Fugue

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A fugue (from Italian "fuga," or flight) is often described as "a movement of continuity" or a piece that focuses on both musical technique and musical texture. Generally speaking, the fugue is not considered a musical structure because it is infinitely variable. It is rather a style or method of contrapuntal writing which may or may not be distinguished into finite sections. The fugue is not simply an exercise in advanced contrapuntal technique. To the composers in the 18th century, especially J.S. Bach and Handel, the fugue was a means of expressing the most heightened forms of emotion. Later composers, notably Beethoven in his late works and Dmitri Shostakovich, used the fugue within larger works in the same manner.

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