Air on a G String


Bach, J S

Length of piece

4 mins 6 secs


2 trumpets in B flat, French horn in F, trombone and tuba



Johann Sebastian Bach (1674 -1707), strode like a colossus amongst the musicians of the baroque era. His was one of the most prolific musicians and composers to have lived as there are over 1 000 pieces of his music that have survived into the present. He was innovative as well introducing the predecessors to the modern piano and introducing the concept of a piano concerto. His most well know pieces include the Art of Fugue, St Matthew Passion, The Well Tempered Clavier, the cello suites and the Brandenburg concertos. Air on a G string is one of his well know smaller pieces and, like the Badinerie, was one of many works he wrote for solo instrument and small ensembles. Its most well known use was for a series of adverts for Hamlet cigars in the late 1980’s. These are worth looking up ion You Tube. My favourite is the photo booth. It comes from Orchestral suite no 3 and the music for this arrangement comes from another arrangement by August Wilhelm in 1871. As with the Badinerie, this arrangement has been placed in the simpler key of C major rather than the original D major.

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