top of page
  • rbedwell3

Demistyfying Bach's Lute Suite II BWV 997: II Fuga

Not as complex as the prelude but still uses: Major, Harmonic minor, Melodic, Neapolitan Major, Neapolitan minor, Neapolitan Major b5, Harmonic Major and Hungarian minor.

A long movement at 109 bars, the first sequence of note occurs in bars 25 - 30: E Harmonic minor - E Melodic - E Neapolitan Major - E Neapolitan Major b5 - D Melodic - C Major. Whenever the Neapolitan Major is involved it usually involves the Melodic scale as raising the root of Melodic creates Neapolitan Major. Likewise, Neapolitan Major b5 with a flattened 7 creates another Melodic, this time a tone lower.

The second sequence is in bars 54 - 62: C Major - A Harmonic minor - E Harmonic Major - E Major - E Melodic - D Major - G Major - B Neapolitan minor - B Harmonic minor - B Harmonic Major - E Hungarian minor - E Harmonic minor - E Melodic - B Harmonic Major - E Melodic - E Harmonic minor - E Harmonic Major - A Melodic - A Major - D Major - G Major - E Harmonic Major - A Melodic - A Harmonic minor - C Major. Here Bach modulates to the relative minor and then uses E Harmonic Major to shift the key to the root of E followed by a brief excursion into B minor followed by a shift back to E minor then A minor.

The final sequence is one that Bach uses regularly, especially towards the end of a movement. Bars 106 - 107: A Harmonic minor - A Hungarian minor - E Harmonic Major - A Hungarian minor - A Harmonic minor. This is a symmetrical sequence, the pivot scale being E Harmonic Major where it then returns by the same changes until it resolves on A Harmonic minor.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page