Re: RE: RE: Re: Re: RE: Score Size (7 Haiku, Music of Changes)
Tim Ovens <mail <at> timovens.de>
2011-09-04 09:38:50 GMT
again thinking about the fraction notation in many scores of Cage. Long
time ago I did play the "Music of Changes" without great problems with
them, but recently I got confused about these fractions.
Now I got it again. Sorry if this is boring for many of you, but I saw
some are confused about it.
Cage shows reasonably what he means with these fractions with a scale he
puts ahead of the first book of the "Music of Changes". From there you
can see what he means. A fraction ever means the fraction of a
quarter-note. So he writes (some examples):
4/7 over quarter-note = 4 septulet sixteenth-notes
4/5 over quarter-note = 4 quintuplet sixteenth-notes
2/3 over quarter-note = 2 triplet eigth-notes
3/5 over dotted eigth-note = 3 quintuplet sixteenth-notes
2/3 over eighth-note = 2 triplet sixteenth-notes
1/7 over a sixteenth-note = 1 septulet sixteenth-note
And so on.
Am 28.08.11 11:03, schrieb Philip Thomas:
> Hi Tim
> I don't have the scores with me to hand for a week or so now so will respond to you (in private for fear of
swamping the silence list with performer minutiae) when i can access them. However, I did make an error
with the 'whole-note' thing - that was clearly wrong (a result of converting terminology!). I don't
recall being confused about it when I learnt it, and usually the proportions are similar to other kinds of
so-called 'irrationals', such as 3:2 and 7:8.
> I'll also check the Wolff notations which are very similar but printed rather than hand written and check
the correlation there.
> I really like your description of understanding these as a player.
> Best wishes
> Dr. Philip Thomas, Reader in Music
> Music Department
> University of Huddersfield
> Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH
> Tel: 01484 471336
> From: Tim Ovens [mail <at> timovens.de]
> Sent: 28 August 2011 06:31
> To: Philip Thomas
> Cc: One Man John Cage Tribute Band; silence <at> virginia.edu
> Subject: Re: [silence] RE: Re: Re: RE: Score Size (7 Haiku, Music of Changes)
> Philip, what do you mean with "proportion to a whole note" I do not truly
> understand. Do you mean the proportion to the next bigger value (1/3
> over an eigth-note = triplet eigth note, 2/3 over a quarter-note means 2
> triplet quarter-notes)? When it is the proportion to a whole note, then
> the written value (eigth-note, quarter, ...) makes no sense, because a 1/3
> would then ever mean a triplet quarter-note. The relation to the placing
> I do not see. For example in the 5th Haiku he writes a 4/5 over a
> quarter-note. This should be in your meaning as long as 4 quintuplet
> quarter-notes, but in the notation it takes less space than a
> quarter-beat. I still think it is the length of 4 quintuplet-eigths
> (which is 4/5 of a quarter-note). For me a clue is, that wherever he
> writes 3/4, 3/5, 3/7 he writes a dotted note. For example a dotted
> eigth. So it looks as if he means three (triplet) sixteenth-notes. On
> the other hand this is not logical, because taking serious it should be
> the three quarter length of a dotted eigth-note.
> Can one say that the written durations are important and logical for the
> process of writing the pieces down, but for the playing they are not?
> Especially clear this is when Cage writes several measures with only
> rests (in the Music of Changes). The rests have various values as double
> dotted whole-note rests, eight-note rests with a 1/3, .... But when
> playing I just have to count the beats in space without caring for the
> various types of rests. As a player the way of writing gives me the
> feeling of this very complicate and precise structure. And it prevents
> me from playing just "anyhow". Like science. It is too complicate to
> understand what happens in space (black holes, dark energy, expanding of
> the universe and so on), but when looking at the stars I do not need to
> know the exact physical laws. But to know about the existence of these
> laws it can make the regarding of them diferent.
> Am 27.08.11 10:51, schrieb Philip Thomas:
>> Ah, I've always thought the fractions were symbolic of their
>> proportion to a whole note. So that eighth note rest is a triplet
>> eighth note, not a triplet sixteenth note. This would make sense in
>> relation to its placing on the page. This is a notation used by other
>> composers, Michael Finnissy being one notable example, and also
>> Christian Wolff in pieces at around the same time as the Haiku.
