Fugues have a reputation of being "serious" -- "academic" fugues, that is, meaning the rigid, dry grading standard of counterpoint class imposed upon composition students -- so I thought, what about a humorous fugue that refuses to take itself seriously and subverts traditional expectations of fugue?
Well, here's the result. The rhyming title, btw, is a reference to Dr. Seuss, in case you're not familiar (and the score makes reference to this also), particularly the two characters Thing One and Thing Two in The Cat in the Hat, who run around causing havoc with their wacky schemes.
It features an answer that's a minor 3rd above the subject, contrary to the traditional expection of a I-V exposition structure. Well, actually, it has answers all over the map -- a minor 3rd below, then a major 3rd above, a major 3rd below, then a tritone apart, then a 5th below (as opposed to a 5th above). When it finally gets it "right" with an answer in the dominant key, it interrupts itself and never finishes the answer, instead laughs itself off the stage with an abrupt ending.
(And just for kicks, there's even an entry in Dorian mode. Just because I can.)
It also refuses to "explore nearby keys" as dictated by the "standard model" -- in fact, every episode returns to the home key where the ever-weary subject insistently appears, only to have the "answer" throw it off into the blue yonder by entering in "crazy" keys, followed by flights of fancy to find its way back. As such, it borders on rondo form territory, unlike the (stereo)typical fugue, though I'm pretty sure it ends up being neither. :-P
And it doesn't employ any of the usual "fugue devices" like augmentation, inversion, diminuation, etc.. Or does it? Ha -- see if you can ferret out any such devices that might be hidden in there! :-P
Edit 2017-02-03: added an extra bar at m.52 to have a smoother transition there.
HS, the theme has a very familiar 'ring' to it. But you had fun with it. :>}
Yeah, I realized after the fact that the first half of the subject is almost a verbatim excerpt from the folk tune Country Gardens (second half of the first phrase). I swear it wasn't on purpose, though it's very likely a subconscious influence because when I was a kid I used to hear that tune a lot (though I didn't know the title at the time). The second half is probably also subconsciously borrowed from another familiar source, though I can't quite pinpoint it at the moment.
Quite a bit of fun here, HS.. In fact i've never heard such humorous treatment of a fugue! at first i didn't quite get the ending, so i decided to look at the score - and then it not only made sense, but revealed all the hilarious commentary along the way, a la Mozart and the donkey(?)
Thanks for posting!
@Gregorio: are you referring to the score of Mozart's horn concerto no.1, where he pokes fun at his friend and horn player?
HS, you are forgiven, have fun with it.
H. S. Teoh said:
Excellent HS, keep experimenting like that and you might find a new path to explore - if you want to of course.
Indeed– I like the sense of humour in this fugue! Greg commented in the discussion that airhorns could work well here, and I think that could be an interesting touch. In fact, orchestrating this to be as humorous as possible could be a fun and rewarding exercise!
Also, here's an example of airhorns used in an orchestral piece (skip to 3:30):
No offence meant HS, just a bit of friendly ribbing- you keep changing keys like that, you'll end up in a muddy brown field!
In case you missed the compliment, the piece is brilliantly done and good fun.
H. S. Teoh said:
As for brown fields, the thought did occur to me to experiment with quarter tones next, maybe in the form of an unconventional temperament (expressed in quarter tones). Though even with conventional semitones there's already plenty of opportunities for unusual scales. I was thinking of a pseudo diatonic scale system that doesn't have octave equivalence so that the "key" shifts depending on which octave you're in. Plenty of opportunities for strange experiments.