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Musica battuta : double toy piano étude for one soloist

by Andrián Pertout (2016)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Antonietta Loffredo from the CD New Music for Multiple Keyboards

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New Music for Multiple Keyboards


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Musica battuta


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Musica battuta : double toy piano étude for one soloist / Andrián Pertout.

Library shelf no. 786.2/PER 7 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (13 more)  

Work Overview

Musica battuta or 'Beaten Music' was especially composed for Antonietta Loffredo (Como, Italy) for the 2016 'Multiple Keyboards' Project (Sydney, Australia) curated by Australian composer, pianist, harpsichordist and writer Diana Blom in association with Australian composer, keyboardist and music researcher Michael Hannan. The work serves as an exploration of the musical implications of combinatoriality as an organizational determinant via the utilization of mathematician Joel Haak's combinatorial analysis of American composer Steve Reich's rhythmic pattern from Clapping Music (1972), while additionally adopting the novel harmonic concept of 'All-Interval Tetrachords and Other Homometries' from American minimalist composer and music theorist (also former student of Morton Feldman) Tom Johnson, eloquently presented in his publication Other Harmony: Beyond Tonal and Atonal (2014).

In The Geometry of Music Rhythm: What Makes a 'Good' Rhythm Good? (2013) Godfried T. Toussaint presents the back ground to a combinatorial analysis by mathematician Joel Haak of American composer Steve Reich's rhythmic pattern from Clapping Music (1972) [x x x . x x . x . x x .], which states that because there are "eight claps per cycle of 12 pulses in Clapping Music" means that the combinatorial possibilities (or "ways one can select 8 out of 12 pulses") may be mathematically represented by the equation (12!)/(8!)(4!)=495. This figure, the result of an adherence to two separate conditions: (1) that the pattern begins with a note and not a rest, and (2), that the pattern does not contain a rest larger than one pulse between two consecutive onsets (or sounded pulses). Toussaint explains that with "these two constraints, the original 12 units, composed of eight claps and four rests, are reduced to eight units made up of four clap-rest patterns [x .] and four solitary claps [.]," adding that "in this setting, there are now only eight two-valued elements taken four at a time, and thus the formula for the total number of possible patterns becomes 8!/((4!)(4!))=70." Hack then introduces a third condition into his analysis: that the pattern should not be a cyclic permutation of another pattern (i.e. a clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation), which effectively reduces the total number of admissible patterns from 70 to 10. A fourth condition is then introduced: that the "combined 12-pulse clapping patterns made by both performers should not repeat themselves before the ending of the piece." In other words, as one player in Clapping Music systematically rotates the rhythmic pattern by a pulse (or the incremental rhythmic displacement of the pattern against a static version of the pattern), no combination of these two patterns results in repetition of canonic materials. A fifth condition then eliminates the possibility of consecutive repeats of any particular rhythmic cell, which finally results in the reduction from 495 possible patterns to 2: Reich's Clapping Music pattern and [x x x x . x . x x . x .]; the latter, or alternative pattern being the pattern adopted in Musica battuta.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Schoenhut concert grand (Model 379B, 37-key toy piano) and Schoenhut traditional spinet (Model 6625B, 25-key toy piano).

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional

Written for: Antonietta Loffredo

First performance: at Multiple Keyboards - new works for piano duet & 2-4 pianos/toy pianos (Theme and Variations (Willoughby)) on 8 Dec 2016

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Godfried T. Toussaint’s The Geometry of Music Rhythm: What Makes a ‘Good’ Rhythm Good? (2013) ; Steve Reich’s Clapping Music (1972) ; Tom Johnson’s Other Harmony: Beyond Tonal and Atonal (2014)  ; Combinatoriality

Performances of this work

4 Dec 20: Musikene (Euskal Herriko goi-mailako musika ikastegia/Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco), San Sebastián, Spain

2 Dec 20: 2020 Festival Kuraia: 27º Encuentros de Música Contemporánea, Centro Cultural Galileo, Madrid, Spain

8 Dec 2016: at Multiple Keyboards - new works for piano duet & 2-4 pianos/toy pianos (Theme and Variations (Willoughby)).

8 Dec 16: Theme and Variations Showroom, Willoughby, Sydney

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