(Included from comment: the fugue is from well-tempered clavier, vol. 1 BWV 851)

All research I do gives me a different answer. One example said to use the auxiliary note first - more in keeping with the Baroque era, "G" has the trill over it, so then it would be " AGAGAG" but to exclude the returning note of "F" which is aligned with the semiquavers in the Right Hand. I am using the Peters Edition and this includes the lower note "F"

  • If you're really interested in authenticity, work with an edition that doesn't make these kinds of interpretive assumptions for you (but be aware that you'll still have to make them for yourself). IMSLP has the Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe, which isn't too invasive, and several versions typeset recently. Also, be aware that this piece has a long and complex history. There's substantial evidence that it wasn't even written by Bach. It's been such a huge hit through... Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 17:27
  • ...through the last couple of centuries that there's a lot of tradition that you can't totally escape from. Even if you do the most historically appropriate performance, the Phantom of the Opera hovers over your shoulder. Also note that how to interpret trills in baroque keyboard music—even limiting it to Bach—is a very long subject, and will often come down to choices based on context. Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 17:36
  • And finally, please post an image or reference a measure number so we can know the surrounding notes; I'm not sure any meaningful answer can be given without that. Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 17:37
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    @AndyBonner I would further suggest that Mary Scriven identify which fugue in D minor it is. There is indeed a long trilled G in each hand in BWV 565, but there could also be G trills in other fugues in that key.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 19:01
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    It is Fugue number V1 851 from WTC book 1 Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Since Bach published his own table of ornamentations (Henle blog is a German page but shows facsimile and as well as a new rendering, but you should easily find an English explanation - if required - easily), I would try that one first. If your edition uses a modified notation, it should also bring its own table.

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