Friday, January 22, 2016

Fugal Science, Volume 1, Number 2: Three-Voice Fugue v1.2

It seems the explosion of creative progress on Fugal Science has reached an ebb tide for the moment, though I am highly satisfied with the progress thus far: Three of the four fugues for Volume 2 are completed - No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 - and the fourth - No. 3 - is in a completed form that I would consider a v0.0 Beta. Meanwhile, for Volume 1, I have No. 1 and No. 2 completed, with the 1994 fugue as a current stand-in for No. 3. Volume 1, Number 4 is the only piece in the two volumes that does not have a completed version now. Not bad.

I have, however, gotten the grand design for the five-voice exposition of Volume 1, Number 4 conceptualized: It will be a double-canon; one between the two subject statements, and the other between the two answer statements, with the fifth thematic entry of the subject in the contrabass while the canon proves itself. This turns out to be a straight-ahead formula: Subject 1 goes into counter-answer 1, Answer 1 goes into countersubject 1, counter-answer 1 goes into countersubject 2, and countersubject 1 goes into counter-answer 2. The subsequent subjects and answers just follow the same progression. Only with five entries can you prove such a double-canonic exposition, so it's a vanishingly rare opportunity. I've sketched the expo, but want to let it stew for a while before I flesh it out.

Today I just want to present the latest version of Volume 1, Number 2, in which I found an error. As usual, finding the error was an opportunity, and the fix improved the piece measurably. I have the new audio, but I'm only going to present the page with the fix on it, as the previous post has all of the other unchanged pages.

Here is the audio: Volume 1, Number 2, v1.2

As is usual now, it's an AIFF file, so you'll need QuickTime activated in your browser.

The fix comes in measure sixty-six, where I had b-flat descending to a-natural in the viola part, which created a parallel octave with the violin - whoops! - and the solution was to rejoin countersubject two with the f-sharp. The interval there, then, is a diminished fourth, and it wants to rise, being a leading tone. A very cool effect. I end up finding a few parallel octaves and fifths in early versions, because my first instinct is to go with straight lines, which are contrapuntally more powerful, most of the time.

I'm nearing completion on the exterior of my house, so it isn't as if I have nothing to occupy my time.


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