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The French Suites were written in 1722. But it was not until Bach biographer Johann Forkel prepared an edition in the early nineteenth century that the pieces became known by the collective title French. It is true that Bach gave each of the dance movements a French title, but it was Forkel who declared that they were 'written in the French taste, with an emphasis on tunefulness and consonant harmony rather than German structure and counterpoint'. In printed sheet music format.

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