Bach Prelude and Fugue

Topics: Johann Sebastian Bach, Fugue, Counterpoint Pages: 2 (357 words) Published: November 28, 2011
J. S. Bach (1685-1750) : Prelude & Fugue in G minor, BWV 861 Book: Well-Tempered Clavier Book I
Composed in: 1722
Publish year: 1722

Johann Sebastian Bach was as “the Father of Music” who devoted himself to music education in his later years and brought great influence to the classical music world. The Well-Tempered Clavier, a collection of solo keyboard music (harpsichord), was a good example.

J.S. Bach’s music requested high technical command and artistic beauty. With the purpose to explore the technical possibilities, J.S. wrote all 24 major and minor keys preludes and fugues which encompass an extraordinarily wide range of style. The Prelude and Fugue BWV 861 in G minor clearly shows the structural regularities of Bach’s music.

A prelude is served as an introduction to a longer and more complex work. In Bach's time, preludes were written in the theme and variation form. In this prelude, the first theme is presented by the left hand, accompanied by a light and arresting right hand trill. The main melodic idea is a two-note tiptoe between a triplet figure that the two hands repeat one after the other. There were several motifs appear in both hands. Then it ends up peacefully with a right hand ornament again. Therefore, aside from highlighting the melody of it, the use of ormament also plays an important role in the whole prelude.

A fugue is a contrapuntal composition in two or more voices, built on a main subject and developed developed mainly by imitative counter-point. It usually has three sections: an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation. The exposition of this fugue is introduced at the beginning by the left hand (subject) in Bar 1, a second entry, the tonal answer appeared and followed by a countersubject. This procedure is repeated at different octaves until all the voices have entered and the exposition is complete. Comparing it with the prelude, it is double faster in rhythm and still legato...
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