Fugue in B Minor

Nicola Sala (1713–1802; "Nicola" is a male name in Naples) spent almost seventy years connected with the Conservatory of the "Turchini," where he first studied with Nicola Fago and Leo. Later he would become a master there and train generations of musicians. In 1794 Sala compiled a large collection of graded exemplars of contrapuntal writing, his Regole del contrapuunto pratico ("Rules of Practical Counterpoint"). Very much in the Italian tradition, the "rules" are the examples. In other words, one is shown what to do, not how or why. The apprentice was supposed to imitate the master, developing an impressive technique that could, with sufficient application and talent, transform itself into a new kind of mastery. Two of three sections of his Regole were reprinted by Choron in Paris (1808) to showcase "The Italian School." Sala thus joined Sarti and Leo as models for the style of the academic fugue at the Paris Conservatory.