How to write a good fugue subject

This is all thanks to our almost resident musicologist William Godfree.

fugue countersubject

We can perhaps understand now why fugue subjects do not start on scale degree 3. While they are usually harmonically generic, based on I, V, and IV, they are distinctive in melodic contour and rhythmic articulation, making them memorable after one hearing, and easily recognizable.

I only used this method a couple of times, after which my counterpoint writing became much more natural, less contrived. I can't explain it-- It wasn't as if I had been practicing. Below, I will describe the stages I went through as I tried to master this ancient art form. After this two-measure sequence, an additional measure was needed to prepare the final entrance. Like my idol, J. So far, so good. There you have it. Back to the Music home page For a beginning fugue, it is best to keep it simple, and it is extremely helpful if you have a harmonic scheme in mind first before you create the subject. If 5 does not appear at or near the beginning of the subject, no adjustment is necessary. At the opening, the subject is on top and the countersubject is below. Before long, fortunately, I figured out that Baroque composers did not work under this restriction. The "True Fugue" Phase When I was in my mid-twenties, my brain made some kind of cognitive leap that suddenly made it possible to write fugues.

Learning to Write Fugues For many years, until the start of the Classical era inthe fugue was considered by many to be the ultimate musical art form. After the first note, or first few, the remainder of the answer is an exact transposition up a fifth.

how to write a fugue youtube

There you have it. The section will contain at least one entry of the subject in the tonic and will usually end with a coda which can vary from a few notes to a few bars.

fugue lesson

I had read that the first part, or "voice", enters with the musical idea, or "subject", and is soon joined by the "answer", where the subject is repeated in another voice, in a new key, while the first voice continues to play against it.

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Fugue: Subject and Answer