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Bach wrote this piece in 1749 after his famous visit to Frederick the Great of Prussia. Frederick is said to have written the theme that begins in Guitar I. After a long and difficult journey to the court Frederick gave Bach this theme and asked Bach to improvise upon it. Bach improvised with consumate mastery and great acclaim, and, after returning home, he composed the Musical Offering, which, of course, was dedicated to Frederick. This canon is called a "crab canon" because the 2nd part is the same as the 1st part, but written backwards.
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