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1. Atmosphères (1) 

Rhythm: Little if any perceptible rhythm; some minor micro-fluctuation.

Pitch: Broad compass over wide range, densely and evenly distributed, sustained chromatic cluster.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, well-blended orchestral tutti; exclusively pitched sounds.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except sustain.

 
2. Threnody 

Rhythm: Little if any perceptible rhythm; some sense of irregular, uncoordinated fluctuation.

Pitch: Broad compass over wide range, densely and evenly distributed, sustained microtonal cluster.

Dynamics: Loud, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, homogeneous string timbre; pitched sounds with some noise content.

Gesture: No sense of global gesture; some very slight sense of local gestures in fluctuation (e.g. bow changes).

 
3. Volumina 

Rhythm: Low activity, no perceptible periodicity; two rhythmic events (cluster expansion).

Pitch: Broad compass over mid-low range, expanding into higher register

Dynamics: Medium-loud, getting louder with the addition of notes as the register expands upwards.

Timbre: Consistent and uniform organ timbre.

Gesture: Predominantly sustained, two discrete upward gestures.

 
4. Musique Funèbre 

Rhythm: Regular, coordinated, periodic rhythm; progressive rallentando.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, mid-range tessitura, fairly narrow compass progressively diminishing, complex chromatic harmony contracting into a dense, narrow cluster.

Dynamics: Loud, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent and uniform string timbre.

Gesture: Clear, coherent, goal-directed gesture (contraction + rallentando to sustained cluster).

 
5. Mi-Parti 

Rhythm: Low activity; some perceptible rhythm as voices breathe and re-enter.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, medium-high tessitura, fairly wide compass; sustained complex chromatic harmony.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Wind instruments; exclusively pitched sounds; heterogeneous but well-blended, consistent, emergent timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except sustain.

 
6. Partiels 

Rhythm: Low activity; staggered soft entries result in minimal perceptible rhythmic activity.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, low-mid range, fairly wide compass; sustained harmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Medium-loud low register followed by soft harmonic “shadow.”

Timbre: Heterogeneous instruments but well-blended, evolving, emergent timbre.

Gesture: Upward migration of tessitura in a coherent global gesture, unified by harmonic spectrum.

 
7. Six Miniatures 

Rhythm: Low activity; staggered entries resulting in some perceptible rhythm but no periodicity.

Pitch: Discrete, relatively stable pitches; wide range and compass; sustained inharmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Heterogeneous instruments; evolving, emergent timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except timbral evolution.

 
8. Du Cristal 

Rhythm: Almost no perceptible rhythmic activity.

Pitch: Discrete, sparsely distributed, stable pitches; medium-low range; fairly wide compass; inharmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Very soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Sustained, predominantly string timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture. Static, sustained texture.

 
9. Stimmung 

Rhythm: Some rhythmic events created by entries. Superimposed periodic patterns created by vowel modulation.

Pitch: Stable, sustained pitches, middle register (vocal), harmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Sustained, moderately soft dynamics.

Timbre: Vocal, continuously modulating with vowel changes.

Gesture: Mild sense of gesture created by oscillating timbral modulation and thickening harmony.

 
10. Polymorphia (1) 

Rhythm: Little if any rhythmic differentiation.

Pitch: Very low register; dense, sustained pitches and glissandi; little or no perceptual resolution of discrete pitches.

Dynamics: Sustained, moderately loud dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but perceptually indistinct in this dense texture and very low register.

Gesture: Little or no sense of gesture.

 
11. Atmosphères (2) 

Rhythm: Some sense of irregular internal dynamism but no clearly articulated rhythm.

Pitch: Very low register, narrow compass, chromatically saturated.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but perceptually indistinct in this dense texture and very low register.

Gesture: Little or no sense of gesture.

 
12. Gorécki Symphony No. 3 

Rhythm: Clear, metrical, moderately slow, periodic rhythm.

Pitch: Very low register, narrow compass, diatonic structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-soft dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous low string timbre.

Gesture: Sense of gesture created by melodic counterpoint; no strong sense of global direction.

 
13. Requiem 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by syllables and introduction of new notes; no clear sense of metre or synchronous coordination between voices.

Pitch: Low register, narrow compass, chromatic structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-soft dynamics.

Timbre: Predominantly vocal timbre, bottom of male vocal range.

Gesture: Sense of gesture created by melodic counterpoint; global contour of slow divergence.

 
14. Mycenae Alpha 

Rhythm: Some internal dynamism but little if any clear rhythmic delineation.

Pitch: Mid-register; fairly narrow compass; little or no pitch salience; perceptual saturation.

