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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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 individual notes and the limit set by the mechanism of the harpsichord is about fifteen to sixteen notes a second.

In my continyum of the piece, I will refer more often to the MIDI “piano roll” depiction than to the notated score. As the string is plucked by the plectrumapart from the tone you also hear quite a loud noise.

György Ligeti – Continuum

This article about a classical composition is a stub. Even abstract concepts, such as quantities, relationships, connections, and processes, seem tangible to me and have their place in an imaginary space. It is also worth noting that this symmetrical pitch collection looks like an expanded version of the earlier tetrachord [0][2][3][5]. At precisely a minor third pi3 above and below this shape, the high B and low C pulse at identical rates every eight 8th notes.

All notes pulse at the same rate, but Ligeti has carefully staggered the changes to gives the feeling of smooth, accelerated motion.

Ligeti Continuum Analysis | Seth Horvitz –

The result was to give an effect of slow motion. I almost always associate sounds with color, form, and texture; and form, color, and material quality cotinuum every acoustic sensation. And while the ljgeti minor third certainly constitutes an important recurring signal, it is only one of many. Amy Bauerp. 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.


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In fact, the delicate, subtle asymmetries are what give Continuum its beautiful, rugged shape, somewhere between a tangle of chains and a shattered crystal. In the center is a repeating diamond shape spanning the chromatic range of a P4 from E Dx in the score to A. This page was last edited on 27 Juneat One might describe the opening interval not as a seed from which the entire piece grows, but instead as a single plant living in a diverse, but mutually dependent ecosystem. I will take a more diplomatic approach, classifying the disputed areas generally the static “interval signals” as points of overlap.

Under tonal conditions, the B would act as a leading tone of the C major scale, but in this case, the function is not quite so clear. It is approached without any traditional harmonic preparation, but instead with a type of stuttering, alien counterpoint. It is my view that this type of visualization is particularly revealing for a piece like Continuum, which has so much to do with perception of emerging patterns and symmetrical formations of notes.

In their paper, Cambouropoulos and Tsougras use small excerpts of the piano roll to illustrate certain discrepancies between what is continuuum and what might be perceived. Many scholars have noted that the onset of this section corresponds exactly to the golden mean of the piece. However, the appearance of the major triad here manages to sound both entirely consonant and mysterious at the same time.


Click here to sign up. As this shifting occurs, no single pulse takes precedence. Although it would be jarring, the piece could easily ligsti here, but instead, the climactic movement continues to move upward. The composer describes the conception and result of its technique: Here, we see it applied clearly in a symmetrical, repeating form.

György Ligeti – Continuum | RNZ

Next, the B is added above the top note Bbexpanding the total interval range to a tritone. While the previous two sections appear as a steady stream being shaken up and then settling down again, this section proceeds with a clear sense of direction with regard to range.

Symmetry is present throughout Continuum, but lligeti is rarely perfect. In my opinion, these interval categories are less useful and even confusingsince in many of the more chaotic sections of the piece, these processes occur simultaneously, overlapping in such a way that they cannot be adequately characterized.

The composer describes the conception and result of its technique:. Ligeti himself has stated the structural importance of the minor third appearing at the opening of the piece.