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#81
Quote by Life Is Brutal
I think I'm going to make myself write at least 12 bars of something a day. Hopefully the writing process will become easier.


Me too, sounds like a fantastic idea... but i only play one instrument.... Hooray bass clef!

I should learn the piano... im going to need to for school anyways....
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

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#82
Hey Xiaoxi, sorry I didn't reply to your reply

Do you have a Skype or something? I have some questions about note choice, how to modulate, and some other stuff having to do with fugues and writing them.

I'm actually gonna start over right now and write a new one. We'll see how that goes.
#83
Sure thing. I sent you a PM.

Not available to talk right now though. At school/work.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#84
Would the first few bars of my canon (previous page) make a good starting point for my fugue?
#85
Sorry guys, will get to ALL of your questions soon. Been shamefully slothy the last week or so.

Also, I moved everyone's stuff to a new SoundCloud account. Let me know if the links for my suggestion for yours isn't working.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#86
Ignore this post everybody. I put up a better one


Alright, so I've been obsessively checking this thread since it's inception and, hopefully, the mass of musical knowledge has rubbed off on me. So, here is my fugal attempt.

the score
http://musescore.com/user/21980/scores/37506#

The sound
http://soundcloud.com/tracks/search?q=duaneclapdrix

My subject is a little...odd, but I think it works. I didn't really know what to do for an exposition so I just restated my theme in a couple of different keys and called it a day.
I also noticed to late that I have some spacing issues during the fourth entrance of my subject. I don't find it aurally displeasing though so...eh

So, (fugue) Doctor! (fugue) Doctor! Give me the news! Do I have a case of a poorly written fugue?
But seriously, I've found this thread very helpful. This is miles better than any of my other attempted fugues. Thanks for taking the time to do this Xiaoxi.

I noticed some glaring (in retrospect) parallel 5ths/octaves in m. 8, 9 and 10 that I will now correct. I'm off to search for more Then I suppose I'll upload the (hopefully fixed) version
Last edited by Duaneclapdrix at Mar 16, 2012,
#87
mrkeka:

Good attempt. I like that it's mostly free of parallel 5ths and octaves, and I can tell you were careful about that. However, a lot of the harmonies in here, while essentially triadic, are very weak in their coherence. This is mostly due to some weak voiceleading and rhythmic placement of harmonies. I suggest slowing things down and really get a sense of what sounds off. I didn't have time to look at every detail, but I can easily pick out some stuff in the 3rd system:

-m.10: this bar is full of weak voiceleading. If we just look at the soprano against bass, you have a D against G, which is then flipped around intervallically, and then an octave, 9th, and 5th (G, C#). Basically, in this bar we never hear any sort of resolution to 3rds or 6ths. All of those intervals need to occur through careful voiceleading to and from a 3rd/6th, one at a time, not an entire bar without this pair to ground us. There are all sorts of these issues throughout this fugue.
-m.11: Soprano and alto has parallel 5th. On the half note D, the soprano ends up with A, and then they both meet at E B at m.12. Be careful of these discrete errors.
-m.7: G octaves then D unison, essentially the same kind of error as a parallel octave.

The big issue is that your subject isn't restated faithfully. When we get to the answer in m.3, you start altering things both rhythmically and tonally, such as the A - F - G, which should be G F G, or the added 8th note to the half note C#, which should then jump to G, not A. You also seem to lack a countersubject, which in some cases is fine, but for the purpose of study, you should try to restate it faithfully with the subject so that it sounds cohesive to what you did before and also eliminates some work out of your way.

I see that you start m.10 with an imitative figure derived from the subject in the soprano. However, this is very weak because you resort to altering a lot of tones from the original pattern, so that sense imitation gets lost. This would be a good time to isolate a cellular motif established in the exposition and use it in a sequence, and have everything be consistent. Otherwise, it just sounds like free counterpoint that doesn't really relate to what you've been trying to say in the first 9 bars.

Now that I have my full fugue analysis up, study it carefully and look at the labels carefully to see how I approach an episode. You'll notice that there is always a point of reference to what I already established, and most of the time things are sequential.


