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Bla Baitok's Nusic foi Stiings, Peicussion, anu Celeste highlights Baitok's
masteiy of oichestiation, anu innovation with ihythm. Bowevei, the opening
movement peihaps least exemplifies these featuies (ielative to the othei
movements). The fiist movement of the woik insteau showcases his masteiy of
counteipoint with a paiticulaily piaisewoithy example. Lenuvai wiites that "If the
symbol of the !"#!$% means unity, closeuness |sicj anu fullness, then conceining the
concentiation, the fugue movement at hanu peihaps compaies only with the
symmetiies of the &'()* ,%# -'.%" |emphases in the oiiginalj.
1

While Lenuvai's position may leave ioom foi scholais to uebate, this fugue is
uoubtless a uemonstiably taut, elegant anu balanceu woik of ait. It is a piece of
music that foims a cohesive anu coheient whole without aiu of conventional tonality
oi metiic iegulaiity. Baitok insteau uses techniques anu tools cieates unity anu
uiiection thiough constiucting a subject that is inteinally self-iefeiential in contoui,
anu foim, anu by achieving foimal balance at the micio anu macio level thiough
caieful stiuctuie of subject entiances as well as placement anu pacing of uynamics
anu contiapuntal vaiiation techniques to cieate a coheient aich foim.
Sub[ect: Segmentat|on and Aff|n|ty. Se|f-reference.
As Smith notes, "The most uistinguishable pait of any fugue has to be its fiist
subject entiance."
2
The stiuctuie of the fugue subject alone ueseives consiueiable
attention anu comment.

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Score
2
Fiist anu peihaps most immeuiately noticeable is the ambiguity cieateu
thiough shifting metei: each measuie is constiucteu using a uiffeient time signatuie
than the bai pieceuing oi following it. The fiist anu thiiu measuies both make use of
88, but this uoes not violate that piincipal. Each musical segment consists of one
measuie initiateu by its anaciusis; the fiist two segments use one eighth note
anaciusis (both of which aie peifoimeu by the violas at AS, heieaftei iefeiieu to as
9 using pitch class notation) anu the lattei two use two eight notes. An eighth iest
sepaiates each of the foui segments.

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Seconu, anu with closei attention to pitch oiganization (see fig. 2), it becomes
cleai that the fiist two segments begin iuentically with oiueieu pitch-class (PC) set
(9T1); this coulu oiuinaiily be calleu a motive. The lattei two segments vaiy both
with iegaiu to ihythmic anu pitch-class content, yet show significant affinity. Inueeu
the fouith segment peifectly tiansposes the thiiu segment uown a half step anu
then mouifies the ihythmic fiame. In this way, the segments aie heieaftei calleu a1,
a2, b1 anu b2 iespectively.
While beginning with iuentically, segments a1 anu a2 have many othei layeis
of symmetiy. Fiist, a2 can be inteipieteu as meiely an inteipolateu veision of a1.
This is best visualizeu when compaiing the measuies veitically (see fig. S)

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Alteinatively, these segments can be vieweu fiom the peispective of oiueieu
pitch-class inteivals. This appioach ieveals auuitional layeis of quasi-motivic
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unity
anu affinity between each segment.

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Score
a1: 9 T 1 0 E a2: 9 T 1 2 3 0 E T 1 4
b1: 3 2 0 1 E b2: 0 3 2 1 E 0
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Score
a1
a2
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Looking at only measuies 1 anu 2 in tabulai foim, fuithei conclusions may be
uiawn. As pieviously noteu, a1 anu a2 begin with oiueieu PC set (9T1), eigo they
begin with iuentical inteivals. They also concluue with two iuentical uownwaiu half
steps (labeleu B1). Bowevei the iemaining inteiioi inteivallic content of the longei
segment a2 can also be analyzeu against that of a1.

