Questions on Fugue No. 14
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©1999 Timothy A. Smith

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  1. Edna O'Brien's novel, Long Distance, uses the word "fugue" metaphorically of:

    a chase.
    a love affair.
    a psychotic state.
    a dissociative disorder.

  2. This fugue represents a fusion of styles--antico with moderno. Which of the following are traits of the "old" style?

    • moving sighs of the countersubject
    • chromatic ascent to the dominant
    • the tying of notes from their consonant to dissonant states

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

  3. Which of the following are traits of the "new" style?

    • flexibly molded lines
    • cadential trill in the subject
    • carefully prepared dissonances

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

  4. This fugue reveals Bach's love affair with:

    Edna O'Brien.
    counterpoint.
    Anna Magdalena.
    arch-shaped melodies.

  5. Ledbetter and Wessel theorize that the rising chromatic line of the fugue's subject expresses:

    • doubt.
    • sorrow.
    • supplication.

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

  6. The countersubject of this fugue is:

    • in the shape of an arch.
    • characterized by a sighing motive.
    • nearly inverted in m. 22.

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

  7. The bridge passage of mm. 11-14 exemplifies the ideal in Renaissance-style counterpoint. While its chromatics are modern, the rhythmic independence of each voice recalls the style of Palestrina. Notice too the preponderance of conjunct motion. With the exception of two leaps in the bass, mm. 11-14 are entirely stepwise. To appreciate the beauty of this passage you should sing each of its three lines a couple of times.

    I have sung each line a couple of times.
    I have listened to the passage repeatedly but am embarrassed to sing in public.
    I have studied species counterpoint and agree that the lines are Palestrinesque.

  8. Returning to mm. 11-14, notice how tied notes carry to a final pitch that is a 2nd or 9th away from another voice. Which measure contains the exception to this principle.

    m. 11
    m. 12
    m. 13
    m. 14

  9. This fugue states the subject twice in its melodic inversion. These are found in which voices respectively?

    alto and tenor
    alto and bass
    soprano and tenor
    soprano and bass

  10. The author calls this fugue a "marriage of opposites." Bach may have been inspired to create these opposites by:

    a poem by John Ciardi.
    chromaticism in the fugue's subject.
    the fugue's key of f-sharp minor.
    an essentially choral style.

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