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"Elastic Ties and Rubber Lies (12 Tone Study)" - Piano and Clarinet

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I wrote this for a composition assignment in which we were tasked with writing a twelve-tone piece for 2 instruments. For this piece I utilized five permutations of the original row. I've attached the score, which right now is simply the notes- it doesn't contain any dynamics or articulations. I'm still very new to twelve-tone technique, so I'm not sure I have the twelve-tone sound in my ears yet, but if anyone here has experience with twelve-tone technique I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on how I did!

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I'm not much of a listener for 12-tone stuff, but I rather like this. Parts of it almost seem derived from jazz with the kinds of extensions you use. One comment for thought: the clarinet is used pretty sparingly. This would be more than appropriate if it's being used as part of a larger work, then we would expect at least one movement where the clarinet isn't going bananas with their technique. If it's a standalone piece then as a whole it's rather sparse. Still well done by all means, just not quite "fully grown", if you catch my meaning?

Cool work, keep it up :) - also, nifty title.

Gustav Johnson

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It sounds nice. It all depends on how you can stick to "classic" atonalism. The structure and rhythmic and melodic treatment reminds more tonality than atonality.

In the first notes (also later in m.22) not sure, but I think you double the F. Doubling notes don't go with this style (but in orchestral doubling parts).

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6 hours ago, Gustav Johnson said:

I'm not much of a listener for 12-tone stuff, but I rather like this. Parts of it almost seem derived from jazz with the kinds of extensions you use. One comment for thought: the clarinet is used pretty sparingly. This would be more than appropriate if it's being used as part of a larger work, then we would expect at least one movement where the clarinet isn't going bananas with their technique. If it's a standalone piece then as a whole it's rather sparse. Still well done by all means, just not quite "fully grown", if you catch my meaning?

Cool work, keep it up :) - also, nifty title.

Gustav Johnson

 

Thanks for your response! I was worried that the clarinet wasn't being used enough. As a pianist, I've always had trouble balancing the activity of the piano with other instruments, especially in pieces like this with very small instrumentation. I'll continue to work on that!

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4 hours ago, Luis Hernández said:

It sounds nice. It all depends on how you can stick to "classic" atonalism. The structure and rhythmic and melodic treatment reminds more tonality than atonality.

In the first notes (also later in m.22) not sure, but I think you double the F. Doubling notes don't go with this style (but in orchestral doubling parts).

 

Thanks! I see what you mean in terms of the melody and rhythm seeming more fitting of a tonal piece- a lot of twelve tone music I've heard sounds really sporadic, which is a style I'm not used to. I'm not sure where you see the doubled F... could you elaborate? I tried to make sure that each instrument would complete an entire row before moving on to another permutation, but it was a pretty confusing process to go through, so maybe I missed something.

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I also do not like 12 tone music or most of what I call deconstructionist music. It's funny. I usually like it the first time but hardly ever a second time. Even with something as big as Lulu, I have no desire to hear it twice. It's 100% predictable that way with me. But enough about me. I think your piece shows some good attributes in terms of gestures and general craft and demeanor that make it interesting. But again, probably only for the first time. In other words 12 tone stuff has no depth, no reason to return to it to get a deeper meaning or understanding, because there is none.

BTW what school are your attending?

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D# in the clarinet sound F? In measure 1 . The piano plays F, too.

perhaps I'm wrong.

on the other hand, percepción is so subjetive... I find post tonal music more moving than the classical period, which is boring and void many  times, to me....

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1 hour ago, Gustav Johnson said:

Clarinet D# sounds F# :) In a transposed score the clarinet notes sound a whole step higher than what they're reading.

Gustav Johnson

 

D#... whole step higher is F, not F#.

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In a transposed score the clarinet sounds whole step lower.  In measure 1, the clarinet sounding pitch matches the C# in the piano.

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13 minutes ago, tmarko said:

In a transposed score the clarinet sounds whole step lower.  In measure 1, the clarinet sounding pitch matches the C# in the piano.

 

Totally right.

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21 hours ago, Ken320 said:

I also do not like 12 tone music or most of what I call deconstructionist music. It's funny. I usually like it the first time but hardly ever a second time. Even with something as big as Lulu, I have no desire to hear it twice. It's 100% predictable that way with me. But enough about me. I think your piece shows some good attributes in terms of gestures and general craft and demeanor that make it interesting. But again, probably only for the first time. In other words 12 tone stuff has no depth, no reason to return to it to get a deeper meaning or understanding, because there is none.

BTW what school are your attending?

 

Haha yeah I'm not a fan of twelve tone music either. I can appreciate it and the thought that goes into it, but I've yet to hear a 12 tone piece that I've actually enjoyed. And I'm attending the University of North Texas. 

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10 hours ago, tmarko said:

In a transposed score the clarinet sounds whole step lower.  In measure 1, the clarinet sounding pitch matches the C# in the piano.

 

Alright good- I don't play clarinet so for a second there I thought I'd transposed it wrong! 

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I apologize for the mess!

In fact, I also wrote for clarinets. I suppose many people write straight in transposed pitch. But I'm not that professional...

I know it's very important for players to write in transposition, but it's easier (for me) to compose in concert pith and transpose when finished).

Anyway, your piece is fine and beautiful. I don't think one must follow strictly the "rules" of dodecaphony or whatever. I see atonalism as a tool and I use it in many ways: nearly tonal, totally atonal...

The fact is that if this is an exercise on atonalism, perhaps you are asked to treat the score more in the style. Otherwise, it is good... Greetings!

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8 hours ago, Luis Hernández said:

I apologize for the mess!

In fact, I also wrote for clarinets. I suppose many people write straight in transposed pitch. But I'm not that professional...

I know it's very important for players to write in transposition, but it's easier (for me) to compose in concert pith and transpose when finished).

Anyway, your piece is fine and beautiful. I don't think one must follow strictly the "rules" of dodecaphony or whatever. I see atonalism as a tool and I use it in many ways: nearly tonal, totally atonal...

The fact is that if this is an exercise on atonalism, perhaps you are asked to treat the score more in the style. Otherwise, it is good... Greetings!

 

Haha not a problem! And thank you- at least one of us thinks it's beautiful ;-)

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This was a very sensitively realized application of twelve-tone! I know you haven't gotten to dynamics or articulations yet, but I think when the piano gets more active at the 20-second-mark or so, having some swelling dynamics would make it the texture more compelling.

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On 5/1/2017 at 11:54 PM, Justin Graff said:

This was a very sensitively realized application of twelve-tone! I know you haven't gotten to dynamics or articulations yet, but I think when the piano gets more active at the 20-second-mark or so, having some swelling dynamics would make it the texture more compelling.

 

Thank you! And yeah, up until January I pretty much exclusively worked in Logic, using the automation to create dynamics, so actually having to think out and specify articulation and dynamics is pretty new to me. I really need to work on my overall expressivity and how to convey that through the notation. Thanks for the tip!

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