Draft #2

So, the opening octave passages that are characteristic in Hauer’s Nomos Op.19 goes for a long time; it goes for around 3mins 15sec! Since this assignment is up to 3 minute in duration and not 30 minutes like Hauer’s composition, I’ve decided to stop using octaves… or at least for some time.

My composition process

Going back to p.6 (‘Other Rows’ section from ‘Composing 12 Tone Serialism’), I’ve decided to include another row; an inversion of my prime row but in Db.

Inversion (I) in Db
My prime (P) row in Bb- for reference

Instead of composing for each tone row once at a time, I’ve integrated the two rows. Can you see how I integrated my prime (P) row and my inversion (I) in Db row?

2 integrated rows.

Instead of Hauer’s 3 bar phrases (see draft #1), I’ve used each of the following 2 note snippets from the two tone rows above. See https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-LECURJhIS2QEcbPIT7wWNg8ATYqVT03

This created an uncertain, jagged train of musical ideas that portrayed a sense of imbalance and insecurity. This I believe was a nice contrast to the resonating and dreamy opening phrase. However, I didn’t want to delve in too deeply into this sudden rough section. I wanted to compose a short interruption of thought the protagonist was thinking during that time.

I was also influenced by another 12 tone serialism composer, Arnold Schoenberg. I was particularly interested in his use of heavy and dissonant chords (called ‘cluster chords’) in the 2nd movement of his work Sechs kleine Klaveirstucke.

Schoenberg’s final chord in 2nd mvt of Sechs Kleine Klavierstucke. Notes are: C, E, G, B, D# (Eb), F#, A# (Bb), Cx (D)

Although I loved his idea of stacked 3rds to create a cluster chord. I wanted to rearrange it to my own customised pile of ordered and structured cluster chords. As shown below, I wanted the cluster notes in the treble clef to start on the white keys and the bass clef cluster chord to start on black keys.

b. 19 and 20 cluster chords. Thick black lines means to play the cluster chord with the forearm.

These cluster notes created sudden suspense and fury. The use of cluster chords created a great impression that the protagonist thoughts has suddenly halted and anger has taken upon him/ her. The divided attention of these cluster chords from the treble and bass portrays a huge contrast from the previous daydream (natural/ white keys) that has happened a short while ago to a deep, boiling anger (flat/ black keys) underneath in the bass that is trying to resurface.

Hauer’s Nomos Op.19 doesn’t use any cluster chords but I thought it was interesting to see how other influential composers used 12 tone serialism to create interest to their pieces.