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: Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Autumn - Winter, 1978), pp. 138-160 Published by: Perspectives of New Music Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/832662 . Accessed: 09/01/2013 14:42
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This content downloaded on Wed, 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
OF EDGARD VARESE SPACE, MASS, ELEMENT, AND FORM
After a protractedand undeservedhiatus, the music of Edgard Varese has in the past few years experienceda sort of "comeback" in the literature. Several biographieshave already appeared [13, 17, of 26, 27];* reprints Varese's own theoreticallecturesand writings [1, 4, 5, 6, 19, 23, 24] as well as analysesby others [7, 29, 30, 31] are surfacingmore and more frequently publicationsdevoted to in music. But the literatureto date has only occasionally [2, 11, 28] touched upon certain aspects of the music of Edgard Varese which will be treatedin detail here. in Composed in 1924 and premiered 1925 [26, pp. 216-25 passim], lends itselfto a thoroughanalysis.Not only was it written Inte'grales during Varese's most creative period; a number of Varese's own statements about this work have also appeared in print. Integrales thus provides an excellent test case for examining the relationship between Varese's theoreticalstatements and his compositionalpractice. The aspects of Integralesdiscussedhere,as well as otherimportant elements[14, 20] play a role in the restof Varese's workswhich, can onlybe mentioned passing. in however,
The Concept of Space
Let us begin by examining Varese's own statements about Int'grales. Varese was the author of the programnotes for the premiere
* Referencescari be found at the end of thisarticle.
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. note 2.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 139 [26. [17. Cor.lengthier passage froma lectureheld in 1939 at the University New Mexico (Santa Fe) is more informof as ative. This idea of "plane".inconspicuous footnote the score of Integralesis crucial in for the interpretation this idea of "spatial projection". figure space. other the words. along withsuch terms "surface"or "mass". 227-28]. but in many places it does not match the printed versions cited.In orderto make myself better the than understood-for eye is quickerand moredisciplined the ear-let us transfer conception this into the visual sphereand consider changing the of ontoa plane projection a geometrical figure with both geometrical and plane surfacemovingin surface. Whereas in our musical system we divide up quantities whosevalues are fixed. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Varese quoted the same passage again in hislectureat Princeton twenty yearslater:'1 the I Integraleswas conceivedfora spatial projection. The formof the projectionat any given instantis determined the relativeorientation the figure and of by the surfaceat thatinstant. pp. Trbne. Quotations from  translatedby the present author. changes fromslightalterations a function's of formor fromthe resulting of to transposition one function another. 203. is able to represent one withthatproan apparently jection image of a highdegreeof comunpredictable thesequalitiescan be increasedsubsequently plexity. Trptte.Excerpts appear in [4. p.moreover. But another. but which I knew could be realizedand would be used sooneror later. the realization wanted. constructed work to employcertainacousticalmeans which did not yet exist.. 1). It would seem here that the fourinstruments a single "plane" in juxtapositionto a second "plane" in the oboe alone. valueswould in the I have been continually In changingin relationto a constant. 19. but each at its own changingand varying speeds of lateral movement and rotation. But by allowingbothfigure and surface to have their own movements.. . cf. by the formof the geometrical to permitting figure varyas well as its speeds . A typewritten manuscript  exists. and all the more significant. as appears to play a crucial role in Varese's music.In m. 83] A short.-tres homogenes et equilibres-lkgerement au 2me listedare to form plan". This content downloaded on Wed.it would have been like a seriesof variations. of a "solo" in the oboe is "accompanied" by fourotherinstruments (see Ex. 24]. As Varese generalized 1 The lecture given by Var'se at Princeton in 1959 has apparently not yet been published in its entirety. A footnotein the same measure specifies: "Clarinettes.
In discussingDeserts. a tempo 23 a tempoi 204 205 203 P -.- 2M Presto nas I w2 Ex.They didn't use velling cement.. For the sake of clarity..o _ _ r-. p."My music is based on the motion of unrelated sound masses. mm. pocorall.and everystone had to fitand balance with everyother.I .I. [18.. concept: and "block"..t~ ". whereI oftenvisitedmy And I used to watch the old stone cutters.. the it Continuingour examinationof Varese's statements.tempo f=.I was tremendously impressed the qualitiesand charby acter of the graniteI foundin Burgundy. would seem This content downloaded on Wed. massesof sound can be traced p. By courtesy.ft . 36] But it would seem that Varese chose to ignore the example of the stonemasons'precisionwhen he was selectingwords to describe his music..." [17..L. at the precisionwith which theyworked.140 PERSPECTIVES " Len 2 to OF NEW MUSIC all. New York. 1 Integrales.A. .C ' . p. This idea of three-dimensional back to an earlyexperience Varese's life: in As a child. 2o4 Pre"st. "sound mass" and "mass" will be used throughout restof thispaper. The writings and lecturesof Varese contain several different terms whichseem to have been used as synonymous labels forthe same "sound mass" or simply"mass".. 184]. . "plane". "zone".. 199-206 @ 1926 by Colfranc Music Publishing Corp. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ..." [25.='.B.. 3].. "volume". . Varese ensemble wrote: "The musical language given to the instrumental may be said to be evolved in opposing planes and volumes. in his Princetonlecture.. a . margrandfather..
