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Title: 'Culmination chromatic density' in the free organ fugues of J.S. Bach
Author: Leatherbarrow, Jane Florence
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 0170
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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The term 'Culmination chromatic density' (CCD) is devised for the thesis to describe perceived unusual chromatic harmony which occurs towards the end of a few of Bach's free organ fugues. The thesis seeks to determine the nature of the harmony, to establish if seventeenth and eighteenth-century theorists discuss fugue culmination harmony, and whether composers before Bach wrote fugues with unusual culmination harmony. After establishing an outline organ fugue chronology, historical music theory and fugues before Bach are examined for the purpose of identifying influences upon Bach's fugue culmination harmony. The main body of the thesis is an harmonic and structural analysis by chronology of thirty-six of Bach's fugues, individually and collectively. The analysis establishes fugue structure through tables of thematic entries, and the examination of thematic material, counterpoint, and tonal structure. The analysis also examines the accidentals, which are discussed and presented in graphs. The analysis of intervals gives detailed insight into the use of consonances and dissonances. Figured bass is used in music examples to show harmony and progressions. The analysis establishes that there is CCD in certain fugues of Bach, and that there are specific structural features, procedures and advanced compositional techniques associated with CCD. There is a clear link between incidences of CCD and fugue chronology. CCD is linked with fugue structure; and advanced fugues with CCD possess unique structures, procedures, and harmony. The analysis establishes that Bach uses background structures, an important additional compositional tool which is related to CCD. There is evidence of historical precedent in some aspects of CCD, both from music treatises, and in some fugues of antecedent French, German, and Italian composers. Areas for further research are suggested. Implications are that Bach uses previously undiscovered methods for fugue composition, and that there are potential changes to the established chronology.
Supervisor: Smith, David John ; Jürgensen, Frauke Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chromaticism (Music) ; Canons, fugues, etc. (Organ)