Goldberg Variations


About this sheet music

This new edition of Bach's Goldberg Variations is created by MuseScore lead developer Werner Schweer. The funds to create this work raised via the crowd funding site Kickstarter ( The edition has been refined through an open process of peer review and careful scrutiny from pianist Kimiko Ishizaka. You can listen and download her recording on

To open the MuseScore source file, you need at least MuseScore 2 which you can download from

Revision History
* Sept 18th 2015: Made compatible with MuseScore 2.0.2
* June 16th 2012: Revised edition (20+ fixes - )
* May 28th 2012: Release of the score

A special thanks to:
* All the people who funded this project
* All the people who helped with the public peer review of the score

The OpenGoldberg team
Werner Schweer, Nicolas Froment, Thomas Bonte
Robert Douglass, Kimiko Ishizaka, Anne-Marie Sylvestre

Follow OpenGoldberg on

Genre: Classical
Format: Score

Comments (43)

g-liu's picture

Var. 25, m.3 last note of the R.H should be tied over the bar? This is the case in the Urtext edition and the Czerny edition.

g-liu's picture

Possible typo on Variation 16, m.11 left hand last note. (p. 30 in the score)

Should be G# not Ab correct?

FarrierPete's picture

Die Goldberg-Variationen von Bach

Quelle: Die Datei läßt mit dem Online-Player abspielen, (der aber Kunstpausen macht) herunterladen und läßt sich auf lokaler Festplatte speichern... Die Datei läßt sich auch als ".PDF" -Notenblatt herunterladen - aber auch dieses zeigt Fehler...

Was kann man gegen den Fehler tun? Zwar habe ich in der Beschreibung unter den Noten gelesen...

>> To open the MuseScore source file, you need to use the MuseScore nightly build which you can download from<<

Wirklich??? Eine alte MuseScore - Beta-Version von 2014 laden und installieren, wo ich grade das Update auf die allerneueste Vers. 2.02 von 2015 zum Laufen gebracht habe???

Vielleicht könnte sich doch mal einer der ursprünglichen Editoren um Behebung der Fehler bemühen, bzw. Frage: Was stünde einer neuen Revision/Update dieser Datei entgegen?



FarrierPete's picture

I recommend: Take a look at
Classical Music on harp or guitar might not be your choice... but, the technique of enhancing a thin, "dry" default General-MIDI-Soundfont FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3 to an enhanced, "wet" variant, might be of interest to many kinds of instrument and many music styles.
IMHO: With a little sound mixing effort, "FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3" could be polished and proove as a real good sounding Instrument!
Let me know, what you think.
Have fun, and: Set the music free!

g-liu's picture

Opening this in the newly-released MuseScore 2.0 gives a "score corrupted" error:

Measure 813 Staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 3/4; Found: 54/32
Measure 814 Staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 54/32
Measure 814 Staff 2 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 6/8
Measure 815 Staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 54/32
Measure 815 Staff 2 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 6/8
Measure 816 Staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 54/32
Measure 816 Staff 2 incomplete. Expected: 9/8; Found: 12/16
... and so on

Perhaps it's only supposed to be opened by the nightly build?

Isaac Weiss's picture

Not only does the score contain corruptions, but its layout is not interpreted correctly by the released software, either. Perhaps this should be fixed?

g-liu's picture

I was able to open this successfully in the latest version of MuseScore. Looks like this has been fixed!

horvath.ernone.5's picture

Wonderful interpretation of Kimiko Ishizaka. Thank You very much!

gaintube's picture

Any reason I can't open from v1.3?

Thomas's picture

As stated in the description below the score: To open the MuseScore source file, you need to use the MuseScore nightly build which you can download from

ELI977's picture

My favourite composer :)

NewFranzLiszt's picture

I thought it was Beethoven?

Thomas's picture

Unboxing the printed edition of the Open Goldberg Variations by GRIN publishing:

NewFranzLiszt's picture

Where's the videoscore with Mr. Glenn Gould playing? Just kidding, unless someone wants to do the 58 pages. The 5 greatest sets of piano variations:
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Beethoven: Diabelli variations
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini
Sorabji: Dies Irae cycle
Rzewski: The People United will never be Defeated.

fabpianista's picture

This make me cry. :')

Thomas's picture

Exciting to see the first test print of the Open Goldberg Variations score. The edition is printed by Open Goldberg Variations partner GRIN publishing from Munich, Germany. Online ordering available very soon!
Here are two pictures:

skaufman's picture

The introspective Aria needs more time to let the gorgeous twists and turns of the ornamentation sink in. In other words, the tempo is a little too hurried. The playback execution of the ornaments has improved at the very beginning: it needs to be carried out throughout the score. It must take an enormous amount of time & effort to write these out for playback, so I hope that eventually a flexible parameterized ornamentation playback will catch up to the ornamentation engraving capability and reduce that work. Figuring out what the parameters are for such ornamentation will be a major challenge. Thanks for all your effort!