>> What I really find fascinating in terms of the rhythm vs duration
>> debate is that the experience of the performer is so utterly
>> different from that of the listener. The pianist is feeling these
>> accelerandos and counting/measuring the whole time but as you say the
>> effect for the listener is of a far more simply few sounding events.
>> I love this! But of course, renotating it would create something very
>> different again.
>> Philip _________________________ www.philip-thomas.co.uk Dr. Philip
>> Thomas, Reader in Music Music Department University of Huddersfield
>> Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH Tel: 01484 471336
>> www.hud.ac.uk/mhm/mmt ________________________________________ From:
>> Tim Ovens [mail <at> timovens.de] Sent: 27 August 2011 06:39 To: One Man
>> John Cage Tribute Band Cc: Philip Thomas; silence <at> virginia.edu
>> Subject: Re: [silence] Re: Re: RE: Score Size (7 Haiku, Music of
>> Hi John,
>> are we speaking about the same measure? (1st Haiku, 1st measure).
>> But first, do we agree that, when Cage writes a fraction under or
>> over a note or rest, this means that the length of this note is just
>> the fraction of the notated value? E.g. an eigth-note with a 1/3 is
>> the third of an eigth-note, which means, it is as long as a
>> triplet-sixteenth (here I made mistake in my last message).
>> Then the first measure would be like this: quarter-note rest, the
>> third of an eigth-note (= one triplet-sixteenth), sixteenth-note
>> rest, quarter-note "c", tied two thirds of a quarter-note "c" (= two
>> triplet-eigths), tied four-dotted half-note "c".
>> Does Cage write anywhere anything about these fractions?
>> Concerning the rhythm I agree with Philip, that at last it is no
>> real rhythm but durations. But rhythm means the segmentation of time.
>> And this we have. We have a fixed beat (which is inaudible in
>> contrast to more classical pieces). And we got a structure of time by
>> the notation. It is not the feeling of rhythm in the "classical"
>> sense. We can see this very clearly in the 1st Haiku. It looks
>> extremly complex, but at last we only hear three sounds with some
>> time between them. This I mean with non-real or non-audible rhythm.
>> In addition the changing of time (accelerando) makes the "rhythm"
>> uncontrollable for any listeners. And in addition the rhythmic
>> notation differs from the space-notation as I wrote in my last
>> So difficult for just three sounds ...
>> Am 26.08.11 16:50, schrieb One Man John Cage Tribute Band:
>>> Hi I've been puzzling over those notations recently in Imaginary
>>> Langscape 4. Quickly, it occurs to me that the passage you
>>> describe can be renotated as: sixteenth-note rest, triplet
>>> eighth-note rest, triplet quarter-note, quarter-note, four-dotted
>>> half-note ...which makes, for me at least, more sense. Not quite
>>> sure what you mean by a non-real rhythm though. Could you expand on
>>> As far as the maintenance of Cage's scores by Peters Edition, it's
>>> quite clear that they just do not have the funds, man-power or
>>> time to do very much to the scores but I'm sure that if your wrote
>>> an explanatory text that could be inserted into the score, they
>>> would be very grateful. They've always been very very helpful
>>> whenever I've contacted them with Cage-related (or
>>> Ferneyhough-related) questions. John
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On 26 Aug 2011, at 15:24, Tim Ovens<mail <at> timovens.de> wrote:
>>>> Hi Philip, hi all
>>>> thanks for the prompt reply. Strange, the bars in my (newly
>>>> bought) Music of Changes are 7.8 length. I found this
>>>> information: "[The] available Peters edition unwisely reduces
>>>> Cage’s original to 85% (presumably the original sheets were 12
>>>> 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.). Instead of 10cm 4/4 measures, the two-measure
>>>> systems actually span 17cm."
> For the Haiku the score makes sense - only that it is terrible to
>>>> read. It is beautyful but more people could and would play them
>>>> if there would be a more legible score. What I do not understand
>>>> are the remarks. They are copied from the "Music of Changes", and
>>>> just added here, right? The rhythmic structure 3 - 5 - 6 3/4 -
>>>> ... you find in the "Changes", but not in the Haiku I suppose.
>>>> And the remark about the duration in space (2.1/2 cm is a quarter
>>>> note) also makes no sense here, shoul be 1/2 Inch = quarter note.
