Music Video – Electronic Little Fugue in G Minor (Bach)

One of my recent projects has been recording JS Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor with a synthesizer. I will post the video here in case you you want to hear it but don’t want to read about it. Be aware that I did a few fumbles, but I think overall it worked well.

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

(Note – I replaced the original video with a newer version November 1, 2021 – below is still about the old version. Click here for info on the new)

OK, a little bit about it, then…

The other day I decided to try to play J. S. Bach’s Fugue in G Minor, called the “Little Fugue” since there is a grand fugue in G Minor, on a polyphonic instrument using an organ sound. No, I don’t have a real organ, so I can’t play the pedals. Anyway, I was surprised at how well I did sight reading it. I left, came back and started to play again, but this time on my Behringer Poly D (Minimoog clone). I loved the sound! So I decided to record it.

I purposefully used very clichéd sounds for this, recording one part at a time. As stated, the Poly D is a Moog Minimoog clone, so I used those sounds from the 70s that made the mini such a popular instrument (the bass is more 80s techno-pop). Each line was played separately and used a different cliché.

The biggest issue was getting this all to synch – I can play the parts easily enough, but to a metronome? A little harder than I expected! Anyway, there are a few places where the parts don’t match exactly and a couple were they are way out of whack… Overall, I think most of it synched well, but don’t be surprised if you hear some muddy areas (if you know this well, you may even cringe on occasion ;) ). One bad thing is that I recorded the tenor part, changed my sound, and then did the bass part and only then discovered some of the areas that tenor and soprano got out of synch. It was a little late then… I may go back and do this entire project from scratch since I should be able to perform it better, but then again, I say that with most of my music projects. (Edit 11/3 – but this time I did… I recorded an updated version that is a lot cleaner. I changed the video at the top to the new version on 11/2 and made the old version Private)

I will write a review of the Poly D soon enough (here – posted 10/26). This was my first major project with it. One thing, it does not have a built in Energizer battery… lol. I used double sided tape to stick the battery on so I could use it as a makeshift music stand – see the photo at the top of the page. Some day I may use real wood and do a better job with the music stand…

I hope you enjoyed!

(Oh yes, Little Tiberius helped! He sat on the mixer and supervised the entire thing ;))

50 thoughts on “Music Video – Electronic Little Fugue in G Minor (Bach)

  1. Pingback: Take 2 – Little Fugue (Video) | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Little Tiberius was a huge help! lol. When I posted this the little out of synch areas didn’t bother me, but I am going back and rerecording, so hopefully will have a cleaner version soon. With Tiberius’ help, of course ;)

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  2. Pingback: Review Behringer Poly D | Trent's World (the Blog)

  3. Dale

    This is a piece I enjoy and your rendition of it is super interesting. And if you have to start over, then you start over ;-) I think it would be worth it – because it is good now, so I can only imagine it being even better :)

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  5. Susanne

    That’s a lovely piece of music, Trent! I’m impressed with anyone who can play Bach and similar while reading the music. I’m happy if I can play an Irish fiddle tune (they are usually written out very simply with the basic melody – musicians decide themselves what ornamentations they want to add, I like it like that) by reading the dots. I’m a play-by-ear person and my ability to read music is extremely limited. I’m glad I can do some of it though, because it opens up for double as many tunes (or more) as I would have otherwise.
    I didn’t notice any sync issues. But then I don’t know what it’s supposed to sound like either. Well done and keep up the good work!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I am a pretty slow sight reader, but being able to read does open up a lot. Of course, things like Blue Grass and such is almost an oral tradition where one musician hands it down to others, so playing by ear is very important there. I do OK by ear, but another place I need to work. Glad you enjoyed the music!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Unfortunately, if I ever do synch it up, that means starting from scratch. Maybe not a huge deal, since I now know the piece, so it would be mostly practice and such… A definite maybe ;) With the Vivaldi, I recorded the performance first, not the sounds (recorded midi notes) so I did a lot of cleanup before I recorded the sound. It still has the feel of me playing by hand, but less mistakes. Plus the music itself was a lot easier! Well, the solo part was hard, but.. Thanks!

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  6. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 23rd of October, 2021 #weekendcoffeeshare | Trent's World (the Blog)

  7. Shannon

    That sounds really good! I just watched a movie the other day that has a score that sounded very similar…wish I could remember what it was called. Your playing is just as good if not better.

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          1. Shannon

            I’ve been trying to remember the name. It was a horror movie, good, somewhat artsy, but (I’m ashamed to admit) that’s all we watch this time of year and if it was my husband’s pick I probably never caught the name in the first place. I’ll keep my eye out for it though.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      This would not have come out at all without Tiberius’ expert help. lol He was so funny and sometimes changed settings while I was trying to record, and once hit the switch on the power strip the synth is plugged into! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

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  8. Marilyn Armstrong

    Bach was one of the few composers whose works I played well. He wasn’t by any means my favorite composer, but his music fit my small hand much better than Chopin or Beethoven or, worse yet, Grief all of whom wrote for big hands.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Bach is one of my favorites and I have played a lot of his music, but I was never a super great player and have just started really practicing again in the last month or two, so it is all hard! I’ve played around with a lot of Chopin (well, preludes) and Beethoven, but don’t think I did much with Grieg.

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  9. Miriam Hurdle

    It’s a fun project, Trent. Did you wear headphone to listen to one instrument you played while recording another instrument?

    I’ve seen one person video taped himself singing eight parts and synced them appearing one ‘person’ at a time. It first looked like different people but I of course, recognized the tone quality was from the same person. The stanzas synced seamless. 🎶👍 I’ll listen to your recording later. I’m at the gym with my phone.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Although I often wear headphones during mix down (I didn’t for this), I rarely wear them when recording instruments. If using a mic, yes, headphones are a must. I’ve done a lot of multi-tracking and usually do a pretty good job keeping things synched, but this one was harder than usual. of course, I should have spent more time learning it, but I do get impatient to record…

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I could not have done it without Tiberius’ supervision… lol. I was getting so frustrated with the music going everywhere as I was playing, and just grabbed the nearest thing to me – you’re a musician, you know about improvisation 😂😎

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, glad you liked it! Yes, multitrack recording is a layering technique that works great. It’s been used by rock bands since the Beatles, but for electronic music, Switched on Bach is the best model out there.

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