chapter 80 alternatives to serialism - chance, electronics, & texture

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Chapter 80 Alternatives to Serialism: Chance, Electronics, Textures

Author: james-moore

Post on 03-Sep-2014




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  • Chapter 80Alternatives to Serialism: Chance, Electronics, Textures
  • Chance Music Following WW II, modern music took on a variety of styles and compositional methods in addition to serialism. One of the most novel was the making of compositional choices by chance (chance music) an approach associated with the music of the American composer John Cage (around 1950)
  • Characteristics of John Cages Music Cages Music of Changes for piano is notated in detail but the compositional choices are made from a number of options by chance routines. Earlier, Cage had written more traditional types of music, often for prepared piano an instrument converted into a virtual percussion ensemble. In works composed later in the 1950s , Cage used a style that he termed indeterminacy of performance where he turned decisions about what to play almost entirely over to performers. His involvement with a composition dwindled to brief graphic notations and verbal scores .
  • The Life of John Cage (1912 1992) 1912 - born in Los Angeles 1928-30 - attends Pomona College in Claremont, CA 1942 - moves to New York 1951 - introduces chance elements into compositions 1958 - lecture and musical performances at Darmstadt 1992 - dies in New York
  • John Cages Reasoning Behind Chance Music to remove the glue between musical sounds and events to let sounds be sounds , neither more or less to remove the personality of the composer to allow the listener to focus on sounds per se
  • Principal Compositions of John Cage Prepared piano : works include Sonatas and Interludes Percussion ensemble : works include Imaginary Landscape Nos. 1-3 Piano: include Music of Changes and 433 Chance pieces: a large number of pieces of flexible medium
  • John Cage, Music of Changes , 1951, part 1Through composed form based on number sequence
  • Electronic Music Another postwar alternative to serialism was the composition of electronic music . An early version was musique concrte electronic music made from recordings of natural or man-made sounds. are manipulated electronically and reassembled on disc or tape in a musical form. Other composers opted for pure electronic music in which the source of sounds were produced by electronic devices . Edgar Varses Pome lectronique (1958) uses both approaches.
  • The Life of Edgard Varse (18831965) 1883 - born in Paris, grows up in Turin, Italy 1903 - enters the Schola Cantorum in Paris 1907-13 - lives mainly in Berlin 1913-15 - lives in Paris 1915 - emigrates to America 1921 - founds the International Composers Guild in New York 1928-33 - returns to France 1958 - attracts attention for electronic music at the Brussels Worlds Fair 1965 - dies in New York
  • Principal Compositions by Edgard Varse Orchestra and chamber orchestra : works include Amriques Hyperprism Octandre Intgrales Arcana Ionisation Voice with instrumental accompaniment : works include Offrandes Ecuatorial Metal Nocturnal Works with electronic sounds on tape Pome lectronique Dserts
  • Edgard Varse, Pome lectronique , 1958Through-composed form
  • Experimenting with New Musical Textures Composers following WW II also experimented with new musical textures alternatives to the traditional homophony and polyphony. Varse praised the value of sound masses conglomorations of sound in which no single tones or intervals are apparent. In his piano study Mode de valueurs et dintensits, Messiaen linked together the choice of register duration, dynamic level attack to produce a pointillistic texture in this approach, individual tones seem to leap out without association into lines or chords.
  • The Life of Olivier Messiaen (1908 1992) 1908 - born in Avignon, France 191929 - attends Paris Conservatory (composition with Paul Dukas) 1931 - appointed organist at the Church of the Trinity in Paris 193639 - with Daniel-Lesur, Yves Baudrier, and Andr Jolivet forms La Jeune France to seek alternatives to neoclassicism 1941 - begins teaching at the Paris Conservatory 1950s - ornithological interests expressed by imitating bird song in music 1992 - dies in Paris
  • Principal Compositions by Olivier Messiaen Orchestra: character pieces and larger works including Turangalla Symphony From the Canyons to the Stars Songs: numerous collections on his own poetry Chamber music : includes the Quartet for the End of Time (violin, clarinet, cello, piano) Organ music: character pieces including the Messe de la Pentecte Piano: preludes, etudes, bird song pieces
  • Olivier Messiaen, Mode de valeurs et dintensits, 1949Summary of the mode of pitches, durations, attack types, and dynamic levels in this work:Through-composed formTop lineMiddle lineBottom line