The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080, by Johann Sebastian Bach

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"Über dieser Fuge..."
Structure of The Art of Fugue
The "unfinished" fugue
About the realization
How to listen to The Art of Fugue
About the narratives below


The Art of Fugue

Simple Fugues
Contrapunctus I  (3:52)
Contrapunctus II  (3:12)
Contrapunctus III  (3:49)
Contrapunctus IV  (3:18)

Canon alla Ottava  (4:12)

Stretto Fugues
Contrapunctus V  (2:24)
Contrapunctus VI  (4:20)
Contrapunctus VII  (2:49)

Canon alla Decima  (4:44)

Double and Triple Fugues
Contrapunctus VIII  (5:17)
Contrapunctus IX  (2:46)
Contrapunctus X  (3:29)
Contrapunctus XI  (6:58)

Canon alla Duodecima  (3:33)

Mirror Fugues
Contrapunctus XII + inversus  (3:36)
Contrapunctus XIII + inversus  (4:23)

Canon per Augmentationem  (4:16)

Quadruple Fugue
Contrapunctus XIV  (11:52)

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Canon alla ottava: 4:12   

The first of AOF's canons is also the simplest. In this canon "at the octave," the two voices are always separated by an octave, with the canon follower four bars behind the leader. The subject is a florid variation of the main AOF subject.

Within the constraint of always appearing at the octave, the leader and follower are presented in both regular and inverted forms, and in D minor and A minor. The subject has the playful character of a gigue, and I have scored it accordingly.

This is a beautifully symmetric canon, with the leader and follower presented nine (3 x 3) times.

Player image: Steady advances in technology reveal more and more about the cosmos. The object in the foreground is one of the recently discovered "hot Jupiters," a gigantic planet orbiting a distant star. This planet is only about three million miles from its parent star -- ten times closer than Mercury is to the Sun. Mercury's year lasts 88 days; this planet whips around its star in only three days. The planet is so close to the star, in fact, that its magnetic field may interact with that of its parent, perhaps inducing flare-like activity in the atmosphere of the star. The star's magnetic field, of course, may similarly affect the planet... Image credit: Rendering by me.