I’m a great believer in practising fugues one voice at a time, and then in all possible combinations of voices before putting the fugue together. This is valuable not only in the first stages but long after the piece has been mastered. It can take a bit of work untangling the various different voices in a piano score printed on two staves. Publishers attempt to aid the eye by maintaining the direction of the note stems (up or down) for a given voice, but the lines may still take a bit of figuring out.

I have long wanted practice editions for the entry level fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier that include in an appendix all the combinations of two voices, together with the required hand distributions and all the fingerings. Including the fingering is important, since when we practice the alto together with the bass line, say, we will want to be practising in the fingering we will end up using when we play all the voices. I call this approach the “Practice Stepladder” and it’s part of the content I’m developing for my Online Academy.

As you will probably know by now, our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign achieved its funding goal last week and as a result, I’m pleased to be able to share another sample lesson with you. This new lesson introduces the stepladder approach and includes an Annotated Study Edition featuring two versions of Bach’s text – an Urtext score and my own edition (with fingerings, dynamic suggestions, articulations and footnotes). Each score has its own separate Practice Stepladder (based on my own edition, and an Urtext for the purists amongst you). I hope you enjoy using it!

Bach Study Edition screenshot

Previous samples shared via our demo site include:

Please click here to visit the Online Academy demo site and to view the sample lessons.