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Ockham's razor

Sheet Music: Score

Ockham's razor : saxophone quartet SATB / Paul Stanhope.

Also known as: Ockham’s razor

by Paul Stanhope (2001)

  • Sales Availability: This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
    Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.
  • Library Availability: 785.8714/STA 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone.
  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Continuum Sax from the CD Icon


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Product details

The subtitle of this saxophone quartet "Ockham's Razor" refers to the principle of ontological economy attributed to the 14th century philosopher William of Ockham. This principle is usually formulated as "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity." Colloquially, Ockham's Razor is known as the dictum that "the most simple and obvious explanation is often the most likely one".

The principle of economy has a parallel in my own aesthetic view, namely in that a directness of approach can often provide the most satisfactory solution in working out a compositional problem. In the case of this quartet, one main motif becomes the material for the entire piece, and therefore economy and invention become indispensable principles. Ockham's Razor also suggests a certain directness of language in conveying these means. It should also be obvious that the somewhat academic title is quite tongue-in-cheek given the exuberant nature of the work with its edgy, pop-influenced rhythms and flamboyant musical gestures.

This work was written especially for Continuum Sax who gave the premiere at the 2002 Pan-Pacific Clarinet and Saxophone Convention in Brisbane, 5 July 2002. It is dedicated to James Nightingale; without Jim's much valued technical advice this work would never have reached its present form!

Published by: Reed Music [RM110] — 1 score (20p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — High level student or professional saxophone quartet

Duration: 11 mins

Dedicated to James Nightingale

First performance by Continuum Sax — 5 Jul 02. Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane

Composed during the composer's time at Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, Sydney.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 2007.

ISMN: M-720019-19-2

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

CD: Icon / Continuum Sax.

Music for saxophones
CD: Music for saxophones / Paul Stanhope.

New chamber music recordings 2004
CD: New chamber music recordings 2004 / Paul Stanhope.


- Browse other works published by Reed Music

- Browse other works for Saxophone Quartets

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Analysis & Media

- Video: Saxophone quartet "Ockham's Razor"

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