My suggestions:
-I added a trill to fill out the sound of the half note.
-I ended on the start of the first episode. Continue that momentum.

http://soundcloud.com/xwanhosting/mrkeka-fugue


...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Feb 4, 2012,
#88
griff:

Your canon is free of most technical errors, but sometimes the harmony seems a little ambiguous, or at least it doesn't lead into the next one convincingly. I can't really spend an hour zeroing in on why, but like I've said to some other people in here, slow it down and really listen to the voice leading. I've played parts of this very slowly and a lot of the time it's like there are a lot of notes and counterpoint but they aren't leading the harmony anywhere.

Because you're the most up to speed on counterpoint, I gotta be a little stricter. You have a lot of unapproached 7ths, which throw things off. Could be contributing to the weak harmony. There are also lots of accented 4ths/5ths. Every once in a while, that's ok. But there a lot here and they go by pretty fast, so that also obscures things a little.

I suggest you take a real close look at Bach's invention no. 2 in C minor, which is also a canon. Everything you need to know about how to handle the intervals and lead the harmony is in there.

As for using the head as a fugue subject, I suggest this:

http://soundcloud.com/xwanhosting/griffrg7321-fugue


...modes and scales are still useless.


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#89
Get off your lazy asses!!

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#92
Thanks Xiaoxi!
I'll get back on studying the things you suggested. Like I said, I haven't studied this sort of thing in a few years, so I remembered avoiding parallel fifths and octaves, but the resolving to 3rds and 6ths completely skipped my mind... lol... and even the parallel and hidden octaves and fifths still occured

I don't know when I'll have the free time to do it, but I'll definetely analyze your example and give this another shot
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#93
I did not want this thread to disappear into the ether of MT because I've found it so helpful. So I now deem it (hopefully) resurrected* because I have an exposition and I'd like to see how I did. I would also really enjoy some of your thoughts on writing a development and on what makes a good theme. For example, you dicontinued your first fugue because you said the subject would cause problems harmony-wise later on. I would really like to know why.

teh fugue: http://musescore.com/user/21980/scores/39334#

*Of course, if you feel like you've already spent enough of your free time answering newb fugue questions then I understand. I'm just happy you spent any time answering the previous questions. Like I said, I've found this thread very helpful.

EDIT: I finished it. Here's the whole thing
http://musescore.com/user/21980/scores/41362#

I also tried my hand at a prelude. You can find it (If you so desire) in the link to the set under the "This score appears in" middle right on the page.
Last edited by Duaneclapdrix at Mar 16, 2012,
#94
Thanks for bumping this. I just joined, but would definitely like to get into this. In college we never studied species counterpoint, but I was a boss at 4-part harmony which is essentially a watered down more harmonically-driven version of similar concepts.

I'd love to give this a try, been wanting to write a fugue forever...
#95
Here's try No. 2 at a Fugue! I got bored one restless night and decided this was my way of relieving that. I actually had a little bit of inspiration and, for what it's worth, I like what I have. I don't, however, feel it's a complete fugue. But I'll leave that up to Xiaoxi...

Let me know what you think

Fugue in C Minor



I'm also not sure where to go with it, as everything is basically "free" at this point. I was thinking to introduce the bass voice, drop the alto and tenor, and reinstate the original theme in the key this snippet ended in, ad then go back to the original key eventually with all 4-voices doing a kind of "theme and variation" with the exposition.
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Mar 19, 2012,
#96
Hi everyone, here's the latest fugue that I've composed. My first attempt at writing one dates exactly two years, but I've only started to studied Bach's & Pachelbel's fugue last year. I always use Guitar Pro for composing stuff, so the instrument I used for this piece is a jazz guitar. I can say that my biggest problem is that I always put too many notes for nothing. My free parts are always a bit sloppy also, and I get scrambled with more than two voices. Anyway, here's the link for the mp3 rendering of my work:

http://soundcloud.com/atompacman/fugue-in-e-minor

(Invalid img)

For a bigger version of the sheet:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/694/fugueineminor.png/
#98
Hey Xiaoxi. Could you look at my fugue If you find the time? It's my first one so be gentle Subject is based on some guy's lesson on the internet.