imagto all and ined how such sounds.each moving in space.. my conceptions.. 207] projected Althoughthesesound masseswere to be heard simultaneously.pp. [6. 44] my Varese was not merelyinterested generating in certainsound masses which until then existed only in his imagination. has nothingto do with the more philosophicalargumentabout "space in music".. need an entirely a sound-producing machine. a sense of soundin of projection space by means of the emission sound in any part or in as manypartsof the hall as may be requiredby the score. For the first timeI heard my musicliterally into space. therewere by combinations. In a letterto Leon Theremin. of [1. could be transmuted music. p... and I am handicappedby a lack of adequate electrical instruments forwhichI conceive music. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . [22.. p. The loudspeakers were mounted twenty amplifier in groupsand in what is called "sound routes"to achieve various effects such as that of the music running around the pavilion.. 195] p. Varfse also wanted the listener be able to perceiveeach mass as a separate to This content downloaded on Wed. etc.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 141 that traditional instruments stood in Varese's way as he was trying to realize his ideas. [19.as well as comingfromdifferent directions. Varese's own observations for also providedthe inspiration the idea of sound in motion..comparatively rare as a compositional elementin pre-Varesian music: I beganlistening soundsaroundme from directions.It excitedand stimulated to think into me about the possibility such a metamorphosis.191-92] This idea of space. Not until Podme Dlectronique did Varese have at his disposal the to equipmentnecessary achieve such spatial motion: The music[on tape] was distributed 425 loudspeakers.. certainspatial development: for I new mediumof Personally. Varese was thinking of the auditory of impression a numberof sound masses.and in just such a complexity. he also wanted to and to submit them to a process these masses in his compositions. I began to imaginethe of and invention new devices that would make spatial music possible.. And here are the adexpression: vantagesI anticipatefromsuch a machine:..Varese wrote: I no longerwishto composeforthe old instruments playedby men. by the way..
37.equipment to which will allow for spatial relief.[19. the Varese was more than aware of the problemsinherent such an in undertaking: Not untilthe air betweenthe listener's and the instrument ear has been disturbed does musicoccur. The roleof coloror timbre changed frombeing incidental.142 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC Such a demarcationwould have been a further entity. In orderto anticipatethe remustunderstand mechanics the instruments the of sult.such an acoustical arrangement These zones would limitation what I call "zones of intensities. 197] yearslater. inally We have thusreached a first the cited stage in interpreting footnote above: Varese wanted to compose thesemeasuresso that the listener would have the impression that the sound mass constructed and of in the four instruments was separated. 188] [6.and an integral separating partof form. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . from mass outlinedbythe oboe. p.Varese made a commentwhich During a radio interview can leave no doubt that these ideas are to be applied to Integrales:2 I hope in the near future have at mydisposal. 155]. p. or 2 Translated from [24. would be feltas isolated.. advantage of the "sound-producing machine": would permitthe deMoreover. not in . and the visual componentplays a decisive role for localizing sound sourceswhich are visible.sensual.a composer and mustknowjust as much as possibleabout acoustics. These zones different areas. we rely on experience when localizing sounds fromsources which are familiar [3.how can the composeror performer is create the auditoryimpression that the sound produced by the instrument is moving in space? Normally." of or be differentiated various timbres colors and different loudby would be completely nesses.I would be interested. The questionthus arises: if the positionof a musical instrument relative to the listener not changed.and the hitherto unobtainable non-blendof would becomeposing (or at least the sensation non-blending) sible. p. 67].in realizing as my Inte'grales theywere origconceived. I have not been able to find this passage in .As forunfamiliar invisiblesound sources..but still located "not too listed. would like the different colorson a map become an agent of delineation..or picturesque... onlyfor the if sake of proving point.. it anecdotal. This content downloaded on Wed. faraway". pp.
] These discoveries strongly suggestthat a passage.sHowever.and reverberation.A soft.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 143 researchto date has not been able to precisely definethe relationship between the distance fromthe sound source to the hearer.]).and the Hdirereignis. pp. 19 (see Ex. 96.in timbreis brought about by the non-linear transmission characteristics the atmosphere. of which is also a factorin estimating distanceof a source of sound the to (but see [3. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . it is currently that three factorsplay a role in estimating the distance for an unknown source of sound: loudness. on the other hand. 233 ff. 223 ff. [15. The more reverberant. It is also interesting note at thisjuncture that the timbreof an instrument relatedto dynamics: if an instruis ment is played loudly. such as in m.loudness of the sound source and distance of the associated auditoryimage are directly related.dull sound. p. Vermeulen's researchand the so-called Frannsen Effecthave furthermore cast some lighton the abilityof the ear to perceivedifferent sound sources as a single entity. 2) For comparait tivelylarge distances. [16. the greaterthe distanceperceived. where the A# in the oboe is continuedby the trumpet. sound (sound source) as present of creatinga sound mass (auditoryimage) located in the vicinity the listener.complicated dynamic markingsin Integrales would strongly suggest that Varese thoughtof a loud. pp.reverberation 256] 3) apparently plays an important role.[3. is to be heard and understoodas being "far away". 2). more diffuse signal which reaches the a the ear. and the assumed auditoryestimateof that distance. pp.and other transformations would represent intermediate stepsbetweenthesetwo extremes. The entranceof the oboe a is undoubtedlymasked by the sixteenth note in the trumpet.or the physical process outside of the listener. [3. a distinctionwhich forms the basis for the followingargument. richersound is produced. which is carefully notated with an accent.and thus the perceivedloudness of the signal decreases as well. The 1) sound pressurelevel of a signal arrivingat the ear decreases with increasingdistanceof the sound source fromthe hearer. 99] In everydayexperiences. In closed rooms.timbre. Iv-vi]. [3. brilliant. pp.Cf. which includes the idea of the listener's "ear". This content downloaded on Wed. p. Even if the oboe entrancewere 3German-language publications conveniently distinguish between the Schallereignis. crescendi. to be understood is as an attemptto synthesize new sound. Diminuendi. is assumed that a change. 223] The extraordinary orchestration and the carefully notated. a brighter.
