May 26 • 4M

#794 — Trailing blackberry fugue 豆蔻黑莓

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Wu Fei 吴非
Fresh improvised and composed music from Wu Fei every day of the week.

This counterpoint composition was created and recorded yesterday on half-prepared guzheng. I prepared my guzheng with a bandana which semi-muted some of the strings. All the 21 guzheng strings are open strings. The resonance is one of the main characters that make a guzheng sound enchanting. However, I like to have more rhythmic approach on the instrument. I have found an effective way to mute the strings with thin pieces of cloth.

In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (a musical theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches and sometimes rhythms) and which recurs frequently in the course of the composition. A fugue usually has three main sections: an exposition, a development and recapitulation which is a final entry that contains the return of the subject in the fugue's tonic key. However, I broke the rule of recapitulation to an open ending in this piece.

In the Middle Ages, fugue was widely used to denote any works in canonic style; by the Renaissance, it had come to denote specifically imitative works. Since the 17th century, the term fugue has described as the most fully developed procedure of imitative counterpoint.

The form evolved during the 18th century from several earlier types of contrapuntal compositions. Famous fugue composers include Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), Johann Jakob Froberger (1616–1667), Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706) and others. With the decline of sophisticated styles at the end of the baroque period, the fugue's central role waned, eventually giving way as sonata form and the symphony orchestra rose to a dominant position. Nevertheless, composers continued to write and study fugues for various purposes; they appear in the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) and many others.

Wu Fei 吴非

Trailing blackberries are growing all over the hills of west Nashville