How to write a fugue for piano

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How to write a fugue for piano

When we keyboard players think of the mental acrobatics involved in breathing life into each voice, effectively orchestrating a whole ensemble while playing each part… and when we fathom that Bach, that pinnacle of musical intelligence, could improvise a six-voiced fugue on the fly while observing a textbook of counterpoint rules, all while fitting his periwig and fathering twenty children, we only begin to comprehend the level of sheer facility involved.

Fugues strike fear into the hearts of keyboard students the world over, yet most have never actually learned how to learn a fugue. Fortunately, the learning process itself is quite simple, although it demands great concentration. Lazy musicians, please press the back button now!

Otherwise, roll up your sleeves… First and foremost The first and foremost principle is this: It is absolutely essential to know each voice all by itself. Each voice needs to be treated as though it were a separate instrument.

Each instrument in a chamber music ensemble or orchestra needs to sound as expressive as possible, and each player therefore shapes his or her line as beautifully as they can. When you play any piano piece with multiple voices which is practically every piece ever written for the instrumentyou are in effect both the entire ensemble and the conductor.

Only by shaping each line as if it were played by a single instrument will the end result be the most beautiful and most musical possible. As opposed to a full orchestral score, in a fugue written for keyboard instrument — which is to say with all its voices condensed onto two staves — which voice is which is by no means always self-evident.

The alto voice actually crosses over the soprano and stays above it for several measures. Here is the same passage with one voice per staff soprano, alto, tenor, bass from the top down: It is therefore essential to pay the utmost attention to each voice.

This is the only way it is possible to understand a fugue and, ultimately, to play it with real meaning. Give yourself the starting note and sing from there.

Movable do, while popular and useful for beginning ear training, is much less good in complicated music such as fugues.

Using a tuner to check your pitch is not strictly necessary, but it can give you valuable visual feedback which you can use to help fine-tune both your singing and your ear.

Even this seemingly objective method is not without its flaws, however, as it is generally limited to equal temperament. However, since practically all pianos are now tuned to equal temperament, the minor risks are effectively mitigated.

The more you are able to fix each note of each voice precisely in your ear before actually practicing with your fingers, the better you will ultimately know the fugue and, all else being equal, the more confident you will be when performing it.

Fugal structure will be dealt with in a separate article. The learning process — that of making musical impressions in the memory — has already begun, and even this seemingly harmless sight reading work must be approached with care and caution.

how to write a fugue for piano

This is not a time to be careless and sloppy. You need to become sufficiently familiar with the fugue that you are already forming a clear idea of how it should be played, how you wish to articulate the subject s and any countersubjects and other motives.

The more complicated the fugue, the more necessary it is to write in this information explicitly. Remember, fingering is intimately tied with articulation and expression. The older Henle editions of Bach were terrible in that they assumed there was no articulation whatsoever!

All the fingerings were designed such that the entire fugue could be played perfectly legato. This is pure nonsense in Baroque music, which survives on micro-articulations between motives.Music Teacher's Helper Blog.

Here’s how I learn a fugue and how I teach others to learn one: 1. Play through the entire fugue at the first sitting. That’s right. Dig right in and get the darned thing learned, mistakes and all.

Write in some fingerings if you need to, figure out which hand is playing what, and get to the end in one. The Piano Bar Piano Sheet Music,Vocal / Piano and more If it's not listed, doesn't mean it's not available.

I take requests For a somewhat out of date and incomplete list of midi files click here All the songs listed on this web site are available as midi, printed music, mp3, pdf. files, recorded on tape or CD. How to Learn a Fugue. piano practice.

When you play any piano piece with multiple voices (which is practically every piece ever written for the instrument), you are in effect both the entire ensemble and the conductor. Sometimes I even write out the entire fugue anew, one voice to a staff.

Johann Jakob Froberger (–) and. MIDI Files. These MIDI files are provided free of charge in the public domain, so I could do without sarky comments thank you very much!! For many years, MIDI files have been a much maligned species in the computing world, but there is often more to a MIDI file than immediately meets the eye.

JOSEPH ACHRON (born in Lozdzieje, Poland, now Lasdjaj, Lithuania; died in Hollywood, USA) Hebrew Melody (). The nigunim, which are personal, improvised tunes, were passed on by the Jews from generation to generation through the centuries.

Turn a Britney Spears song into a classical fugue. A silly, pretentious instructional video I made for Prof. James Gardner's Sight & Sound: TV course, where I write a fugue based on the theme from.

Learning to Write Fugues