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On-line Book Review

TIMOTHY A. SMITH

Professor of Music Theory and Analysis
Northern Arizona University


FRONT COVER
OVERVIEW
Dimension: 24.2 x 16.0 x 2.2 cm
TITLE Fugal Composition: A Guide to the Study of Bach's '48' by Joseph Groocock, edited by Yo Tomita (= Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance, No. 65)
PUBL. DETAILS Greenwood Press (Westport, Connecticut; London, 2003); xiii, 230 pp; $67.95
ISBN 0-313-32323-2
TO ORDER Greenwood Publishing Group, 88 Post Road West, P.O.Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007, USA.
Phone 800-225-5800; Fax 603-431-2214
SUMMARY

DESCRIPTION

A textbook on fugue, drawing examples exclusively from WTC; an analytical guide to all the fugal movements.
WORKS COVERED BWV 846-893
READERSHIP University students learning fugues and fugal analysis.
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION Original insights and unique approach to fugal composition

F ugal Composition is a textbook that would be appropriate for coursework on the fugue and as a supplement to the study of counterpoint.  Its examples are drawn entirely from the Well-Tempered Clavier.  Its author, Joseph Groocock, an icon in music-theoretical circles of Dublin for the last half-century, taught his students by posing compositional challenges then out solving them in both speed and number.

Contents
Introduction

1.

Fugal Style

2. Answering a Fugue Subject
3. Countersubjects
4. The Exposition
5. A Classification of the "48"

6.

Group 1: Fugues for Two Voices
7. Group 2: Fugues for Three Voices, without Stretto
8. Episodes (1)
9. Group 3: Fugues for Three Voices, with Stretto
10. Fugues for Four Voices (General)
11. Group 4: Fugues for Four Voices, without Stretto
12. Group 5: Fugues for Four Voices, with Stretto
13. Group 6: Fugues with Countersubjects Introduced after the Exposition
14. Group 7: Fugues with Subsidiary Subjects
15. Group 8: Fugues for Five Voices
16. Episodes (2)
17. Tonality in the "48"

Conclusion

Appendix

Notes

Annotated Bibliography

Index

lexical and pedagogical "bible" in its own right

Dr. Groocock's original insights and unique approach to fugal composition are as evident in this book as they are in his son's recent tribute: "His bible was Bach; his harshest criticism was 'would Bach have done that?'" (preface viii).

In this handsomely bound publication Dr. Yo Tomita has carefully (and lovingly) organized Dr. Groocock's lifetime of research and teaching notes.  I highly recommend it as a lexical and pedagogical "bible" in its own right, as well as for the scholarly care with which it was prepared.

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Published online on 23 June 2003

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