Little Fugue (J.S. Bach)

A lesson plan by Gary Penkala, Saint Ireneus, Oakmont, PA

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation

Level:

Elementary

Equipment:

Sibelius 2

Duration:

15 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

General background of Baroque music;
Awareness of Bach as compser

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2014: Responding 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

NAfME 2014: Connections

Materials:

Computer with projection device

Objectives:

Study fugal form by analyzing “Fugue in g minor” by J.S. Bach by singing simple mnemonic song and leading students through a part (age-relevant) of the score in “MIDI-track” form. Develop concept of “fugue” as a “musical conversation.”

Procedures:

Teach (or review) the mnemonic song “This Is Called the Little Fugue by J.S. Bach.” Introduce concept of “subject” as the main melody, “countersubject” as a companion melody. Look at occurrences of subject and countersubject in a score (displayed on Sibelius). Play score as students watch, pointing out subject and countersubject as music progresses.

Evaluation:

Can students pinpoint subject and countersubject at siht and on hearing. Have them place a visual graphic (a “PacMan-style” mouth) on the board at each occurrence.

Follow Up:

Introduce concept of “episode” as a “commercial break” from the main subject/countersubject music.

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