Sheet Music: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

TitleJesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
from Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben
Alternate titlesJesus bleibet meine Freude
Jesu, Joy of Men's Desire
Opus numberBWV 147
ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG major
Time signature3/4
Tempo80 BPM
Performance time2:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (79 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Date added2009-04-12
Last updated2009-04-16
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 5.4 (very popular)
Baroque, Easter music, Show-off pieces, Wedding music


  • Erin — Solo flute.

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Sunday 12 April 2009

Tune of the Day: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

from J.S. Bach's cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben”

Here we are with our first Easter special: a complete melodic transcription of the 10th movement of J.S. Bach's cantata BWV 147.

Today, this is often performed at wedding ceremonies slowly and reverently, in defiance of the effect suggested by Bach in his original scoring, for voices with trumpet, oboes, strings and continuo. Written during his first year in Leipzig, this chorale movement is one of Bach's most enduring works.

Just a word about rhythm. We've kept the original 3/4 time signature, but as you might notice the main melody line which we have isolated in our transcription is actually in 9/8 time. Of course, this poses no problem since most of the piece is just a sequence of notes of equal duration.

Other Movements from the same Work

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring Flute & Piano