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"Fugue" is just a form and style of composition of which Bach alone wrote hundreds. Same thing for "Sonata", "String Quartet", "Symphony", etc. it's not that the particular key is of central importance or that transposition would necessarily change the piece entirely, it's just a convenient way to distinguish between various iterations of the same form. They ...


4

These are all good answers, but I'd just add a historical note. Composers before the time of, say Beethoven, composers like Bach and Mozart, often did not publish all or even most of their musical works, either because no one wanted them, or because they wanted to keep the pieces for their own use. The vast majority of Bach's music was not published in his ...


2

It's not so much that the choice of key was fundamental, it was more a case of identifying each particular piece, with the form being so similar in some cases. If Bach's friend said after a concert "I really liked that fugue", Bach may have said "You mean the Bb one?" It was so much simpler just to label them with keys anyway.It didn't happen all the ...


1

Short answer: It's a convenient way to identify pieces that were typically not given other titles. More involved and Bach-specific answer: Choice of key was an important part of the composition for two reasons (with the first being much more important): Different keys had different tunings and hence sounded different before the widespread use of equal ...


1

In this case, these were pieces in a collection called "The Well-Tempered Clavier" And in this case preludes, fugues, simphonia and inventions were numbered according to their appearance in the collection and the key. "Invention #1 in C" "Prelude and Fugue No. 17 in A-flat major" for example. In these pieces, the exposition or main theme was presented in the ...



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