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Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:04 pm UTC
by ChocloManx
I'm trying to learn a fugue (I haven't told any musicians I know, because they'd tell me I can't), specifically, the d minor fugue from the second book of the well-tempered clavier and it's pretty tough.

I have just finished learning Bach's 2-part invention in d minor and I've had about 4 or 5 piano lessons in my life, some 2 years ago. Any tips? am I crazy for attempting it?

Also you can discuss fugues in general here. What do you think about modern fugues? (as in Eisler or Webern) what's your favorite fugue? Do you even know what a fugue is? These are a lot of questions‽

Re: Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:39 pm UTC
by semicolon
I thought this thread was about The Fugees...

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:13 am UTC
by Smiling Hobo
ChocloManx wrote:I'm trying to learn a fugue (I haven't told any musicians I know, because they'd tell me I can't), specifically, the d minor fugue from the second book of the well-tempered clavier and it's pretty tough.
Another really good one from book II is the prelude in C minor. It's pretty intense.

I have just finished learning Bach's 2-part invention in d minor and I've had about 4 or 5 piano lessons in my life, some 2 years ago. Any tips? am I crazy for attempting it?
Heh, that's actually kind of funny--I'm just finishing learning that one, too. Apparently it's pretty easy as far as two-part inventions go, but it still took me a while to get it. Oh well...I'm learning the one in F major now, and it's a lot of fun. You should check it out.

On the whole, though, I think the fugues are more comparable to the three-part inventions (difficulty-wise) than the two-part inventions. I can't play any of the ones from WTC yet, but then again I'm a total noob and have only been playing piano for like a year.

*Nibbles on kitten*

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:24 am UTC
by Alias
define fugue

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:38 am UTC
by Qoppa
Alias wrote:define fugue
JFWI

Bach's Fugues are notoriously difficult. I suck at counterpoint, so in the mean time I'm trying to learn is Invention in B minor, while working on some other baroque (Scarlatti ftw!) to prepare. One day though...

I've heard a good way to go about learning the fugues is to rewrite each voice on another staff, and learn each voice separately, with the fingering you'll use when you play all the voices at the same time. Once you can play them all with the correct fingering, combining them, in theory, should be easier.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:01 pm UTC
by Eitel
A decent fugue to start with would be the C Minor (BWV 961), the D Minor you picked is probably doable though, it is a bit of a leap from the invention you learned, as are most fugues.

My favourite is probably the one from Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in E Minor. Starts at 6:00

Re: Fugues

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:37 pm UTC
by AWA
I was about to suggest Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565), until I saw Eitel suggest it in the last post on the page (some kind of psychic-ninja).

Anyway, a fun fugue to learn would be Bach's Little Fugue in G minor (BWV 578). I find it rather fun to both play and listen to.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:10 pm UTC
by Masily box
you might consider doing one of the 3-part inventions first. it would give you a chance to get used to projecting >2 voices at once in a somewhat less demanding setting.

As for modern fugues, one really should not forget the first movement of Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, nor shosty's preludes & fugues. Excellent works, both.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:02 pm UTC
by ChocloManx
Masily box wrote:
As for modern fugues, one
really should not forget the first movement of Bartok's Music for
Strings, Percussion, and Celesta


Ha, I didn't know that was a fugue, but I recognized some fugato (I think that's the the technical term for 'fugueish') passages in the concerto for orchestra.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:41 am UTC
by 0range
ChocloManx wrote:I'm trying to learn a fugue (I haven't told any musicians I know, because they'd tell me I can't), specifically, the d minor fugue from the second book of the well-tempered clavier and it's pretty tough.

I have just finished learning Bach's 2-part invention in d minor and I've had about 4 or 5 piano lessons in my life, some 2 years ago. Any tips? am I crazy for attempting it?


I'm not familiar with this particular fugue, but the WTC is vastly more difficult than the Inventions and Sinfonias, and the Dm Invention is probably the easiest Invention.

That said, I believe that the biggest determining factor as to whether or not you will stick it through and practice a piece enough to learn it is how much you love it, so if this fugue has caught your eye, go for it!

Okay... some useful links:

Bach's Pedagogical Order for the two and three part Inventions, as well as how to learn Invention no.1:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.ph ... l#msg49995
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.ph ... l#msg23300

A blurb on how to learn the Sarabande (applies to any contrapuntal work) from the 5th English Suite:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.ph ... l#msg27807

Regarding how to play Bach's music:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.ph ... l#msg44774

Regarding technique, learning things hands separately, and how to join the hands:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.ph ... l#msg77042

Good luck!

Re: Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:01 am UTC
by ChocloManx
0range wrote:stuff


O: O: O:

Thank you so much! :D

Re: Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:46 am UTC
by JayDee
That's good stuff, there. When I first saw this thread I thought of linking to a selection of posts by Bernhard of those Piano Street forums.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:33 pm UTC
by 0range
ChocloManx wrote:
0range wrote:stuff


O: O: O:

Thank you so much! :D


You're welcome! If you have further questions, feel free to ask.

Also, another really good read is a free EBook by a guy named CC Chang. Here's his daughter's website, with links to his and his book.

JayDee wrote:That's good stuff, there. When I first saw this thread I thought of linking to a selection of posts by Bernhard of those Piano Street forums.


Yeah, he has written encyclopedias on the subject, and even if you don't agree with all of it (I happen to, being a student of his /shameless plug), it is still fascinating reading.

Are you a pianoforumer too, JayDee?

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:17 am UTC
by JayDee
0range wrote:Are you a pianoforumer too, JayDee?
Lurker. Mainly when I have the urge to pretend I can play. I would love to find a teacher who I can just tell "I want to get to the point where I can pick something out of the Well Tempered Clavier and it not be nigh on impossible for me to work through" one day. One day...

Re: Fugues

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:01 pm UTC
by 0range
JayDee wrote:I would love to find a teacher who I can just tell "I want to get to the point where I can pick something out of the Well Tempered Clavier and it not be nigh on impossible for me to work through" one day. One day...


Yeah, good private teachers are hard to find. The good news is that they are out there, you just have to be willing to put the effort into finding them. In the meantime, just keep practicing your Hanon. :mrgreen:

Re: Fugues

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:37 am UTC
by Qoppa
0range wrote:Yeah, good private teachers are hard to find. The good news is that they are out there, you just have to be willing to put the effort into finding them. In the meantime, just keep practicing your Hanon. :mrgreen:
You can link to posts by Bernhard, and yet advocate Hanon? :shock:

Re: Fugues

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:39 am UTC
by BobMacDhonnchaidh
Bach Tocatta and Fugue is fantastic.

Also the Prelude for the 1st Lute Suite in E Minor is an absolute favourite of mine.

The fugato at the end of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony is just obscene.

Re: Fugues

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:33 am UTC
by 0range
Qoppa wrote:
0range wrote:Yeah, good private teachers are hard to find. The good news is that they are out there, you just have to be willing to put the effort into finding them. In the meantime, just keep practicing your Hanon. :mrgreen:
You can link to posts by Bernhard, and yet advocate Hanon? :shock:


Hey, Hanon has it's uses. Kindling, propping up uneven piano benches, doorstops, annoying the person in the practice rooms adjacent to yours... etc...