Why Fugues?

by strangesentience

I have isolated what is perhaps the foremost reason I am so strongly inclined toward the fugue above other musical forms: due to the manifold [temporally+tonally]-translated superpositions of the subject (theme) which are definitionally necessary of a fugue, the attentive listener’s auditory range of perception is, in a way, temporally dilated to a several-second span. The reason for this is that with respect to any moment and “voice,” which in this case happens to refer precisely to a moment in an instance of the subject, the other voices are temporal+tonal translations of its semi-local tonal structure. This allows us to simultaneously perceive how the subject is now, how it will be in, say, two seconds, how it was, say, three seconds ago, and on if there are further superpositions. Depending upon on which voice we choose to focus, the relative displacement dynamics may of course shift, but this form of relatively temporally displaced structure remains. Because the mind seems to effectively perceive time not pointwise but locally, and because the mind seems to subconsciously interpolate the content of its “blind spots,” the attentive listener may, in processing the fugue, perceive said induced temporal dilation of their temporally-local auditory perceptual field and, further, experience a consequent sublime trance-like but attentive splendor of awe of the fugue’s tonal structural beauty distended in time.