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Can you guess the composer/work? #12

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by musical-md, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Ok, many will know of John Cage's seminal (?) 3-movement work for any instrument or combination of instruments titled 4'33" that has no music. It all about listiening to the sound about us in a very Zen Buddhist (or Master Jedi Yoda, if you prefer) fashion. Here's the question: what work preceded this by 33 years and is meticulously scored with only rests?

    This is easily discoverable using Google/Wikipedia etc. but I wonder if anybody out there knows this.
     
  2. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    No, I didn't know it, and yes, I did discover it using Google, although it wasn't quite as easy as what you said led me to believe it would be. It does not, for example, appear in Wikipedia's "List of silent musical compositions".

    The composer (whose name I won't mention yet) was not unfamiliar to me, though, and it doesn't surprise me to find a silent piece among the esoteric things he wrote. The only of his pieces I know is not for piano. He chose one of the most unlikely solo instruments he could think of (the contrabassoon) and wrote a short unaccompanied piece for that. One of the sections of "Bass Nightingale" is a two-part fugue.

    Guess how you play a fugue on a non-polyphonic instrument.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That must be one big, fat nightingale with a sore throat. :lol:

    Maybe if you hiccup while playing, two notes will pop out at the same time and there is your fugue. Yes? No? How about you play one part and you just think the other part in you mind. Yes? No? Ok, I know, forget it....
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    There's no rule saying that a fugue must contain double notes. It must be clever to devise one that doesn't, though.
     
  5. rainer

    rainer New Member

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    Well, given that you can't play two voices at the same time, you use time division multiplexing, which means you divide up time to let the voices take turns. Give a few notes of phrase fragment to one voice, then a few to the other, then back again, and so on, leaping back and forth between the two voices. The trick is to keep the voices well-separated in pitch (typically by more than an octave), so that a small leap (a small change in pitch) means you are moving to the next note in the same voice, but a large leap means you've jumped across to the other voice. That way the listener can tell which voice is playing at any given moment.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oh yes, I was going to say that.... :lol:
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Just like Gollumn (Sméagol) in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy :twisted: Otherwise it's known as schizophrenia!
     
  8. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    The answer is (from Wikipedia): "Erwin Schulhoff's 1919 "In futurum", a movement from the Fünf Pittoresken for piano. The Czech composer's meticulously notated composition is made up entirely of rests."

    I did not know this and had never known about Schulhoff. This would be a good factoid for anyone preparing for their doctoral comprehensive oral exam in piano literature.
     
  9. totentanz

    totentanz New Member

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    ah that. It was discussed in my country's radio talkshow. No music but the audiences are still giving a loud and enthusiastic applause.
     

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