Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Guitar Fugue: v0.01 Alpha Test Version

I have been composing and blogging too much lately. Guess how I know that? I had a less-than-stellar performance at tonight's gig. I love to write, but when I do too much of it, my practice schedule shatters into jagged shards all throughout my subconscious, and they tear at the soft underbelly of my confidence when I hit the stage. That's nearly fatal for me: I simply must be secure in the knowledge that I'm well prepared, or I can't get on top of it. Nobody noticed except me, and I got the usual number of compliments, but still... I'm a frickin' perfectionist!... The first set was pretty rugged, but the second was pretty well tuned up. I need to give this writing stuff a rest for a while, and go back to my routine of having a guitar in my hands for at least four hours per day. And I mean for the forseeable future. I have some major gigs coming up in the next two months. Major... Gigs...

So, I decided to shortcut the guitar fugue so that I could post the first PDF and MIDI files on my .Mac FileShare Page for those who want to take a listen. The files are O_STA_0_3.pdf and O_STA_0_3.mid.

Here's a quick recap of the entire piece as it stands now:

Page one, the exposition and first episode, has not changed one whit since before I started blogging this piece. And, by the way, I strongly recommend blogging your way through compositions: Writing out your thoughts about a piece is an enormous organizational advantage, and it brings into sharp relief any flaws in your rationale. It doesn't matter if anyone understands what you post, or even reads it.

Page two has not changed since the last post, and it now has that ahhhh! feel to me, meaning it's in the bag.

The only change to page three since the previous post is that the measure of resolution has been moved to the next page. It's also bagged.

Here's the conclusion. I decided to get out of G major with a second deceptive resolution to E minor, and this is the climactic episode. As you can see, it is over a dominant pedal (The E is the lowest open string on the guitar, so this is quite easy to play), but what isn't so readily obvious is that the chord progression is a harmonized version of the subject in augmentation. The subject starts on the top space E, and the D-sharp at the end of that measure is the second note of the subject. Then, the top space E in the entire following measure begins the decending line: E in measure 49, D in measure 50, C in measure 51, and B in measure 52. The tail of the subject is played out with the A and B in measure 53, and the A and G-sharp in measure 54. This G-sharp makes the subject modulate back to A minor at measure 55, where the stretto recapitulation starts over a tonic pedal (Which is also an open string on the guitar, so no wucking furries here either). There are two harmonies per measure, as you can see, but what you can't see is that the first four chords are the same chord progression in the development and recapitualtion of the Sonata! I just love doing stuff like that.

In order to make this work, a judicious approach to accelerando and decelerando must be taken, but it is passable in it's current form (I programmed a crude approximation of the tempo changes into the MIDI file). Believe it or not, this fugue times out at only 1:55! The Scherzo is 3:45 and the Sonata is 5:30, so the Scherzo and Fugue combined are almost the same length as the Sonata, which was my goal for the shortest possible duration the Fugue could be. Enjoy.

I have 2.5 of three pages of another Beethoven's Ninth post ready, so that will probably be the next thing that will appear here.

UPDATE: Wednesday, 10/26/05, 3:40AM. Of course, I modified the climactic episode and the tonic chord at the return to A minor after a few listens and a few... ah... some beers. Instead of creating a new post, I just updated the files at my FileShare page. The voice leading of the arpeggiated figures now makes much more sense.


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