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Elhott Orato HUASREM ON YB O:@ Edited by Nicholas Hopkins and John F. Link CARL FISCHER Some Words about MY HARMONY BOOK BY ELLIOTT CARTER 1 collection of chords, meant for my own use, began to ake shape around 1960 after I had employed two allinterval 4-note chords, which T came upon by chance at that time and which formed a basis for the Double Concerto and String Quartet No. 2. While planning the Piano Concerto (1965), I tried out more or less at random various combinations and spacings ofall the S-note chords, and this led me to uy and deal with them in an orderly way. The results are the charts on pp. 58-67 of Volume II of the manuscript [pp. 329-50 of this edition]. I remembered Alois Haba’s Neue Harmonielchre, which rather unsystematically listed all sorts of chords, and tried to find a more helpful plan. I started, therefore, bit by bit. ay needed for my compositions (often not as orderly as T would later have wished) to elabo- rate this plan in desultory moments, memorizing the numberings of the chords as they were to be used. Around 1967, I had got around to the Snote chords and their 7-note comple ments, listing their 2-note, S-note and 4-note components, which [then used for my Concerto for Orchestra (1969). ‘Then, ina similar way, explored the Gnote chords, used here and there in my Swing, Quartet No, 3 (1971). Afier that, this book furnished harmonic ideas, which in works of different instrumentations expanded to the use of alhinterval, vertical symmetrical chords, ‘extracted from the list of BauerMengelberg and Ferentz printed in Perspectives of New Music, asin Night Fantasies (1980). Then, John Link produced by computer a list of alhinterval 12- note chords that contained as adjacent intervals G-note chord no. 35, composed of all the 3. note chords. These chords proved to be very useful in large-scale works. From about 1990, | have reduced my vocabutlary of chords more and more to the 6-note chord no. 35 and the 4 note chords nos. 18 and 23, which encompassall the intervals. Alb June 27, 2001 * Suefan RauerMengelbeng and Mebin Fereatz, “On Heveninterl Twelve-Tone Rew” Pinpertie of New Mic 3, 0 2 (1965): 98-108, 5206 Editor’s Preface BY NICHOLAS HOPKINS When signing on as Managing Editor of Carl Fischer, one of my first responsibil ties—much to my delight (and trepidation) —was the preparation of Elliott Carter's Her- mony Book for publication. The publisher handed me a huge pile of oversized music pa- per, virtually every page of which was covered with musical notes, graphic symbols and what appeared to be scribbling of various kinds, with the simple directive to *...make sense of this.” But, as I came to realize, the sense, logic and order were already there. My task in the following two and one-half years of work on this book was merely to bring them. to the surface. ‘The autograph manuscript of Carter's Harmony Bookis written on 107 unbound sheets, of ledgersize velum music paper, each of which comprises eighteen staves, This edition was prepared from a photocopy of this manuscript. The original copy of this autograph is now permanently housed in the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, the Swiss institute that provides storage facilities for all of Carter’s music-related materials. A blueprint copy, containing vari- ous autograph revisions and corrections, remains in Carter's possession, and this copy was also consulted for the present edition. ‘The Harmony Book is essentially a massive encyclopedia devoted (0 exploring har- monic relationships. In this sense, it is not wruly a “harmony” book, at least in the way other similarly named books are. Carter has acknowledged that the Harmony Bookwas planned and developed to serve only as a tool for his compositional work, rather than as a resource for public usage.' Given the make-up and organization of the manuscript, it is evident that he never wished or intended that the results of his findings would be used in a pedagogical manner (which is not tosay that they cannot be). For this reason, Carter provided no written notes or instructions of any kind concerning the use of this book: it was self-referential, and he clearly knew how to put it to proper use. Yet these factors contributed to certain problems in the editorial process, one prob- Jem in particular being the overall layout and organization of the manuscript. Carter divided. the Harmony Book into two volumes. the first of which he titled “Synthesis”, and the second “Analysis”. Each of these volumes was clearly distinguished by a title page that also listed the contents. Yet with these two divisions alone, the book was unwieldy to the uninitiated reader: the location of its materials and the logic of its development were both obscured. For this reason, lintroduced another level of organization by subdividing each volume intoa number of chapters, eight for Volume I and five for Volume II.” Chapters 1 and 2 are entitled *Cata- logue”—the title that Carter gave to Chapter I—because they comprise enumerations of specific items with systematic arrangements. The first presents all the 220 intervals and chords. * See “The Combinatorial Art of Ellie Carter's Harmony Book” pp. 7-22, and “Eilat Caner Taiks about His Horney Book” pp. 27-3. + Canter approved of these chapter divisions (Letter to the exitor)