a1

U1 U3 D1 D1

a2 U1 U3 U1 U1 D3 D1 D1
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As shown in fig. S, the inteiioi of a2 is itself a tiansposeu ietiogiaue of a1.
Theiefoie, eveiy inteival of a1 can be saiu to have an intelligible foim of affinity
with the slightly lengthiei a2. This type of woik can be iepeateu in uetail acioss the
following two segments. 0f b1 anu b2 (whose inteival contouis aie iuentical), the
most noticeable affinity can be founu by compaiing a1 with its anaciuses omitteu.
With that omission it is easy to see that all thiee segments ielate veiy cleanly to the
heau. Segments b1 anu b2 theieby iepiesent a foim of musical "pig latin". These
oveilaps anu affinities can also thought of as a foim of self-iefeience, as will be
uiscusseu.

Sub[ect: |tch Content:
0pon still closei analysis, the subject yielus a cleai sense of the haimonic
stiuctuie to come. Inteiestingly, the subject uoes make use of eight pitches, just as
woulu any uiatonic majoi oi minoi scale (incluuing the necessaiy iesolving octave).
Bowevei, the eight pitches useu aie eight consecutive chiomatic neighbois, those
being AS thiough E4. As tiauitional tonality has, theiefoie, given way to what many

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Score
U1 U3 D1 D1 (D2) U1 U3 U1 U1 D3 D1 D1 (U3) U3 D1
D1 D2 U1 D2 (U1) U3 D1 D1 D2 U1 D2
4
post-tonal analysts iefei to as centiicity, one may neeu to exploie "the entiie
spectium of centiic effects".
4
Inueeu, alteinative analyses aie iequiieu heie.

Pitch Class Frequency Only Duration Included
9 2 2
T 4 5
E 4 5
0 5 7
1 5 6
2 3 4
3 2 2
4 1 1
rest (3) 3
Total 27 35
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0nuei the lens of pitch class salience, the fugue subject yielus auuitional uata.
Taking the eight pitch classes in a tabulai foim (see fig. 6), pitch content can be useu
statistically. The "fiequency only" column lists the numbei of occuiiences of each
pitch class while the "uuiation incluueu column awaius "auuitional points" foi
quaitei notes (uouble the uuiation=uouble the points). In the chait in fig. 7
uemonstiates these ielationships using a bai giaph.
In this light, PCu is cleaily the uominant class, anu also happens to be ioughly
in the centei between PC9 anu PC4. This is puzzling, at least in pait, because the
subject entiance (both foi segment a1 anu a2) is PC9, yet these aie the only two
occuiiences of that PC. Bistoiically, entiances of fugue subjects aie tiackeu using
the fiist pitch of each entiance, even in myiiau cases wheie the fiist pitch is not the
same as the tonic. This ambiguity may leau one to ask whethei PC9 is meant to be
heaiu as cential. This question will iesuiface at the enu, both of the movement, anu
of this uocument.

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Iugue Structure
The fugue stiuctuie itself is a iich tapestiy of uesign that is best illustiateu by
a chait showing the subject entiance pitch plan, auapteu fiom Lanuvai. (see fig. 8)
The chait uemonstiates a numbei of points
The fugue stiuctuie itself is a iich tapestiy of contiapuntal viituosity in seivice
of the laigei, caiefully calibiateu uouble aich stiuctuie. This stiuctuie is shown
below in the the subject entiance pitch plan, auapteu fiom Lanuvai. (see fig. 8) The
chait uemonstiates a numbei of points.
Cential to the oiganizational stiuctuie is the piogiession thiough the
complete ciicle of fifths simultaneously in both uiiections, a uouble helix of soits.
They meet at ioughly the miupoint of the movement's 88 measuies: at the anaciusis
to m. 4S in the most uistant entiance at the tiitone (E
b
PCS). Bowevei, even as the
movement begins to ietuin back thiough each pitch centei, anothei moie poweiful
peak built using uynamics continue thiough to measuie S6. This is appioximately
the "goluen section" of the piece.
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A basic unueistanuing of the "goluen section" is necessaiy to authentically
uiscuss the music of Baitok. Bis well-uocumenteu fascination anu often the explicit
foimal uesign of his compositions stem fiom this special iatio, which is ioughly
1.618. Like pi, this constant has an associateu uieek lettei, phi. It is the iecuisive
anu self-iefeiential natuie of this iatio that allows it to cieate inteiesting fiactal like
patteins in the music. Foi instance, the goluen mean of the subject is founu at its 21
st

