Globe-trotting Travel Series #25: The Covid-19 Fugue by Nicholas Papadimitriou

Day 25 of the Globe-travelling Travel Series takes us to Amsterdam, where composer Nicholas Papadimitriou, born in Athens, Greece, has used his quarantine time to create an impressive and satisfying fugue based on the subject of Covid-19. A fugue is a musical composition which generates material based on a main theme, weaving the theme together with other material by passing it from one voice to another and starting it at different times. There is a long-standing tradition of building these main themes on names or words; this one is built on the name Covid-19. If you understand a little music theory, you’ll catch that from the video. If you don’t, you’ll hear the recurring melody and also see it highlighted in red on the music staff. I also enjoy the MAMPlayer visualization below the conventional notation.

This kind of detail work and meticulous craftsmanship–whether it is in music, painting, or whatever medium–is helpful for some minds during quarantine time, as the focus required is very calming.

If you enjoyed the fugue and would like to play it yourself, you can purchase it for a small fee on the composer’s website:


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