Questions on Fugue No. 3
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©2014 Timothy A. Smith

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  1. Which of the following is NOT a reason why this fugue is jolly?

    its compound intervals
    its compound melody
    its harmonic rhythm
    its large leaps

  2. The two melodies implied by the subject…

    converge on the tonic pitch.
    are like a marble in a funnel.
    have no skips
    two of the above
    all of the above

  3. Which of the following is true of the countersubject?

    It is all sixteenth notes.
    It isn't heard in the sequences.
    Its "galloping motif" is retrograded in the sequences.
    Its most memorable sound is dissonant.

  4. The above motif is…

    heard in the above contour in the subject.
    heard in the above contour in five of the sequences.
    heard in its melodic inversion in the countersubject.
    heard in its melodic inversion in five of the sequences.

  5. How many of the following are true?

    • The subject is a sequence.
    • Four of the sequences use motifs from the subject.
    • The fuel of a sequence is its harmonic rhythm.
    • The sequence ends when its pattern is broken.

    None are true.
    One is true.
    Two are true.
    Three are true.

  6. As to the typical length of Bach's sequences, how many are true?

    • The sequences of mm. 7, 16, 35, 39, and 48 are atypically short.
    • The sequence of m. 22 is atypically short.
    • The sequence of m. 31 is of the typical length.

    None are true.
    One is true.
    Two are true.

  7. Two of the sequences, if run together, would have created one long one of five cycles. These two begin in which of the following measures?

    7 & 16
    7 & 31
    7 & 35
    7 & 39

  8. The only compositions that Bach wrote with seven sharps in the key signature were those of the Well-Tempered Clavier. Most scholars agree that he composed this fugue in C (void signature), then added the necessary sharps for transposition to C#. How many of the following are true.

    • Since mm. 18-22 modulate to e# minor, double sharps are needed on D & F.
    • In e# minor the D double sharp is needed as the leading tone.
    • If Bach had transposed this fugue down from C to Cb major, then the corresponding mm. 18-22 would have required double flats on D & F.

    One is true.
    Two are true.
    All are true.

  9. This fugue modulates twice to G# major – once for three measures, then for two. Assuming that you agree with the author’s argument about the desirability about not cluttering the score, which of the following would have been preferable for the G# major episodes?

    Continue in sharps - eight all told, including an Fx.
    Transpose the score to Ab - four flats all told, none double.

  10. Contrapuntal inversion happens when two melodies exchange registers – the one in the low register moving to the high and vice versa. Of the timeline’s several animations, how many involve contrapuntal inversion?


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