18 December 2011

no 4, a few words more

Actually earlier than this blog post:

For the ‘A’ section, I decided to write a kind of rhythmic canon, in harmony with my recent Ockeghem listening. Clarinet 1’s part 1 would consist (mostly, to be explained presently) of 22 notes; clarinet 2 would take each of those 22 notes’ rhythmic duration, and subtract one eighth-note value – and would therefore come in 11 quarter-notes after cl 1. In addition to the 22, though, I whimsically decided that I would add four eighth-notes, strewn individually here and there, which would be exempt from the serial deduction – that is, there would simply be four eighth-notes added to Part 2, too, in the corresponding places.

Now, my mistake as I was draughting this out on the bus on the morning of the 12th came in, at m. 12 (fifth measure of the second system) in cl 1, where I incorrectly ‘finished’ the measure with a quarter-rest (ought to have been a half-rest). I had gotten to the end of the third system in cl 2 before I divined that there was a mistake; and my initial eyeballing did not discover the mistaken rest.

Pitch-wise, my initial idea was also canonic: I thought I’d try an inversion in cl 2, though I was prepared at the outset to ‘wing it’ if the inversion didn’t work out. My first attempt at a fix, though, was to transpose the inversion; thus, when I saw that the second note of m. 6 in cl 2 would be the G an octave below the eighth-note in cl 1, I went back and marked the initial F# “+4 / B-flat” (hence the apparently awkward “tie” in m.5 connecting F-natural to the ‘correction’ of A).

I think then that I must have made a mental mistake . . . thought that keeping true to the inversion resulted in a pitch duplication in m.8 . . . but the eighth-note would be D#, and the half-note, C# . . . that actually looks good. So I may sort that out and employ it for the balancing A' later in the piece.

In any event, when I found that I needed to put in a little work, anyway, to correct the rhythms, I returned to the idea that the pitch canon should be made strict, i.e., that I should find an inversion, or a rotation, which would do what I wanted contrapuntally. Hence the 22 “measures” after the double-bar in the fourth system. Of course, because of the “mensuration chase,” the pitches will not align like this; and I think I have decided to stick with this transposition of the inversion, ‘even though’ there is a unison D# which results in the new measure which corresponds to the second measure of the present third system. (As in a certain passage of The Mousetrap, I actually like it when the turning gears sometimes light on a unison, or octave.)

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