read More

  6. Just the Black Keys, for the Younger Pianist

    "Just the Black Keys" is a new piano book for young beginners who need more time with simple music. Make that simple music FUN!

    Read More

The Adventures of Tonsta, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

The Adventures of Tonsta

A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls. 

The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.  

With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.

Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!

Available at Amazon

Piano Treasury of Early Classical Music book

Samii:
THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  Your hard work helped me in my college Introduction To Music class.  As a 50++ student, I struggle remembering all the chords, triads, inversions, etc... Without this amazing wealth of info, I would fail.  What a blessing!

Peer Gynt Suite for piano by Edvard Grieg

Paulette:
Thanks so much for your amazing website. :0 Can't wait to share with my students.  I bought the more difficult arrangement of "The  Moldau". Seems like a great recital piece for some lucky student!!

Swan Lake music book by Piotr Tchaikovsky

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.


About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.