Sunday, November 20, 2011

Textural Music/ Sound Mass

  • a Trend of the later 1950's
  • shaping music through its larger sonic attributes rather than as an accumulation of individual elements
  • Sound Mass composition minimizes the importance of pitches in preference for texture, timbre, and dynamics as primary shapers of gesture and impact
  • developed from the modernist tone clusters and spread to orchestral writing by the late 1950's
  • Sound Mass obscures the line between sound and noise

Examples:

Makrokosmos I by George Crumb
(1972)
  • Crumb combines conventional piano techniques to form a synthesis
  • Each piece is associated with a sign of the zodiac
  • Makrokosmos requires special techniques: pizzicato using both the finger nail and the finger tip, muted tones, production of harmonics on strings
  • Strings should be clearly marked with bits of tape. Modal parts for harmonics should be indicated with tiny slivers of tape on the string
  • mystic, surreal
  • full range of piano, inside and outside, tried to use all possible techniques
  • innovative, extended techniques combined with conventional techniques
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima ~ Krzysztof Penderecki
(1960)
  • String ensemble not organized in the normal five part groupings, each instrument has its own part
  • traditional textural components such as melody and harmony absent
  • chromatic bands/clusters - listener perceives undifferentiated mass of certain width and dynamic level
  • form is thus primarily determined by the transformation and development of generalized shapes
  • Penderecki ignores the distinctions between pitch and noise, drawing from a wide spectrum of available sounds
  • Proportional Notation = the temporal placement of musical events is approximate
  • Graphic Notation = nontraditional symbols represent musical information
  • Extended Techniques = between the bridge and tailpiece, playing behind the bridge, striking sounding board with fingertips
Chamber Concerto for 13 Instruments Part I ~ Gyorgy Ligeti
(1969)
  • four woodwinds, two brass, five strings, two keyboard instruments
  • "micropolyphony" - a simultaneity of different lines, rhythms and timbers
  • 4 movement work
  1. cluster micropolyphony - polyphonic and contains "micropolyphonically interwoven lines that merge together to form a homogeneous texture"
  2. homophonic and static
  3. mechanical in the manner of clockwork
  4. insainly virtuosic presto
  • imperceptible entrances and exits
Atmosphere ~ Gyorgy Ligeti
(1961)
  • 52 individual parts
  • Formed clusters from separate components that changed constantly to produce subtly transforming internal patterns - micropolyphony
  • Opening cluster chord that spans 5 octaves
  • Slow changes in dynamics

1 comment:

Seraphim said...

Crumb's "Makrokosmos" was performed live at Benedictine, I think the year before you came.

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