Dynamics: Loud dynamics with some fluctuation.

Timbre: Synthetic, noisy timbre.

Gesture: Some sense of gesture created by shifting contour; no clear sense of global direction.

 
15. Asterism (1) 

Rhythm: Some internal dynamism, but difficult to discern because of the near-saturation of noise. No discernible coordination or periodicity between parts.

Pitch: Noise-based spectral saturation, little if any perceptible pitch structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, loud dynamics.

Timbre: Emergent from heterogeneous instruments, but percussion dominates (especially very loud cymbal roll).

Gesture: Global crescendo.

 
16. Sud 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by event onsets and dynamic crests; no clear sense of metre, periodicity, or coordination.

Pitch: Diffuse (filtered noise) and unstable (glissandi) sense of pitch; middle register, fairly narrow compass.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, noise-based timbre, weak sense of pitch created by filtering.

Gesture: Shepard tone-like arrangement of staggered, descending glissandi.

 
17. Vox 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by modulation of voice and by shifting sound sources; no clear sense of metre or periodicity.

Pitch: Narrow, mid-register pitch band corresponding to the approximate frequency of bees buzzing; overlapping and superimposed pitches within this range; no clear sense of harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium dynamics, inverted arch contour resulting from shifting sound sources.

Timbre: Beginning with vocal imitation of bees buzzing, shifting to sample of actual bees buzzing, returning to vocal sounds.

Gesture: Transformation-return gesture created by deployment of sound sources.

 
18. Pacific 

Rhythm: Rapid, quasi-percussive rhythmic rearticulations; some local periodicity but no clear sense of metrical coordination; irregular accent structure.

Pitch: Little or no perceptible pitch; mid-register noise-based sounds.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Noise-based, granular, fluctuating timbre.

Gesture: Stratification between rapid foreground and drone-like background

 
19. Tracés d’Ombres 

Rhythm: Some sense of rhythm created by timbral and dynamic modulation; little if any articulation of event onsets; no sense of metre or periodicity.

Pitch: Weak sense of unstable pitch in predominantly inharmonic sounds produced by extended techniques; medium and high tessituras; some loose pitch centricity but with continuous fluctuation and jitter; no clear sense of harmony.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Stratification of several timbral layers distinguished by register as well as spectral complexity: a rich, inharmonic mid-register layer, and a very high, squeaky, scratchy layer.

Gesture: Undulation within each of the stratified layers; no sense of global directedness.

 
20. Clair de Terre 

Rhythm: Very dense activity from a panoply of sound sources; clear, periodic pulse at the beginning of the excerpt, followed by a montage texture with much rhythmic activity but no clear synchronicity.

Pitch: Some pitch in the various sound sources but no clear pitch structure in the montage; broad and constantly changing tessitura and compass.

Dynamics: Fluctuating loud dynamics.

Timbre: Highly complex and continuously changing; the composite of the many, densely superimposed sound sources creates an impression of saturation.

Gesture: Frenetic bombardment.

 
21. Pithoprakta 

Rhythm: Very dense rhythmic activity; many clearly defined event onsets (pizzicati) densely superimposed; no sense of metre or synchronicity.

Pitch: Wide tessitura and compass, changing over the course of the excerpt (at times broad saturation, at times emphasizing the low register); pizzicato onsets most perceptually salient, but each note glisses following the onset; no clear harmony or pitch structure.

Dynamics: Covarying with tessitura; ranging from medium-soft to medium-loud.

Timbre: Homogenous string timbre, covarying somewhat with register.

Gesture: Globally shifting register creates downward-migrating gestural gestalt.

 
22. Ligeti Double Concerto (1) 

Rhythm: Dense, rapid, tremolo-like rearticulations; local, superimposed, shifting periodicities; no clear sense of metrical synchronicity.

Pitch: Brief but stable pitches; narrow, middle-register compass; diatonic intervals (m3 + M2) emphasized initially, followed by chromatic filling in.

Dynamics: Soft dynamics; slight crescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: String timbres, gradually transforming to emphasize upper harmonics (SP).

Gesture: Gradual timbral shift and chromatic filling-in create a progressive intensification.

 
23. Lutosławski Symphony No. 2 

Rhythm: Asynchronous, attack-dense, superimposed patterns between multiple instruments; some individual metrical organization but no synchronous coordination or common pulse.

Pitch: Fairly narrow compass, middle-register tessitura, chromatically saturated overall pitch structure but with continuously and indeterminately changing configurations as per the aleatoric texture.

Dynamics: Fluctuating, loud dynamics; slight decrescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: Fairly homogeneous brass timbre; some notes standing out as brasher.

