I'm seeing two version of the Bach Sinfonia 9, measure 13, should it be a G flat or G natural on the top voice? G flat makes the most sense, since it keeps with the motif. But why most recordings have the G natural which sounds super odd? Even the Henle urtext version has the G flat, no accidental. It makes no sense to me. Thank you!

  • The major third sounds a bit jarring if you're expecting a minor third and some editions change the note to G-flat. If you prefer the G-flat, there's nothing stopping you from playing it that way.
    – PiedPiper
    Apr 5 at 9:37
  • Neither Bach nor Sinfonia are near to unique. Can you confirm, that Johann Sebastian and BWV 795 from two- and three part inventions is the topic of your question?
    – guidot
    Apr 6 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I disagree that G flat sounds better. This section brings the theme in e flat major, and both soprano and bass consistently use g and not g flat throughout. The counterpoint still uses the chromatic passages which characterize the whole Sinfonia, but nevertheless this passage is definitely in e flat major.

  • Are you saying that Gb is incorrectly given in the urtext?
    – Aaron
    Apr 5 at 9:53
  • 1
    @Aaron it's clearly not a G flat in either of the manuscripts available on IMSLP. Presumably the editor of the Henle edition had a reason for deciding that it should be a G flat, and I suppose that the critical notes explain, but I don't have the edition handy to check.
    – phoog
    Apr 5 at 10:28
  • @phoog The critical notes say nothing about that note. It's given as Gb without commentary.
    – Aaron
    Apr 5 at 12:25

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