A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Answer

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ANSWER. An answer in music is, in strict counterpoint, the repetition by one part or instrument of a theme proposed by another. In the following chorus from Handel's 'Utrecht Jubilate'

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/2 << \key f \major \relative f' { << { r1^"O go your way" | r | r | r | r | r | c'^"(d)" | } \\
{ s1 | s | s | s2 f, ~ | f e | f4 e d2 | g f | } \\
{ f1_"(a)" | g2 c, | f bes ~ | bes a | bes4 a g2 | a2 g4 f | } >> }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key f \major \relative c' << { r1 | c^"(b)" | d2 g, | c s | s1 | s | e2 f4 e | } \\ { r1 | r1 | r1 | f,_"(c)" | g2 c, | f bes | bes a | } >> } >> }

a and c are the theme, and b and d the successive answers. In Germany the theme and answer are known as dux and comes or as Führer and Gefährter. (See the articles Canon, Counterpoint, and Fugue.)

The word is used in looser parlance to denote such replies of one portion of a phrase to another, or one instrument to another, as occur in the second subject of the first movement of Beethoven's 'Sinfonia Eroica':—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 \key ees \major \partial 2 \relative g'' { g4.(^\markup { \smaller \italic Ob. } f8 | e4) f4.(^\markup { \smaller \italic Clar. }  ees8 | c4) ees'4.(^\markup { \smaller \italic Fl. }  c8 | a4) c4.(^\markup { \smaller \italic Viol. }  ees,8 | d4) } }
etc. or throughout the Scherzo of Mendelssohn's 'Scotch Symphony,' or frequently elsewhere.

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