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A major difficulty in the study of fugue is the diversity found among fugues. Nineteenth-century formal structures do not apply adequately to fugue beyond a general three-part structure: exposition, departure from tonic, return to tonic. A recent article by Daniel Harrison investigates a return to a rhetorical approach to fugue analysis, an approach that is supported by the writings of Joel Lester. Harrison identifies statûs (artificial problems or conflicts in music) within the fugue from Bach's Toccata (BWV 915) and discusses the manner in which the fugue addresses these 'challenges' through melodic and harmonic 'arguments'. Harrison's work stresses the rhetorical relationships within the fugue and their interactions within the fugue. Consequently, he assumes the existence of a theory of status relating to music, although he does not attempt to define that theory. By the same token, he identifies statûs within the BWV 915 fugue, but does not detail a methodology for doing so. This study builds on the approaches of Harrison and Lester to define a methodology for the analysis of fugue that identifies notable properties of the fugue and examines the reaction of the fugue to these notable properties. Fugues that respond to their notable properties are determined to have a rhetorical compositional approach. Fugues that do not respond to their notable properties are classified as having a literal compositional approach. This study uses Bach's Fugue in C minor from Book I of the Well-tempered Clavier to develop the methodology. Four organ fugues of Bach (BWV 578, BWV 533, BWV 545, and BWV 547) comprise the balance of the study.
A Dissertation Submitted to the School of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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