View Full Version : GOS Avante Garde. . . how do you notate?

Jarrod Radnich
08-02-2002, 12:11 PM
Hey everyone!

I am falling in love with many of the Avante Garde effects in the GOS library and am currently composing a piano concerto that will be performed probably within a year or so. Anyway, I want to know how to notate those interesting ADD Techniques found in the GOS library. Is there anyway I can find out how these effects were actually played? Also, if anyone is interested in hearing a decent \"rough\" of the concerto let me know. It is entitled MACAW and is a beautiful blend of Brazilian lyricism and the Native American flute. . . all within the confines of a piano concerto! Thanks!

Jarrod Radnich

08-02-2002, 04:34 PM
Alas, I haven\'t listened to those FX patches in about a year, but I believe they are based on techniques employed by Krzysztof Penderecki, who devised a system of notation specifically for his pieces. Start with his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. Most universities should have the score in their music library; it\'s also in Robert Morgan\'s Anthology of Twentieth-Century Music, which you may find at your local Borders. The sustained chromatic clusters are usually written as a thick black line across the staff. To see the other \"special\" symbols used in Threnody (he did use some traditional symbols, btw), go to http://www.soton.ac.uk/~modsem/alex_4.htm (\"http://www.soton.ac.uk/~modsem/alex_4.htm\").

While you\'re looking for Penderecki\'s scores, you might as well take a peek at those of Lutoslawski and Ligeti. And if you\'re looking for texts, start with David Cope\'s New Directions in Music and Gardner Read\'s Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice.


Andy Brick
08-03-2002, 02:08 AM
I would pretty much echo Pats comments regarding texts and scores on 20th century orchestra techniques. Threnody is a must for anyone considering modern string writing. Thanks Pat for the link. That one will come in handy.

May I add that experience has taught me that with such techniques it is critical that you understand the live nature of these elements if you are going to have them executed properly in a live orchestral performance.

For example, Col Legno - playing \"with the wooden\" portion of the bow is pretty soft when executed live. Marking such a passage on a score as FFF because you really want it loud would be pointless because the players could not and would not do it. Cranking controller 7 or 11 on that c.l. patch can make it unrealistically loud. As well, my experience with it has been that it produces much less of an actual pitch than most samples. To me the sound is something between a pizz and a finger tap on the body of the instrument.

Asking for quartertones requires that the orchestra have exceptional intonation if you are to hear a defined quartertone. An orchestra with lesser intonation will just sound out of tune. Of course increasing pitchbend by the necessary units or purposefully detuning a patch will yield perfect intonation and sound as desired.

Have you ever heard all the winds play at their highest pitch? Phew!!! That is one loud sound! A small little piccolo in its extreme register can rival a trumpet. However, turn down controller 7 or 11 and it still appears to be its little ole self. (Ahhaa, there is one of the beauties of Maestro Tool EXP in the GOS... we get more proper timbral representations at any given dynamic)

The story goes on and on.... If you have a chance to sit with a player and have him/her execute the modern techniques you are writing, you are well advised to do so. In addition to hearing first hand what these sounds are, they will help you to perfect your notation.

Andy Brick

Andy Brick, Composer (\"http://www.andybrick.com\")