>>>> I think Peters should add an explaining forward. It is nice to
>>>> solve riddles, but sometimes I would like to spend more time on
>>>> playing and less on solving riddles.
>>>> Do you, or does anyone know why the first four Haiku have the 2.5
>>>> - 3.5 - 2.5 structure (evoking the Haiku) but the succeeding only
>>>> are divided to two parts (2.5 - 6)?
>>>> May I ask for any opinions on the realisation of the fractions,
>>>> Cage writes over or under many notes or rests, for example in
>>>> the first Haiku he writes under the first eigth-note rest 1/3. I
>>>> suppose this means that it is as long as a triplet-eigth-note
>>>> rest. After this comes a "normal" sixteenth-note rest, followed
>>>> by quarter note c tied to another quarter note c. Over this he
>>>> writes 2/3, so this tied c is as long as two triplet-note eigths.
>>>> And then again tied another c, which is a four dotted half-note.
>>>> Could one say that the lenght of this tied notes (quarter+two
>>>> triplet eight-notes+four dotted half-note) is a sort of non-real
>>>> rhythm? On one hand I have to hold the first quarter note much
>>>> longer than one quarter note (according to the space notation).
>>>> On the other hand the rhythm is inaudible because of the tiing of
>>>> the notes.
>>>> So we can concentrate on counting as attentive as possible or we
>>>> just follow the spatial notation - also as attentive as
>>>> possible. Two ways which should be correct, one terrible
>>>> difficult, the other surprisingly simple. Such is life?
>>>> Am 26.08.11 14:10, schrieb Philip Thomas:
>>>>> Hi Tim
>>>>> My copy of Seven Haiku, from which I play, marks a unit of 1/2
>>>>> inch to be equal to MM 60. This is borne out, so that bars are
>>>>> of lengths 2.5 inches, 3.5 inches and 2.5 inches (i.e. units of
>>>>> 5, 7, 5, to match haiku). As you say, however, it does make
>>>>> reading the score very difficult and parts are indecipherable.
>>>>> However my copy of Music of Changes does not match Cage's
>>>>> measurements. Cage writes that quarter note = 2.5 cm and
>>>>> notates the score in bars of 4 units. However each of my bars
>>>>> is 8.6 cm length, again making the notation rather small and
>>>>> difficult to read in the most dense passages.
>>>>> Thus my understanding is that 7 haiku is (frustratingly)
>>>>> correct but Music of Changes is a reduction in print size. Best
>>>>> wishes Philip
>>>>> www.philip-thomas.co.uk Dr. Philip Thomas Senior Lecturer,
>>>>> Music Department University of Huddersfield Queensgate,
>>>>> Huddersfield HD1 3DH Tel: 01484 471336 www.hud.ac.uk/mhm/mmt
>>>>> -----Original Message----- From: Tim Ovens
>>>>> [mailto:mail <at> timovens.de] Sent: 26 August 2011 12:59 To:
>>>>> silence <at> virginia.edu Subject: [silence] Score Size (7 Haiku,
>>>>> Music of Changes)
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> for long time I have been out of this list. Can anyone tell me
>>>>> how the search in the archive is working now? For example I
>>>>> could not find any entry for the words Haiku or Changes, but I
>>>>> am sure there are any.
>>>>> Are there any old editions with Seven Haiku or Music of
>>>>> Changes? I did contact Gene Caprioglio from Peters in New York,
>>>>> but he wrote: "8.5 by 11 inches IS the size intended by Cage.
>>>>> Is your copy 8.5x11? The height of the staff should be a tiny
>>>>> bit over 1/8 inch. If it is, than carry on, you have the
>>>>> correct music. If there are larger copies extant, they are
>>>>> wrong. They should be ignored. They were not produced by
>>>>> C.F. Peters Corporation."
>>>>> But in this size Cages remarks on the space and time make no
>>>>> sense. Besides this Haiku score is in parts not legible (e.g.
>>>>> no. 5), because the handwriting is smeared over by the
>>>>> diminuishing. How do you handle with this?
>>>>> Best, Tim
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> This transmission is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you receive it in error, please
notify us immediately by e-mail and remove it from your system. If the content of this e-mail does not
relate to the business of the University of Huddersfield, then we do not endorse it and will accept no liability.