Thomas's picture

Werner Schweer has revised the Open Goldberg Variation edition. 20+ changes have been made, improving the overall engraving quality. Read more at

skaufman's picture

Sweet! Excellent work. A couple of comments:
The repeats should occur without any pause. Playing it with the latest nightly build I get a pause of a few seconds, about what one would expect between movements.
The ornamentation is not quite there yet, and it doesn't reproduce Ishizaka's performance. I guess that's the purpose of the exercise, and I assume it's still being polished.

Thomas's picture

The ornaments playback in MuseScore is still being worked on, so that's right, it needs to be polished. Our mantra when developing MuseScore has always been notation first, playback after. So by taking on the Goldberg Variations we wanted to improve the MuseScore typesetting quality first. Concerning the pause with the repeats, I need to verify with Werner who made the score. Will get back to you with the answer.

Thomas's picture

There is a free iPad app now to enjoy the Open Goldberg Variations

rdhyee's picture

Is the MusicXML conversion supposed to be working properly? I imported the MusicXML version of the score into FinaleReader and the a repeat in the first variation brought be back into the opening aria.

sunno's picture

Is anyone having problems opening file in musescore? I doesn't open, not even shows any error :s

Thomas's picture

@sunno To open the MuseScore source file, you need to use the MuseScore nightly build which you can download from Let us know what build (rxxxx) you have been trying with and on which platform.

sunno's picture

I've been using lastest stable version for windows version 1.2 r5470, thanks i'll try nightly build then :)

sunno's picture

Nope, It didn't work :(

tornice's picture

Hello folks. Sorry to return to this issue. Why is not possible to open the file using the stable version? I think is important to keep the compatibility. The mscz file should not be different, no matter on which version of MuseScore it was written. What do the developers say about that?

Thomas's picture

Good question Tornice. You can read my answer on the MuseScore developers mailing list: Check out the "Forward Compatibility" paragraph and more specific the MusicXML workaround.

olivermusico's picture

es mucho mejor que no tenga ninguna indicación de digitación. Ayuda mucho más al estudiante poner con un lápiz sus propias digitaciones, ya que las digitaciones NO son universales.
Además es de mejor calidad que sea lo más fiel a la partitura original que seguramente no trae ninguna digitación.
Gracias por el trabajo! y apoyen el proyecto!

husar2003's picture

Please PLEASE do NOT add any finger suggestions. It makes it very awful to overwrite those with paint or thick pencils. There always remain irritating numbers on the sheet. Please think of 2-dimension-instruments as Bayan accordion completely and the piano accordion half side is (left part). I play a couple of the goldberg variations and the fingering ist much more dense than a 1.5-dimension-instrument ever could be. On the other (left) hand i only habe four fingers. (C-c is not 1-5 but 2-5 on both sides of the instrument, cdefgahc is not 12312345 but as example 32323423, [could also be 12323421 on right side] and it also differs from the construction, the basic grip-system C, B,...
Where a 1.5-instrument has 1, 2 or three fingering variations i have always a couple of equal good fingerings and the trick is to find the best what may also vary from player to player.
Therefore for accordion any printed fingering for "piano"-like makes no sense.

rdhyee's picture

I agree -- fingering suggestions shouldn't be added to the source. Someone who wanted to add suggestions should be able to publish a separate layer that can be used to supplement the score. I don't know whether MuseScore can support such functionality.

rdhyee's picture

I'd guess that the fingering suggestions can be layered on top of the existing score instead of being added directly to the score. Of course, we'd need someone to offer such suggestions!

cayblood's picture

Have you considered adding fingering suggestions? It would make the score a lot more helpful for students.

Thomas's picture

You can open the score with free notation software MuseScore (currently only with the nightly builds - see more in the description on the score page) and add fingerings.

cayblood's picture

I'm not qualified to do that, but thanks for clarifying that. Hopefully someone will do it.

gBouchard's picture

My opinion is that you should figure out the fingering that works best for you. Not all hands are the same. I use my fourth or ring finger in lieu of my little finger on many occasions. On other occasions depending on the run, I must start with the little finger. In one instance in the Aria I play what is written for the left hand with my right hand. Another issue is this was originally intended to played on the harpsichord which may have had more than one manual. Sometimes two notes are indicated when only one can be played. In the end you have to figure out how you are are going to develop you own personal interpretation. I takes time, and much thought. Listen to versions you like is helpful, but in the end you must arrive at your own conclusion. Make it personal to yourself.

TestPilot's picture

Not all hands are the same, that's why they're fingering **suggestions**

olivermusico's picture

great idea!

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This score appears in


Uploaded May 28, 2012
Pages 58
Duration 65:16
Measures 990
Key signature 1 sharp
Parts 1
Part names
  • Piano
License CC Zero
Privacy  Everyone can see this score

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