fugue (n.)

type of musical composition, 1590s, fuge, from Italian fuga, literally "flight," also "ardor," from Latin fuga "a running away, act of fleeing," from fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)). Current English spelling (1660s) is from the French version of the Italian word.

A Fugue is a composition founded upon one subject, announced at first in one part alone, and subsequently imitated by all the other parts in turn, according to certain general principles to be hereafter explained. The name is derived from the Latin word fuga, a flight, from the idea that one part starts on its course alone, and that those which enter later are pursuing it. ["Fugue," Ebenezer Prout, 1891]

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