Contrapunctus 1

Joseph Kerman

in The Art of Fugue

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520243583
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941397 | DOI:
Contrapunctus 1

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The Art of Fugue was prepared for publication in open score, after having composed it on two staves, in the usual keyboard music format. The work is a staggering compendium of nearly twenty fugues and canons all based on a single theme, and open-score format, with each voice on its own stave, showed off the contrapuntal devices applied to this ur-theme as clearly as possible. In Contrapunctus 1 an invertible counterpoint itself is in very short supply. This elemental fugue never modulates beyond the obligatory dominant and subdominant keys. Contrapunctus 1 accords with his evident intention in The Art of Fugue to control counterpoint as a universal principle, rather than simply the genre of fugue. Made up of canons and fugues of various kinds all based on a single theme, the work encompasses more than one contrapuntal process.

Keywords: The Art of Fugue; Contrapunctus 1; subdominant keys; contrapuntal process; open-score format

Chapter.  1567 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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