Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/151

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TONAL FUGUE.

and Sebastian Bach, would fill a volume. We can here only give the ultimate results of the movement ; pausing first to describe the position from which the earliest modern Fuguists took their departure.

The Real Fugue of the Polyphonic Composers, as perfected in the i6th century, was of two kinds Limited, and Unlimited. With the Limited form now called Canon we have, here, no concern. 1 The Unlimited Eeal Fugue started with a very short Subject, adapted to the opening phrase of the verbal text for it was always vocal and this was repeated note for note in the Answer, but only for a very short distance. The Answer always began before the end of the Sub- ject ; but, after the exact Imitation carried on through the first few notes, the part in which it appeared became ' free/ and proceeded whither it would. The Imitation took place generally in the Fifth above or the Fourth below ; sometimes in the Fourth above, or Fifth below, or in the Octave ; rarely, in Unlimited Real Fugue, in any less natural Interval than these. There was no Counter-Subject ; and, whenever a new verbal phrase appeared in the text, a new musical phrase was adapted to it, in the guise of a Second "Sub- ject. But it was neither necessary that the open- ing Subject should be heard simultaneously with the later ones ; nor, that it should reappear, after a later one had been introduced. Indeed, the cases in which these two conditions both indis- pensable, in a modern Fugue were observed, even in the slightest degree, are so rare, that they may be considered as infringements of a very strict rule.

The form we have here described was brought to absolute perfection in the so-called ' School of Palestrina,' in the latter half of the i6th century. The first departure from it rendered inevitable by the substitution of the modern Scale for the older Tonalities consisted in the adaptation of the Answer to the newer law, in place of its subjugation, by aid of the Hexachord, to the Ecclesiastical Modes. [See HEXACHOBD.] The change was crucial. But it was manifest that matters could not rest here. No sooner was the transformation of the Answer recognised as an unavoidable necessity, than the whole conduct of the Fugue was revolutionised. In order to make the modifications through which it passed intelligible, we must first consider the change in the Answer, and then that which took place in the construction of the Fugue founded upon it the modern Tonal Fugue.

The elements which enter into the composition of this noble Art-form are of two classes ; the one, comprising materials essential to its existence ; the other consisting of accessories only. The es- sential elements are (i) The Subject, (2) The Answer, ( 3) The Counter-Subject, (4) The Codetta, (5) The Free Part, (6) The Episode, (7) The

i Those who wish to trace the relation between the tiro will do well to study the ' Slessa Canonica,' edited by La Fage, and by him attributed to Falestrina, or the ' Missa Canonica ' of Fux, side by side with Falestrina's ' Missa ad Fugam ' ; taking the two first-named works as examples of Limited, and the third of Unlimited Seal Fugue.

��TONAL FUGUE.

��135

��Stretto, and (8) The Pedal-Point, or Organ-Point. The accessories are, Inversions of all kinds, in Double, Triple, or Quadruple Counterpoint ; Imitations of all kinds, and in all possible Inter- vals, treated in Direct, Contrary, or Retrograde Motion, in Augmentation, or Diminution ; Modu- lations ; Canonic passages ; and other devices too numerous to mention.

Among the essential elements, the first place is, of course, accorded to the Subject ; which is not merely the Theme upon which the Com- position is formed, but is nothing less than an epitome of the entire Fugue, which must contain absolutely nothing that is not either directly derived from, or at least more or less naturally suggested by it.

The qualities necessary for a good Subject are both numerous and important. Cherubini has been laughed at for informing his readers that ' the Subject of a Fugue ought neither to be too long, nor too short' : but, the apparent Hibernian- ism veils a valuable piece of advice. The great point is, that the Subject should be complete enough to serve as the text of the discourse, without becoming wearisome by repetition. For this purpose, it is sometimes made to consist of two members, strongly contrasted together, and adapted for separate treatment ; as in the fol- lowing Subject, by Telemann, in which the first member keeps up the dignity of the Fugue, while the second provides perpetual animation.

First Member, j | Second Member! j

��Sometimes the construction of the Subject is homogeneous, as in the following by Kirnberger ; and the contrast is then produced by means of varied Counterpoint.

���Many very fine Subjects perhaps, the finest of all combine both qualities ; affording suffi- cient variety of figure when they appear in com- plete form ; and, when separated into fragments, serving all necessary purposes, for Episodes, Stretti, etc., as in the following examples

FRESCOBALDI.

���1 Preserve him for the glory of Thy name.' HA NDEL.

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��From the Sonata in A. PADRE MARTINI.

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