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The epicyclic generation of compositional components

The writer advances a new method of musical composition which involves the pseudo-random permutation of components. The three principle components of music are assumed to be pitch, duration, and dynamics, in that order. The pitch, then, becomes the key factor in formulating the rules for the method.A machine is constructed which has a train of six wheels whereupon three elements of composition are written in equally divided sectors. The turning of the "Sun" wheel sets in motion the others so that each time it is turned a specified amount, all new information becomes available to the composer, automatically selecting the three essential elements. As the wheels have irrational diameters, the process is continuously random and open ended. In addition to the wheels, celluloid epicyclic curves are used for transposition by means of occluding regions masking certain tones.A work of approximately six and one-half minutes duration is submitted as a sample of the process.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:BSU/oai:cardinalscholar.bsu.edu:handle/181250
Date January 1976
CreatorsNewby, James R.
ContributorsScott, Cleve L.
Source SetsBall State University
Detected LanguageEnglish
Formatii, 18, [58] leaves : ill., music ; 28 cm.
SourceVirtual Press

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