Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A toon and sumpin fer dessert?

From a comment left on this post. Well, sure, we fugue nerds (or is it geeks? which one is cool?) talk about how fugues are put together, but fugue is just process and it can be very fun. I put up a couple of really transcendental fugues before, but here is a lighter one:

The prelude has good tunes and is sweetly lyrical and the fugue is just jaunty. Good 'nuff?


RG said...

Nice sounds. But to be clear, I liked the other ones too.

The question is: Can you/one whistle or hum a fugue? Does its layered complexity make that (even theoretically) impossible? Or is there a convention within naso-labial (really intro-auditive) performace that "counts" as whistling/humming "the" tune of a fugue? Or what? Or is the fugue essentially something you have to listen to played by fugue-capable instruments (possibly including voices)?

Bryan Townsend said...

Excellent question! A fugue is inherently a piece in more than one 'voice'. One singer or whistler can't do a fugue, but two people could do a two voice fugue. There are lots of choral fugues where one 'voice' is sung by the sopranos, another by the altos and so on. 'Voice' is a technical term meaning "a melodic part". Instruments like the piano, harpsichord, organ, lute, guitar and harp can play several notes at the same time so they can more or less reproduce the effect of several different singers. In the Well-Tempered Clavier most of the fugues are for three or four voices, but there are ones for two voices and even five voices. A basic feature of fugue is the entry, one by one, of each voice at the beginning.