How to Write a Really Boring Music Blog

When I started this blog a few weeks ago, I resolved to blog about all my interests, not just programming. This obviously presents a challenge: holding an audience whilst writing about a wide variety of mostly unrelated subjects. I love listening to and composing music, so my first thought was to regularly write music reviews and occasionally post an original composition whenever I feel like writing one. Both of those options now seem really uninteresting and offer nothing new in terms of interesting content.

The question lingered: how do I blog about music in a way that's potentially interesting to myself and my intended audience (the internet)? The answer is around 300 years old. I am a huge Bach fan. Not only do I like listening to his music, I also enjoy composing polyphonic music that imitates Bach's style. I have composed more than a handful of fugues (what's a fugue?) in my life and some of them have turned out halfway decent. These fugues are also completely uninteresting to everyone else except music theory nerds.

But lots of people like rap and pop music, so what if I could marry my interest in composing in a centuries-old idiom without boring everyone to death? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Full Audio

View the full score here

This series will be a semi-regular (monthly maybe?) series in which I take a given Top 40 Song, extract melodies from that song, and compose a fugue based on that melody. The title will always be: "If Bach Wrote... [Song Title]." Without further ado:


Lil Jon and DJ Snake released "Turn Down for What" in late 2013 and has since gone platinum and hit #1 on two US Billboard charts. It also has a synthesizer ostinato that is absolutely entrancing:

Audio Clip: Lil Jon / DJ Snake "Turn Down for What" (original)

This synth ostinato will serve as the fugue's subject. I simplified the syncopation in the rhythm in order to accommodate the Baroque idiom:

Fugue subject
Fugue subject in E minor: i (VI) (V)

I am using a "tonal answer" that is a bit unconventional:

Tonal answer in G minor: ii-dim Tonal answer in E minor: iio - (v)

Most fugues in the minor mode opt for a tonal answer in the relative major or dominant; this, however, answers in the submediant. The piece wastes little time progressing into the development section after the third voice restates the subject. Here is the full audio:

Final Product

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Please let me know whether you enjoyed this labor of love/crunk. Tweet me! @jbones3000.