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Solfeggietto (H 220, Wq. 117: 2) is a short solo keyboard piece in C minor composed in 1766 by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.[1] According to Powers (2002:232) the work is correctly called Solfeggio, although the Solfeggietto title is widely used today. Owens refers to the work as a toccata.[2]

Solfeggietto beginning.svg

The work is unusual for a keyboard piece in that the main theme and some other passages are fully monophonic, i.e. only one note is played at a time. The piece is commonly assigned to piano students and appears in many anthologies; pedagogically it fosters the playing of an even sixteenth note rhythm by alternating hands. The piece is used as a main theme in 1990's "Treasure Mountain!".

This piece is easily Bach's best-known, to the point that Paul Corneilson's introduction to The Essential C.P.E. Bach is subtitled "Beyond the Solfeggio in C Minor".[3] Owens also describes it as C. P. E. Bach's most famous work.[4]

The work is often performed by left-hand alone. [5]

The Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin has arranged the piece with additional voices as Solfeggietto a cinque for player piano.[6]



  • Negri, Paul (2004) Baroque Keyboard Masterpieces: 39 Works by Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Couperin and Others. Courier Dover Publications.
  • Owens, Thomas (1995) Bebop: The music and its players. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Powers, Doris Bosworth (2002) Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: A Guide to Research. Psychology Press.

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