Gesture: Slight decrease in compass / tessitura and loudness creates slight but progressive diminishing of intensity.

 
24. Riverrun 

Rhythm: Very dense, granular texture; a very large number of very short, superimposed sound events; continuous activity but no sense of pulse, meter, or synchronous coordination.

Pitch: Distributed stochastically and microtonally across broad range.

Dynamics: Sustained medium-loud dynamics; imposed decrescendo at the end.

Timbre: Sine tones and frequency-modulated sine tones distributed stochastically via granular synthesis; possible to hear multiple strata if low and high registers are perceived as distinct layers; also possible to hear as an amalgamated whole.

Gesture: No clear sense of gesture, apart from continuous, frenetic activity.

 
25. Wings of Nike 

Rhythm: Rapid, granulated rearticulation of short sound events; no clear sense of metrical synchrony.

Pitch: Stable pitches; prominent m7 in middle register; other lower sounds in background.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Synthesized sounds; quasi-vocal quality in one stratum; indistinct rumble in another.

Gesture: No clear sense of gesture; continuous, dense rhythmic activity and sustained pitch.

 
26. Crystal Music 

Rhythm: At least three distinct layers: (i) many short, very rapid micro-events similar to a “shatter” pattern, (ii) slow-moving notes, and (iii) a drone with no rhythmic differentiation.

Pitch: (i) has predominantly medium-high sounds with little pitch salience, (ii) consists of mid-register notes with strong pitch salience and diatonic intervals (parallel m3s), (iii) is a low rumble with little if any pitch salience.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-soft – medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Distinct timbres for each layer: (i) inharmonic / noisy; lack of clear pitch due to large number of very brief, superimposed events; (ii) harmonic synthetic timbre, “flutey” sound; (iii) indistinct, noisy. Other sounds include sine wave-like timbres in brief, granular textures.

Gesture: Pitch ascent in (ii) gives an overall ascending character; movement towards a brighter, synthetic timbre at the end gives a sense of intensification.

 
27. Mimetismo 

Rhythm: Very rhythmic texture; relatively sparse, short sound events with clearly defined attacks. Some periodicity in guitar tremolo, but at too rapid a pace to be perceived as metrical; some loose sense of meter emerges towards the end of the excerpt.

Pitch: Little sense of pitch in electronic sounds; strong sense of pitch in guitar sounds; low “pedal tone” with upward bending throughout excerpt, some mid-register chords emphasizing m3s in a chromatic ascending pattern in the latter part of the excerpt.

Dynamics: Soft for most of the excerpt, becoming louder towards the end.

Timbre: Inharmonic granular electronic sounds, juxtaposed with unprocessed acoustic guitar.

Gesture: Overall sense of ascent and intensification, primarily driven by the guitar layer.

 
28. Lutosławski Double Concerto 

Rhythm: Very dense, uncoordinated activity; local periodicity in individual parts, but no common pulse or meter.

Pitch: Chromatic saturation in mid-low register; less dense motion in counterpointed voices in low and medium-high registers.

Dynamics: Sustained loud dynamics.

Timbre: Relatively homogeneous string timbre.

Gesture: Mini-Shepard-tone-like gesture in repeated rapid descent in mid-low register; gradual splitting off of contrapuntal voices creates increased stratification and consequently a diminishing sense of unity or coherence.

 
29. Ligeti Double Concerto (2) 

Rhythm: Fairly dense rhythmic activity in fluctuating degrees throughout the excerpt; periodicity in local gestures whose phases change relative to one another somewhat irregularly, such that there is no overarching sense of meter but quasi-metrical moments emerge and then disappear.

Pitch: Chromatically saturated m3 in mid-register.

Dynamics: Fluctuating soft dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous flute-dominated timbre, fairly dull and diffuse at the bottom of the instrument’s range.

Gesture: Interweaving and overlapping of similar gestures; gradual thinning of texture over course of excerpt.

 
30. Polymorphia (2) 

Rhythm: Very dense activity; some rhythmic pop-outs caused by rapid registral displacement but predominant sense of rhythmic saturation and therefore indiscriminability.

Pitch: Little or no clear sense of pitch, due to spectral saturation and pervasive glissandi.

Dynamics: Sustained medium-loud dynamics with micro-fluctuations as voices move transiently into different registers.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but creating a “vocal” illusion of a crowd of people through its organization.

Gesture: No clear sense of global gesture.

 
31. Ligeti Double Concerto (3) 

Rhythm: Tremolo-type rapid rearticulation; some local periodicity but continuously changing, with no clear or sustained sense of pulse or meter.

