Tuesday 8 June 2010

New Series! : Guess The Score! : No1 (!)

Oh yes, it's 2010 (it has been for a while apparently) and it's time for a new series of posts. The title is fairly self explanatory, I'll present a fragment of a full score and you can try and guess what it is.

It's almost like sport only without all of the physical exercise, expensive outfits and potential injuries, what's not to like?

A fairly easy one to start with (don't all rush in at once with guesses everyone). Click on the image if you want to see it more clearly.

Tiny URL for this post: http://tinyurl.com/36mnupn


dfan said...

I could confirm this pretty easily before entering my guess but what's the fun in that... looks like that Varese piece for solo flute, Density some-number-or-other (shamefully I can't remember the exact value).

I had (or have) a book with the score to this (assuming I'm right) on the inside cover, but I can't remember what book it is - anyone remember?

E.L. said...

That's a mighty quick entry into the competition dfan 'grats.

You are of course correct, moderately impressive considering you didn't check your scores/library (unless you're a solo flautist of Varese scholar or something).

Looks like I might have to pick something a little more tricky next time.

I think I need an appropriate sponsor for this series of posts to offer some prizes. One day perhaps, or not, probably (not exactly a cash rich genre of music).

Kudos, etc.

E.L. said...

Oh I forgot to add, its full title is Density 21.5.

It was written for flautist Georges Barrère and the title refers to the density of platinum although I seem to remember reading somewhere that the number is wrong, although that may just be my faulty memory.

The wiki on the piece is lighty interesting actually..


George Perle goes on about the piece quite a bit in his The Listening Composer (which was far more polemical in tone than I thought it would be before I bought it, the title doesn't give that away).

E.L. said...

Anyway, it's a nice piece apart from where it goes up to the high D, doesn't seem to fit and sounds somewhat clumsy and loud compared to the rest. The tone of the flute changes up there too much perhaps.

E.L. said...

Oh and it's The Listening Composer where the score appears on the first page, I just checked it.

dfan said...

Ah, yes, that was the book. Having read it did help with this quiz!

In general I like Perle's writing a lot (his Berg books are superb), but despite being really interested in his Twelve-Tone Tonality book I was never really able to make head or tail of it - and I'm used to reading math textbooks.

E.L. said...

I did actually use some of the ideas from 12 tone tonality for a while but similarly I did have difficulty in seeing how the theory applied to music in general, I just thought it was an interesting/useful way to generate pitch material.

Been ages since I read the book though (It's on the shelf, not compelled to get it down at the moment).

One issue I had with The Listening Composer was all the anti Forte stuff. Forte's taxonomy is clearer in my view.

While the parsing of pitch class sets in analysis post facto is something of a dubious and subjective business the idea of using interval vectors and sets reducible to prime forms (etc etc) is a very worthy contribution for the production of music rather than its analysis (not just Forte's contribution I suppose but Hanson, Lewin and Babbitt too, though Lewin I find even more troubling than Perle, hardly into his books at all altough I own them for what it's worth).

I wonder what Varese would have made of Perle's 'analysis' of Density 21.5? (not saying Varese as the author has the last word of course).