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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It is approached without any traditional harmonic preparation, but instead with a type of stuttering, alien counterpoint. In kigeti 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.

And while the opening minor third certainly constitutes an important recurring signal, it is only one of many. The result was to give an effect of slow motion.

I hope that my extensive use of the piano roll will shed new light on previous analyses of the piece. Continuum is notable for its paradoxical lgieti Help Center Find new research papers in: A theoretical and perceptual study. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. With the addition of the C below the main shape, the pattern begins to sound like a rapidly ascending ligei descending C major scale. Remember me on this computer. Amy Bauerp.

György Ligeti – Continuum

The composer describes the conception and result of its technique:. As the string is plucked by the plectrumapart from the tone you also hear quite a loud noise. In a matter of seconds, the texture has transformed from a static pulse into a blurry mess.

Stable areas can occur in any range, sometimes through gradual transformations and sometimes through jarring leaps. Music of the Imagination.

In the MIDI plot, we can see the perfectly symmetrical octaves, split in two by tritones. Over the next several measures, four more pitches are added to the texture, in the following order: As this shifting occurs, no single pulse takes precedence.


In their paper, Cambouropoulos and Tsougras use small excerpts of the piano roll to illustrate certain discrepancies between what is notated and what might be perceived.

The entire process is a series of sound impulses in rapid succession which create the impression of continuous sound. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link.

Retrieved ligetti ” https: However, the appearance of the major triad here manages to sound both entirely consonant and mysterious at the same time.

While Section I adds a major second pi2 below a minor third pi3Section II adds a minor third pi3 below a major second pi2.

György Ligeti – Continuum | RNZ

Click here to sign up. 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.

At rapid rates of repetition, the tonal qualities of closely arranged patterns of notes are substantially masked by this noise. In my analysis of the piece, I will refer more often to the MIDI “piano roll” depiction than to the notated score. 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.

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. Ligeti himself has stated the structural importance of the minor third appearing at the opening of the piece.


In the center is a repeating diamond shape spanning the chromatic range of a P4 from E Dx in the score to A. Both sections add a fourth cobtinuum to form the same symmetrical tetrachord [0][2][3][5]. 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. Skip to main content. It is nearly symmetrical in shape, opening and closing with a feeling of stability, just as the exposition of a sonata form would begin and end on the tonic.

Section II presents a similar process of blurring the interval signal, then forming them into expanded symmetrical units, but here the range is expanded, and the notes are presented in near-diatonic fashion. Retrieved 18 October In less than a minute, we have returned to a familiar place, yet we have forgotten exactly where we began. SECTION I While Ligeti makes it very clear in his writings that he never uses strict classical forms, the opening section of Continuum can easily be viewed as an exposition, introducing the piece’s central ideas and techniques.

Even abstract concepts, such as quantities, relationships, connections, and processes, seem tangible to me and have their place in ccontinuum imaginary space. While I will do the same here, I feel that the last two sections could easily be grouped together. Yet it should be noted that every point of rest in Continuum is also a point of tension.