View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the CD release of Continuum / Zehn Stücke Für Bläserquintett / Artikulation / Glissandi / Etüden Für Orgel. GRIDS AND MIST An analysis of Györgi Ligeti’s Continuum for Cembalo () Seth Horvitz ([email protected]) Music / Post-Tonal eory and Analysis.

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This article about a classical composition is a stub. Section II presents a similar process of blurring the interval signal, then forming them into expanded symmetrical units, but here the range is expanded, and the notes are presented in near-diatonic fashion.

It is as if the sound of the opening has been thrown down a rocky cavern, emerging from the other end recognizable, but chipped and chiseled in the process. In my opinion, these interval categories are less useful and even confusingsince in cotinuum of the more chaotic sections of the piece, these processes occur simultaneously, overlapping in such a way that they cannot be adequately characterized.

Retrieved from ” https: At rapid rates of repetition, the tonal qualities of closely arranged patterns of notes are substantially masked contunuum this noise. In my analysis of the piece, I will refer more often to the MIDI “piano roll” depiction than to the notated score. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. It is also worth noting that this symmetrical pitch collection looks like an expanded version of the earlier tetrachord [0][2][3][5].

In fact, it might be said that from this point on, the piece feels as if it is in a continual state of climax quite astonishing, considering that the piece has not even reached its midway point. As this shifting occurs, no single pulse takes precedence. All notes pulse at the same rate, but Ligeti has carefully staggered the changes to gives the feeling of smooth, accelerated motion.

I almost always associate sounds with color, form, and texture; and form, color, and material quality with every acoustic sensation.

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I will make ligeto use of the terminology presented by Michael Hicks in his article, in which he groups Ligeti’s “blurring” techniques into the following three categories: It is approached without any traditional harmonic preparation, but instead with a type of stuttering, alien counterpoint.

Click here to sign up. With the addition of the C below the main shape, the pattern begins to sound like a rapidly ascending and descending C major scale.

Continuum (Ligeti) – Wikipedia

lligeti Its light touch, as Ligeti notes, allows for extremely rapid repetition, much faster than the piano. Symmetry is present throughout Continuum, but it is rarely perfect.

SECTION I While Ligeti makes it very clear in his writings that he never uses strict classical forms, the opening section of Continuum can easily be viewed as an exposition, introducing the piece’s central ideas and techniques.

A harpsichord has an easy touch; it can be played very fast, almost fast enough to reach the level of continuumbut not quite it takes about eighteen separate sounds per second to reach the threshold where you can no longer make out liveti notes and the limit set by the mechanism of ligeto harpsichord is about fifteen to sixteen notes a second. The entire process is a series of sound impulses in rapid succession which create the impression of continuous sound.

Ligeti Continuum Analysis | Seth Horvitz –

It kigeti my view that this type of visualization is particularly revealing for a piece like Continuum, which has so much lifeti do with perception of emerging patterns and symmetrical formations of notes.

In fact, the delicate, subtle asymmetries are what give Continuum its beautiful, rugged contlnuum, somewhere between a tangle of chains and a shattered crystal. I hope that my extensive use of the piano roll will shed new light on previous analyses of the piece.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. In the center is a repeating diamond shape spanning the chromatic range of a P4 from E Dx in the score to A. Perhaps a lesson to be gained from Ligeti’s technique is that intervals and pitch groups can be related to one another in a multitude of perceivable ways without reverting to traditional harmony.


While Section I adds a major second pi2 below a minor third pi3Section II adds a minor third pi3 below a major second pi2. And while the opening minor third certainly constitutes an important recurring signal, it is only one of many. Ligeti describes them xontinuum periods of “mistiness” contrasted with periods of “clearing up.

Yet it should be noted that every point of rest in Continuum is also a point of tension.

György Ligeti – Continuum

Ligeti’s pattern-transformation technique allows him to move freely and smoothly from any given point of stability to another, even when they have no obvious relationship. In less than a minute, we have returned to a familiar place, yet we have forgotten exactly where we began. Conrinuum the next several measures, four more pitches are added to the texture, in the following order: Although it would be jarring, the piece could easily end here, but instead, the climactic movement continues to move upward.

However, their treatment is severely limited.

Music of the Imagination. However, the appearance of the major triad here manages to sound both entirely consonant and continum at the same time. It is nearly symmetrical in shape, opening and closing with a feeling of stability, just as the exposition of a sonata form would begin and end on the tonic. Both sections add a fourth pitch to form the same symmetrical tetrachord [0][2][3][5].

Both are composed of a chromatic cluster with symmetrical “satellites” on either side. I will take a more diplomatic approach, classifying the disputed areas generally the static “interval signals” as points of overlap. Skip to main content.

Log In Sign Up. Retrieved 18 October Many scholars have noted that the onset of this section corresponds exactly to the golden mean of the piece.