The French Suites of J.S. Bach
Site Map | Competitive Analysis | Concept Note | Specs| Comps| Materials

I.   Site Maps
  This site has gone through two separate incarnations. The original sites consisted of an index page and eight second level pages. Four of the second level pages contained information pertaining to the topic: biography, photos, the Baroque suite and Bach's French Suites. Two of second level pages were pages containing links to multimedia: music and video. The remaining two pages were utility pages: documentation and disclaimer.

Site Map


The new site has most of the same components as the old site but things have been rearranged. The sitemap for the new site is below:

Site Map

II.   Competitive Analaysis

The objectives of the Bach French Suite site are as follows:

  1. The site will present downloadable, CD quality files of all movements of J.S. Bach's six French Suites. In addition, background information will be provided on Bach's life, Baroque dance suites in general and Bach's French Suites in particular.
  2. The site will have consistent, easy-to-use navigation and titling throughout.
  3. The site will be professionally done and visually appealing.

A Web search for Bach and/or the French Suites yielded the following sites which appear to be the main sites pertaining to J.S. Bach:

Sites Devoted Entirely to Bach:

The J.S. Bach Home Page
Bach Central Station
Dave's J.S. Bach Page
A Johann Sebastian Bach Midi Page

Sites that Include Secions on Bach:

Classical Music Archives
Classical Net

An analysis of the above sites in regard to the objectives of the current site follows:

  1. The site will present downloadable, CD quality files of all movements of J.S. Bach's six French Suites. In addition, background information will be provided on Bach's life, Baroque dance suites in general and Bach's French Suites in particular.
  2. None of the sites above offers all six French Suites in .mp3 format. The Classical Archives site links to all the Suites in a zipped MIDI file, but it's necessary to become a member before you can download from the site. Although a free membership option is available, you're limited to 5 downloads a day which makes it impossible to download the zip file. The only other way to download the files would be to either pay $25 for a membership, or to download each movement separately. There are 40 separate movements in the French Suites, which would necessitate having to come to the site on 8 different days.

    Bach's Home Page, Classical Archives and the Bach Midi Page all offer biographical information on Bach. However, none of the sites discuss the background of the Baroque Suite nor do they discuss the French Suites. Bach's Home Page does give specific information about each Suite, such as key, year composed, links to recordings, etc. However, the Suites as a whole are not discussed.

  3. The site will have consistent, easy-to-use navigation and titling throughout.
  4. Several of the comparative sites utilize the "page of links" style of navigation, making it difficult to find what you're looking for. Classical Net has links at the bottom of the page, which could easily be missed since they would be "under the fold" for many screen resolutions. Bach's Home Page has a combination of the "page of links" style plus a drop down box. With two totally different types of navigation, it's difficult to know which to use for what you're wanting.

    The site with the most consistent navigation is the Johann Sebastian Bach Midi Page. This site may actually suffer from redundancy, however, in that the same global navigation titles are duplicated in a left nav and along the top. In addition, several important links are either embedded in text or appear at the bottom of the page.

  5. The site will be professionally done and visually appealing.
  6. It was felt that none of the above sites is visually appealing. Bach's Home Page appears to be dynamically generated by a database, which is technologically impressive. However, the visual appeal of the site is lacking, in that it only uses about one-third of the horizontal screen space, regardless of resolution.

Summary. It appears that there is no other site on the Internet that meets the criteria set out for the current project. Even though the number of Classical music fans is small, it seems that listeners who do enjoy the Bach French Suites would appreciate a visually appealing, easy-to-navigate site offering background information on Bach and the Suites, and free CD-quality downloads.

III.   Concept Note

Communication Objective: The primary communication objective of the site is to provide a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate overview to Bach's French Suites. Downloads of each movement of the six French Suites will be available on the site as well as a video pertaining to Bach's life.

Overall Design Approach: Three comps will be designed for the site. Two of these will be created in Flash and the other in HTML. It is hoped that one of the Flash sites will be used as the final site, with the HTML site linked to it for those users who do not have Flash capabilities.

Branding and Identity: The concept of branding is not as important on a site of this type as it would be for a corporate site or the site of a living artist. However, the site will be given a consistent look and feel by use of the same color scheme and fonts throughout. In addition, the HTML site will have the same banner on each page and the Flash sites will utilize the same template for each page.

Target Audience: The primary target audience will be people who are interested in the music of J.S. Bach, especially those who enjoy the French Suites.

