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Gracenotes In The Art Of Fugue


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I was looking at the Canon per Augmentationem in Contrario Motu, in the Associated Board edition by Richard Jones, published in 2002, and noticed an oddity.


In bars 23-24 all the grace notes have two flags, while in the analogous passage in bars 75-76 they have only single flags.


Other editions are different. Tovey and Hans Gal show single flags for both passages. The Bach-Gesellschaft edition shows the first gracenote of bar 23 with a single flag, the next two with double flags, and the later passage with single flags. The Bach-Gesellschaft edition has copied the 1750 Leipzig engraving exactly.


So, was Bach inconsistent, or did the engraver make a mistake? It would seem sensible to play the analogous passages identically. What, anyway, would one expect to hear that would be different between a single-flag gracenot and one with two flags?


Richard Jones differs from other editions by showing the first grace-note in bar 23 with two flags, which makes those bars consistent, but different from the later ones.

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