Questions on Fugue No. 4
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©1999 Timothy A. Smith

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  1. In which of the following works has Bach employed a melodic descent of five semitones to lament the suffering of Jesus?

    • Mass in B Minor
    • Well-Tempered Clavier
    • Fourteen Canons on the Goldberg Ground (BWV 1087)

    none of the above
    one of the above
    two of the above
    all of the above

  2. This fugue's subject:

    • signs the cross in tones.
    • resembles the Greek letter epsilon.
    • employs a Christological symbol.
    • quotes the chorale, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland.

    one of the above
    two of the above
    three of the above
    all of the above

  3. In Bach's music, motives having chiastic contours:

    • descend by semitones.
    • resemble Bach's name in tones.
    • skip down, rise a step, then skip down.

    none of the above
    one of the above
    two of the above
    all of the above

  4. In which of the following works has Bach used the melodic sign of the cross?

    • Mass in B Minor
    • St. Matthew Passion
    • Canon for J. G. Fulda (no. 11 from BWV 1087)

    none of the above
    one of the above
    two of the above
    all of the above

  5. Which word expresses the reason for fives in the fugue's lament, voicing and short subject?

    stigmata
    circulatio
    chiastic
    passio

  6. Which of the fugue's three musical ideas has the greatest symbolic connection with Bach's monogram?

    the lamento
    the "Cross" motive
    the "Brook" motive
    the "Tolling" motive

  7. Which of the following contrapuntal transformations of Bach's name produce the same contours?

    • BACH is like its retrograde-inversion.
    • The retrograde of BACH is like its inversion.
    • The inversion of BACH is like its retrograde-inversion.

    none of the above
    one of the above
    two of the above
    all of the above

  8. Bach has insinuated himself in this fugue:

    • by employing every contrapuntal transformation of his name.
    • in the "Brook" motive's 14 statements and 41 crosses.
    • in the musical mirroring of his monogram's initials, cross, and crown.

    none of the above
    one of the above
    two of the above
    all of the above

  9. The author takes the view that Bach thought of composition, particularly the application of contrapuntal procedures such as retrogradation, inversion, and double counterpoint, as his way of taking up his cross daily. If this is true, then composition was Bach's way of:

    • affirming Luther's theologia crucis.
    • following Christ's command in Luke 9.
    • giving musical expression to his faith.
    • basking in God's glory (Soli Deo Gloria).

    one of the above
    two of the above
    three of the above
    all of the above

  10. In your opinion, which of the following movies most closely resembles this fugue in purpose and effect? If you haven't seen the movie, consult the hyperlink.

    Scorsesi's The Last Temptation of Christ
    Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
    Wyler's Ben-Hur
    Darabont's The Green Mile

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