Graphic Style and Typography: The graphic style will be professional and artistic. A common sans-serif font created specifically for the Internet was chosen for most text and headers. Some sites will also use decorative font common in Bach's lifetime for the main title.

Layout:The Flash sites will have a "stage" area where information will appear when links are clicked. This will allow the navigation to look exactly the same on each page. The HTML site will be a standard 2-column layout, with navigation along the left and content in the middle and extending to the right side of the page.

Color Usage: Various shades of gold or off-white and a deep red were chosen for the one of the Flash sites as well as the HTML site. The second Flash site is more muted, relying primarily on white trimmed with a warm brown. The intent in both cases was to provide a rich, luxurious, somewhat formal look.

IV.   Specs

Description: To some extent, the description of the site will depend on which comp is chosen for the final project. However, each site will have a global navigation system consisting of a home page, a bio page, a page discussing the Baroque suite, a page describing Bach's French Suites and a page with links to the audio files. Audio files will be in .mp3 format. The site may also have a page with a link to a video of Bach's life. In some cases, the bio page will double as the home page. The Flash sites will have only minimal animation, mostly on the opening page and on the over state for buttons or links.

Specific Colors Used: Colors will be taken from the palette below:

Color Palette

Dimensions: The site will be designed for an 800 x 600 screen resolution.

Fonts Used:The primary font for body copy and smaller headers will be Verdana. In some cases, Old English Text will be used in the main header title.

Technology Used: Software used will include some or all of the following: Macromedia Flash MX 2004, Sony Sound Forge 8, Adobe Photoshop CS, Adobe Illustrator CS and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004.

V.   Comps

Screen shots are provided for each of the three comps. Clicking on a screen shot will take you to a non-working prototype of the sites.


Flash Site #1:

Flash Prototype #1

Flash Site #2:

Flash Prototype #2

HTML Site:

HTML Prototype

VI.   Materials

The materials listed below have not been edited, touched up or prepared for the site, but rather are the raw materials from which the content, graphic and multimedia elements will be derived.

Content: The content was obtained from various websites. The URL for each of the sites appears at the bottom of each content document. In addition, some content may be written by the author and designer of the present site. All files below are .txt files.

Biographical material

Additional biographical material

Information on Baroque dance suites

Information on Bach's French Suites

Graphics: Graphics were also obtained from the Web. All graphics are photographs, either of Bach's manuscipts or of various paintings or sketches that were done of Bach. It appeared that none of these photographs are currently under copyright. The photographs are not in any special order.

Photographs of Likenesses of Bach
Bach 1   Bach 2   Bach 3   Bach 4   Bach 5   Bach 6   Bach 7   Bach 8   Bach 9  

Other Photographs
Bach Manuscript   Title Page of One of Bach's Works  

Audio Files: Audio files were obtained in MP3 format as downloads from a site called Media Club.

French Suite #1 in D Minor
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Menuet I   Menuet II   Gigue
(2861 KB)(1966 KB)(5319 KB)(2264 KB)(4639 KB)(4156 KB)

French Suite #2 in C Minor
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Air   Menuet   Gigue
(4861 KB)(2119 KB)(4240 KB)(1685 KB)(1554 KB)(3354 KB)

French Suite #3 in B Minor
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Anglaise   Menuet   Gigue
(2964 KB)(2191 KB)(3105 KB)(3781 KB)(1536 KB)(3278 KB)

French Suite #4 in E♭Major
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Gavotte   Menuett   Air   Gigue
(2165 KB)(2125 KB)(4049 KB)(1767 KB)(1416 KB)(1989 KB)(3705 KB)

French Suite #5 in G Major
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Gavotte   Bourrée   Loure   Gigue
(3375 KB)(2384 KB)(5365 KB)(1264 KB)(1496 KB)(2088 KB)(4776 KB)

French Suite #6 in E Major
Allemande   Courante   Sarabande   Gavotte   Polonaise   Menuet   Bourrée   Gigue
(3375 KB)(1879 KB)(4936 KB)(1139 KB)(1686 KB)(1482 KB)(1820 KB)(3896 KB)

Video File: The original site had a video file of an organist playing a Bach piece. However, since the piece being played was not related to the French Suites in any way and since the French Suites were not written for organ, the video was removed for the final site.

Susan C. Litton   |   IMD 240A, Audio for Multimedia   |   Fall, 2004   |   Documentation
This web site was created by students for educational purposes at The Art Institute of Atlanta
and is in no way intended for commercial gain or as a source of public information.