Watch the Level 4: Beginner Classical online guitar lesson by Andrew Leonard from Take 5: Beginner Classical
This piece is a minuet, a dance form with three beats that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. The piece was originally written for the harpsichord, the predecessor of the piano.
In 1725, Johann Sebastian Bach presented his second wife Anna Magdalena Bach with a very beautiful notebook. The first two pieces in the book were keyboard pieces composed by Bach and written in his handwriting. Interestingly, one of the pieces was in A minor, which just happen to correspond to the first two initials of Anna Magdalena. A random coincidence? I don't think so!
The remainder of the notebook includes keyboard compositions by many leading composers of the time. This collection has become known as the Notebook for Anna Magdalena. Many of the compositions in it were copied by Anna Magdalena and she did not list some of the composers. Over time, music historians have discovered the composers of many pieces in this collection. This "Minuet in G Major" was one those compositions. Originally, it was thought to have been written by J.S. Bach. However, in 1970, it was attributed to Christian Petzold when his harpsichord suite containing this piece was discovered.
Many people still think of this piece as composed by Bach. There are many versions of this piece for classical guitar, piano and other instruments, published before 1970 and cheaply republished without correction. So, they still list J.S. Bach as the composer. If you decide to mention it to those who you might perform for that this was composed by Bach, don't worry! The "classical music police" will not show up and detain you. However, pianists who have learned this piece (and know the truth) may decide to tell you about Christian Petzold!
If you have some free time (perhaps too much), search the internet for a song called "Lover's Concerto" by The Toys. That's all I will say.