I Ex.I OF NEW MUSIC 4 f Clar. Chains . Ob. 2 Intigrales. coinr et mo. I wenza sord.f iff Sf __ __a _ _emp_ .. Ten.. Cymn Sn. I C1.P Susp. Sn. Slkehbels Bass Dr. "-MA . Dr.New York. Sleihbens j . mm..Ob.a Sleiihbells Bass Dr. R*M 4- Chiins 21 224 I Tpt.I pico . Susp. By courtesy. Sn.- f " M* 3 . Cym. Susp. --4__3 ___ .1-25 Music Publishing Corp. pf Ip-s. M=ffVfeVd ?RffiRim. @ 1926 by Colfranc This content downloaded on Wed. Dr. Tpt. Dr. 7 f 3 8b. *R -R--. Ten.144 PERSPECTIVES Andantino J Clar. - I Tpt.I'. M --o Cym. dim. I . P i P pincdet mo . 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. Dr. Dr.
en re a l'arriereplan". away fromthe listener This content downloaded on Wed. all of the pitches played by the oboe are above those of the accompanyingchord.and double bass is separated fromtwo othermasses: one in the clarinet. the masses are again separated by the use of different pitchranges. Hb.Fls.trombone. where "5" refers m. 178 of Integrales: = "Clarinettes Sonorite creuse (lIgerementdominantes)" and "Cor. the desire to create a spatial impressionhas been spelled out here in so many words: the mass of the trumpetis supposed to sound as though it were farther than the othermasses. althoughit enterslater (m. 3) An extendedseriesof pitchesis presentedby the oboe. while the pitch contentof the chord in the other instruments remains constant. the footnotereads: "en-dehors-au meme plan que le Trombone jusqu'a 5". 199-205 mightbe divided into by two major groupings. creating a singlesound mass outlinedby two instruments.4) The mass in and of the chord is orchestrated such that it can sound "tres homogenes". 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . plays a longerseriesof notes withoutmajor breaks. It should also be pointedout that in these footnotes fromIntigrales and Octandre.-Trptte. and bassoon. As in the passage already examined. the otherin the trumpet. This passage has been composed so that several factorsmake it possibleto differentiate betweenthe two masses: 1) Except for a single F?. 43 of the second movement of Octandre. whereas the oboe. en ut. Two more footnotesare to be found in m. Here. 200).dynamicmarkings. Masses Let us then returnto the two sound masses mentionedin Varise's footnotecited above (Ex.. etc.which further separates it fromthe more penetrating quality of the mass outlined the oboe. 3me Trombone. oboe. a mass conto sistingof the horn..In m. Finally. passage is a striking this example of Varise's desire to overcomethe "handicaps" of traditionalinstruments. There are three other footnotesin Varese's works which would lend supportto such an analysis. Ptes. 1).THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 145 audible in performance. 2) The dynamic for differmarkings the instruments playingthe chord are completely ent fromthose for the oboe. tres equilibr&s-presque au 2me plan Trptte. 50. a singleinstrument is specifically labelled "mass" or "plane". 5) The chordsin mm.
so to speak.5 is discussed in . 3] Speed is not to be understoodhere as the tempo with which a number of notes is played.[25. 65 and 67. (See pp. This content downloaded on Wed. 1-4. and 57-58 can clearlybe comment. like Masses 66 and 96. would it in many passages that two or more masses entertogether for appear a shorttime due to theirnearlyidentical. continueVarese's visual analogy. 174-182 just disamong cussed: a given number. 18-22. incorporated The percussionin mm. 2). etc. 178 and m. and drums. 203) have been into this table as Masses 65-70 and 95-96.) The two passages cited above (m. In general.it will be assumed here that Varese had a single sound mass in mind whenevera given group of instruments manner. Ex. is used to separate Masses 3 and 4. this concept providesa basis fora deeper understanding the rhythof mic relationships the four masses in mm. distilledfromsoft sounds.sleighbells. 173-176 has been divided into two Masses. p. presented in successionby four different instruments (cf. Masses 6. 31-34.. is outlined by a "solo" line. a characteristic selectionof pitch range. 19-22). As with Masses percussion discussed above. To namics. It would be appropriateat this juncture to divide Intigrales into its constituent sound masses. separated in an analogous fashion. Rather. or the number of notes per second. Mass 2.146 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC Varese's statement-cited above in an abbreviatedform--can now be understood itsentirety: in of My music is based on the movement unrelatedsound masses which I always conceived as movingsimultaneously different at speeds." in appears togetherconsistently a characteristic For the sake of simplicity. based upon the auditory thatthe Chineseblocks impression sound closer.density. The of motion "toward" and "away from" the listener is impression especially apparent in those passages in which other masses do not predominate (mm. 12-13. 147-150.more vivid than the diffuse sounds of the chains. the image of two pulsatingentities 4A more rigorous algorithmbased on an apparently analogous model and used to analyze Density 21. periods-analogous to a similarprocessin the music of such people as Steve Reich. dy65-70. and lengthof appearances characterizeeach individualmass. is such a listing reproducedhere as Table I. This would certainly rule out a simulnot taneous entranceof two or more masses. On the contrary. respectively.is perhapsthe "most distant"mass. orchestration.and require no further Mass 1. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .
trombone III II.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 147 TABLE 1 The "Masses" in Inte'grales Mass Measure No. 38-typographical error?).gong. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . twigs cymbals bass drum suspended cymbal Chineseblocks I clarinet (from last eighth the notein m. drum II piccoloI. in I. gong. trumpet II tutti percussion horn. sleighbells. III I. blocks. triangle.tambourine.crashcymbal clarinet II.clarinet woodwinds(except m. trumpet percussion I. trumpet II 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 This content downloaded on Wed. 25) I. cymbals. 44-45). I. Chinese bass chains.tam-tam. percussion clarinet II I. 18-20 10-14. horn.castanets. 22 15-19 25 26-29 29-31 32-54 32-52 44-45 36-52 53-62 54-70 62-70 62-70 63-66 63-70 63-70 67-70 71-771 72-75 72-77j 74-76 Instruments clarinetI II trumpet oboe I trumpet crashcymbal. tam-tam. tenordrum. I. trombone suspendedcymbal (missing m. trumpet II. I. tenor drum. clarinet trombone II. chains. snare drum. II.snare drum. 1 1-25 10-11 12-13. 8) suspended cymbal bass drum II piccoloI. 19 18-21 4-23 16-20 16-17 5-25 5-23 6-23 8 9-15. oboe. cymbals(exceptm.clarinet horn trombone I trombone III II piccolo I. II trumpet I trumpet II trombone II oboe.
oboe. horn. in percussion(bass drum starting m. woodwinds brass percussion clarinet II I. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 76-771 771-78 771-78 79-93 80-93 80-92 82-90 93-100 93-100 101-105 101-105 102-105 102-104 103-104 105-119 106-117 117-121 119-120 120-121 121 121-126 121-126 121-126 121-126 121-126 124-126 126 127-130 131-134 131-134 134-135 134-143 141-143 135-143 138 141-143 140 Instruments trombone II I. 103) tam-tam I. string sleighbells. cymbals. I. in percussion (exceptforthetam-tam m. clarinet II. trumpet II I. trombone percussion II trombone woodwinds. 92) oboe piccolo I. trumpet II trombone II. III. III I. tenor drum II.148 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC TABLE I (cont. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .suspended I. horn.) Mass Measure No. drum bass I. crash in cymbal m. III I. I.trumpet snaredrum. horn II trumpet I trombone II trombone trombone III I trumpet woodwinds clarinet horn. bass drum woodwinds castanets cymbals tam-tam drum. trombone II. horn. II trombone III II. 90. woodwinds trombone I horn. trombone II.trumpet II I.clarinet II I. III I. This content downloaded on Wed. horn. trumpet II. cymbal trombone II. trombone III II.
II. tenor drum. III I.) Mass Measure No. (54) 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 141-143 144-154 151-154 155-161 158-160 161-172 168-172 168-172 171-173 172-173 173 173-175 174-176 174-181 175-176 175-181 178-182 178-181 183 184-186 185-186 185-186 185-186 186 187-190 188 189-190 190-198 194 194 194-198 195-197 195-197 195-198 195-197 Instruments suspended cymbal. III horn. horn. gong I.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 149 TABLE I (cont. bass tam-tam. drum sleighbells snaredrum. I. I. trumpet II tutti percussion exceptChineseblocks Chineseblocks oboe I. string bass drum. snare drum. trumpet trombone percussion piccolo I. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .crashcymbal oboe I. drum horn I.trumpet II. II. piccoloI. III I. II. tenor drum. trumpet II trombone II. snare drum. oboe clarinet II horn. trumpet II trombone I Chineseblocks trombone II. I trumpet Chineseblocks piccoloI. I. suspended cymbal. clarinet II II trumpet horn trombone II. bassdrum II. clarinet I castanets trombone III. oboe clarinet II I. tenor chains drum. horn. piccolo I. clarinet II.tam-tam. horn snaredrum This content downloaded on Wed. gong. III.
entities which repeatedly into and then dispenetrate fromthe listener's fieldof hearing. II. 37-40. I trumpet tutti comes to mind. clarinetI. 52-54. tenordrum tambourine suspendedcymbal II II. I. 18-28.The pulse of Mass 5 origappear inates "far away" in m. I. horn II trumpet I trombone trombone III II. piccoloII. I. 71-76. 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 195-197 195-197 195-197 196-198 196-198 196-198 196-198 196-198 198 199-205 200-206 206-212 212 212-213 213 214-218 214-215 215-217 217 218 218-2231 218-2231 218-2231 218-2231 221-2231 223J-224 Instruments Chineseblocks chains sleighbells. triangle castanets percussion III horn. 79-94. suspendedcymbal. 6. 59-64. 35-36 as well as 55 and 97.clarinet II I. trombone string piccolo I. 13. Ex. clarinet trumpet piccoloI I trombone II clarinet I clarinet horn. trumpet trombone oboe drum I. This content downloaded on Wed. The followinghave been analyzed in a similar manner: Masses 9-10. springsinto the immediatevicinity the of in listener m. 18 (cf. trumpet II. 2). trumpet II. II. 31-34. where it should be noted that the percussion can hardlybe grouped into a single unit in light of the instruments fact that their entrances are timed independentlyof each other. trombone woodwinds percussion oboe.trombone I I.150 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC TABLE I (cont.) Mass Measure No. and startsfadingaway in m. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .
37-40. 69).THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 151 99-103. recalling Mass 10: 47. oboe. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and 104. mm. the extremecare with which the rhythms m. forexample. cf. The singular entrance of piccolo I. thus becomes the sixthharmonicof the F$ in the contrabasstrombone. 65 and m. C-Bb). Since there is no significant caesura in the II a trumpet part. and. is well known. Masses 29-30 and 48-51 have been delineateddue to the occurrenceof a "melody" and a "pulse". 44-45 is especiallynoteworthy a (Ex. Only three groups of masses have not been touched upon thus far in this discussion. Varese also took account of the fact that the seventhand fourteenth harmonicsdo not correspond exactlywitha minorseventh(in thiscase. The otherinstruments mm.Masses 11 and 12 offer thirdexample of an a attempt to generate a new sound. TlrMP Int grales. 98.5 The C$ in the oboe.have all been assignedto single in masses (Nos. This is undoubtedly further CL lift 2 Ob. p. 77-78.the effect the mixture of ranksin the pedal divisionof a well-builtpipe organ comes to mind. This content downloaded on Wed. 54-69. 13-17). 102. mm. Mass 7 is set apart fromMasses 1-6 and Mass 8 throughthe use of new instrumental groupings (cf. because theyremainindependent each other of in (see. 44-45. 18] Helmholtz wrote that two sounds would sound as one "especiallywhen all the sounds which are mixed have frequencies which are whole-number multiplesof one and the same frequency"..or the dynamicmarkings m. it is treatedas representing singlemass. 3 a attempton the part of Varese to "synthesize" new sound with conventionalinstruments. p. p. 49] by the author. Masses in 5 Translated from[9. 3). 30]. Mass 56). 68 are notated.the Bb in the Bb clarinetand the A-B in the piccolo I represent seventhand fourteenth the of harmonics the C in the bass trombone. and clarinet I in mm. 44-45 Ex.Varese had studied HelmAs holtz.mm. [10. [17. by coloring the Bb in the clarinetwiththe change fromA to B in the piccolo. three of the pitches played by the trumpetII being echoed by-as thoughlightly etched upon-the other three instruments. 62 ff. both of which have already been encounteredin other masses as well.
m. Elements A closer examinationof the construction each individual mass of lendssupportto thisdissection Integralesinto its constituent of masses. 127-128. (cf. Prolongation:a given note or chord is assigneda durationwhich is relatively long in comparisonwith the durationsof the eventsimit. mm. or alternation betweenthreesuch "states".trombone mm. 175-176. or in the Chinese blocks. 123-126 with mm.g. 164-166.Masses 105-109. Appoggiatura: the work begins with a quasi-appoggiaturafiguration (m. 36. a brief description. horn).. clarinetI (cf.. 161. tromboneII-III). trombone I. 19. repeatedalternation as in the clarinetline. 106 ff. tam-tam. 5. Tutti: involvesnearlyall of the instruments the ensemble. horn. 13. clarinetI.g. 2. [6.. clarinet II and horn). gong.Each elementis listedherewitha one-wordcaption title. timbre(mm. which fluctuates betweenAb and Bb woodwinds. which occurs again and again throughout the m. on the other hand. oboe and trumpet are often modified the courseofthesustained in event.152 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC 41-47 have been separatedin an analogous fashion. 120-121. 4. 63. 4 (cf. involve more than a mere "transposition"of for Masses 41-47 "a minorthirdhigher".mm. horn. tromboneI).horn. also m. m.mm. mediatelysurrounding as in mm. Dynamics (mm. 1-3. mm. clarinetI).chords. 220-223) necessitates different divisioninto masses. Alternation: betweentwo pitches. in the horn. oboe.trumpet I-II). oboe. 1. 74-75. 188]). 145-147. can apply the convenient we of label "element" to the constituents a relatively of small repertoire motifsand proceduresinto which each of the masses in Table I can be dissected.First in This content downloaded on Wed. thus. e.the writing the troma bones (cf.and representative examples of its use in solo situations: (melodic and percussion)and ensemble 1. m. Reiteration: a note or chord is repeated several times.etc. mm. and/or orchestration I) (m. mm.. 32-33. II. p. 4. snare drum.mm. oboe. horn.trumpetI-II). mm. Chinese blocks. At the risk of taking Varese too literally. 3. 15-19. piece (furtherexamples: m. 195-198. 7-9. as in the clarinet I. mm. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Varese was fond of quoting Brahms as having said that composition was "the organizationof disparate elements" (e.
