American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music An imitative polyphonic composition in which a theme or themes are stated successively in all of the voices of the contrapuntal structure.
- n. Psychiatry A pathological amnesiac condition during which one is apparently conscious of one's actions but has no recollection of them after returning to a normal state. This condition, usually resulting from severe mental stress, may persist for as long as several months.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In music, a polyphonic composition based upon one, two, or even more themes, which are enunciated by the several voices or parts in turn, subjected to various kinds of contrapuntal treatment, and gradually built up into a complex form having somewhat distinct divisions or stages of development and a marked climax at the end. The most general divisions of a fugue are the exposition, the development, and the conclusion. A strict fugue is one in which each division is developed symmetrically and in a purely contrapuntal manner; while a free fugue is one that is irregular or incomplete in plan or detail.
- n. music A contrapuntal piece of music wherein a particular melody is played in a number of voices, each voice introduced in turn by playing the melody.
- n. Anything in literature, poetry, film, painting, etc., that resembles a fugue in structure or in its elaborate complexity and formality.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) A polyphonic composition, developed from a given theme or themes, according to strict contrapuntal rules. The theme is first given out by one voice or part, and then, while that pursues its way, it is repeated by another at the interval of a fifth or fourth, and so on, until all the parts have answered one by one, continuing their several melodies and interweaving them in one complex progressive whole, in which the theme is often lost and reappears.
- n. dissociative disorder in which a person forgets who they are and leaves home to creates a new life; during the fugue there is no memory of the former life; after recovering there is no memory for events during the dissociative state
- n. a musical form consisting of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below its first statement
- n. a dreamlike state of altered consciousness that may last for hours or days
- Italian fuga (influenced by French fugue, from Italian fuga), from Latin, flight. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And knowing what a fugue is can make you fall in love with Bach.”
“And the art of the literary fugue is "vain," that is, unapologetically aesthetic, without pretense to psychological enlightenment or social commentary (although the occasional image of a tank rolling through the streets of Bucharest does certainly evoke Communist-era realities).”
“The reasons for his fugue are mysterious, and they need to stay that way for at least half of the novel.”
“June 19th, 2006 at 1:25 am spiderpaws, a fugue is a musical structure based on permutations of a melody.”
“The ground bass of the fugue is my progress as a musician, slow but steady like a pulse; the line above it is the more complex progress of the band and the interrelationships that both weld us together and threaten to separate us.”
“But the patterns were clear, and by the end of the recording, which was not even a half-hour long, Christian had mastered the idea of fugue, and the sound of the harpsichord preyed on his mind.”
“The fugue was a glorious, sturdy thing, like a great solid body inhabited by a big, noble, unquestioning soul -- a soul free from hesitations, that knew its way to God and would not be hindered from taking it.”
“Its most Gothic form, the North German fugue, which is the instrumental descendant of the Netherlands church music, is the most closely organized of musical types.”
“If not, we shall see each other again at Weymar, for you owe me a compensation for your last fugue, which is no more to my taste than Kuhmstedt's counterpoint.”
“The fugue was the creation of this epoch, and while based upon the general idea of canonic imitation, after the Netherlandish ideal, it differed from their productions in several highly significant respects.”
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