Pitch: Mid-low register, narrow compass, only two pitches separated by m3 for most of the excerpt; small amount of chromatic expansion towards the end.

Dynamics: Medium-soft dynamics with some minor fluctuation.

Timbre: Somewhat heterogeneous woodwind timbre, shiftting from clarinet-based to bassoon-based.

Gesture: Little sense of gesture; subtle trajectory of expansion and timbral intensification.

 
32. Jeux Vénitiens 

Rhythm: Complex, active, and moderately dense polyrhythm; some local periodicity but no coordination, pulse, or meter between the parts.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from mid-low to mid-high register; complex chromatic pitch content, which, combined with lack of synchronous coordination, inhibits the emergence of a discernible or stable harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics, fluctuating with changes in other parameters.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous, woodwind-based timbre.

Gesture: Strong sense of superposition of multiple gestures, each with its own contour, trajectory, and rhythmic profile, but with no global sense of gestural coherence or coordination.

 
33. Asterism (2) 

Rhythm: Complex, active, fairly dense polyrhythm. Some local periodicity but no coordination, pulse, or meter between the parts.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high register; complex chromatic pitch content, which, combined with lack of synchronous coordination, inhibits the emergence of discernible or stable harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics, fluctuating with changes in other parameters.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous ensemble timbre, with prominent woodwinds and percussion.

Gesture: Strong sense of superposition of multiple gestures, each with its own contour, trajectory, and rhythmic profile, but with no global sense of gestural coherence or coordination.

 
34. Ligeti Double Concerto (4) 

Rhythm: Highly varied over the course of the excerpt, with moments of dense activity alternating with moments of relatively long sustained events (pitch bends in addition to stable pitches). Strong sense of rhythmic coordination between the parts but no clear periodicity or meter.

Pitch: High register; fairly narrow compass varying over the course of the excerpt from about a tritone to near-unison with microtonal inflection.

Dynamics: Fairly steady, medium-loud dynamics; some fluctuation with changes in pitch and rhythm.

Timbre: Fairly heterogeneous ensemble timbre, with prominent woodwinds.

Gesture: Coordinated global gestural alternation between kinetic activity and relative repose.

 
35. Metastaseis 

Rhythm: Little if any rhythmic differentiation due to continuous glissandi; some “events” created by local crests and troughs of pitch structure.

Pitch: Very wide initial compass ranging from very low to very high; no sense of stable pitch as all voices move in continuous glissandi; gradual process of contraction over the course of the excerpt with some irregular trajectories.

Dynamics: Varying smoothly over the course of the excerpt, ranging from medium-soft to loud.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre.

Gesture: Coherent, coordinated gesture of progressive registral contraction in “common fate” motion.

 
36. Mortuos Plango 

Rhythm: Little rhythmic differentiation due to continuous glissandi; rhythmic events created by the introduction of new discrete pitches which then proceeds to glissando, and (less saliently) by the disappearance of other voices.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high; continuously changing inharmonic pitch structure; greater and lesser degrees of instability in pitch due to continuously changing slope of glissandi.

Dynamics: Varying (mostly smoothly) over the course of the excerpt, ranging from soft to medium.

Timbre: Synthetic sine-tones, some emergent timbre from combinations of tones.

Gesture: Coherent, coordinated, two-phase gesture, first of contraction to a point of harmonic arrival (similar to a minor chord), followed by progressive ascent and divergence of sine tones.

 
37. Jaanilalud 

Rhythm: Relatively low degree of rhythmic activity; unwavering rhythmic unison; clear 4/4 meter; steady tempo at a moderate pace.

Pitch: Parallel “planing” of diatonic chord (M9) under diatonic melody; moderately wide compass ranging from mid-low to mid-high register.

Dynamics: Fairly sustained medium dynamics.

Timbre: Fairly homogeneous vocal timbre (mixed-voice choir).

Gesture: Completely unified, globally coherent melodic gesture; prototypical “common fate” motion.

 
38. Trois Poèmes d’Henri Michaux 

Rhythm: Rhythmic differentiation most salient in percussion and wind instruments, with clearly defined events and quasi-periodic timing; no clear rhythm in voices, which are coordinated neither with the percussion nor with one another.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high range; little stable pitch content due to continuous glissandi.

Dynamics: Sustained loud dynamics with some internal fluctuation.

Timbre: Two timbral strata: continuous wash of vocal shouts / downward glissandi, and heterogeneous, sparse percussion-piccolo overlay.

Gesture: Clear stratification between voices and instruments; voices create a noisy, quasi-Shepard-tone effect; instruments punctuate with brief rhythmic gestures; little sense of coherence between the two layers, or of global gestural direction.

