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Chance Music

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Chance Music

  1. 1. CHANCE MUSICIn chance music, the composer leaves a lot up to the performer. For example acomposer might give each player in the band four different sheets of music. On thedirectors signal each player in the band could play any one of the four sheets of music,starting and stopping whenever he or she wished. Chance music is interesting becauseeach performance is different.One important composer of chance music was John Cage. His Imaginary LandscapeNo.4, consists of 12 radios all playing at the same time, but all tuned to differentstations.An improvisatory style developed by John Cage. A composer chooses a series of notesor rhythms to include, allowing players to create a piece from general guidelines.Aleatoric/Chance music is music in which either composition or method of performanceis determined by elements of chance or unpredictability. Music composed by therandom selection of pitches and rhythms. Frequently found in some professional operachoruses.The origins of Aleatoric/Chance music: Originates from the Latin word "alea" which mean "dice". Aleatoric/Chance music describes music where an element of the composition is left to chance. Can also be when some primary element of a composed works realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities. In aleatory music, aspects such as the ordering of a pieces sections, its rhythms, and even its pitches are decided at the moment of performance. When not purely improvising, players follow lists of arbitrary rules or interpreted "graphic" notation that merely suggest the sounds.Charles Ives and Henry Cowell had used such techniques, but John Cage became theprincipal figure in aleatory; other aleatory composers include Earle Brown (1926 –2002), Morton Feldman (1926 – 87), and Pierre Boulez. John Cage is the 20th century conceptual artist who famously "composed" the piano piece titled 4 33" (1952), which consists of the pianist(s) sitting at a piano and not playing for exactly four minutes and 33 seconds. He continued to experiment and push the boundaries music, and embarked on a career of what he called "an exploration of non-intention." Cage used found objects and ambient sound, experimented with magnetic tape editing and splicing and used a variety of
  2. 2. composing methods to create compositions that were usually performed live instead of recorded.He became known outside the art world in the 1960s as an influence on pop art and rock music, and continued to lecture and compose until his death in 1992. Some consider Cage little more than a charlatan, but his idea that "everything we do is music" has undoubtedly influenced modern composers. Some of his other works include Imaginary Landscape #3 (1942), Variations I and II (1958) and Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras (1981).The features of Aleatoric/Chance music:The term Aleatoric/Chance Music is simply used to describe works that gives the performer a certainamount of freedom with regard to the sequencing and repetition of particular parts throughout a piece ofmusic. One feature of Chance Music is; Musical Dice Games!This was an early genre of composition during the 18th and 19th Century. It consisted of musicalmeasurements. To define exactly how Chance Music evolved a simple game was created in the early18th Century. This game was entitled Mozarts Musikalisches Würfelspiel. The idea behind this game wasthat Mozart wrote the measures and instructions for a musical composition. The rule being to cut andpaste pre-written measures of music together to create a Minuet. Therefore once the piece was playedthrough it sounded muddled up! which created the Random effect of the pieces. The following link is tosee exactly how Mozarts Dice Game works.
  3. 3. Composers & Examples: The French composer Pierre Boulez was largely popular for popularizing the term,using it to describe works that give the performer certain liberties with regard to the sequencing and repetition of parts. Another French composer, Pierre Schaeffer developed the term jeu (French for play) in reference to a technique of allowing random sounds to enter into a musical composition. Karlheinz Stockhausen composed Klavierstuck XI(1956), which features 19 elements to be performed in changing sequences. Alfred Schnittke composed First Symphony[5] which uses aleatoric techniques only one of a number of approaches to the chaos of 20th century life. Roman Haubenstock-Ramati composed a series of influential "mobiles" such as Interpolation (1958). Andrew Ackers harp solo is the final section of ten sections in a three movement contemporary classical (aleatoric) suite.

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