aleatory music


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aleatory music

(ā`lēətôr'ē) [Lat. alea=dice game], music in which elements traditionally determined by the composer are determined either by a process of random selection chosen by the composer or by the exercise of choice by the performer(s). At the compositional stage, pitches, durations, dynamics, and so forth are made functions of playing card drawings, dice throwings, or mathematical laws of chance, the latter with the possible aid of a computer. Those elements usually left to the performers' discretion include the order of execution of sections of a work, the possible exclusion of such sections, and subjective interpretation of temporal and spatial pitch relations. Also called "chance music," aleatory music has been produced in abundance since 1945 by several composers, the most notable being John CageCage, John,
1912–92, American composer, b. Los Angeles. A leading figure in the musical avant-garde from the late 1930s, he attended Pomona College and later studied with Arnold Schoenberg, Adolph Weiss, and Henry Cowell.
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, Pierre BoulezBoulez, Pierre
, 1925–2016, French conductor and composer of modernist classical music. He studied at the Paris Conservatory with Olivier Messiaen (1944–45) and studied twelve-tone technique with René Leibowitz (1946).
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, and Iannis XenakisXenakis, Yannis or Iannis
, 1922–2001, Greek-French composer, b. Brăila, Romania. Xenakis studied civil engineering in Athens (1940–47) and was active in the anti-Nazi resistance.
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References in periodicals archive ?
At the same time, however, aleatory music, while much less familiar to most students, is of considerable interest not only because it provides an apt metaphor in sound for the increasing social freedoms that have marked the last forty years (in the West, al least), (23) but also because much of it was actually written well before the trends that, in retrospect, it seems to prefigure.
The piece also could be an interesting way to approach aleatory music for the first time with students leading naturally to more modern approaches to the style.
4'33" is aleatory music inasmuch as chance determines what real-world sounds will fill the silence.
Three entirely new chapters discuss Schonberg and his twelve-note disciples, the technological explosion and its consequences (recordings, electronics, the Moog Synthesiser), and the ultimate collapse of tonality into aleatory music, indeterminacy, and minimalism.