It starts of in Dm, modulating to dominant, back and forth with 'an attempt' to modulate to E minor.

I know there's a few 5th and 8th intervals in there, but tried to keep them balanced.

Let me know what you think, I'd appreciate it.

Last edited by deHufter at Mar 7, 2013,
#99
Hey deHufter, been really busy for the last few weeks. I'll take a closer look soon.

But just at first glance, you have a lot of crossing of voices between middle (alto/tenor) and bass, which obscure the polyphony. Especially glaring is in m. 6 with the Bb in the bass, against a B natural in the alto.

The lines themselves can also be stronger. For example, at the beginning when the alto leads the way for the soprano to come in, it's running up to an A (D, E, F#, G# ->, but then jumps down awkwardly to middle C.

Keep in mind that effective counterpoint is not just about satisfying "correct" intervals between voices at meeting points, like you're trying hard to maintain here. Just as important is that they should individually be beautiful melodies.

You should try singing these lines. I think it will reveal how awkward they can get. If they're hard/awkward to sing, chances are they aren't working in the actual context either.

I'll try to put up a revision for you soon. It's a nice subject.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Mar 10, 2013,
#100
Quote by Xiaoxi

The lines themselves can also be stronger. For example, at the beginning when the alto leads the way for the soprano to come in, it's running up to an A (D, E, F#, G# ->, but then jumps down awkwardly to middle C.


Yeah, first I didn't have that little run toward A minor, but decided to put it in there.
The countersubject I had in mind started on the C. Thought I could bypass this problem cause the highest voice is 'taking over' that A. So my ears don't really hate that skip, but for a trained ear, I can imagine it sounds off.

Quote by Xiaoxi

Keep in mind that effective counterpoint is not just about satisfying "correct" intervals between voices at meeting points, like you're trying hard to maintain here. Just as important is that they should individually be beautiful melodies.


Think the subject and countersubject are rather quite strong melodies without crossing. I completely agree that countersubject 2 is a bit....well...forced upon the listener. Doesn't seem that natural. Then the crossing starts when trying to modulate to E minor.

Quote by Xiaoxi

I'll try to put up a revision for you soon. It's a nice subject.


Thanks so much. I'm curious how you would polish these basic melodies. Very educative.
Last edited by deHufter at Mar 10, 2013,
#101
deHufter, would you still like a revision? I never got around to it but may give it a try soon.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#103
aw shit, just when I thought I'm free, my work is having me do some last minute revisions. check back in another 2 weeks. sorry man.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#104
Hmmm. Fugues always confused me. I always found it very challenging to make the first dominant restatement match with anything centered around the tonic regardless of any suspensions that I used. Does the first restatement have to be IN THE KEY of the dominant or A TONAL SEQUENCE RELATIVE to the dominant?

EDIT: If it means anything, I think your piece is brilliant and beautiful.
- Cody


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Last edited by crice6505 at Mar 28, 2013,
#105
Quote by crice6505
Hmmm. Fugues always confused me. I always found it very challenging to make the first dominant restatement match with anything centered around the tonic regardless of any suspensions that I used. Does the first restatement have to be IN THE KEY of the dominant or A TONAL SEQUENCE RELATIVE to the dominant?

Keep in mind we're framing all this in an academic context. With the pure concept of fugue, you don't have to follow any of these tonic-dominant conventions, or even be tonal at all. But the whole purpose of this is to not only get a grasp on the handling of organized counterpoint, but also tonal harmony through polyphony.

So with that in mind, yes, the answer (what you refer to as dominant restatement) has to be in the dominant key. This kind of fugue is a barebones benchmark for your musical understanding. If you're having trouble smoothly modulating to the dominant (and back), it simply means you don't have a good enough grasp on tonal harmony/voice leading yet. It's very useful for figuring out your strengths and weaknesses.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Mar 28, 2013,
#106
I have no idea about fugues except the limited posts I've read in this thread - mostly the OP and a few other posts from Xiaoxi. I've never really been into them but these posts and listening to the fugue (post sixty something) has given me ways to think about fugues I have not considered before that allow a greater new appreciation.

