“Contrapunctus” is the title Bach attached to each of the fugues. It is Latin for “Counterpoint” which is how the fugues are pretty much built. The idea is to be able to build a piece of music with multiple “melody lines”. In the case of a fugue or canon, there is only one melody offset against itself. Think of “Freres Jauques”, or “Row row row your boat” which are canons very much like fugues. Bach excelled in these forms as is proven in the “Art of Fugue.”
The “Contrapunctus-1” is the underlying theme of the whole cycle. It is straightforward and clear. It is the genesis so to speak. I thought long and hard about this first panel and what it should and could be. I settled finally on presenting the theme as itself. It forms a kind of touchstone for the rest of the sections. This is the first of 4 simple fugues. Don’t be fooled by the word “simple”.