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Melancholia : for four percussionists and thirty-six found objects

by Andrián Pertout (2009)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Jasmine Chen, Laurence MacFarlane from the CD La flor en la colina

This sample is of the Duos: 2 Percussion version of this work

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La flor en la colina


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La flor en la colina / Andrian Pertout

Version: This product features the Duos: 2 Percussion version of this work

Library shelf no. CD 2340 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (3 more)  

Work Overview

Melancholia was especially composed for Australian percussion ensemble Speak Percussion.

The work serves as an exploration of the musical properties of Albrecht Dürer's Melancholia 1 (1514) 4×4 magic square and investigates its potential for structural indeterminacy. The magic square is firstly presented within the metrical scheme in its original form (rows 1 to 4: 16+3+2+13, 5+10+11+8, 9+6+7+12 and 4+15+14+1), to be then followed by an additional seven rotations and reflections (270% rotation, 180% rotation, 90% rotation, horizontal reflection, vertical reflection, right diagonal, left diagonal). In the 32-bar score, each player is presented with an 8-module structure and 8 staves of music with materials that (as a 2-stave set) may be interpreted horizontally, vertically and diagonally, as well as another 30 unique combinations. The compositional strategy allows for each 4-bar module to be repeated 3, 5 or 7 times, with freedom to overlap materials (from one 4-bar module to the next) up until the closing 4-bar module. The pitch material (assigned to Player 1 and 2) consists of an 8-note series based on an arrangement of the common three bells 'change-ringing' sequence - effectively 123, 213, 231, 321, 312, and 132 transformed into four-note loops. The pitch series begins with 1232 and 2131, and is then followed by the extension 2313 and 2131, to be concluded with an inversion of this expanded 16-note series (3212, 2313, 2131 and 2313). In the next 32-note set, further combinations are then introduced (3121 and 1323 and extension 3121 and 3212), and finally, the inversion of this second expanded 16-note series is presented (1323, 3121, 1323 and 1232). The same 64 pitches are also assigned to Player 3 and 4, but allocated to each separate part (two sets of 8 staves of music for Player 1-2 and 3-4) as a 32-note series in reverse. With regards to rhythm, all polyrhythmic ratios between 1 and 16 not greater than 1 have been systematically utilized within the rhythmic framework of the composition.

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Kit 1: Large Metal Tray, Medium Small Metal Cooking Pot, Large Block of Wood, Medium Small Block of Wood, Large Teapot, Medium Small Teacup; Kit 2: Large Water Bottle (Low Pitch), Large Water Bottle (High Pitch), Large Block of Wood, Medium Small Block of Wood, Large Wine Glass (Low Pitch), Large Wine Glass (High Pitch); Kit 3: Large Plastic Bottle, Medium Small Plastic Bottle, Large Nesquik Chocolate Can, Medium Small Aluminium Beer Can, Large Block of Wood, Medium Small Block of Wood; Kit 4: Medium Large Metal Tray, Small Metal Cooking Pot, Medium Large Block of Wood, Small Block of Wood, Medium Large Ceramic Plate, Small Ceramic Plate: Kit 5: Small Water Bottle (Low Pitch), Small Water Bottle (High Pitch), Medium Large Block of Wood, Small Block of Wood, Small Wine Glass (Low Pitch), Small Wine Glass (High Pitch); Kit 6: Medium Large Plastic Bottle, Small Plastic Bottle, Medium Large Nesquik Chocolate Can, Small Aluminium Beer Can, Medium Large Block of Wood, Small Block of Wood.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional

Written for: Speak Percussion

Performances of this work

7 Jan 12: 11th International Festival of Electroacoustic Music of Santiago, Goethe-Institut Santiago, Santiago, Chile

7 Jul 11: School of Music, University of Auckland, New Zealand.. Featuring Jasmine Chen, Laurence MacFarlane.

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