After the exposition the composer develops the thematic material presented in the exposition. Each fugue has its own structure, but many of them alternate between episodes and subject presentations after the exposition.

Episode

An episode is a section of the fugue where the subject does not appears in a complete form. Episodes are generally done using parts or motives from the subject or countersubjects. In the BWV 847 fugue an episode follows the exposition:

The first 5 notes of the subject are used to create a dialog between soprano and alto. The bass develops the countersubject. This episode is about 2 measures and leads us to the relative major key of Eb major.

Subject Presentation

Once in the key of Eb major, Bach presents the subject in the soprano. We will hear the subject just once before another episode. It is up to the composer to decide the number of times the subject will be presented.

The Structure of this Fugue

Episodes and subjects presentation continue until the end of the fugue. Here is the structure of this fugue:

  Exposition
measures 1 - 10
Episode
10 - 11
Presentation
12 - 14
Episode
14 - 15
Presentation
16 - 18
Episode
18 - 20
Presentation
21 - 23
Episode
23 - 27
Presentation
27 - 32

S   Answer transition cs 1   Subject
Eb major
  cs 1   Subject
C minor
  cs 1 Subject
C minor
A Subject cs 1 cs 2       Subject
C minor
  cs 1   cs 2  
B     Subject   cs 1   cs 2   cs 2   Subject
C minor
 

Complete analysis of the BWV 847 fugue.




    
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
José Rodríguez Alvira.