Book 1 - No. 7 - E flat major - Fugue
music || notes || words || images prelude

Reflections

Seven of the nine subject entries are accompanied by a countersubject so that, except for the first solo subject statement (obligatory for the traditional exposition), both ideas seem inextricably wedded and almost equally important. Due to the complimentary nature of their rhythmic natures, the subject and its countersubject fit together like hand and glove. When one is fast, the other is slow; in multiple cases, when one moves smoothly by steps, the other makes bigger interval jumps. Both ideas are clear, independent, and navigate about the other without crashing, disappearing or dominating. Still, the subject is more prominent. Its initial and final entry sings alone. More importantly, the subject always precedes the countersubject by at least one eighth note pulse, running in sixteenths first, slowing down just when the countersubject is trying to catch up. The notion of a chase with a leader and follower in pursuit very much part of the historical fugue aesthetic: "fugue" comes from the Latin word fuga which means "flight" or "to flee or escape". The subject, and specifically the first subject entry gets a head start. But the countersubject is not necessarily a second-class citizen, nor is it always "behind". The countersubject strongly influences the subject-free episodes. Though subservient during subject entries, the countersubject dominates when the subject is absent. This contributes much to the stability of the countersubject and effects an ultimately more balanced interchange.