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Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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Class notes Drs. Gill / Folio / Brinkman ISORYTHM IN MACHAUT AND MESSIAEN Isorhythm: a structural principle frequently used in 14th-century motets, particularly in the tenor line. Its main feature is the use of a reiterated scheme of time values for the presentation of a liturgical cantus firmus. The repeated scheme of time values is called talea and the repeated scheme of melodic tones is called color. Machaut: De Bon EspoirPuisque la Douce RoseeSperavi In the following examples, the rhythm = talea and the melody = color Tenor: Rhythm (mm. 1-102): !"#$"#$"#$"#%"#!"#$"#&"#$"#'"#&"#'"#$"#&"#!"#$"#&"#= 34 '"s -beginning in m. 103 this is halved to: Rhythm (mm. 103-152): $"#'"#'"#'"#&"#$"#'"#("#'"#)"#("#)"#'"#("#$"#'"#("#= 17 '"s -there are 12 rhythmic events per series (not including rests) Melody: do re mi fa mi re mi fa mi re do re mi re do re re do -there are 18 melodic events per series Rhythmic and melodic series line up after 3 rhythmic and 2 melodic statements (since 3x12 = 2x18). This happens twice: once at m. 103 (where the talea is subsequently halved) and again at the end of the motet (the penultimate note of the talea is reduced by ! in its final statement to facilitate the final cadence; this is why there are only 50 measures between 103-152 as opposed to the expected 51 [= " of 102]). The Triplum and Motetus parts feature a more free rhythmic series (within each part). The rhythms of the first 34 measures are repeated (with variations) as 35-68 and again as 69-102. The beginnings of these varied repetitions coincide with the beginnings of the talea in the Tenor.

Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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ISORHYTHM IN MACHAUT AND MESSIAEN (cont.) Messiaen: Liturgie de cristal from Quatuor pour la fin du temps In the following examples, the rhythm = talea and the melody or harmony = color Cello: Rhythm: '##)"##'##'##*##*#)"##*##*##*##*##)"##*##*##'#= 33 *#s -there are 15 rhythmic events per series Melody: 0 4 2 6 A -there are 5 melodic events per series Rhythmic and melodic series line up after 1 rhythmic and 3 melodic statements (since 1x15 = 3x5). Piano: Rhythm: )##)##)##*##*"##*##*##*##*##*"##*"##*"##+##*##*"##)##'#= 26 *#s -there are 17 rhythmic events per series Harmony (bottom note listed): 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 8 8 6 6 9 A 0 1 6 6 5 4 2 1 B 8 6 -there are 29 harmonic events per series Rhythmic and harmonic series (potentially) line up after 29 rhythmic and 17 harmonic statements (since 29x17 = 17x29). The rhythmic series in the cello (33 *#s) and the piano (26 * s) line up after 853 * s, or 142.2 measures. The whole process would (potentially) line up again in a little less than 2 hours.

Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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Notes: All of the sets are fairly dissonant; all have ic 1 except 5-35 (pentatonic set) Several set classes occur more than once: 7-20 (4x), 7-35(4x), 5-25(2x), 5-25(2x), 5-27(2x), 4-29(5x), 6-15(3x). The others occur once each: 7-34, 6-34, 6-16, 6-23, 6-21, 6-14. 15 different set classes are used in the 29 chord series. [ratio = 15/29 = 0.517] The last four chords (and chord #24) are sc 4-29 (one of the two all-interval tetracords). The last three chords are exact transpositions of each other (parallelism). Perhaps this is meant to help us hear the end of the series. The only complementary pair Messiaen uses is 7-35 (diatonic set) and 5-35 (pentatonic) Messiaen doesnt use any Z- or M-related sets. See the table on the next page for more information

Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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PC Sets in the Piano Chords of Christal Litergy


Chord 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 PCs 57a03b4 57a0392 58a1392 59a1370 57a26b0 57a2490 5902716 59027b4 5a164 5b2747 50387 51497b 836a36b 932a15a 61838b3 61a25a2 9026a16a1 a1480280 0259149 146a25 58a269 69b358 5a247 4812 27b14 15ab5 b48a 8157 6b35 N.O. ab03457 9a02357 89a1235 9a01357 567ab02 4579a02 0125679 b024579 a1456 b2457 03578 4579b1 368ab 9a1235 b1368 a1256 69a012 8a0124 901245 a12456 25689a 35689b 2457a 1248 b1247 ab15 48ab 1578 B356 Op. TaP T9P T8P T9P T5P T4P T0P Tb P T6I T7I T8I T4P TbI T9P Tb P T6I T2I T4I T5I T6I TaI T3P T2P T1P Tb P TaP TbI T8I T6I Set Class 7-20 (0125679) 7-35 (013568a) 7-20 (0125679) 7-34 (013468a) 7-20 (0125679) 7-35 (013568a) 7-20 (0125679) 7-35 (013568a) 5-38 (01258) 5-25 (02358) 5-27 (01358) 6-34 (013579) 5-27 (01358) 6-16 (014568) 5-35 (02479) 5-21 (01458) 6-15 (012458) 6-21 (023468) 6-14 (013458) 6-15 (012458) 6-15 (012458) 6-23 (023568) 5-25 (02358) 4-29 (0137) 5-25 (02358) 4-29 (0137) 4-29 (0137) 4-29 (0137) 4-29 (0137) IC Vector [433452] [254361] [433452] [254442] [433452] [254361] [433452] [254361] [212221] [123121] [122230] [142422] [122230] [322431] [032140] [202420] [323421] [242412] [323430] [323421] [323421] [234222] [123121] [111111] [123121] [111111] [111111] [111111] [111111] M-Set 6 1 6 8 6 1 6 1 18 10 3 21 3 16 1 21 31 34 14 31 31 23 10 15 10 15 15 15 15 Z-Set 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 45 0 15 0 15 15 15 15

Non-Retrogradable Rhythms: Messiaens term for rhythmic palindromes. In this excerpt each measure is a non-retrogradable rhythm. (From Dance de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes.)

Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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Examples from Messiaen, Techniques of My Musical Language. (See also bottom of previous page and next page.)

Theory IV Class Notes

Messiaen

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Additive Rhythm: Non-metric music in which the composer sets up a regular pulse, and then adds a small value (16th or dot) to shift the pulse. In this example, the added values are indicated by +.