Show off your theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. Please comment to post your reply.
This week’s challenge:
This is from J. S. Bach’s Contrapunctus VII from Die kunst der fuge (The Art of Fugue). What rhythmic technique has he used in changing the melody in the top staff to the one in the bottom?
Reply to post your answer, and check back on Friday, September 17th to see if you’re right!
ANSWER for 9/13/21
This is a good example of diminution. All the note values on the top staff have been cut in half, resulting in the same melody on the bottom staff, but twice as fast. Bach’s ingenuity lies in fashioning a melody that works in counterpoint with a diminished version of itself. He never actually finished Contrapunctus, but the many fugues of this work show him at the pinnacle of his contrapuntal genius.
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