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

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  1. If Bach thought of music as rhetoric, to which of the following might he have conceived of this fugue as being most closely related in purpose and effect?

    a ballet
    a poem
    a sculpture
    a portrait

  2. Which of the following is not relevant to rhetoric?

    the thought

  3. This fugue's subject is metaphorical because it combines seemingly unlike idioms (word paintings) to create a third. Which of the following represents these idioms, in order.

    dysphoria with agitation
    agitation with sadness
    sadness with rage
    rage with melancholy

  4. As a composer, Bach was primarily interested in the rhetorical processes of:

    dispositio and inventio.
    inventio and actio.
    actio and memoria.
    memoria and elocutio.

  5. In 1717 Johann Mattheson wrote: "I have seen things by the famous organist of Weimar, Herr Joh. Sebastian Bach...such as must make one esteem the man highly." In turn Bach's composition of the WTC (particularly Book II) was influenced by Mattheson's Volkommene Capellmeister. In that book Mattheson theorized that Affect was shaped by eight species of loci topici. Which of Mattheson's loci is exemplified by Bach's inversion of the subject in measure 17?

    Locus descriptionis - employing descriptive idioms.
    Locus exemplorum - quoting other composers' works.
    Locus testimoniorum - quoting chorales or popular music.
    Locus adjunctorum - characterization of persons in a drama.
    Locus effectorum - exploiting features of a performance space.
    Locus notationis - manipulating notation by contrapuntal means.
    Locus causae finalis - playing to characteristics of an audience.
    Locus causae materialis - exploiting the idiomatic qualities of instruments.

  6. Were Mr. Gore to have succeeded in reinventing government, he would have been like:

    Mr. Edison inventing the light bulb.
    Bach inventing the subject of this fugue.
    Johann Mattheson alphabetizing his loci topici.
    Wilhelm Friedemann practicing a two-part invention.

  7. According to Dr. Ledbetter, the rhetorical meaning of melodic inversion (per contrario tempore) is conflict. How many times has Bach inverted the subject's head motive in this fugue? (Hint: count sixteenth-note rollovers in the animation).

    fourteen (B+A+C+H)

  8. If the ideal of the nascent baroque was that music should fit the words, the reason for including Ebenezer Prout's lyrics in this analysis was to point out that:

    • words should fit the music.
    • humor reveals musical structure.
    • mnemonics are humorous.

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

  9. In the 1950's society stalwarts inveighed against rock and roll as producing an atmosphere that contributed to "juvenile delinquency." Such a moralistic view of music would not have seemed implausible to:

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

  10. In his seminal article, "How we Got into Analysis and How We Can Get Out" (Critical Inquiry, 1981), Joseph Kerman proposed that the goal of music analysis, since Bach, has been to demonstrate organicism by revealing the interconnectedness of parts to the whole and the whole to its parts. He traces this goal to Forkel, Bach's first biographer, and early attempts to analyze the fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier. He argues that the purpose of this demonstration has been to persuade and convince (rhetoric) the world of works that are worthy of status in the canon. Which of the following rhetorical devices resembles Kerman's opinion about the historical purpose for analysis? (Consult a dictionary if necessary).


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