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Speedy's Fugue





Speedy’s Fugue










If youre over a certain age and familiar with American television, youll remember the tune plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is from an Alka-Seltzer commercial (1976 © Miles Laboratories). This jingle was written by Tom Dawes of Twin Star Music and formerly of the 1960s rock band The Cyrkle.

Id always thought this jingle would make a good fugue subject, and began tinkering with it as a hobby. At first I wasnt happy with the result—Im no Bach, so fugue writing isnt my forte—and I set it aside for a few years. But going through some old computer files, I found my unfinished fugue and decided to give it another go. This is the completed version.

Since posting this, Ive been told Im not the first one to write a fugue on this theme, and an internet search confirmed it. Composer Gary Takesian wrote an organ fugue on this theme. He called it Fugue on a Theme by Al K. Seltzer. If youre aware of any others, let me know. Im curious to hear these novelties.

To jog your memory, or if youve never heard this jingle, Ive included a bit of the original commercial. (Fortuitously, both the commercial and my fugue are in the same key.) The fugue audio file was generated by Finale notational software.

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