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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 C Minor

Fugue in C Minor

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

(p.11) Chapter 2 Fugue in C Minor
The Art of Fugue

Joseph Kerman

University of California Press

The fugue in C Minor has become standard teaching material in advanced and elementary textbooks alike, for courses in canon and fugue as well as lowly music appreciation. It was the first fugue to be jazzed and the first to be switched on. The fugue in C Minor demonstrates contrapuntal inversion very well, with five of the six possible permutations of the subject, countersubject 1 (cs 1), and countersubject 2 (cs 2) clearly on display. This fugue also teaches about the conventional closure of minor-mode music in the major, by altering the interval of a minor third in its final tonic chord into the more conclusive major third. The fugue in C Minor serves as a model for a number of others with lively, dance-like subjects and prominent recurring episodes, but they all close in quite a different spirit, with an epigram derived wittily from some previous material.

Keywords:   fugue, C Minor, minor-mode music, countersubject, dance-like subjects

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