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Fugue No.13 in F-sharp Major from Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, J.S.


3 VOICES, 8 subject entries
Structure and Key Scheme:

-Exposition: b1-7
-Three successive statements on the subject in each of the voices- features no codetta as
some fugue models do
-b1-3 F# major, b3-5 C# major, b5-7 F# major
-b3-5 tonal answer and countersubject 1 in dominant
-b5-7 countersubject 1 in tonic and introduction of countersubject 2 in soprano

-Development Section: b7-33.5
-Episode 1: b7-11, modulates to C# major (dominant), enforced by dominant pedal b10-11
-b11 off-beat of third crotchet- b13.5: original subject statement in, soprano and
countersubject, alto in F# major (interestingly Goulds 1969 recording includes the mordent
from the original subject statement on the C which isnt shown in the edition)
-Episode 2: b13.5-15
-b15-17 subject and countersubject statements in dominant, subject altered from original
tonal answer, first interval spans a 4
and begins on G rather than F
-Episode 3: b17-20
- b20-22 subject statement in minor, bass voice
-Episode 4 b22-28
-b28-30 statement of subject, alto, B major, same melodic contour as original statement
(statement in b3-5 begins with 5
rather than a 4
), tonic pedal in the bass
-Episode 5: b30-31 (ends on 4
beat of bar)
-Final statement of subject and countersubject in home key beginning on 4
beat of b31-
-Coda: b33.5-end


Exposition b1-7:

B1-3- Subject (full statements of subject and any subject material is highlighted in pink) is
presented in soprano voice in tonic (F#).
Subject is characterised by six motifs:
1) Head motif (a) which consists of the quaver rest and first four notes of the subject
2) (write rhythmic cell) (b) the first note of the motif is shared with the last note of the
3) (write rhythmic cell) (c)
4) Mordent figure (d)
5) Motif derives rhythmically from head motif, crotchet-quaver rest-quaver descending
pattern (e)
6) Final four notes of subject (f)

B3-5- Tonal answer entry in 2
voice (alto), presented in the dominant (C# major)
-First interval of tonal answer is stretched to a 5
, original statement interval was a 4
-B4.5 head motif is inverted
-NB Each voice continues to sound during new voice entries
-Simultaneous to the tonal answer, the Soprano voice plays a countersubject (yellow):
characterised by 16
notes. Countersubject begins with variation of motif b, intervallic
relationship is different but imitates rhythmic value. Motif a is inverted and presented in
diminution. Countersubject alternates between two motivic ideas.

-Original subject statement in tonic appears in bass voice juxtaposed against 2
countersubjects. Countersubject 1 is stated now in alto alongside new countersubject 2
(green) in soprano.
-Bach demonstrates double counterpoint by always presenting the subject in a lower to the
countersubject during the exposition and higher than countersubject during the
development. The subject and countersubject exchange registers.

Development section begins B8

Points of interest:
-b8 New invention motif (g) is introduced in soprano, permeates the piece, a vehicle for
moving through keys, often employed in sequence
-b12, 21, 29 states invention motif in false sequence- returns to original pitch on each
-b15-31 Counterpoint between subject and countersubject.
-b17-20 invention motif interchanges between all 3 voices
-b23-24 Head motif (a) accompanies invention motif (g). Imitative entries of a in two voices
of RH. Entries alternate between soprano and alto and overlap by a quaver beat. Head motif
is developed by expansion of final note to create a suspension which serves as a melodic as
well as a harmonic device (discuss harmonic function of suspension too). Suspension of
sequential head motifs sounds simultaneously against succeeding imitative entry.
-B26-27 Head motif exchanges to lower voice.



This fugue is simple in form, and similar in its construction
to Nos. 7 and 9.

Exposition. The subject is of exactly two bars' length :

It is given out in the treble and, beginning on the dominant, takes
a tonal answer (alto, bar 3 to bar 5, first quaver). The counter-
subject commences with the second note of the answer. After the
exposition it is always modified at its beginning and end (bars 1 5 to
1 6, 31 to 33) or is quite fragmentary (bar 20, second and third beats)
or absent (bars 28 to 30). There is a redundant entry of the subject
in bar n, allowing of the inversion of subject and countersubject

36 Analysis of J. 8. Bach's

We find in this fugue for the first time an episode (bars 7 to
n) formed of new material, not developed out of subject, counter-
subject or codetta. It is, however, not only made the foundation
of the other episodes (bars 13 to 15, 17 to 20, 22 to 28), but also
furnishes, by inverse movement, the figure which forms a new bass
to the subject and countersubject in bar 12, and the treble to the
entries in bars 20 and 28.

Middle Section. The entry of the subject in C sharp at
bar 15 claims careful attention. A part of the countersubject (bar
15, third beat, to bar 16, third beat) is inverted in double counter-
point in the twelfth instead of the octave ; a new counterpoint is
added in the treble.. The other appearances of the subject are in
the relative minor (bar 20, bass) and the subdominant (bar 28,
alto) and call for no special comment.

Final Section. In the final entry (bars 31 to 33) the same
combination is used as in bars 15 to 17, but transposed into the
tonic key and with the two upper voices inverted.