What Is Fugue Music? fugue, in music, a compositional procedure characterized by the systematic imitation of a principal theme (called the subject) in simultaneously sounding melodic lines (counterpoint). The term fugue may also be used to describe a work or part of a work.

How do you identify a fugue? In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently in the course of the composition.

Is fugue a genre of music? Even so, a fugue is a class, kind or type of musical composition, and the word fugue is often part of the composition’s title (much like the word “symphony”). In this sense, fugue can be considered a musical genre. Most often, a fugue in joined with a prelude establishing a two-movement entity.

What music period is fugue?

The most enduring examples of fugues were written by J.S. Bach during the Baroque period of classical music. Bach, along with Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, created fugal compositions that remain widely studied and performed to this day.

Is fugue vocal or instrumental?

A fugue is the most complex polyphonic musical form, involving imitation among the parts (called “voices” whether they are vocal or instrumental). The word fugue comes from fuga, meaning to chase since each voice “chases” the previous one.

Is fugue sacred or secular?

Yet by the middle of the 18th century, the fugue had passed its peak in popularity with composers; in the late 18th century, the fugue would survive chiefly in sacred music as a model of hallowed tradition.

How many voices can a fugue have?

Most fugues are in three or four voices (“à 3” or “à 4”), but not all of these are used at any given moment; it is common for an episode to proceed in as few as two voices.

How is canon different from fugue?

While canon (a word with Greek origins meaning “law” or “rule”) is a much more strict procedure than fugue, its rules allow for much more flexibility than the simple, familiar round suggests. Canons can involve more that two voices and may also be accompanied by a part that is not bound by the primary rules.

What is the difference between fugue and sonata?

fugue is a type of writing, while the others are based on instruments etc. a sonata isn’t a symphony. it’s usually a work for a solo instrument (often for piano). it may resemble the structure of a symphony, but the symphony has the orchestra, the sonata has the solo instrument (sometimes two instruments).

What is a simple definition of a fugue?

Definition of fugue 1a : a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts The organist played a four-voiced fugue.

What is a real answer in a fugue?

IN FUGAL writing, the ”answer” is the presentation of the fugue sub. ject by the second voice to enter. The answer is “real” if this pre sentation is an exact transposition of the statement by the open ing voice (every note a fifth upward or a fourth downward from the original), “tonal” if not exact.

Why is fugue so important?

Fugal writing is a very complex form of counterpoint. In the Baroque it could also be considered a genre, as many pieces were composed as stand-alone fugues. The most important thing to remember is the role of the fugue subject as the main melodic idea that is imitated throughout the piece.

Who invented the fugue?

The famous fugue composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) shaped his own works after those of Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667), Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706), Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643), Dieterich Buxtehude (c. 1637–1707) and others.

What famous composer was best known for his use of fugue?

Johann Sebastian Bach had a prestigious musical lineage and took on various organist positions during the early 18th century, creating famous compositions like “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” Some of his best-known compositions are the “Mass in B Minor,” the “Brandenburg Concertos” and “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” Bach …

What is episode in fugue?

An episode is a connecting passage of music in a fugue and is usually made up of a development of the music that has already been heard in the Exposition.

Why is it called a fugue?

The English term fugue originated in the 16th century and is derived from the French word fugue or the Italian fuga. This in turn comes from Latin, also fuga, which is itself related to both fugere (“to flee”) and fugare (“to chase”). The adjectival form is fugal.

What pitch ranges are typically used in a fugue?

The number of voices in a fugue generally ranges from three to five, but eight or even ten voices are possible in large choral or orchestral fugues. Fugues in fewer than three voices are rare, because with two voices the subject can only jump back and forth between the upper and lower voice.

What did Bach Pair with a fugue?

Bach composed his fugues for the organ; for the harpsichord or clavichord in the two books of The Well-Tempered Clavier and in the toccatas, suites, and partitas; for unaccompanied chorus, in the motets; for chorus with organ or orchestra, in the cantatas, passions, and masses; even for solo violin, in the partitas and …

Why is it called canon?

The term canon, from a Hebrew-Greek word meaning “cane” or “measuring rod,” passed into Christian usage to mean “norm” or “rule of faith.” The Church Fathers of the 4th century ce first employed it in reference to the definitive,…

What is the musical term canon mean?

“Canon” means rule, or law, and in music, the simple canon uses a very strict rule to define itself. … But when the follower voice makes any minor adjustments, it is called a free canon. Canons can be written for three, four, eight, twelve—any number of voices. Rounds. One of the simplest forms of a canon is the round.

What defines a musical canon?

canon, musical form and compositional technique, based on the principle of strict imitation, in which an initial melody is imitated at a specified time interval by one or more parts, either at the unison (i.e., the same pitch) or at some other pitch.

What is a psychogenic fugue?

Dissociative fugue (psychogenic fugue, or fugue state) presents as sudden, unexpected travel away from one’s home with an inability to recall some or all of one’s past. Onset is sudden, usually following severe psychosocial stressors.