Classical Sheet Music: Prelude from J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 1

A new piano solo arrangement by Jennifer Eklund of the Prelude from J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 1.

Classical Sheet Music: Prelude from J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 1

I was watching an old episode of Criminal Minds a few weeks back and this beautiful piece was featured bookmarking the beginning and the ending of the storyline. I figured that it must have been arranged for piano a million times over already, but to my surprise there weren’t a lot of options floating around. So I decided to create my own and I’m really pleased with how it came out. This will be a useful piece for students and pianists alike both as a repertoire study and for performance opportunities.

I know some teachers aren’t fond of arrangements, but I’m not one of them. You can read my thoughts about that in my article “Arrangements of Classical Music: 3 reasons your students SHOULD play them”.


About “Cello Suite No. 1”

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, is one of the most iconic and revered works in the classical music repertoire. Composed in the early 18th century, it is part of a collection of six suites for unaccompanied cello, each written in a different key and following the traditional Baroque dance suite format. The Cello Suite No. 1, in particular, is written in G major and is often considered the cornerstone of any cellist’s repertoire.

Composition and Historical Context:

J.S. Bach composed the Cello Suites during his time in Cöthen, where he served as the Kapellmeister from 1717 to 1723. The suites were likely written between 1717 and 1723, although the exact date remains uncertain. Bach’s purpose in composing these suites is not entirely clear, but they were likely intended for solo performance and study, given the technical challenges and expressive depth they offer.

The Prelude:

The Cello Suite No. 1 consists of six movements, each named after a traditional Baroque dance. The Prelude is quite the most famous and uplifting movement of the six and is a brilliant showcase of the cello’s capabilities. It opens the suite with an arpeggiated introduction, setting the stage for the thematic material that follows. This piece is featured often in films and television shows.


“Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude” Intermediate Piano Solo

Key features of this arrangement:

  • I left the textures pretty thin to stay close to the timbre of the original version on the cello
  • Textures get thicker towards the end of the piece during the climactic section
  • This piece offers a great opportunity for students to work on rubato and expressive phrasing. I’d encourage them to listen to this piece on the cello to try and achieve a similar sound and feel on the piano
  • 5 total pages
  • Run time is approximately 2:30

Get the sheet music at PianoPronto.com:


Looking for more Classical piano sheet music like this?

Did I miss one of your favorites? I’m always open to requests so drop me a comment!


Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.

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