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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

FIXATIONS

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 Starting from Scratch
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

The earliest actual piece of music that can be securely identified as belonging to the “Darmstadt school” was not by any of the composers recalled by Henze, nor was it even a twelve-tone piece. It was a work for piano by Messiaen called Mode de valeurs et d'intensités (roughly, “Scheme of note values and dynamics”), which he composed (or began composing) during the summer of 1949 while engaged as an instructor at the Summer Courses. Published the next year as the second in a set of four Études de rhythme, it is in fact a study in “hypostatization,” the total determination (“fixing”) of a limited assemblage of sonic elements or events. This idea had a direct precedent in Webern, who in his Symphony, his String Quartet, and his Piano Variations had experimented with the fixed assignment of particular pitches to particular registers. As his title suggests, Messiaen thrust this principle of fixed assignment into three additional domains.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001009.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001009.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Starting from Scratch." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-001009.xml
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