I might even have a go at writing something over this Easter weekend, keep in mind at this stage I don't have time to "study" fugues and any rules etc that they should follow. The only structure that I would follow is written in some of Xiaoxi's posts on page 1 - a rough guide as I understood it about when/how each voice should state the subject, counter subject, and free flow at certain times etc. - that and my own ear, tastes, and intuition. ;p
Si
#107
^ear and intuition is very important. I don't write these things with rules in mind at all. I've absorbed the language and that's how I carry the things out. It just so happens that the language naturally avoids things like parallel 5ths, awkward intervals and resolutions, etc.

And I don't know if you saw before this post, but you can now view my fugue (with annotations) in video form in the OP. I don't know why I didn't post it up before since it's been online for a while now, but I think this is the easiest way to digest the most important info.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#108
Quote by Xiaoxi
Keep in mind we're framing all this in an academic context. With the pure concept of fugue, you don't have to follow any of these tonic-dominant conventions, or even be tonal at all. But the whole purpose of this is to not only get a grasp on the handling of organized counterpoint, but also tonal harmony through polyphony.

So with that in mind, yes, the answer (what you refer to as dominant restatement) has to be in the dominant key. This kind of fugue is a barebones benchmark for your musical understanding. If you're having trouble smoothly modulating to the dominant (and back), it simply means you don't have a good enough grasp on tonal harmony/voice leading yet. It's very useful for figuring out your strengths and weaknesses.


So I would need to work on my transition? would a progression into a secondary dominant be a logical approach? (we are just discussing some of this stuff in our theory class) what are the structural rules for countersubject? this is something that I still do not completely understand. Once again, thank you for answering all these questions on the art of fugue writing. I also very much enjoy your piece in d minor.
- Cody


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#109
Quote by crice6505
So I would need to work on my transition? would a progression into a secondary dominant be a logical approach? (we are just discussing some of this stuff in our theory class) what are the structural rules for countersubject? this is something that I still do not completely understand. Once again, thank you for answering all these questions on the art of fugue writing. I also very much enjoy your piece in d minor.

Abandon the notion of harmony as something vertical. When you try to plan out a progression and think about things like secondary dominant, you are arranging harmony into vertical blocks in a sequence. Classical music, for the most part, does not work this way. You need to use the horizontal lines (melodies) to convince us of the key.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#110
deHufter:

I have reworked your fugue. I need to apologize because I got really really carried away and have basically reset what you did. BUT...I have good reasons for doing so. Mainly though, it's been a while since I've written this kind of thing and may have gone a little overboard in my enthusiasm...

Now, the main reason why I reset your fugue is because of the nature of your subject. It's actually quite a hard subject because it lacks character (not in a bad way necessarily). By that, I mean it doesn't have melodic/rhythmic quirks that a typical subject usually has which allow it to be easily distinguishable and have material to build off on. In contrast, this subject is a very linear series of half notes. So the only thing we can do is to make everything ELSE as interesting as possible. This is why I've created a new countersubject which is much more rhythmically and melodically actively than the one you had. Now, there are definitive identities and patterns which makes the fugue more nuanced than simply 8th and quarter notes just filling in the gaps.

Please trace how every step of the way relates to what comes before it. Take note of the 2 16ths rhythmic sets and how they're used as motifs to maintain coherence throughout the piece. And if you can, sing each voice/line all the way through while listening on multiple passes and compare how much easier it is to sing than the lines you wrote. That's not to sound conceited; I'm trying to bring home the point that strong, tight melodies are what makes for good fugues. Also, can you figure out what is happening in the 3rd episode? (m.31)

http://soundcloud.com/xwanhosting/dehufter-fugue



...modes and scales are still useless.


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#111
please excuse the weird formatting of the image of the score




i kind of crapped this out, and I'm pretty sure it breaks every major counterpoint rule, but I really like the way it sounds, especially harmonically

let me know what you guys think, also I'm waiting for Xiaoxi to kill me for raping the art of the fugue hahaha (look at all those parallel 5ths and octaves!)
Attachments:
fugue.mid
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