Hello fellow composers! I hope you enjoy listening to my composition. Being one of my first works I would like some feedback on its musicality, is it boring or does it keep your attention, do I develop the theme enough or should I make it longer? About the finale, being a drinking theme I wanted to end it in an ironic and glorious way, I hope you enjoy it! If you need the score I can post it later!

Have a good day, thank you in advance for your comments!

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  • Hi Lurian, I think you accidentally uploaded the .mp3 file again instead of the score. :-)

    As for the "embarrassing" 6/4 chord, it can't have been that embarrassing since I didn't even notice it. :-D

  • Pdf this time

    dottore dottore.pdf

  • Thanks, Lurian!

    I transcribed the first few bars of your fugue and played around with the answer a little bit. Here's what I came up with:

    8608482868?profile=originalThe notes in blue indicate where I changed the answer and the corresponding counterpoint.  IMO this version is more satisfactory because it preserves the repetition of the opening 3 notes of the subject. It also establishes the dominant key somewhat more strongly.  Granted, though, it's still a tonal answer; I thought about trying a sneaky way to do a real answer but the anacrusis of the subject makes it hard to pull off convincingly.

    Attached is the mp3 of this little snippet.  What do you think?


  • Hi Lurian,

    FWIW I like your answer as it retains one of the 2 charming minor 3rd intervals (dominant to mediant). Nothing wrong with HS's solution so it is all down to what you might consider important when retaining the subjects shape - what are its distinctive and defining qualities.

    You mentioned you had trouble with a 6/4 chord in b7, so I had a look and also noticed some other places where the part writing could be altered to create a fuller harmony and eradicate some bare moments, eg. an exposed 8va at the end of b7. Rather than write a wordy technical essay, please look at the attachment. I strived to keep as many of your original notes as possible but thought it might be useful for you to see how another composer might solve the problem of an entry in the bass starting on the dominant. I hope this will be helpful to you, the example starts at b6. Please remember that  other solutions are available, so maybe this solution will get you thinking.


  • So, I tried do make a real amswer as Teoh suggested to preserve completely the theme, thank you  for your solution it works fine but to me musically it's not satisfying because it deforms the countersbuject


  • 8608483073?profile=original

    Tradition says to answer in the dominant (or tonic) and establish both gravitational centres, but we can cheat a bit, can't we? :-)

    real answer.mp3

  • Actually, real tradition (i.e., pre-Bach) has fugue answers coming in all sorts of intervals. I took Kristofer's advice to take a look at Pachelbel's fugues in Magnificat, and found that, indeed, he has expositions with all kinds of key/mode schemes, including the traditional I-V subject-answer scheme.  Some of the common schemes include I-IV, I-I, V-I, and so on, including some relative major/minor and modal schemes.

    Also, recently Mike posted a reference to Olroyd's fugue textbook, where he makes a point that many of the supposed "irregularities" in Bach's fugues are actually perfectly normal when understood in the right historical context, i.e., that in the older, modal tradition, fugue answers did not involve modulation into a dominant key, but rather the subject appearing in the plagal register.  By having the answer appear in the plagal mode (rather than dominant key) stability in the home key was more strongly established, and of course in Bach he would eventually modulate to the dominant key as the answer progressed, as a kind of synthesis of the older modal tradition with the newer (at the time) tonal system.

    So the conventional I-V subject-answer key scheme is actually but one of many possibilities. It just so happens that Bach used it extensively and developed it ingeniously, so that it came to be seen as the de facto norm for fugue answer schemes.  But I argue that other key (or mode!) schemes are equally valid for fugue subject/answers, and I am somewhat irate that one has to find justification for departing from the I-V convention, as though doing so is somehow inferior or "cheating" or whatever, when in actuality other schemes were in common use before Bach.

    (Shameless self-plug: this is why I deliberately wrote a fugue that has an answer appearing a minor 3rd above the subject. :-P  Well, actually, it has answers appearing all over the map... but the point is, the I-V scheme is not the only game in town, even if that's the only thing most people know.)

  • couldn’t agree more, Teoh, about the b4 Bach modal contrapuntal tradition (and use of authentic and plagal modes where the 4th degree in many cases is considered as dominating the whole process).

    My only regret regarding that ancient tradition is that (through no fault of its own) did not utilize the chromatic modes of the East and European tonal music was and it is still stuck mainly with the diatonic genre.

    I wonder, no one thought to change one single bleeding note?

    I mean, in the basic 4chord


    to have instead


    thus creating the augmented 2nd which is characteristic of all chromatic modes.

    That's all it would have taken, imo. Unfortunately, western ears, (and educational institutions) consider this very melodious interval as "anti-melodic" and in the past have come with all sorts of tricks and justifications of its prohibition.

    Well, I probably digressed, sorry.

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