What is a Fugue

Art and music is so vast and cannot be confined to a book or so and there are many elements which have lost their importance with time but are still used in a much modified version. Certain technicalities of the classical music have disappeared with time and only a handful of musicians understand their importance. One such technical element is a Fugue. The word fugue actually means repetition of a musical composition comprising of a theme.

Technically, fugue is an amalgamation of voices based on a theme which is presented at the beginning  in the repetition of different sounds and reiterate in the course of the music.

Fugue in history

Fugue was invented in 16th century it is believed that is a French or an Italian word. However, it is derived from a Latin word fuga which means “to flee”. Fugue is been used since the Middle Ages and   was reinvented many times in Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Fugue was generally used to produce cannon like sound during plays and program music.

Sections of fugue

Fugue has three parts, exposition, development, and recapitulation. The recapitulation is the section which has the recurrence of the theme but recapitulation is an optional section of fugue.

Exposition: The beginning of a theme with one voice in the fugue is called exposition.

Development: The entry of new themes in the middle of the fugue. The development reoccurs  throughout the fugue and the themes which has to be repeated are involved in the development.

The fugue has other sections such as episode, false entries, counter-exposition, stretto, final entries, and coda.

Kinds of Fugue

Fugue was modified many times and musicians have segregated fugue in its sub types. There are four kinds of fugue 

Double Fugue– It is also known as triple or quadruple fugue. A double fugue will have two themes simultaneously changing. The triple fugue has three themes and quadruple has four themes. The double fugue is of two types and in differentiated on the occurrence of the theme with the occurrence of different sections of fugue. In the first type, second theme is introduced coincided with the exposition ‘s theme. In the second type, the second theme has its own exposition and it is presented with the first one later in the double fugue.

Counter fugue– In this types, the first theme is inverted and continues conspicuously throughout the fugue.

Permutation fugue– In this type, the different elements of fugue are combined with a cannon sound and different voices are allowed to enter the theme in chronological sequence throughput the fugue. It has its own counter themes and expositions as well. It is the most elongated form of fugue.

Fughetta– A smaller version of fugue is called a fughetta.

This was all about fugue and its history. 

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