Adore Te Devote is an old French church tune, listed in the Processionale in 1697. Contemporary Church Musicians have been exposed to the tune via arrangements of it for anthems. Additionally, it is not unusual to see the tune in various hymn books from time to time.
When this tune was re-introduced to me I decided that it was time to refresh my knowledge of counterpoint by writing some, using this melody as the basis. Contrapuntal writing is seen in many types of music, but since fugues are a special challenge for me, I decided to work with the fugal model. At the risk of boring the musically educated, fugues start with a musical subject in a single voice, which is then repeated in each of the other voices. (This
particular arrangement is a four part, or voice, fugue.) As the subject is repeated in the successive voices, the preceding voice(s) branch away into harmonic supporting patterns. A double fugue such as this utilizes two musical “subjects” instead of just one.
After the subjects are introduced within the piece, they are then “developed.” The composer uses the original musical patterns, or snippets of them, to weave a tapestry of new material. The Development section is usually the main body of the work. In this piece the listener will notice that part of the development involves moving back and forth between the major and minor modes. Finally, after the Development concludes, there is a Recapitulation in
which the original subject(s) are re-introduced and the piece is brought to a close.
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