Dmitri Shostakovich – Fugue in A major

This piece was written 200 years after Bach’s death alongside with another 23 fugues, the idea to write those pieces came from Bach’s Well-tempered clavier. The special thing about the a-major fugue is, that it, unlike most of the other pieces Shostakovich wrote, this composition doesn’t have any dissonances. He varies between several chords but only involves the notes from the corresponding triad. ( Tonic, Mediant & Dominant). Being restricted to only this structure the piece could have become rather boring, but Shostakovich managed to put the chords and the pitches into an order, which makes the composition sound rather interesting. (1)

Shostakovich starts the first few lines by using chords from the perfect 4th (D) or 5th (E), but starts varying with jumping between the maj 2nd (B-minor) and major 3rd (C# -minor). As far as I’ve observed it, Shostakovich sometimes uses the beginning section in order to keep apart the “more interesting” parts. Those involve even chords, which aren’t present in a a-major scale, such as Eb, F, Bb, G-minor and A#-minor.

Unfortunately I was unable to find a downloadable score, but a video on Youtube, which includes a picture as well as an audio file of the piece, provided by Veritas Bear can be found under the following link :

I found this piece really nice to listen to and was therefore surprised how simply structured it was once I started analyzing it in detail.

  1. Adams, R. (1981). Dmitri Shostakovich and the fugues of op.87 : A Bach bicentennial tribute (pdf) Texas. Available at: