Questions on Fugue No. 22
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
by Johann Sebastian Bach
©1999 Timothy A. Smith

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Before answering anything please click the following radio buttons to
familiarize yourself with terms used in this quiz.
Subject
Implication/Realization Model
Contour
Figure implied by the CONTOUR
Figure implied by the BARLINES
Figure implied by the RESTS
  1. What figure is implied by the CONTOUR?

    4-3 suspension
    rising tetrachord
    neighbor group
    consonant skip

  2. What figure is implied by the BARLINES?

    4-3 suspension
    rising tetrachord
    neighbor group
    consonant skip

  3. What figure is implied by the RESTS?

    4-3 suspension
    rising tetrachord
    neighbor group
    consonant skip

  4. The implication/realization model uses arrows to represent formations that imply continuation to specific pitches. The implied pitches are represented by "caught" arrows. What pitch is implied more than any other?

    B flat
    C natural
    D flat
    E flat
    F natural

  5. What does the implication/realization model suggest is the overall MELODIC trajectory or shape of the subject?

    a scale
    a neighbor group
    an arch
    an inverted arch

  6. Which smaller figure represents a nested articulation of the subject's overall MELODIC shape (itself inside of itself)?

    The figure implied by the subject's CONTOUR
    The figure implied by the subject's BARLINES
    The figure implied by the subject's RESTS

  7. Which of the following makes it most difficult, if not impossible, to bring out the figure implied by the subject's CONTOUR?

    the BARLINES
    the RESTS

  8. Those RESTS say something very forcefully about how this subject "wants" to be performed. The rests represent a powerful disruption that makes only one figure possible in performance. Only one figure realizes the "implications" of the subject, arriving at the terminus of its melodic trajectory on the right pitch at the right time. Performing the subject in this way provides an impetus, a drive, a forward momentum, not contained in the others. What figure are we talking about?

    The figure implied by the subject's CONTOUR
    The figure implied by the subject's BARLINES
    The figure implied by the subject's RESTS

  9. Is it significant that pitches 3-6 of the subject are "book ended" between rests? Did Bach thereby mark them for consciousness as the kernel idea? Is there a relationship between their chiastic shape and Bach's subsequent development of the subject in canon at the 7th & 9th followed by canonic inversion at the 9th and 7th?

    Yes!
    No!
    Possibly.
    Hmm?

  10. Presuppose, for the sake of argument, that this fugue is the unlikely product of a stochastic process, not created by any intelligent agent, the result of chance. Which of the following would then be true.

    Schweitzer could reasonably assert that the fugue has an intrinsic logos of purpose and meaning.
    Sartre could reasonably assert that the fugue has no intrinsic purpose. Whatever meaning you wish to impute is valid for you; there is no rational way to resolve conflict between contradictory meanings imputed by others.
    Because we don't know what petroglyphs mean, it follows that they have no intrinsic meaning; their only value to us is in the techniques that pre-Columbian peoples used to etch images into stone.
    Were Nietzsche's madman to proclaim the death of Bach he would of course be right. Bach is dead, and we are therefore at liberty to interpret the fugue any way we want.

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