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

AOF Home Page



"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)

AOF and Bach seal

Welcome to my realization of The Art of Fugue. This grand cycle blends logic, symmetry, and beauty into an 80-minute musical span of endless rewards.

Due to the length of the work, as well as the wealth of commentary one could add about it, I have presented it in two ways. If you just want sit back and listen to the whole thing, I've set up a page where you can listen to the full MP3. Be forewarned: the audio file is 109 MB, encoded at 192 kbps.

Alternatively, use the table of contents at right to listen to the work part by part and learn more about it through each part's accompanying notes. The AOF Home Page link will return you here. The Introduction contains pages about the work and the realization. For a bit about fugues in general, you can find a basic description in the page called "The Unfinished Fugue." Finally, in the listing under The Art of Fugue, you'll find the complete program, with links to the individual contrapuncti and canons. Each of these pages has notes to guide you as the counterpoint develops from the relatively simple construction of Contrapunctus I to the apocalyptic quadruple fugue. There is also a Flash player you can use to play the music.

A project involving a 2400 bar MIDI sequence benefits greatly from external advice, and I sincerely thank Dr. Tim Smith, professor of music theory at Northern Arizona University, for his patience with my pestering about all things Bach, and for his encouragement with this project. I also am grateful to Dr. Zoltán Göncz and Carus-Verlag music publishers for their permission to serve the realization of Dr. Göncz's completion of Contrapunctus XIV. I encourage all listeners to support Carus-Verlag's enlightened position regarding music on the Internet with your interest and business.

Soli Deo gloria!