[Smt-talk] Bach fugues and popular songs

Murphy, Scott Brandon smurphy at ku.edu
Mon Mar 1 09:20:49 PST 2010

Dear collective wisdom (with apologies for cross-listing),

I am curious to know of any recent American popular song (interpret this
genre label however you would like) that quotes a fugue by J.S. Bach (or
perhaps another classical composer of fugue) as its introductory material.
I know of two: Amy Grant's "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" opens by citing,
then reworking, the beginning of the C-minor fugue of WTC I, and the much
more recent "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, in which the music video opens with
a little (diegetic) bit of the beginning of the B-minor fugue from WTC I.
I'm a bit more interested in songs (and fugues, for that matter) that might
be more familiar to today's average undergraduate music student, but I'm
open to anything at this point.

Thanks in advance, and happy March,


Scott Murphy
Associate Professor of Music Theory
University of Kansas School of Music
smurphy at ku.edu

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