List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach

This page lists the fugal works of Johann Sebastian Bach, defined here as the fugues, fughettas, and canons, as well as other works containing fugal expositions but not denoted as fugues, such as some choral sections of the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, and the cantatas.

This sub-list of the complete list of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach is intended to facilitate the study of Bach's counterpoint techniques. Each work cited in this list will be annotated with the fugal subject(s) and any countersubjects in musical notation.

Organ fugues

Keyboard fugues

The Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846–893)

Preludes and fugues, toccatas and fantasias (BWV 894–923)

Fugues and fughettas (BWV 944–962)

Lute fugues

Choral fugues

Concerto movements

Sonata movements

Sonatas and partitas for solo violin (BWV 1001–1006)

Sonatas for violin and harpsichord (BWV 1014–1019)

Other sonatas

Canons (BWV 1072–1078)

Late contrapuntal works (BWV 1079–1080)

Doubtful fugues


  1. Novello published: J. S. Bach: Prelude, Trio and Fugue in B Flat. Walter Emery contributed an erudite and extensive editorial note highlighting two key issues: Is the work really by Bach as the title claims? And why, on the original manuscript, now in the British Museum catalogued as RCM 814, did Benjamin Cooke seek to attribute it to his predecessor John Robinson, organist of Westminster Abbey up to 1762? Organists immediately recognise it is a version of the Prelude and Fugue in C (BWV 545). Cellists soon identify the central Trio as being almost identical with the Finale of the G minor Gamba Sonata (BWV 1029). In addition there is an interpolated 14 bar Adagio and a 5 bar Tutti just before the Fugue which are otherwise unknown. Walter Emery states "There are doubts about the authenticity of the scheme as a whole. ... If entirely authentic it represents a structural experiment unique among his organ works." The composition was unknown to Wolfgang Schmieder when he compiled his Index in 1950 so at the time of publication it had no BWV number. Bärenreiter, when preparing their complete edition of the organ works in 2009, for which they claim "all sources have been extensively researched", included it in Volume 11 as BWV 545b. The second question is: Why did Dr Cooke make a copy of the work and claim it was by John Robinson? At the end of the Fugue, Cooke wrote: "By the late Mr. John Robinson Organist Predecessor to B.C." A faint, anonymous pencilled note follows saying: "It is curious that Dr Cooke should not have known this fine fugue was the composition of Sebastian Bach, not John Robinson". Cooke had been associated with Robinson for twenty years and would have known he was no composer. Walter Emery posits every possibility including the slim one that Cooke had a hope of showing posterity his predecessor was a composer. To summarise, the reader must choose between two possibilities:
    1. That the Benjamin Cooke copy is an entirely genuine Bach composition.
    2. That someone came upon the Prelude and Fugue in C for organ, and the Trio in some form or other, decided to put them together, transposed the prelude and fugue and added the Adagio and Tutti. There would be a need for sufficient technique to play the demanding Trio; also the Westminster Abbey organ had no pedals until 1778. Walter Emery posited that the question of transposition is probably the key to the Cooke text, and must be discussed in detail. ... A copy of the music is available from the 'print on demand' service offered by Chester Music / Novello & Co at One of Walter Emery's expressed aims was "to dispel doubts by putting the work in general circulation so that it can be freely discussed by experts." The first performance was given in Canada in 1958 by Hugh McLean (former Organ Scholar to Boris Ord at King's); public performances since then have been rare.
  2. It is published as a Bach piece by Baerenreiter.
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