what is the main theme of a fugue called?

what is the main theme of a fugue called?


The first page of the manuscript of the "Ricercar a 6" BWV 1079 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The primary web page of the manuscript of the “Ricercar a 6” BWV 1079 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional approach in two or extra voices, constructed on a topic (theme) that’s launched at first in imitation (repetition at totally different pitches) and recurs regularly in the midst of the composition.

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The English time period fugue originated within the sixteenth century and is derived from the French phrase fugue or the Italian fuga. This in flip comes from Latin, additionally fuga, which is itself associated to each fugere (“to flee”) and fugare (“to chase”). The adjectival kind is fugal. Variants embody fughetta (actually, “a small fugue”) and fugato (a passage in fugal type inside one other work that’s not a fugue).

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A fugue normally has three sections: an exposition, a improvement, and eventually, a recapitulation that accommodates the return of the topic within the fugue’s tonic key, although not all fugues have a recapitulation. Within the Center Ages, the time period was extensively used to indicate any works in canonic type; by the Renaissance, it had come to indicate particularly imitative works. For the reason that seventeenth century, has described what is often thought to be probably the most absolutely developed process of imitative counterpoint.

Most fugues open with a brief primary theme, the topic, which then sounds successively in every voice (after the primary voice is completed stating the topic, a second voice repeats the topic at a unique pitch, and different voices repeat in the identical means); when every voice has entered, the exposition is full. That is usually adopted by a connecting passage, or episode, developed from beforehand heard materials; additional “entries” of the topic then are heard in associated keys. Episodes (if relevant) and entries are normally alternated till the “closing entry” of the topic, by which level the music has returned to the opening key, or tonic, which is commonly adopted by closing materials, the coda. On this sense, a fugue is a method of composition, reasonably than a hard and fast construction.


The desk under illustrates the construction of the fugue exposition:

Voice Themes performed Themes performed Themes performed Themes performed Soprano Topic Counter topic 1 Counter topic 2 Reply Alto Reply Counter topic 1 Counter topic 2 Bass Topic Counter topic 1 Learn “Kinds: Contrapuntal Composition Strategies: The Fugue” right here.

Pay attention: Fugue: Topic and Solutions

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Take heed to J. S. Bach’s, “Little” Fugue (G minor, BWV 578) under; the totally different colours symbolize the voices of the fugue. See should you can establish the topic and solutions all through the piece.

After the Exposition: Episodes, Growth

Learn “Kinds: Contrapuntal Composition Strategies: After the Exposition” right here.

Pay attention: Fugue: Episodes, Growth

Please take heed to the next together with the rating:

J. S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, third Motion, Presto

Musical rating for Brandenburg Concerto No. 4

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Key Phrases

  • Exposition – the opening part of the fugue, ends when the theme is offered in every voice.
    • Topic – the principle theme of the fugue.
    • Reply – topic imitated in one other voice.
  • Countersubject – new materials within the voice by which the topic was beforehand said.
  • Episodes – transitions primarily based on the exposition materials.
  • Growth – topic and reply being developed.