An element found in music that is a digression from the main structure of the composition. It is a passage that is not a part of the main theme or groups of a composition, but is an ornamental or constructive section added to the main elements of the composition. In a fugue, it is a connective passage or area of relaxation between entrances of the subject. A digression from the major figure.<br><br>Episodes are considered to be free passages that connect the stricter parts of a fugue, the stretto. An excellent example is Bach's "The Art of Fugue" in which the episodes and strettos alternate.<br><br>During the development of an invention, which is similar to a fugue although is usually simpler, the subject of the composition is varied either melodically or harmonically. This can be done by alternating episodes with statements of the theme. During this alternation, each episode is written to move through the circle of fifths, either up or down.<br>