Very nice Lori. Sounds like you went with tonal answer, rather than "real" or modulatory. The problem with the question "is this a fugue?" is that nobody to my knowledge has ever convincingly defined what a fugue is, as a form, although there are guidelines. It seems that the best we can come up with is that fugue is a collection of techniques. Yes there are specific functional parts common to most fugues, but no hard rules. In a way it's one of the most rigorous forms and at the same time, one of the most malleable. I hate giving advice because it sounds so arrogant. The composition is beautiful and stands in my opinion as is. If you're searching for extra suggestions: Bring in the subject in the primary exposition unnaccompanied, in one voice and build the texture through the first exposition, one voice at time. I-V-I-V, tonal or real. This broadcasts from the outset: "I am a fugue, or at least fugal". In later expositions (you have quite a few here) thin the texture down to two voices before a re-exposition, and endeavor to drop out the voices which will introduce the subject in the same order they enter. This has an in-out swelling/contracting bellows effect. Hopefully, it'll be planned such that the points of greatest harmonic tension will coincide with the fullest textures, with the addition of longer and more severe suspensions and pedal at the most dramatic points. You could also develop the inversion of your subject or retrograde, with their own expositions. Add in the possibility of augmentation and stretto, and you'll probably find yourself struggling to keep your fugue under a twenty minute duration. By all means, if you're not familiar with the techniques of writing invertible counterpoint at the 10th and 12th, study them. It will increase your fugal ability fourfold. Anyway, I'm not making any pretense at being an authority here Lori. I'm just a lost student myself; But I can't help but show some enthusiasm when somebody else shows an interest in this somewhat (regrettably) lost art form.
By the way, your title is interesting to me. I often write preludes and fugues which span keys, ie, prelude in V of relative major, fugue ending in relative minor. I've come to the practice of designating the whole piece in the cadential key of the fugue, with the exception of the picardy third (my love of these has compelled me to overuse them I think), which I still consider to be in a prevailing minor modality.
Simon mentioned that you would be the man to talk to regarding this Kris and he was certainly correct. Giving advice is not arrogant. I love all music and whether I have actually written a fugue here or not, I can certainly leave this as it stands and attempt it on my next piece. I can always change my title to "Not a Fugue, But Close". So I truly thank you for the wonderful advice you took the time to give. I may have to Google a couple of the terms :) but this is how we learn I suppose.
Lori: By all means, if you're interested, please pick up a copy of Well Tempered Clavier I & II. The definitive treatise (without words) on fugue. And I hope I did not sound like your fugue is not fugue. These are very gray areas. My Prelude & Fantasia in C minor could very well be titled P& Fugue in C minor. I decided on Fantasia because the subject occurs continuously throughout, in run-on fashion, has no true countersubject/s (consistently repeated harmonizations which take on motivic importance of their own), has no clear distinct episodes, and has sections repeated with melodic elaboration but no substantial addition to the counterpoint or harmonic import. It does however have fugal expositions, textural and melodic inversion, temporal augmentation, etc. It's pretty much an arbitrary judgment. Many of the Renaissance era "Fantasy" are like this. Very much fugal, but lacking some of the signature, highly evolved "parts" of a Baroque fugue proper.
And Danilo... what is the inverse phenomenon, I mean, like the end of "Yodel". An unexpected cadential minor chord in a prevailing major modality? A Ydracip chord? One more thought on Picardy thirds: They are very effective at the beginning of a minor phrase as well, and sound quite menacing, particularly when you pull out of the major tonality almost immediately, within beats. Byrd is fond of the practice; I think that's where I picked it up. Listen to the Prelude and Fantasia in C minor. The prelude I mean. Some interior picardy thirds, and they don't convey a warm sunshine feeling, at least the way I hear them.
Kris, The second I read your suggestion of Well Tempered Clavier I thought, that sounds familiar. Of course it does because I have Book ll. Mind you I haven't picked it up in 20 years so I dusted it off and took a crack at it. I played through the first 3 and recalled why I buried this book beneath the others. Difficult music that takes a lot of practice. I'm very glad that you mentioned it because it will help tremendously. And no, you did not give me the impression that my fugue is not a fugue. Besides, it doesn't matter to me if it isn't. I was the one that posed the question. I'm still quite pleased with the end result. I will attempt my next using the Bach book as a guide and if I were to follow anyone's advice on this subject, it would definitely be you. Your fugue for March's challenge is brilliant! Thank you for all of your help.
I suppose it could be a Partita Jack. The dictionary defines it as an instrumental piece composed of a series of variations, as a suite. The fact that it reminds you of a Bach Partita is good enough for me! Glad you like it. Thank you!
Well Cody, if your looking for a textbook definition, I'm probably the wrong one to ask. If you're asking what the differentiation is in my mind, here's kind of how I see it. If you sharpen the third suddenly, in what was expected to be a minor harmony, and the functional is modulatory, it's not a picardy third. If its a neighboring tone, it seems to me more like melodic embellishment. If it is neither of these, and simply replaces the minor harmony with no other purpose than as a "modal embellishment", it sounds to me like a picardy third, whether its position is interior or final. Listen to Byrd Galliarde # 3 from the Nevell's Book. Minor modality in the first strain, but it starts on the Ionian sonority, then quickly reverts to minor. No modulation involved, not in a cadential position, and no explanation in my mind except as a "modal embellishment". The composition would work just fine constrained to the minor modality, but sounds much cooler the way he did it.