Definition of fugue
- The organist played a four-voiced fugue.
- a story that … is as rich and multilayered as a fugue
- —Heather Vogel Frederick
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Bach and Handel composed many fugues for harpsichord and organ in which the various parts (or voices) seem to flee from and chase each other in an intricate dance. Each part, after it has stated the theme or melody, apparently flees from the next part, which takes up the same theme and sets off in pursuit. Simple rounds such as "Three Blind Mice" or "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" could be called fugues for children, but a true fugue can be long and extremely complex.
First Known Use: 1597See Words from the same year
: a piece of music in which tunes are repeated in complex patterns
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