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Classical 101

"Gee...Look at All Those Little Black Dots." J.S. Bach's "Black Dots" Sell for $3.5 Million

Gary Larson Far Side

Most of us have seen art exhibits containing originals by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and other acknowledged masters. Owning one is something most of us can only dream about.

If you are musically inclined, you have seen prints of music manuscripts by various composers, famous and otherwise, but what about music as visual art? If you've ever seen a Beethoven manuscript, it's most like not something you'd hang on the wall, what with it's smudges, erasures, and scratched-out measures.

You might, however, think about owning a Bach.

The manuscript to the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat Major, BWV 998 by J.S. Bach sold recently at auction for just over 3.3 million dollars. This Bach manuscript is as beautiful to look at as it is to hear.

Thomas Venning is the manuscript expert for Christie's. In a conversation with Rick Fulker from Deutsche Welle, He described Bach's handwriting on the score as "very flowing and graceful." You can see photos of the manuscript here.

If you weren't the winning bid on this one, you might have a bit of a wait on your hands...the manuscript had not seen the light of day since 1969.

However, the music is available for everyone.