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Ned Kelly music : full orchestra

by David Ahern (1967)

Streaming Audio

ABC Classic AMP

Listen online to a full-length recording of this work.
performed by Sydney Symphony Orchestra; John Hopkins (conductor)
Access to this recording is courtesy of the ABC's classic amp website.

After Mallarme ; Ned Kelly music


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


After Mallarme ; Ned Kelly music / Ahern

Library shelf no. CD 1974 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Ned Kelly Music is a study in the relationship that exists between between pitched sound and unpitched sound (noise), speech and silence - the relationships (even if seemingly incongruous) which exist between various styles of music: for example, the relationship of a nineteenth century romantic style to that of the contemporary avant-garde.

The problem in this case is to correlate these diverse sound phenomena into a unified whole. The work, though quite short, is divided into six units which are not mutually exclusive (the material from one unit can and does appear in other units).

"Ned Kelly" is conceived in abstract as someone who transcends all authority, who breaks or ignores all rules. What Kelly was in real life is of no interest to me - the name is a symbol and nothing more.

— David Ahern

Work Details

Year: 1967

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by John Hopkins, Sydney Symphony — 1968. Proms concert series


Resonate article: Following the Least-Trodden Paths by James Humberstone

Performances of this work

9 Mar 2014: at Tectonics Adelaide (Grainger Studio (Sun), Queen's Theatre (Mon)). Featuring Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

1968: Proms concert series. Featuring John Hopkins, Sydney Symphony.

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