An interactive analysis of Bach's G minor fugue BWV861. It walks a user through the fugue in short sections offering audio support and visual highlights to show the formal structure. One can then hear and see the entire piece as a whole.
Type of Material:
Interactive Shockwave movie.
Analysis in music history classes and counterpoint classes.
Up to date multimedia browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Theoretical analysis of the structure of the fugue motivically and harmonically.
Target Student Population:
College music majors.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Ability to read notation and recognize harmonic key areas. A basic overview of fugue terminology is offered.
Interactive control lets a users move at their own rate of understanding. The use of motivic inversions at the beginning of the analysis is particularly effective as is the highlighting of the augmentation used later in the analysis. The larger structural picture is not lost in the detailed description.
Some graphic examples to support some of the glossary definitions might be useful.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The module works well in a stand alone context. It allows the user to pace their way through the material.
There may need for some support for those students not yet equipped with the jargon and harmonic analysis skills presented. The glossary definitions are quite brief and lack supporting examples
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This interactive movie is a part of a much larger site dedicated to music appreciation. Navigating this particular tool proves to be quite easy and leaves the student free to move across the information without too much restriction.
The fugue segments are always played with all the voices together. Although this is useful in encouraging students to dig out the highlighted motives there are some times when it might be useful to play only the voices being discussed free of surrounding parts. An option to hear parts isolated might be a useful feature.
Other Issues and Comments:
This unit is designed to give music students a graphic model of a fugue, provide definitions, and reinforce the terms with highlighted examples (visual and audio). A basic understanding of music theory including Roman numeral analysis and modulatory techniques would be helpful, but not required.
This unit is also only a part of a much larger comprehensive site which can be used to add contextual support.
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