eighth note. This coinciues with the highest pitch class in the subject. At the laigei
scale, as seen above, the goluen section is also the peak point of impact uynamically.
Also note that Baitok uoes not yet begin to ietuin thiough the keys noi uoes he
begin to fuithei uevelop his fugue technically until this peak is ieacheu.
Woith noting is Baitok's uefeience to his own intuition. The actual goluen
section woulu occui at m. S4 on beat 4. That calculates, using the foimula in fig. 9a ,
both when calculating eithei the numbei of measuies oi the numbei of beats (using

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the eighth note as constant thioughout). In the case of the fugue, it woulu suggest
that the length of the beginning to the fff at m. S6 is to m. S6 to the enu, as the entiie
fugue is to the beginning to S6. Fuithei, if this iough equivalency can be accepteu,
then it is woith noting that the "iecapitulation" is ioughly in piopoition to the
"inveisus" (which is inauguiateu by the entiance of the celeste) as the whole of m.
S8 to the enu is in ielationship to the "iecapitulation".



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Lastly, a note on the uiscussion iegaiuing the uispaiity between the
impoitances accoiueu the fiist pitch in a subject anu its salience in Baitok. This
uispaiity uoes inueeu finu its iesolution. "A" (PC9), which was on the fai low enu of
the pitch fiequency chait, uoes inueeu establish its piimacy as the soli unison pitch
on which the entiie final measuie is pinneu. This also completes, with a sense of
finality, the uouble helix pitch centei scheme, as well as the locally foimeu uouble
helixes shapes cieateu by homoihythmic piesentation of both the fugue subject anu
its inveiteu foim.
Conc|us|on
The fiist movement of Baitok's Nusic foi Stiings, Peicussion, anu Celesta,
makes excellent use of all of the best techniques well known anu appieciateu by
contiapuntists ovei the past Suu yeais. Bowevei, the fugue is so iich with invention,
theie is viitually no neeu to simply appioach the woik. Thiough his tightly
integiateu fugue subject, novel appioach to uouecaphony via two counteivailing
cycles of fifths, anu innovative use of the iecuisive goluen mean, Baitok tightly knits
togethei a woik of immense complexity that is inueeu woithy, if not to stanu alone
next to Bach's /#* 01 -'.'%, then among only a small numbei of woithy peeis.
Fuithei, Baitok's suiface accomplishments in oichestiation anu ihythmic invention
only seives to enhance anu augment his ability to cieate ueep stiuctuie anu finely
tuneu foimal balance in his compositions.


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7
8|b||ography

Lenuvai, Ein. 23#*456) 7*8$%9 Euiteu by Katalin Fittlei. Tianslateu by }uuit Pokoly.
Buuapest: Akkoiu Nusic Publisheis, 1999.

Smith, }oiuan. "Compaiative Analysis: Fugues by Bach, Bnuel, anu Nozait."
:(;'<$")=%,, 2u1S: 1.

Stiaus, }oseph N. >(*#0,'!*"0( *0 ?0)*@A0(3$ A=%0#89 Euiteu by Saiah Touboig. 0ppei
Sauule Rivei, N}: Peaison, 2uuS.

Wikimeuia Founuation. B0$,%( #3*"09 http:en.wikipeuia.oigwikiuoluen_iatio
(accesseu Becembei 8, 2u1S).

C0$1#3D /$139
http:www.wolfiamalpha.cominput.i=goluen+section&a=*C.goluen+section-
_*NathWoilu- (accesseu Becembei 8, 2u1S).