The Art of Fugue

The Art of Fugue


Anyone who takes a closer look at The Art of Fugue quickly notices that the work raises a multitude of questions. To what end did Bach compose The Art of Fugue? And why did Bach completely rework the manuscript and expand on it when a printed version was being made? In what order did he intend the twenty component parts to be played? And what was he hoping to achieve with the unfinished last fugue? Theo Nederpelt answers all these questions by approaching them from a perspective of human development and characteristics. This makes this book interesting and understandable for both readers with and without a musical background. 

Part I discusses Bach’s intentions with The Art of Fugue, the work’s title and the titles of the separate fugues, what numbers meant to Bach, and how the work is to be performed.

In Part II each fugue is discussed separately and a number of flawed views on the work are debunked and re-examined.

The unique mirror fugues, in which completely different musical pieces were created by horizontally mirroring the notes, are presented in their entirety. They are listed one below the other so as to facilitate easy comparison.