Questions on Fugue No. 6
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©1999 Timothy A. Smith

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  1. If the universe was once compressed into a space smaller than the head of a pin, the universe of this fugue is compressed into the space of its:

    tail.
    head.
    subject.
    countersubject.

  2. The following example reveals that the countersubject is generated from the subject. Which statement best reflects this relationship?

    Figure (c) is generated from (b), and (d) from (b).
    Figure (c) is generated from (a), and (d) from (a).
    Figure (c) is generated from (b), and (d) from (a).
    Figure (c) is generated from (a), and (d) from (b).

  3. The subject has three falling thirds. Two of them are followed by a rising second. How are these two falling-third-rising-second figures related?

    The 2nd is a melodic inversion of the 1st.
    The 2nd is a retrograde inversion of the 1st.
    The 2nd is a rhythmic augmentation of the 1st.
    The 2nd is a rhythmic diminution of the 1st.

  4. This fugue contains the first instance of a melodically inverted subject in the Well-Tempered Clavier. How many times is the subject inverted?

    twice
    three times
    four times
    five times

  5. This fugue contains many stretti. Which of the following combinations are heard?

    • subject in stretto with itself
    • subject in stretto with its inversion
    • inverted subject in stretto with itself

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

  6. Aggregates of the subject are heard in mm. 12 and 33. Which of the following statements are true?

    • In both instances the subject's head is in counterpoint with its tail.
    • In m. 12 the head is inverted while the tail is upright.
    • In m. 33 the head is upright while the tail is inverted.

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

  7. What is the figural source for the inside voices of the second-to-last measure. (You may wish to refer to the musical example of question no. 2.)

    • The tenor is derived from figure (a) and the alto from (b).
    • The alto and tenor are both derived from figure (a).
    • The alto is the retrograde-inversion of the tenor.

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

  8. The countersubject is to the subject as:

    the earth is to the moon.
    the moon is to Saturn.
    Saturn is to the earth.
    Titan is to Saturn.

  9. That everything in this fugue emanates from its subject reinforces the principle of:

    • Fortspinnung
    • iron being iron no matter where it is found.
    • good ideas tending to generate new ones.
    • related structures indicating a common origin.

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

  10. With which of the following statements would Bach have agreed?

    • A good composer finds motives that can generate new ones.
    • Many self-accompanying motives have yet to be discovered.
    • Elaboratio is the precursor to inventio.

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