Music 395—Worksheet 9              Name:

The Fugue

Score Analysis—Bach
Suggested Recordings

Due Date: Monday, April 26, 2004


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Score Analysis

Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I: Fugue No. 16 in G Minor—Burkhart, pp. 107-108 (see pp. 125-126 in 5th ed.)

Using the fugue diagram we did in class as a model, write directly on the grid below to diagram this G minor fugue. Voice by voice, your diagram should show every statement of the Subject (or Answer) and the Countersubject (if present), and it should show Free Material wherever any voice is “noodling„ (i.e., stating something that is NOT a complete statement of the Subject or Countersubject). Make sure your diagram distinguishes clearly between Subject, Countersubject, and Free Material—use either different colors or different line types (solid, dotted, wavy) and label these clearly so that anyone can tell at a glance which is which. When you search for subject statements after the Exposition, remember that Bach often uses subject fragments in episodes: only complete (or nearly complete) statements of the subject count as subject statements. Finally, for each statement of the Subject (or Answer) indicate the key just below the diagram.




When you have completed your diagram, continue your analysis by doing the following:

Finally, answer these questions—

  1. In the exposition, is the answer tonal or real? Explain. If tonal, which note(s) got changed? Why?
  2. Is there a codetta in the exposition? If so, what purpose does it serve in this fugue?
  3. Does Bach continue to use the Countersubject after the Exposition is over? If so, does he use it consistently (every time the Subject appears) or intermittently?
  4. Is there a secondary exposition in this fuge? If so, in what measures? Is it in the same key(s) as the Exposition? If not the same key(s), then what key(s) does it use?
  5. Can you find any examples of stretto in this fugue? If so, how many examples? In what measures? How close are the Subject entrances in each stretto—2 beats? 4 beats? other? Does Bach use the Countersubject in these passages? Why or why not, do you suppose?
  6. In the middle section of this fugue (the modulatory, developmental section), in what measures do you find the best examples of sequence? Which sections do these passages tend to be in, Subject Entries or Episodes?
  7. In the middle (modulatory) section, what developmental techniques are used most often in the Episodes?
  8. In the middle (modulatory) section, what developmental techniques are used most often in the Subject Entries?
  9. For each Episode separately, briefly describe which motives from the Subject or Countersubject Bach uses. Are any episodes similar to each other, or are they all different? Explain.
  10. In the terminative section of the fugue, are there any statements of the Subject (or Answer)? How many? In what measure? How is terminative function expressed, i.e., what makes it sound like the end?

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Suggested Recordings—

Buehler Library

Created 4/22/04 by Mark Harbold—last updated 4/22/04.