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The Art of FugueBach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750$
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Joseph Kerman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243583

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243583.001.0001

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Fugue in A Minor

Fugue in A Minor

Fantasy and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 904

(p.115) Chapter 14 Fugue in A Minor
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

The fugue in A Minor is a central fugue that circulates a familiar-sounding chromatic subject twice through each of the four voices. This seems a better way of describing the overall plan than to speak of two (irregular) four-part expositions, for the entries all come in pairs—with substantial and specially important episodes between them; the motif of the first of these episodes is worked into a freely varied countersubject. The episodes are especially important because of the essentially neutral affect of the main, chromatic theme. This chromatic pattern also turns up again and again in Baroque music not associated with any text. Accents of lament must always be at least latent in the chromatic subjects, always open to the possibility of activation by means of some further musical parameter or device.

Keywords:   central fugue, A Minor, chromatic subject, Baroque music, neutral affect

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