Questions on Fugue No. 22
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©2014 Timothy A. Smith

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  1. In a PBS documentary George Balanchine affirmed: "We don't create; we just assemble what God created." Which of the following would most likely have DISAGREED with Balanchine's perspective?

    "I believe that all we create is sent from somewhere. It is as if our ideas already exist, and pass through us in order to be seen. What is up in the air comes down and comes through you." (Ang Lee, film director - "Life of Pi" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon")
    "It still seems at times as if the creation of the work just happens. Sometimes my hand is moving with the spirit of the project, and hopefully, God is moving my hand." (Faith Ringgold, painter and sculptor)
    "The whole idea for [the art exhibition] 'Rings' just came to me. I do not take any credit for it. Only the good Lord knows where this idea, this inspiration came to me from." (J. Carter Brown, former director of the National Gallery of Art)
    "Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I can just hear melodies and little themes, and I know that it's directly from God because it's pure, it's good, it just came through me." (Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter and composer)
    "Every something is an echo of nothing." (John Cage, composer)

  2. Which 18th-century composer and theorist wrote a seminal instructional manual on renaissance-style polyphony?


  3. The subject of this fugue is similar to that of the ebm fugue of the Well-Tempered Clavier, book 1. What is the primary difference in voice leading between these two subjects?

    The ebm fugue is novel while the present one is a dance.
    The ebm fugue has fewer voices than the present one.
    The ebm fugue inverts the first interval of the subject.
    The ebm fugue is a tone poem on the Karamazov brothers, but this one is on Balanchine.

  4. Ferruccio Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto Busoni (that's his full name folks) demonstrated that the subject of this fugue is contrapuntally compatible with that of which other fugue in book 1?

    C-sharp minor
    F-sharp minor
    G-sharp minor
    B minor

  5. What is the largest leap in any subject (or answer) in book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier?

    a seventh
    an octave
    a ninth
    a tenth

  6. The unusually large leap of the subject, in a five-voice texture, makes the mistake of ______ nearly unavoidable. But Bach did indeed avoid it by a predominance of ________ motion in the other voices.

    voice crossing / stepwise
    voice crossing / contrary
    parallel fifths / stepwise
    parallel fifths / contrary

  7. The shorter the time interval between two entries of the subject, the more "hyper" the stretto. With this in mind, which stretto is most hyper?

    m. 12
    mm. 50-51
    mm. 55-57
    mm. 67-71

  8. The narrative refers to mm. 67-71 as a:

    stretto parziale
    stretto maestrale
    stretto campanale
    stretto speziale

  9. Although we know that Bach associated certain keys with specific affects, what is the most persuasive argument that he didn't maintain this association rigorously?

    He resorted to some keys so rarely that the affect can't be determined.
    He quoted short passages from this solemn fugue in its joyous prelude.
    His closing of the circle of fifths to include all keys.
    His transposition of works from common keys to rare ones.

  10. In Who Needs Classical Music: Cultural Choice and Musical Value (Oxford University Press, 2002) Julian Johnson writes:
    That old artworks can resonate within us with a force greater than much of what constitutes "the present," suggests an aspect of our being that is similarly untrammeled by time. In a profound sense, this is why art claims a spiritual function, one that has nothing to do with the materialism of fashion. Fashion shrinks from the past and clings anxiously to the immediacy of the present. In doing so, it condemns us all, since we, too, inevitably become the past. The intensity with which we consume the newness of things is ultimately a symptom of our fear of death. And the vicious circle of a culture dominated by this logic is such that the tighter we cling to the mere novelty of things, the greater our refusal of those elements that cut across time. Cultural obsession with the new simply reflects an impossible flight from death. (p. 95)
    The quotation(s) from which quoted author in the narrative best corroborate(s) Bach's veneration of the past, as exemplified in his use of the stile antico?

    George Balanchine's
    Bach's notation in his Bible
    David Ledbetter's
    Christoph Wolff's
    Eric Chafe's

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