206].THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 153 occurrencein mm. 42] "Later I made some modest experiments my of own. Not surprisingly. no comprehensivestudyhas been publishedto date on the question of harmony in Varise's music. Vareiseseems to have applied a few basic rules of thumb: octaves. piccolo I. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Selection of pitch content (horizontal): since a systemof "harit diffimony" is apparentlynot presentin Inte'grales. but cf. 28. One further principleapparently plays a role in the expansionof the pitch contentthroughtime: once a given pitch contenthas been presented. On the other hand. p. also mm. 6. 25-28. for example. 9. of of Rather. "strongdissonances". m. 7. is accordingly cult to derive the selectionof successivepitchesfromsuch a system. of An extreme case is the use of eleven different pitches for the eleven as pitched instruments in m.6Vareisehimselfrepeatedlyemphasized that his music was not based on any "fixedset of intervals such as a scale or a series" [19. such as was already discussedin Mass 5 of m. also mm. seems impossibleto deit rive the choice of pitchesin the individual masses in Inte'grales from such a framework. as well as mm. both in the selectionof pitchesfora singlemass and quite frequently. Selection of pitch content (vertical): as far as I know. tromboneII. 18] Such instruments were actuallyused in otherworksby Vareise. 194-198. 146 is hardly justified. etc.the distribution pitchesforthe first presentation a given series of notes seems to have been worked out in conjunctionwith the principlesoutlinedin 8.But successions pitches of whichfollowthe outlinessuggested parabolic and hyperbolic curves by seem to have captured Varese's interest even when played by traditional instruments (mm. 36.such as major and minor seconds. m." [17. 120. Still. 6. major and minorsevenths. but the conclusion reached there on p. the stated note or interval 6 In . p. [26.. tromboneII-III). 62-69. This content downloaded on Wed. p. and I found that I could obtain beautifulparabolic and hyperbolic curvesof sound. and theiroctavesoccur augmentedfourths.which seemedto me equivalentto the parabolas and hyperbolasin the visual domain. 93 ff. a computer study is made of the chords in the first38 (!) measures of Inte'grales. Pulse: a more or less regularbeat is established. in the distribution pitches of masses presentedsimultaneously. Pitch curves: the sirensdescribedin Helmholtzwere an important inspirationfor Varese in the developmentof his concept of spatial music. above. 38. 168. 8. are usually avoided. but cf.
Furthe regular "pulse" occurs in one passage (mm. Form as Process in Having thus dissectedInte'grales accordance with the ideas sugthe gestedby Varese's writings. In my own works.and the "alternation". and expansionof the "pitch content(horizontal)" combinedwith "alternation"above and below the initialpitch. questionnow arises: can the "masses" and "elements"in Integralesbe treatedin termsof a unifying concept of "form"?As mightbe expected. timescombinedwith octave jumps (cf. a characteristic selectionfromthis repertoire of elementsis assignedto each mass as well.rhythm derives from the simultaneous of interplay unrelatedelementsthat intervene calculated. range.Mass 5.154 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC is expanded by neighbor-note somemotion. 117-121.but not regular. The "prolongation"plays a major role in Masses 3 and 4 (the two instrumental blocks) as well as in Mass 2 (in some of the percussion instruments). the "prolongation". as was discussedabove.. 443]) can be brokeninto groups of constituent elements. in the othermass).... Rhythm too oftenconfused for instance.Varese had ideas of his own about musical form: is withmetrics. and is set in juxtapositionto a mass formed fromthe following elements(presentedin the following order) : "pro"reiteration"(occasionally synchronous with the "pulse" longation". 93 ff.. usually chromatically.which adds support to the divisionof this passage into two massesas discussedabove. p.. trombone II-III). Mass 30 is quite obviously marked by the "pulse". for example. mass. is constructedfrom the "appoggiatura". (also discussedin some detail in [14. thermore. p. for each mass. Form is a result-the resultof a process. 14-16). the "alternation"betweentwo pitchesis graduallyexpanded in chromaticsteps in accordance with the principlediscussed under "pitch selection(horizontal)" (but see also [14. orchestration.. the regular "pulse" in the other percussion fromthis one element. 442]). Mass 1. pp. is molded almost exclusively Even such a "traditional"-sounding passage as mm. mm.Each of its my worksdiscovers own form. [19.D. 202-203] This content downloaded on Wed. The separationof the massesis thus achieved not onlythroughthe selectionof a characteristic etc. at time-lapses. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 191-193. oboe. mm. Mass 1.
Varese has seof lected a repertoire elements.is 7 Cf. 203] of [19. The direction.e. Each sound mass (here "groups of sound") is thus modifiedevery time it penetratesinto the listener'sfieldof hearing..THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 155 Varese found support for this idea in an analogy to the process of He Nathaniel crystallization. the basis of an internal structure.this being the manner in which elementscontribute the process of form. p. based on crystals. This content downloaded on Wed. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . was fond of quoting the mineralogist.Crystalform is the consequenceof the interaction of attractive repulsive and forces and theordered of the atom. The internalstructure based on the is unit of crystal whichis the smallest of grouping the atomsthathas the order and composition the substance. and speed. attracted and repulsedby variousforces. of These elementsare arranged into masses. at first conceived quite independentlyof each other. The footnoteon p. Arbiter: The crystal characterized both a definite is external formand a by definite internalstructure. 192 is especially important. "thematic"shape. externalforms crystals are limitless.g.. pp.by a process in which various elementsare added or removed. in spiteof the relatively the But limitedvariety internal of the of structures.the "atoms" in the above quotation. as shown in Table II.7 As for the manner in which the masses "interveneat calculated. formitself a resultant rather is than a primary Crystal attribute.time-lapses". continuing discussionof the formation offormas a process. 192. [1.Some justificato tion is also providedfor bringing various kindsof elementstogether: a principle.The extension the of of unitintospace forms wholecrystal. From the totality the available musical material. packing [19.a few of the masses listed in Table I can be relatedto anotherin termsof e. not unlikesolvinga jigsaw fitting puzzle. that of the chromaticexpansion of pitch content. his of Varise. Reproductionsof Varese's manuscripts would seem to suggest that he preparedvariousscorefragments before them together into the final score.g. speaks an idea. formof the workis the consequence thisinteraction. expanded and splitinto different shapes or groupsof sound constantly changingin shape. 194]. but not regular. stable structure. 203] p. This would represent nothingmore than the framework of a "crystal"-but such a "crystal" would not representa static.
