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Fugue in g minor (for three voices)

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Hi everyone! I wrote this baroque style fugue as a studie piece. I am applying to the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music (in Budapest, Hungary) this year, and I want to send in this fugue (they require a lot of study piece). I am hoping some of you can help me out with ideas, how to make it more stylish, more accurate. I listened to it so many times, I can't really determine how "baroque" it is. 

Edited by dormanzsombor
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Dear @dormanzsombor,

I think there are many octaves in the chords. E.g. b.5, 6, 7, 8 the strong beats are in octave. This can give audience a feeling of parallel octave doubling even in the quaver level it's not, and it makes the sound less full.

Staring from b.21I see you try to use inversion which is good, but it gives me a forceful feeling since the melody is not very singable when inverted.

B.26 is quite weird for me as you are going for A minor without an A in the first two beats but then suddenly go to C minor in the last two beats. The progression between b.27-28 is not quite reasonable with a C minor directly modulates to E minor and it's definitely not Baroque in style. B.29 you are having the dominant of E minor in the first two beats, then suddenly to G minor in the 3rd beat and dominant of C minor in the 4th beat with Bb and B natural clashing each other. In b.43 the C minor is suddenly dropped and G minor comes back with no preparation. 

It may be personal, but for me you are writing under the shackles of counterpoint rules. You try to prevent those parallel octaves and fifths which is good, but it limits the voice leading and makes the voices move in a strange and not fluent way. 

Thanks for sharing and hopefully I am not too nitpicky! I am sure I write worse fugues than you in my first few attempts!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Henry, 

I really appreciated the thoughtful comment. I will probably go with a new fugue instead of reapering endlessly this one. I found really few information about fugues. Can you recommend me some website or book wich could help me even in the month left until my deadline?

Thank you again,


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Henry has much more experience in this style, so there is little I can add.
But I would like to comment on one particularity of this piece and that is that it sounds quite "mechanical". And the reason, from my point of view, is this: the whole length of the score is dominated by a constant eighth-note rhythm. It is true that in some parts some suspensions and a crotchet pattern are introduced, but without abandoning the former.
I think this can be modified by working a little on the variation of the motives.

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10 hours ago, dormanzsombor said:

Can you recommend me some website or book wich could help me even in the month left until my deadline?

For me I do think listening to Bach's fugal works the best way to learn fugal technique. I'm not to say Bachian fugue is the only approachable way or the standard of fugue but he absorbed all his predecessors' works and demonstrate much of the possibility of the perfect combination of technique and content in fugue. And for Bach's fugue the Well-Tempered Clavier is definitely a good starting point since it covers many styles and it's for keyboard, so it's easier to study for me!

I find youtube videos more approachable with both audio and score, and here are the ones I love:

Books on general counterpoint and specifically on fugue is important too. For counterpoint, Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum is a must read for species counterpoint:


Kennan's book on counterpoint is great:


I love Jepessen's book on 16th century counterpoint since he specifies on counterpoint of Palestrina. If you want to know more on ars perfecta and prima pratica this will be a great book!


Alfred Mann's The Study of Fugue covers many texts on fugal teaching:


Hope this can help! I am still learning how to write a fugue myself so just keep going!




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I have only written a single real fugue, so don't take my word for it. But I agree with Henry WTC is one of the key books for fugues. (there is also the contrapuntus I heard, but I never read it lol)

But imo the "game plan" is very important.

Do you plan on strettos? inversions? augmentations? All these have the be worked out with the subject itself even before writing the exposition.
- the e-flat/d-sharp minor fugue from the first WTC book is a good study piece for what you can do with a single subject, and I love that piece so much
- "building bricks" fugues where you can basically switch around the subjects and countersubjects at will, like the b-flat major fugue from the first book or the g-major and f#-minor fugues from the second book

How many episodes/parts to you plan on having within the fugue?
- the c-sharp major fugue from the first book features a re-exposition
- the f-sharp minor fugue from the second book gives each subject and countersubjects their own expositions, then combined them

Just a few examples


EDIT: I think fugues generally just sound like either Bach or bad, even if it's written by romantic composers like Mendelssohn or Clara. until you get to more contemporary fugue writers like Ravel, Shostakovich and Hindemith and the likes. But that's only a personal reflection/observation.

Edited by PCC
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