Bach, Contrapunctus 7, Art of Fugue (Kunst der Fuge)




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Published on Jul 30, 2012

J. S. Bach's Contrapunctus 7 from the Art of Fugue (Kunst der Fuge), with a score designed for viewing with ChromaDepth 3D glasses.

Q: What is going on in this piece?
A: This fugue employs three contrapuntal techniques:

1. Inversion: the theme is played right-side-up (starts with a rising interval) and upside-down (starts with a falling interval).
2. Augmentation and diminution: the theme is played at double speed and at half speed.
3. Stretto: the theme is played in two or more parts at a time (starting at different times and at different pitches).

These three techniques can be seen in this overview graphic ...
In this graphic, the right-side-up theme looks like an "M" and the inverted theme looks like a "W," the normal-speed theme is in light brown, the double-speed theme is in red, and half-speed theme is in green.

In this video, the blue layer shows all the notes in the piece; the red/brown/green layers highlight the theme; these move at different speeds so that it's easier to see that it's always the same shape (and just moving at different rates).

Q: Your hands sure are shaking a lot; do you have Parkinson's or something?
A: I did this video in several steps: first I recorded the audio of the performance. Then, I used software to create a half-speed version of the recording. Then, I shot video of my hands while I played in sync with the half-speed audio. And finally, I doubled the speed of the video. The result is that my hands look shaky.

Q: What are "ChromaDepth 3D glasses"?
A: You can read about them here:
... and you can get them here:


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