Alexander G. Chugaev as a Musicologist and a Teacher of Polyphony


This paper deals with the creative biography ofAlexander Chugaev — a composer, a musicologist and a teacher — and some of his opinions concerning theory of polyphony. His main research interests were connected with the theory of fugue and problems of polyphonic texture. Particularly, Chugaev brought forward an original approach to the form of fugue in Bach’s works: he interpreted it as consisting of two parts, contrary to general view on it as a three-part form. To the theory of fugue also belongs his classification of types of tonal answers. Chugaev suggested to discern between tonal answer on modulating subject and on non-modulating subject; tonal answer, which alters the leading-tone motive, and so on. Seeking for strict theoretic statements Chugaev came to the necessity to specify the meaning of certain general terms — for example, texture, polyphony, counterpoint. In connection with problems of texture Chugaev brought forward a new term — polyphonic- harmonic texture, described its features and types. One more topic which was dealt with in a new way by Chugaev is part-writing. Its exploring also required new terms: syntactic tendency of melodic units, target element of melodic-harmonic development, “zones of linearity”, “expressive disharmony” and so on. On the base of new terms Chugaev formulated the main law of free polyphony which established the dependence of part-writing on linear and syntactic qualities of the voices.