This visualisation of a Bach prelude lets you see just how clever the piece really is

13 June 2016, 14:46 | Updated: 5 September 2018, 22:37

J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C major from the first Well Tempered Clavier volume is a gem of mathematical beauty. And now you can see exactly how beautiful it really is.

So we all know that Bach’s music is proper maths-y. Brainbox that he was, it’s now possible to go back and find hitherto-uncovered patterns and pleasing shapes thanks to the joys of visualisations like this one.

Each point of this clock represents a specific chord in relation to the tonic (I), and from there you can see just how far and wide Bach goes, harmonically, in a single three-minute piece.

For this genius animation, we're indebted to Stephen Malinowski. There's loads more on his YouTube channel here. And if you'd like to directly support Stephen's projects, you can contribute via Patreon.