University of South Carolina
School of Music

The Counterpoint of J.S. Bach

Summer 2022

MUSC 726C | Blackboard | Listening/Analysis

C O U R S E   M O D U L E S
Counterpoint &

2. Canon
3. Invention
4. Fugue

Harvard Dictionary

Grove Music Online



Welcome to MUSC 726C!

This course will be offered during Summer 2022 Session 5 (June 20 - July 7), MTW 12:20-3:50 pm, B3WEB


Left quote
[Bach] exemplifies the most perfect synthesis of harmonic and linear writing.
Right quote

Howard Hanson

Course Description

Analysis of contrapuntal techniques in the music of J.S. Bach with a focus on canon, invention and fugue

Prerequisite: Undergraduate tonal harmony and voice leading

Reference Text (Electronic Reserve)

Benjamin, Thomas. 2003. The Craft of Tonal Counterpoint, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. {Full text: Ebook Central; EBSCOHost}

Course Documents

  1. Summer 2022 Syllabus (pdf) New icon
  2. Listening/Analysis
    Worksheets, worksheet solutions, recordings, and analytical media
  3. Course Topics: At a Glance
  4. Course Media
  5. Bibliography

Digital Scores, Recordings & Analytical Resources

    Sortable Index of Bach Chorales: Dahn 2018
  2. CANON
    • For study:
      • The 10 canons of A Musical Offering, BWV 1079 {BD}
      • 14 canons on the first 8 fundamental notes of the Goldberg aria, BWV 1087 {BD}
      • Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 {BD}
          • Kimiko Ishizaka, piano {SF: YouTube}
    • For study:
      • Two-Part Inventions, BWV 772-786 {BD; WP}
  4. FUGUE
    • For study:
      • A Musical Offering, BWV 1079 {BD; WP}
      • The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 {BD; WP}

Research Tools

  1. FindIt @ UofSC
  2. Dictionaries: Harvard Dictionary | Grove/Oxford
  3. Articles: JSTOR
  4. E-books: Ebook Central | EBSCOhost | Hathi Trust
  5. Scores: CPDL; IMSLP; Alexander Street
  6. Recordings: Naxos | Spotify | YouTube

Archives, Catalogues, Editions and Sources

  1. Wikipedia, List of compositions by J.S. Bach {WP}
  2. Bach Archiv Leipzig {WP}
    • Bach Digital {BD}
  3. Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA) {WP; IMSLP}
  4. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV) {WP}
  5. Neue Bach Ausgabe (NBA) {WP; Baerenreiter}


  1. BACH Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute {JSTOR}
  2. Bach Perspectives
  3. Understanding Bach Web Journal
  4. Music Theory Online {MTO}

Online Resources

  1. Algomus, Computational Analysis of Bach Fugues
  2. Ambrose, Texts of the Complete Vocal Works with English Translation and Commentary
  3. Cope, Experiments in Music Intelligence (EMI)
  4. Dahn, The Four-Part Chorales of J.S. Bach
  5. Edwards, Puzzle Canon
  6. Emmanuel Music, Cantata Texts and Translations
  7. Gjerdingen, Monuments of Partimenti {}
  8. Gran, YouTube Channel {YouTube Channel}
  9. Kerman, The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750 {Open JSTOR; Luminosa}
  10. Ishizaka
  11. Lawrence, Bach and Friends
  12. Oron, Bach Cantatas Website
  13. Malinowski, Music Animation Machine
  14. Netherlands Bach Society, All of Bach
  15. Rotem, Early Music Sources
  16. Sapp, Bach-370-Chorales
  17. Smith, The Canons and Fugues of J.S. Bach


  1. Bain, MUSC 726C Bibliography
  2. Dahn, Chorale Scholarship Bibliography
  3. Tomita, Bach Bibliography


BD -
Bach Digital; BCW - Bach Cantatas Website; EMS - Early Music Sources; GB - GoogleBooks; Grove - Grove/Oxford Music Online
HT -
Hathi Trust Digital Library; HD - Harvard Dictionary of Music; SF - Score Follower

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Updated: May 20, 2022

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music