Bach fugue analysis. Fugue 2018-12-28

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Analysis of Bach's fugue BWV 850 in D Major (WTC I)

bach fugue analysis

Episode one from bars 10-13 has the upper voice repeat the end of the subject, in a falling sequence. Questionnaire: Students can answer online. As a good generalisation though subject to some reservations a codetta separates entries that belong to the same group, or merely supplies a cadence to an entry, while an episode separates those belonging to different groups, making the modulations. So before you begin, study the terms carefully. It is not accompanied by the countersubject, but additional parts are added to the harmony a by no means unusual feature at the end of a fugue. At bar 20, the beginning of the subject is heard, as if in stretto, in all the voices. One of the most interesting of the shorter fugues.


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Fugue Analysis

bach fugue analysis

The first bars 12 to 14 is founded on a variation of the subject treated sequentially in the bass. After another codetta bars 1 8 to 21 the same Yoice gives a redundant entry of the answer; this is unusual, though occasional analogies are to be met with e. The first episode bars 8, 9 is formed from the fragment of incidental counterpoint in the alto of bar 7. The subject returns in the key of A flat in the tenor in bar 41, with the countersubject, curiously varied, in the treble ; and is answered in stretto by the bass in bar 42. Music in the Age of the Renaissance. With the decline of sophisticated styles at the end of the , the fugue's central role waned, eventually giving way as and the rose to a dominant position. These details are what make this set so difficult and so special at the same time.

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Fugue

bach fugue analysis

In bars 67 to 71, and 73 to 77, the canonic stretti on the inverted subject should be most carefully compared with the first stretti bars 27 to 37. As the subject commences on the dominant the answer will be tonal, and begin on the tonic. Nevertheless, there are some serious ideas here, mainly in the self-similar contours and rhythms of the subject's head and tail. Often the contrapuntal writing is not strict, and the setting less formal. The countersubject follows the subject immediately, and terminates either at the first or second beat of bar 9, but its ending is usually altered after the exposition. There is no regular countersubject. For example, a fugue may not even explore the dominant, one of the most closely related keys to the tonic.

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Bach: Prelude and Fugue No.11 in F major, BWV 856 Analysis

bach fugue analysis

But as you will see in our analysis, there are only 22 complete subjects. The first bars 8, 9 commences with a transposition of the codetta, while the figures in bar 9 are suggested by the counter- subject. The second episode bars 1 6 to 2 1 leads to a second stretto bars 21 to 24 , in B minor and F sharp minor, for tenor, treble and alto, at one bar's distance; the answer in the bass bar 25 , which completes this group, is not in stretto. As the fugue contains an unusual amount of stretto, it has no regular countersubject ; but, in order to give unity to the composition, the last four semiquavers of the subject, marked above with ' a ' , are very frequently used throughout the fugue, either by direct motion, as in bars 2, 7 and 10, or by inverse movement, as in bars 4, 5 and 6. A metamorphosis of a subject, countersubject or other melody, by the substitution of ascending intervals for descending, and vice versa.

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Preludes and Fugues

bach fugue analysis

Much more rarely, the entry of one voice is reserved for a later section of the fugue. The remaining entries, in bars 27, 28 to 29, 30 to 31, 31 to 32, present no specially new features, and need not be discussed in detail. Thus it is to be noted that while certain are more commonly explored in fugal development, the overall structure of a fugue does not limit its harmonic structure. A counter-exposition occupies bar 4 and the first half of bar 5, and to this succeeds immediately the middle section. There many also be an inverted countersubject. An overlapping of two entries of the subject or subject and answer ; one voice entering before the previous one Introduction. In consequence, composers exercise editorial judgment as to the most musical of permutations and processes leading thereto.

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Preludes and Fugues

bach fugue analysis

On the entry of the subject in the bass bars 6 to 8 , this countersubject is, somewhat exceptionally, divided between the treble and alto. The countersubject accompanies 'every entry of the subject in this fugue. To be able to get to the total of 24 subjects you need to include two incomplete presentations of the subject. It is irregular and unusual to have two successive entries as here, bars 59 and 66 in the same voice. The treble enters with the subject in the related key of C sharp minor in bar 27, but not in stretto. The final entries from bar 39, after a pre- paratory one in the bass at bar 34 are again at a distance of one bar, and are assigned to the bass and alto, both giving the subject, and in its direct form. Of the six possible combinations, four are employed.

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Analysis of Bach's Fugue BWV 846 in C major (WTC I)

bach fugue analysis

But Bach would never have envisaged a public rendition of any of these fugues, much less a performance of the complete work, which in any case was unthinkable in the context of the performance practice of the time. Keyboard from this time often conclude with a fugal. A couple of bars are added to lead to the final perfect cadence. The subtle beauty of the music is undeniable, though, and it stands out through the whole of music history as distinctly recognisable and endearing, which is an excellent way to start off the monumental achievement of The Well-Tempered Clavier. Most fugues open with a short main theme, the subject, which then sounds successively in each after the first voice is finished stating the subject, a second voice repeats the subject at a different pitch, and other voices repeat in the same way ; when each voice has entered, the exposition is complete. In the exposition a second voice or countersubject almost always follows the subject the countersubject is frequently at the pitch of the dominant.

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Analysis

bach fugue analysis

The episode which separates these last two entries bars 25 to 27 gives the semiquaver figures partly by inverse movement. The counter- subject makes its re-appearance in this final section bars 36, 37, 38, 40 after being absent from the stretti of the middle groups. The entry at bar 35 in the treble, in the key of B flat minor, may be regarded as the answer to the preceding, though real instead of tonal ; the countersubject is in the alto. They are five in number : bars 17 to 20, 24 to 28, 40 to 45, 55 to 59 and 63 to 67. Bach's and as it begins by leaping from tonic to dominant, the answer treble, bars 3 to 6 is tonal, leaping from dominant to tonic. Questionnaire: Students can answer online. Some fugues during the Baroque period were pieces designed to teach contrapuntal technique to students.

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