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Fugue in G Minor

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Kimura)

Subtitle: Little Fugue, BWV 578

General Info

Year: 1703-1707 / 1993
Duration: c. 3:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: De Haske
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.


Full Score
C Piccolo
English Horn
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Baritone I-II (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Let there be no confusion about it: J.S. Bach's Fugue in G Minor for organ (BWV 578) is known as the "Little" G minor not because it is a work of small importance or even because it is an unusually short work in its own right, but simply so that it and the much longer and later "Great" G minor Fantasia and Fugue (BWV 542) might not be mistaken for one another. Bach probably composed the "Little" G minor fugue sometime between 1703 and 1707, when he was a young up-and-coming organist in the city of Arnstadt.

The "Little" G minor's four-and-a-half measure subject is one of Bach's most widely recognized tunes. It is worked out in four voices, the pedal voice being honored as the full equal of the three manual voices -- even to the extent that the feet are required, in one electrifying passage late in the fugue, to have a go at a sixteenth-note figuration of the countersubject. During the episodes, Bach employs one of Corelli's most beloved sequential gestures: imitation between two voices on an eighth-note upbeat figure that first leaps up a fourth and then falls back one step at time. And those who love to find precise mathematical structural divisions and markers in Bach's music will enjoy that it is in the 33rd measure -- one measure shy of the exact midpoint of BWV 578 -- that Bach introduces the subject in a key outside the tonic-dominant loop of the exposition.

This excellent orchestration of Bach's famous fugue was made by Yoshihiro Kimura, conductor of the Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band.

- Program note by Blair Johnston, Rovi


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Jochen McEvoy, conductor) – 6 November 2019
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 15 April 2018
  • Santa Barbara City College Concert Band (Eric C. Heidner, conductor) - 2 December 2012
  • Livingston County (Michigan) Honors Band (Rick Pethoud, conductor) - January 2010

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bach, J.S.; Kimura, Y. (1993). Fugue in G Minor : Little Fugue BWV 578 [score]. De Haske: Heerenveen, Holland.