Studie I

Last updated

Studie I (English: Study I) is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1953. It lasts 9 minutes 42 seconds and, together with his Studie II , comprises his work number ("opus") 3.

Contents

History

The composition was created in the Cologne Studio for Electronic Musik of the NWDR between July and November 1953 ( Decroupet and Ungeheuer 1994 , 112). In the final stages of editing, Stockhausen commemorated the birth of his first daughter, Suja, on 25 September 1953 by inserting a "serially unauthorized" 108 Hz (in a phrase attributed to Richard Toop), "'one-gun salute'" ( Maconie 2005 , 131). The world premiere took place in Cologne on 19 October 1954 in the concert series Musik der Zeit, together with Stockhausen’s Studie II and works by Henri Pousseur, Karel Goeyvaerts, Herbert Eimert, and Paul Gredinger ( Morawska-Büngeler 1988 , 115).

The work was important amongst other reasons because it was made (as were the works by Pousseur, Goeyvaerts, and Gredinger) not with the use of (electronic) instruments, like the Trautonium or Melochord, but rather out of pure sine tones. For the first time, complete compositional control was achieved, even over timbre. The ideal was to produce each sound synthetically and thus separately determined in its details: "The conscious organization of music extends to the micro-acoustic sphere of the sound material itself" (Stockhausen 1964 , 22–23; Stockhausen 1992 , 101). It is serially organized on all musical levels (Stockhausen 1964 , 22–24; Stockhausen 1992 , 101–102).

Unlike Studie II, the score has never been published, apart from the first page as an illustration to Stockhausen's analysis of the piece (Stockhausen 1964 , 34–35; Stockhausen 1992 , 116–17).

Materials and form

Tone proportions in Stockhausen's Elektronische Studie I (Maconie 2005, 131, citing the 1964 reprint of Stockhausen 1954b).
Play (help*info) Stockhausen - Elektronische Studie I tone proportions.png
Tone proportions in Stockhausen's Elektronische Studie I (Maconie 2005 , 131, citing the 1964 reprint of Stockhausen 1954b). Loudspeaker.svg Play  

The fundamental hypothesis for Studie I was that its serial system should begin in the middle of the human auditory range and extend in both directions to the limits of pitch perception. Durations and amplitudes are inversely proportional to the distance from this central reference, so the sounds become both shorter and softer as they approach the upper and lower limits of pitch audibility ( Stockhausen 1992 , 102).

Sets of six values determine the entire work. Pitches are drawn from a series of intervals: a falling minor tenth, rising major third, falling minor sixth, rising minor tenth, and falling major third. Expressed as justly intoned numeric ratios, these are 12/5, 4/5, 8/5, 5/12, and 5/4. Starting from 1920 Hz, near the upper threshold of pitch audibility, thirty-six series of six pitches each are projected, starting with 1920, 800, 1000, 625, 1500, and 1200. The lowest value of 66 Hz is reached at the fourth value of the twenty-second series: 203, 84, 105, 66, 158, 127 ( Stockhausen 1992 , 102–103). All of these ratios are derived from the 5:4 major third, and the resulting timbral combinations resemble the pleasant chiming of a crystal goblet or the combination of vibraphone and glockenspiel—sounds which Stockhausen had previously employed in 1952, in his orchestral compositions Spiel and Formel , respectively ( Maconie 2005 , 130–31).

Studie I is composed with "groups". Like the table of pitches, these groups are also constructed from sets of six numbers so that, for example, the first six "vertical" groups of the composition contain 4, 5, 3, 6, 2, and 1 notes each. Stockhausen calls these note groups "note mixtures", and extrapolates the same grouping principle to the formal structure of the entire work: successive note mixtures form horizontal sequences, groups of these sequences form "structures", and these structures are organized into one large "group series" that produces a unifying proportion series for the entire work ( Stockhausen 1992 , 104). In order to increase the contrast between the note groups, a set of six envelope curves was added: steady amplitude, increasing amplitude to a sudden cut-off at the specified maximum, and a gradual decrease from the specified maximum; each of these occurs with and without reverberation to produce six forms in all ( Stockhausen 1992 , 111).

Discography

Related Research Articles

Karlheinz Stockhausen German composer

Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. A critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music". He is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, for introducing controlled chance into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.

Tape loop Audio recording technique

In music, tape loops are loops of magnetic tape used to create repetitive, rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound when played on a tape recorder. Originating in the 1940s with the work of Pierre Schaeffer, they were used among contemporary composers of 1950s and 1960s, such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who used them to create phase patterns, rhythms, textures, and timbres. Popular music authors of 1960s and 1970s, particularly in psychedelic, progressive and ambient genres, used tape loops to accompany their music with innovative sound effects. In the 1980s, analog audio and tape loops with it gave way to digital audio and application of computers to generate and process sound.

<i>Gesang der Jünglinge</i> work

Gesang der Jünglinge is a noted electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was realized in 1955–56 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk studio in Cologne and is Work Number 8 in the composer's catalog of works. The vocal parts were supplied by 12-year-old Josef Protschka. It is exactly 13 minutes, 14 seconds long.

Electroacoustic music is a genre of Western art music which originated around the middle of the 20th century, following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition to fixed media during the 20th century are associated with the activities of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at the ORTF in Paris, the home of musique concrète, the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) studio in Cologne, where the focus was on the composition of elektronische Musik, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City, where tape music, electronic music, and computer music were all explored. Practical electronic music instruments began to appear in the early 1900s.

Karel August Goeyvaerts was a Belgian composer.

David C. Johnson is an American composer, flautist, and performer of live-electronic music.

Gruppen for three orchestras (1955–57) is amongst the best-known compositions of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 6 in the composer's catalog of works. Gruppen is "a landmark in 20th-century music. .. probably the first work of the post-war generation of composers in which technique and imagination combine on the highest level to produce an undisputable masterpiece".

Werner Meyer-Eppler, was a Belgian-born German physicist, experimental acoustician, phoneticist and information theorist.

Herbert Eimert was a German music theorist, musicologist, journalist, music critic, editor, radio producer, and composer.

Die Reihe was a German-language music journal, edited by Herbert Eimert and Karlheinz Stockhausen and published by Universal Edition (Vienna) between 1955 and 1962. An English edition was published, under the original German title, between 1957 and 1968 by the Theodore Presser Company, in association with Universal Edition (London). A related book series titled Bücher der Reihe was begun, but only one title ever appeared in it, Herbert Eimert's Grundlagen der musikalischen Reihentechnik.

<i>Kontakte</i> An electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen

Kontakte ("Contacts") is an electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen, realized in 1958–60 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) electronic-music studio in Cologne with the assistance of Gottfried Michael Koenig. The score is Nr. 12 in the composer's catalogue of works, and is dedicated to Otto Tomek.

Harald Bode engineer

Harald Bode was a German engineer and pioneer in the development of electronic music instruments.

<i>Hymnen</i>

Hymnen is an electronic and concrete work, with optional live performers, by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1966–67, and elaborated in 1969. In the composer's catalog of works, it is "Nr. 22".

<i>Zeitmaße</i>

Zeitmaße is a chamber-music work for five woodwinds composed in 1955–1956 by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen; it is Number 5 in the composer's catalog. It is the first of three wind quintets written by Stockhausen, followed by Adieu für Wolfgang Sebastian Meyer (1966) and the Rotary Wind Quintet (1997), but is scored with cor anglais instead of the usual French horn of the standard quintet. Its title refers to the different ways that musical time is treated in the composition.

Studie II is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1954 and, together with his Studie I, comprises his work number ("opus") 3. It is serially organized on all musical levels and was the first published score of electronic music.

The Konkrete Etüde is the earliest work of electroacoustic tape music by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1952 and lasting just three-and-a-quarter minutes. The composer retrospectively gave it the number "⅕" in his catalogue of works.

Nummer 5 met zuivere tonen is a musical work by the Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts, realized at the WDR Studio for Electronic Music in 1953 and one of the earliest pieces of electronic music.

<i>Expo</i> (Stockhausen) Karlheinz Stockhausen work

Expo, for three performers with shortwave radio receivers and a sound projectionist, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1969–70. It is Number 31 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

Studio for Electronic Music (WDR) studio of the West German Radio in Cologne

The Studio for Electronic Music of the West German Radio was a facility of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in Cologne. It was the first of its kind in the world, and its history reflects the development of electronic music in the second half of the twentieth century.

<i>Ensemble</i> (Stockhausen) group-composition project by Karlheinz Stockhausen

Ensemble is a group-composition project devised by Karlheinz Stockhausen for the 1967 Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Twelve composers and twelve instrumentalists participated, and the resulting performance lasted four hours. It is not assigned a work number in Stockhausen's catalogue of works.

References