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Fig. 1. Phrases VII, VIII, and IX of NtQn ;N (AIHet). Staff 1 is voice, staff 2 is percussion played by the singer, staff 3 is gambang (pelog), staff 4 is gender (slendro). Phrase IX is the exact middle of the piece and uses the fully chromatic pelog/slendro mode. ok\ cie.-lo ated at the Bregman Electroacoustic Music Studio. Most of Sadra's pieces are for traditional Indonesian instruments , often based on the Javanese gamelan ensemble with the addition of instruments (or musicians) from other Indonesian regional traditions, such as Bali, Sunda (WestJava), West Sumatra, as well as the introduction of his own musical ideas and concepts . In addition to contemporary instrumental music, he often writes for dance and theater accompaniment. -Jody Diamond ~tQn ~~ (AL HET) -for thepeople ofNicaragua Larry Polansky, Box 5036, Hanover, NH 03775, U.S.A. COMPOSER'S STATEMENT NtQn ;N (AI Het) was written at the request ofJody Diamond for the International Gamelan Festival, which took place at the Vancouver Expo, but the tremendous difficulty of the work prevented its performance there 106 Notes on the Compositions (.JI.IOI~ D{jJf12·rtJ "Per 1\0 8 f"'- 0 - - (it was later performed several times by Gino Forlin andJody Diamond). Jody and I had frequently discussed how much of the new and experimental music for gamelan outside of Indonesia had overlooked the more difficult instruments (gender, gambang, rebab, pesindhen, etc.), instruments that are considered to be essential in Javanese music. I decided to write a piece that onlyused those instruments , eschewing the balunganinstruments that seemed to dominate new American music for gamelan. NtQn ;N (AI Het) is for singer and percussionist who plays both Central Javanese-style peloggambangand slendrogender . The pelogbaranggambang and slendro gender must have tumbuk 6 (pitch B in the score). The tuning of the two instruments is not specifiedany two that match the above criteria may be used. The piece will vary greatly in register and tuning depending on the particular gamelan used. NtQn ;N (AI Het) uses modes of my own construction, inspired in part by the complexity and richness of pathetin CentralJavanese music. In classical CentralJavanese music,frequent modal borrowings (such as barangmiring) occur, and contemporary Indonesian composers have experimented with combining and juxtaposing pelogand slendro. In addition, frequent conversations with my colleagues and friends Lou Harrison andJohn Chalmers awakened my interest in fresh approaches to mode in composition. The piece is organized as 17 phrases, each 17 beats long. Each phrase in the vocal part uses a different mode constructed by combining pelogand slendro pitches. The modes become more complex, using more pitches, towards the middle of the piece and less complex towards the end. Phrase IX is 'fully chromatic', using the 12-note pelog/slendro combination . The modal structure of the piece is a retrograde, the modes of phrase I and XVII, II and XVI, VII and X, and so on, are the same. The modes themselves are listed on the final page of the score, but not shown here for the sake of brevity. The modes also correspond to the rhythmic organization of the piece. Each 17-beat phrase is subdivided into measures of 2,3,5,7,8,9, 12 and 17 beats, and the pitches used for each measure are a subset of the mode for that phrase. An example from the score (Fig. 1) shows that phrase VIII uses the 8- and 9-note subsets of the highly chromatic pelog mode beginning on the pitch pelog3: pelog3, slendro3, pelog5, slendro5, pelog/slendro6, pelog7, slendrol, pelo(2, slendro2. Throughout the piece the percussion and vocal parts partition the 17 beats in different, overlapping ways, creating modal and rhythmic dovetailing that seemed to me a natural extension of traditional pesindhen and panerusanpatterns. The number of subdivisions of the 17 beats increases towards the middle and decreases towards the end, so that the beginning and ending of the piece are composed of shorter rhythmic fragments (consequently with more rapidly expanding/contracting modal usage). My idea was that this very short piece would be a kind of dense microcosm of the time expansion/ contraction of iramain large Central Javanese gendhing. Western notation is used for the piece, combining the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-4812
Print ISSN
0961-1215
Pages
pp. 106-107
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-06
Open Access
No
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