Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mozartinspiration

How To Go About Writing A Fugue?

Recommended Posts

There's a stickied post about this somewhere at the top of one of the forums.  If you look you should be able to find it.  Someone wrote a great demonstration fugue and labeled all the different sections and techniques.  I'd start there.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, this is not a simple question. However, as fugue is my love and passion, I'll try to help.

 

Well, writing a fugue is very difficult, but it doesn't really need to be. It depends on your goal. Do you want to write traditional baroque fugues? Or modern ones?

If you want to write traditional fugues, you have to:

- Study a lot of counterpoint (have a start here: http://academic.udayton.edu/PhillipMagnuson/soundpatterns/speciesctpt/);

- Study a lot of fugues (Bach, Händel...). By studying I mean "anayse" (this site is a FANTASTIC resource: http://www2.nau.edu/tas3/wtc.html)

- Study about fugue-writing rules (there are tons of books and sites about it. Try to check this one to have a start: https://www.d.umn.edu/~jrubin1/JHR%20Fugue%201.htm)

- Write fugues! Try something with existing subjects, then you should start writing your own subjects.

 

It demands time, effort, dedication and practice. If you like it, you can use the fugue structure to make real compositions, not just mechanical exercises...

I love fugues as a musical way of expression, much more than pure musical rhetorics. I wish people thought more like this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a stickied post about this somewhere at the top of one of the forums.  If you look you should be able to find it.  Someone wrote a great demonstration fugue and labeled all the different sections and techniques.  I'd start there.  

 

For your convenience:

 

http://www.youngcomposers.com/forum/t3239/a-crash-course-in-writing-fugues/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, all! I have seen that page on fugues, but I was just looking not only at the structure and all, but the actual process of writing it and playing it.

But it still helps!

@ChristianPerrota: Thanks for the sites! I am going to start reading. Fugue time!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything you need to know right here. If I'm ever a professor teaching fugue composition I would just play this video in front of the class and ask "Any questions?"

"Yeah: what? And also: can I get my tuition money back please?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Class participation makes an important part of your grade and rude comments that interfere with discussion will be accounted for. See me after class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I think a great many people overstate the complexity of fugue writing. It is as simple or as complex as you want. The rules you choose to follow or not follow are up to you. There is a great difference between an atonal fugue and one by Bach, and indeed one by Bach and one by those who preceded him. Why not start by listening to "So you want to write a fugue" by Glenn Gould. I guess what I'm trying to say is that "fugue" means a great many things to a great many people. What it means to you is up to you. Essentially you have a melody coming back again and again, and thats it. Yeah, the opening is a little formulaic, but even then you can vary a great deal - the order of the voices, real or tonal answer, how soon the voices enter after one another, etc. So I would just dive in and see what you come up with.
I've written quite nice fugues (I like them) early on that are way simple, probably break loads of rules, but as I learn more and more, it gets more and more complex. Early fugues had not much idea of harmonic progression, they were simply based on species counterpoint. Bach's fugues had a great mastery of harmonic progression, but also modulated all over the place thanks to the new well-temperament system that earlier composers didnt have access to. Some fugues use highly complex stretto and inversion - others dont. So in short, its as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  So my best advice is "so you want to write a fugue, you have the urge to write a fugue, you have the nerve to write a fugue, so go ahead, just plunge right in and write one" 
You are not going to compete with Art of the Fugue on your first try - so dont try to. Just start.

Share this post


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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...