Jump to content

Challenge: Fugue


Recommended Posts

~ new fugue theme, see post #13 ~

I've just read the recent topic about introducing challenges and thought I would attempt to start one.

The task is to write a four-part tonal fugue on a given subject in D (see attachment of post #13). Its aim is twofold: firstly, anyone who's keen on fugues and knows enough counterpoint can join and try for fun. Secondly, I think it would be interesting to observe in how many different ways a subject can be worked out despite given strict conditions (see below) and how certain problems emerging from the nature of the fugue theme can be solved.

In order to balance the odds among participants and to make the compositions more easily 'comparable' with regard to technical issues, the following regulations are made:

- one regular (~invertible) countersubject should be introduced

- the order of modulations after the exposition should be the following: b min (subject) - f# min (answer) - G maj (s) - e min (a)

- elaborate dominant pedal, followed by stretto + coda.

The score should be open <SATB>.

This is not a competition, however I can reward the creator(s) of the best fugue(s) this time with some scanned old fugue-related printed materials (not available online) as a small token of appreciation.

Deadline : November 2nd

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not the time to join. I like however that the open challenge-system is working.

I would if the subject was better.

I agree, but then, this would make it challenge right? So, although I agree with Justin, I hope this thread is going to attract people that are willing to work on this. And not that the challenge itself is challenged...

Link to post
Share on other sites

hahah. Actually, I want the challenges to be challenged.

Darwinism in the Competition forum. ;) What happens if I post my OWN Fugue with a better subject? Then, I win, probably.

It's just how the system is messed up and I love it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would if the subject was better.

Also, if its for SATB does that mean for voices? Because that will dramatically change the piece compared to a keyboard or string fugue.

In exactly what regard do you think the subject is deficient? Then I may give another subject which perhaps will suit Your taste better (albeit the challenge factor would be somewhat reduced)....

~~~~

SATB was meant for the score that would be submitted (~four-part open, because it's easier to review compared to ones where all the parts are squeezed into two staves). Instrumentation (strings / keyboard / voices etc...) is up to the participants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The subject I posted is viable and was actually used in a competition in 1888. Instead of devising a brand-new one I chose that old theme because I thought it was still ideal for challenging certain problem-solving abilities of the prospective participants (which, otherwise, would have involved finding correct tonal answer, indispensable codetta after every statement of the subject, alterations of the 'tail' in minor keys, finding all stretto possibilites).

O.K. then, here's another, much easier and less 'awkward' theme. The regulations will remain the same.

The first entry of the subject should be either in the alto or in the bass (transposed an octave lower in case of the latter); the choice is up to the participants.

post-11228-0-02118700-1351063169_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I saw in the rules something about it being in D, but then, it gave me a chord progression with b and f#. So which is it? And if any tonal baroque-style fugue works, (which I see it doesn't), go to my quartet no. 1, and listen to the third movement. It's a baroque-style fugue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This attitude is the key to success as a composer.

Well, I believe that, if I'm working on something and I'm not liking the result, it's better to stop than to go on just to achieve one more composition completed, regardless of the satisfaction. As far as I understand art, it's a high matter of taste, and what is an artist who doesn't like his/her own work?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I saw in the rules something about it being in D, but then, it gave me a chord progression with b and f#. So which is it? And if any tonal baroque-style fugue works, (which I see it doesn't), go to my quartet no. 1, and listen to the third movement. It's a baroque-style fugue.

The subject is in D major. The keys of b and f# were meant for the order of modulations; so for example after the first episode following the exposition the subject has to make an entry in b minor to which the tonal answer should respond (in f#).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I believe that, if I'm working on something and I'm not liking the result, it's better to stop than to go on just to achieve one more composition completed, regardless of the satisfaction. As far as I understand art, it's a high matter of taste, and what is an artist who doesn't like his/her own work?

hey guys i set myself a compositional exercise but it was too hard so i didn't do it

please don't be one of those "it's all about inspiration" people. the day hasn't yet come that someone can sit down and write a good piece of music without any effort or training. you have to develop a deep understanding of structure, expression, and line, and one of the best ways to do that is to do things that are hard. like make a good piece out of an unpromising fugue subject. you think every single one of bach's fugue subjects is a masterpiece of its kind?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

hey guys i set myself a compositional exercise but it was too hard so i didn't do it

please don't be one of those "it's all about inspiration" people. the day hasn't yet come that someone can sit down and write a good piece of music without any effort or training. you have to develop a deep understanding of structure, expression, and line, and one of the best ways to do that is to do things that are hard. like make a good piece out of an unpromising fugue subject. you think every single one of bach's fugue subjects is a masterpiece of its kind?

I'm sorry, I'm not discussing about this anymore. For me, it's nonsense to make a work just to do it, without liking the result. I didn't say I've given up the challenge just because it's difficult, but because I didn't like the artistic result. Oh, come on, you guys come with this beautiful speech about "challenge", "work without effort", "easily give up", "not a composer's attitude"... Music isn't simply a training craft. I have already created some subjects that I didn't like, so I discarded them... You guys, tell me, have you developed absolutely EVERYTHING you've created? Haven't you never ever discarded an idea because you didn't like it enough to develop it? You talk as if I had the go on the whole fugue, post it here and say: "Here's the composition. I don't like it, but I completed it." Some people didn't even tried and posted things like "This subject is not good enough"... I tried and THEN said that I didn't like it very much... What's the big difference? Just because I had an attempt to go further, that doesn't mean I had to go on because "that's what a composer should do, accept challenges without fear!". ¬¬ I'm surely a composer, and I did it many times. Now, I don't want to. May I?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally I tend to like the works that I finish. However, there is imense value in writing things that you don't like. Those kinds of pieces (or exercises) stretch your musical mind and force you to think in other ways than you comfort zone. I know its helped me grow as a musician.

I may write this fugue just to say I could do it with a bad subject.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it too late to still enter this contest? I've got a tasteful exposition and a few ideas, which I think could lead to some good things. I Already looked at the above two entries, though, and Gisli's revealed a stretto I hadn't noticed (well, I didn't look for one, but still), which I would of course want to employ.

- the order of modulations after the exposition should be the following: b min (subject) - f# min (answer) - G maj (s) - e min (a)

Does this mean that the b minor statement must immediately precede the f# which must be a tonal answer? Not sure I completely understand this. Can there be intervening modulations/ tonicizations?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...