Here are twenty little fugues in four parts, short (between one and two minutes), very easy to play. The pedal is never necessary, and the choice of stops is free.
Published by Telemann in 1731, they are written in each of the ecclesiastic modes still used in several German churches, and are planned to introduce the singing by the choir (for instance a Magnificat). These modes were nothing else but various major or minor scales, with an ending on the tonic or the dominant. However Telemann, concerned about the leading of the singer’s intonation, achieves the feat of only using the very notes of the mode in the upper part of the whole fugue, with no outside notes or modulation. He explains himself about this in a complete foreword including two tables, one for the modes themselves, the other for the way of harmonising them.
The language is typically baroque, but however is not Bach’s. This volume shows us another side of the organ music during this time, and is convienient for pedagogy as well as liturgy, and also for concert.