Fugue

   A composition or a significant, self-contained portion of a larger composition, based entirely on imitation. The subject is announced unaccompanied:
   Most commonly, a single subject and its countersubject provide all the motivic material for the entire fugue; occasionally fugues may have multiple subjects (double fugue, etc.). A two-voice texture, the minimum, is rare; three and four voices are most common; five and six occasionally occur, especially in vocal music. Fugues are signifi-cant for sacred music in two ways: as a means of constructing choral numbers in masses, oratorios, cantatas, motets, etc.; and as organ repertory which may have a peripheral function, as prelude or postlude music, in Christian liturgy.
   The Latin word fuga ("flee") has been associated since the early 15th century with imitative composition in various genres: popular song, round, catch, canon, motet, fantasia, ricercar, canzona. But while some of those terms could include other textures, fuga came to be associated exclusively with imitative texture by the 17th century. In modern usage it generally applies to music dating from the late 17th century or later.
   There is no traditional form for fugues, but there are many conventional terms (see figure 2). An exposition of the fugue presents a complete subject, or entry, in any voice, whereas an episode works with material derived from the exposition. A stretto (It. "tightened") is an exposition in which the entries are overlapped more quickly than originally.
   The acknowledged master of the keyboard fugue, and in particular those for organ that might have been heard in church, is Johann Sebastian Bach. His cantatas, passions, masses, and motets also contain many choral fugal movements, but in this application of fugal technique he is joined in mastery, although of a more dramatic, less religious kind, by his contemporary George Frideric Handel, whose English oratorios inspired many choral fugues of Franz Joseph Haydn and those of later composers of oratorios. In fact, after the 18th century the choral fugue was an essential component of the sacred musical semantic; no serious sacred oratorio or mass could do without one.
   
   Figure 2. Fuga from BWV 547, mm. 1-3.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fugué — fugué …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • FUGUE — «La fugue (de fuga , fuite) est une forme de composition musicale dont le thème, ou sujet, passant successivement dans toutes les voix, et dans diverses tonalités, semble sans cesse fuir .» Ainsi Marcel Dupré définit il la fugue. La fugue est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fugue FM — Fugue (radio) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Fugue. Création 1er avril 1982 Disparition 2 décembre 2002 Propriétaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • fugué — fugué, ée (fu ghé, ghée) adj. Terme de musique. Qui est dans la forme d une fugue. Choeur fugué. •   Le contre point fugué est un contre point par imitation, FÉTIS. . ÉTYMOLOGIE    Ital. fugato, de fuga, fugue …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Fugue — Fugue, n. [F., fr. It. fuga, fr. L. fuga a fleeing, flight, akin to fugere to fiee. See {Fugitive}.] (Mus.) A polyphonic composition, developed from a given theme or themes, according to strict contrapuntal rules. The theme is first given out by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fugue — 1590s, fuge, from It. fuga ardor, lit. flight, from L. fuga act of fleeing, from fugere to flee (see FUGITIVE (Cf. fugitive)). Current spelling (1660s) is from the French version of the Italian word. A Fugue is a composition founded upon one… …   Etymology dictionary

  • fugue — Fugue. s. f. Terme de Musique, qui se dit lors que differentes parties de Musique se suivent en repetant ce que la premiere partie a chanté. Faire une fugue, une double fugue …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Fugue — [fü̱g; aus frz. fugue = Flucht] w; : Wandertrieb, krankhafter Trieb zum Fortlaufen (im epileptischen Dämmerzustand) …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • fugue — [fju:g] n [U and C] [Date: 1500 1600; : Italian; Origin: fuga flight, fugue , from Latin fugere; FUGITIVE2] a piece of music with a tune that is repeated regularly in different ↑keys by different voices or instruments …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Fugue — [fy:g] die; <aus gleichbed. fr. fugue, dies aus lat. fuga »Flucht«> Wandertrieb, krankhafter Trieb zum Fortlaufen (im epileptischen Dämmerzustand; Med.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Fugue — (franz., spr. fügh ), auch Wandertrieb, nennt man Zustände, in denen Leute plötzlich ihren Aufenthalt, ihre Tätigkeit, ihre Stellung verlassen, um sich längere oder kürzere Zeit umherzutreiben …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.