Jun. 12, 2019

How To Learn A Fugue, Part II

(con't from Part I)
Let's face it: while the polyphonic piece in general, and the fugue in particular, is the organ piece "par excellence," fugues with multiple countersubjects written in triple or quadruple counterpoint, because of their dense texture, are not the easiest pieces to learn.
They require work.
The watchword for learning a fugue therefore is "SUBDIVIDE."
We begin learning it by breaking it down into smaller bites [See Part I] in the learning process; the thicker texture of these pieces demands that we learn them in smaller chunks or increments, and only then attempt to put them together.
There's a lot going on in this type of music, just like there's a lot that goes into making a Dagwood sandwich; no one tries to eat a Dagwood sandwich in one bite -- they go at it one bite at a time.
We therefore break that fugue down in the learning process the same way, into smaller bites, AND we have patience with the process and with ourselves knowing that, even if we don't seem to "get it" right off the bat, even if we think "I can't do this," even if we run into something that has us thinking "this doesn't work," it doesn't mean that we're never going to digest our way through it (photo).
Never is a long time.