The Art of Fugue
The Art of Fugue was prepared for publication in open score, after having composed it on two staves, in the usual keyboard music format. The work is a staggering compendium of nearly twenty fugues and canons all based on a single theme, and open-score format, with each voice on its own stave, showed off the contrapuntal devices applied to this ur-theme as clearly as possible. In Contrapunctus 1 an invertible counterpoint itself is in very short supply. This elemental fugue never modulates beyond the obligatory dominant and subdominant keys. Contrapunctus 1 accords with his evident intention in The Art of Fugue to control counterpoint as a universal principle, rather than simply the genre of fugue. Made up of canons and fugues of various kinds all based on a single theme, the work encompasses more than one contrapuntal process.
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