presentation of a An analysisof thiskind permits deeper understanding Varese's cited in the lengthy use and meaning of the term "projection". in mm.the rhythmic clarinet II (Mass 73) is at first dominated by the "appoggiatura".156 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC TABLE II in listed TABLE I. 185 ff. the movement sound-masses.For Varese. Superficial amongthemasses relationships 1-9-17-61-66-77-82 2-57 (2-3-4)-(9-10) -(18-19-20-21-22) -(25-26-27-28)-(31-32-33-34-35-36) (52-53-54)-(66-68-69-70) -(84-92) -54-64-71 5-25-30-(48-50) 6-58-67-76-87 7-(9-10)-(13-14-15-16-17)-(23-24)-(41-42-43-44-45-46-47)-56-(7778)-110 9-77-84 10 (highwoodwinds) -38-40-47-78-98-102-104 10-16-63(74-75)-(84-94) 12-60-73-85 28-56-70-81 (29-30)-(49-50-51) (37-38-40-41-42-43-44-45-46-47) -(100-102-104-105-106-107-108-109110)-59-96 applied in much the same way as a quasi-thematicentitysuch as the "pulse" or the "appoggiatura". set of modifications-thegeneral case of the speed discussedonly in termson p. each mass is subjected to a unique 12-17. these masses are also projected upon and each otherduringtheprocess: through will When new instruments allow me to writemusicas I conceive of of planes. followedby the "alternation"betweenthreepitches (m. Finally. Furthermore. shifting This content downloaded on Wed. For example. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the the "appoggiatura" and the "reiteration"are prominentthroughout simultaneous of Mass 75.will be clearly it. Masses or Mass 59. piccolo I). quotationat the beginningof thisarticle. "projection"means should instruments not only that the sounds produced by stationary of being projectedinto the space where createthe auditory impression the performanceoccurs. 146 above. followed while the "reiteration" by the "alternation". Meanoccurs in Mass 72 (oboe.. but only between two pitches. 186). Especially clear examples of this are processof addition and subtraction to be foundin Mass 1.
This also providesa viable explanationforavoidingoctaves: the pitch contentof one mass is.include the pitch contentof the mass. the fitting togetherof various sound masses: the masses are bonded togethervia the exchange of elements. 102. In m. the element of "prolongation"leaves the oboe (mm.as summarizedin Table II. is exchange But the masses are not bound to each otherin an immobilestasis. is taken over by the mass in clarinet II. this Mass 5 suddenlycomes closer while the This content downloaded on Wed.takingthe place of the linearcounterpoint. distribution elementsis rearranged. as opposed to the more "distant" Mass 5 dominated by the "pulse" (cf. This process of addition and subtraction of various elements. Each time a mass is presented. that the trombonesmust now be assignedto three different masses instead of the former two. 13. 220.as opposed to traditionalthematicor harmonic in development.e. Thus. the of which of course. and 105-110 are not only to be heard and understoodas a meretransposition Masses 38.. respectively. of especially in the trombonesafterm. and "passed on" to tromboneI (Mass 75) in mm. 185. m. the distribution the elementshas been modifiedin such a manner. of rather. For example.moving at different speeds and at different angles. 184-185) for Mass 74 in the horn and trumpets.the phenomenaof penetration repulsionwill seem to occur.THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 157 perceivedin my work. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ex. 2).accounts for the modifications the successiveoccurrences of some of the masses. Certain transmutations takingplace on certainplanes will seem to be projectedonto otherplanes. 40. the various elements are distributedamong the masses which are heard simultaneously successively such a mannerthat or in thevery ofelements made possible. since the motionof the massesin space also participates the formal in For example. This analogy can be applied almost literallyto Varese's process of composition. One is remindedof Varese's analogy of sound masses and granite blocks. When thesesound-masses or collide. blocks which are chosen and positionedto fit and balance without cement. the element of "reiteration"in the oboe. and 41-47. 185-186. processby allowingfora dynamicexchangeof elements. so to speak. p. Masses would. the distribution certainelementsamong the various masses is modifiedin the course of time as a resultof this interpenetration.i. 12. 104. At the same time. fitted into and complementedby the pitch contentof the otherswithoutduplicatingpitches. 184. 197] of Thus.[19. m. the "solo" mass in the oboe has moved "near" the listenerin m. Obviously.
the end of m. in a largersense. and the mass in the percussiondisappears (m. he warned against such thinking more than one occasion here with a [19. is given by the number and frequencyof such recurrences. 13. each of which is to be heard as a three-dimensional entity moving throughspace. 18.and re-appearingin the course of performance. 31]? One objectionto such a procedureis the fact that the measures which are thus arbitrarily show no internalunity tied together which would intrinsically them from the other "sections". the of The "framework" thiscomposition. disappearing. non-rigid"crystalform". in turn. 14: chains.158 OF PERSPECTIVESNEW MUSIC At ffff/). or "motifs" chosen by him. 78. he constantly massin the oboe movesaway and returns (p Conclusion was createdfroma definedrepertoire organizedsound of Inte'grales masses. separate it Similarly. in m. 14-16). 17) to the mass in the percussion(but see also [14. An importantquestion remainsto be answered: can Intigrales be divided into two or three "major formalsections"separated by "cadences" (e.everymass is relatedto is everyothermass.which are exchanged between simultaneously and/or successively appearingmasses. 28.g. Gradually. now in clarinetI). away from the listener(mm. 14. the "solo" mass takes over the "pulse" (m.we are confronted "series of variations"since. are constructed number of elements. the tegrales on Indeed. and/or 153). or 4-part formby examshown in Table II (see also [14. the mass in the clarinet moves cymbals. and the pulse is separated and returned (m. Varitse does not introducehere. 206].. p. This content downloaded on Wed. as has been attempted [8. sleighbells. But ining the relationships the strongest objectionderivesfromthe fact that such an undertaking the idiosyncrasies the formal process in Varese's music. appearing. from a fixed The masses. new elementsare added to it (trumpet I). To use Varese's words. 3-. is impossibleto derive a 2-. suspended snare drum). modifythere. 443]). in mm. while both masses are "close" to the listener. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p. of ignores in in was not interested subjugatingeverymusical entity InVarise to two or threegroupings which would determine "form". p. 445]). The centralfeaturein Varese's compositions not the manner in and the extent to which the composer repeats and develops the "themes". varies. "harmonies".
Entretiens avec Edgard Varese. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Ohio. "Edgard Varese on Music and Art: A Conversation between Varese and Alcopley. 6. Boretz. 1975. pp. Stuttgart: Hirzel. "Jtude de l'oeuvre d'Edgard Varese".THE INTEGRALES OF EDGARD VARESE 159 Acknowledgments: This article is based on a paper submittedat the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.Hilda. 1973. 2. "Harmony before and after 1910: a Computer Comparison". Germany. eds.Riiumliches H6ren. Kropfinger.5. Peter. Klaus. Jackson. Paris: Editions Pierre Belfond. in 1973. Robert Drummond at Oberlin for his many helpful suggestions and comments. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UniversityPress. Helms. Paris: Hachette." Melos 32:433-437. 132-146. The Computer and Music. 1971. in partial fulfillment the requireof ments for the Bachelor of Music degree. Technische Hochschule Aachen. and Edward Cone. Jens. 1974. Helmholtz. Harry. Guembel. Everett. 1965. Benjamin. New York: Dover. Laws. Alcopley. 40-48]. Tr. in Lincoln. 12. 1970. ed. 9. Untersuchungenzum Entfernungshi ren und zum Problem der Im-Kopf-Lokalisiertheit von H6rereignissen. "AussenseiterVarese. 121-162]." Leonardo. 1:446-456. 1: 187-195. Hermann von. Helmholtz. New York: Norton. Milton. On the Sensations of Tone. 5." Melos/Neue Zeitschrift fiirMusik 1:442-446. This content downloaded on Wed. ed. 4. 1970. Chase. "Verschmlihtes Erbe. Halbreich. pp. pp. 15. 1966. 1970. by Alexander Ellis. 8. Harry. Charbonrfier. Hermann von. "Edgard Varese: A few Observations of his Music". 13. 3. A modified version of this article firstappeared (in German) in Melos/Neue Zeitschrift Musik.Georges. Blauert. Braunschweig: Vieweg. 1972. Martin. 1975. 1913. The American Composer Speaks. Roland John. Varese. Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologische Grundlage fiir die Theorie der Musik. fiir REFERENCES 1. I should like to thank Prof. Jolivet. Gilbert. Ithaca: Cornell UniversityPress. Dissertation. 1968. Perspectives on American Composers. in [5." Zeitschrift fiir Musiktheorie. Babbitt. "Versuch an Vareses Density 21. 10. in [4. 14. 11. 1954. Oberlin.I/1: 31-38. 7.
1967. Schuller. Whittall." Read at the 1977 International Music Conference. Edgard. 23."Darmstiidter Bei3:65-71." Musical Quarterly. 29. Computer San Diego. 30. Rinehartand Winston. 49-54]." MusikTypewritten manuscript. Harry.Internationales institut Darmstadt. "A Communication. Edgard. Varese. du 28. Virgil. "Edgard Varese-Pioneer and Prophet. 1967.No. 34-39]. Chou. Gunther. catalog no.160 PERSPECTIVES OF NEW MUSIC 1967. Chou. Olson. 1973. Musical Quarterly. Wen-Chung.57:211-219. pp. 22.1972. "The Liberationof Sound and Spatial Music. Rinehart. 5. James. "Conversation 19. 26.Vol.in [4. Arnold." 29. "Erinnerungen und Gedanken. Music." Musical 21. Varese. Larry. triige. 24. Stempel. Varese: A Looking-Glass Diary. Quarterly. 18." Music Review. 1970. "Asian Conceptsand 20th-Century Composers. 1967.Ferdnand. 28:311-315. 41:574. This content downloaded on Wed. Tenney. 1. Winston. 31.Paris: Editions Seuil. "Open rather thanBounded". Tr. Marc. Odile. New York: OrionPress. 1955. Thomson.1968.60: 46-60. Wilkinson. d64/53. New York: Holt. 20. Physics. 17. Ouellette. 1974.eds. Vivier. American Music since 1910. 27.and BarneyChilds. Schwartz. Edgard. Varese. New York: Dover. 1971.in [4. Wen-Chung. Varese. and Engineering. 1960. New York: Norton. "Not even Varese can be an Orphan. by Derek Coltman."Varese and OrganicAthematism. Louise." Score. Varese. 16. withVarese". 25."A MetricSpace Model of TemporalGestaltPerception. 9 Jan 2013 14:42:01 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music. pp. p. New York: Holt. Elliott.Edgard Varese.