Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to write a table canon

Table canon

According to wikipedia:

A Table canon is a retrograde and inverse canon meant to be placed on a table in between two musicians, who both read the same line of music in opposite directions. As both parts are included in each single line, a second line is not needed.

I thought there should be no reason to limit one musician to one line of music (or to limit one side of the table to one musician), so I created a table canon with two lines of music per musician (or two musicians per side of the table).


You will hear three parts: part I is a 2-voice theme, part II is the same 2-voice theme upside-down, finally part III consists of part I playing simultaneously with part II. The actual piece consists of part III only. The rest is added for demonstration purposes. You will notice that the 2-voice themes sometimes sound a bit awkward. Compared to my previous musical constructions, it was harder to construct a theme that sounds reasonably interesting and reasonably well together with itself playing backwards and upside down in 4 voices.

Or alternatively, listen to it on soundcloud:

I've written up the method used to create this piece. Click here to download the article. You may have trouble downloading the article with some versions of internet explorer (in that case, use chrome or firefox instead).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to write a Crab Canon

What's a crab canon?

According to wikipedia:

A crab canon—also known by the Latin form of the name, canon cancrizans—is an arrangement of two musical lines that are complementary and backward, similar to a palindrome. Originally it is a musical term for a kind of canon in which one line is reversed in time from the other (e.g. FABACEAE <=> EAECABAF).

Ever since I read about this in the Goedel, Escher, Bach book by Douglas Hofstadter I've had some fascination with this form of music. I've tried to write some but I usually got stuck after about three notes. In some previous articles I discussed how I created a 5-part canon and a 6-part invention using a technique I have invented (or more likely: rediscovered). Now I have extended this technique to create crab canons and palindrome canons et voila! A brand-new no-sweat, no-tears 4-voice palindrome crab-canon in the somewhat exotic meter of 11/4 appears... (why 11/4? Because I can ;) )

You can hear it on Youtube:

or SoundCloud:

The article explaining the full construction of this piece is available for download here. You may have trouble downloading it with some versions of internet explorer. In that case use chrome or firefox instead.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Fly

The Fly

The Fly is a poem written by William Blake, a poet not unknown to music lovers. His poem "The Lamb" has inspired many a composer to write music, and the same holds for another of his poems: "The Tyger".

William Blake

My version of The Fly

Of course "The Fly" has been set to music as well. There's something about Blake's poems that invite people to write music...

I've written something for piano solo (one can sing the words to the music, but in order to protect your sanity, I won't sing in the recording ;) ).

Without further ado, head over to my youtube page: