First foray in dodecaphony

This week’s assignment in Visual Music with Zach Layton is to write a short twelve-tone piece for piano or electronics.

Using the Sounding Stone Twelve-Tone Row Calculator, I generated a twelve-tone series based on A, D, and G.

Prime: A D G at transposition 0 is A D G
Inversion: A E B at transposition 1 is Bb F C
Retrograde: G D A at transposition 6 is Db Ab Eb
Retro. Inv.: B E A at transposition 7 is Gb B E

12 x 12 Matrix:

I
n
v
e
r
s
i
o
n

v

P r i m e -> ^

R
e
t
r
o

I
n
v
e
r
s
i
o
n

A D G Bb F C Db Ab Eb Gb B E
E A D F C G Ab Eb Bb Db Gb B
B E A C G D Eb Bb F Ab Db Gb
Ab Db Gb A E B C G D F Bb Eb
Db Gb B D A E F C G Bb Eb Ab
Gb B E G D A Bb F C Eb Ab Db
F Bb Eb Gb Db Ab A E B D G C
Bb Eb Ab B Gb Db D A E G C F
Eb Ab Db E B Gb G D A C F Bb
C F Bb Db Ab Eb E B Gb A D G
G C F Ab Eb Bb B Gb Db E A D
D G C Eb Bb F Gb Db Ab B E A
<- R e t r o g r a d e

In the Etude I have composed, I wanted to sketch out the vertical (harmonic) and horizontal (melodic) qualities of the 12-tone set. I sat down at the piano, and started recording in GarageBand, while I improvised several vertical and horizontal ways of playing through the 12-tone set. Then I did some editing of the sound samples in GB to isolate the performances I wanted to keep and then added some delay and multitracked the piano parts slightly out of phase to create a “serialism-meets”minimalism” kind of effect.

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