Similar to how the Well-Tempered Clavier opens, with the keyboard playing its most simple gesture, beginning on a middle C that then grows into a C-major arpeggio in the centre of the keyboard, so do the violin Sonatas and Partitas open with the instrument introducing itself by sounding its lowest note, and then sweeping upwards through one of its signature chords. Guitarists may find it serendipitous that Bach then finishes his work with the BWV 1006 gigue in E-major sounding a descending arpeggio on the guitar's most signature chord, and then ending on our lowest note.

All three sonatas are in the style of the sonata da chiesa, or church sonata. In fact, every sonata has at least one surviving movement that was transcribed for the keyboard; for example, the G-minor fugue, BWV 1001, was transcribed in Bach’s time for the organ; BWV 1003 was also, in its entirety, for keyboard. And there are accounts of Bach himself playing the C-major fugue, BWV 1005, on the instrument as well. Therefore, it is likely that parts of all these sonatas were incorporated into church services.