In music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, a fugue (icon ) is a compositional technique
Musical composition
Musical composition can refer to an original piece of music, the structure of a musical piece, or the process of creating a new piece of music. People who practice composition are called composers.- Musical compositions :...

 (in classical music) in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation
Imitation (music)
In music, imitation is when a melody in a polyphonic texture is repeated shortly after its first appearance in a different voice, usually at a different pitch. The melody may vary through transposition, inversion, or otherwise, but retain its original character...

 (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently in the course of the composition.

The English term fugue originated in the 16th century and is derived from either the French word fugue or the Italian fuga.