 
39. Hyperion 

Rhythm: Fairly high degree of rhythmic activity, increasing (accelerating) over the course of the excerpt; local periodicity and gestural coordination but little or no sense of overall pulse or meter.

Pitch: Discrete, stable pitches, gradually decreasing in duration over the course of the excerpt; wide compass with most pitches concentrated in the mid-low register; superimposed octatonic and chromatic scale patterns.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics with some internal fluctuation; small crescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous instrumental ensemble, some instruments standing out more than others (especially the piano).

Gesture: Orchestrated accelerating Shepard tone.

 
40. Points de Fuites 

Rhythm: Very dense rhythmic activity, many very brief (granular) events, clear coordination into overlapping descending gestures, no clear sense of pulse or meter.

Pitch: Quasi-whole-tone scale patterns in descending gestures, microtonally superimposed; pitch content concentrated in a fairly narrow mid-register compass, with non-pitched sound components extending to both high and low registers.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-soft – medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Synthetic, granulated timbre; mixture of inharmonic and noise-based sounds.

Gesture: Synthetically orchestrated, irregular Shepard tone.

 
1. Atmosphères (1) 

Rhythm: Little if any perceptible rhythm; some minor micro-fluctuation.

Pitch: Broad compass over wide range, densely and evenly distributed, sustained chromatic cluster.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, well-blended orchestral tutti; exclusively pitched sounds.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except sustain.

 
2. Threnody 

Rhythm: Little if any perceptible rhythm; some sense of irregular, uncoordinated fluctuation.

Pitch: Broad compass over wide range, densely and evenly distributed, sustained microtonal cluster.

Dynamics: Loud, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, homogeneous string timbre; pitched sounds with some noise content.

Gesture: No sense of global gesture; some very slight sense of local gestures in fluctuation (e.g. bow changes).

 
3. Volumina 

Rhythm: Low activity, no perceptible periodicity; two rhythmic events (cluster expansion).

Pitch: Broad compass over mid-low range, expanding into higher register

Dynamics: Medium-loud, getting louder with the addition of notes as the register expands upwards.

Timbre: Consistent and uniform organ timbre.

Gesture: Predominantly sustained, two discrete upward gestures.

 
4. Musique Funèbre 

Rhythm: Regular, coordinated, periodic rhythm; progressive rallentando.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, mid-range tessitura, fairly narrow compass progressively diminishing, complex chromatic harmony contracting into a dense, narrow cluster.

Dynamics: Loud, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent and uniform string timbre.

Gesture: Clear, coherent, goal-directed gesture (contraction + rallentando to sustained cluster).

 
5. Mi-Parti 

Rhythm: Low activity; some perceptible rhythm as voices breathe and re-enter.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, medium-high tessitura, fairly wide compass; sustained complex chromatic harmony.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Wind instruments; exclusively pitched sounds; heterogeneous but well-blended, consistent, emergent timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except sustain.

 
6. Partiels 

Rhythm: Low activity; staggered soft entries result in minimal perceptible rhythmic activity.

Pitch: Discrete pitches, low-mid range, fairly wide compass; sustained harmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Medium-loud low register followed by soft harmonic “shadow.”

Timbre: Heterogeneous instruments but well-blended, evolving, emergent timbre.

Gesture: Upward migration of tessitura in a coherent global gesture, unified by harmonic spectrum.

 
7. Six Miniatures 

Rhythm: Low activity; staggered entries resulting in some perceptible rhythm but no periodicity.

Pitch: Discrete, relatively stable pitches; wide range and compass; sustained inharmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Medium-soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Heterogeneous instruments; evolving, emergent timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture except timbral evolution.

 
8. Du Cristal 

Rhythm: Almost no perceptible rhythmic activity.

Pitch: Discrete, sparsely distributed, stable pitches; medium-low range; fairly wide compass; inharmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Very soft, sustained dynamics.

Timbre: Sustained, predominantly string timbre.

Gesture: No sense of gesture. Static, sustained texture.

 
9. Stimmung 

Rhythm: Some rhythmic events created by entries. Superimposed periodic patterns created by vowel modulation.

Pitch: Stable, sustained pitches, middle register (vocal), harmonic spectrum.

Dynamics: Sustained, moderately soft dynamics.

Timbre: Vocal, continuously modulating with vowel changes.

Gesture: Mild sense of gesture created by oscillating timbral modulation and thickening harmony.

 
10. Polymorphia (1) 

Rhythm: Little if any rhythmic differentiation.

Pitch: Very low register; dense, sustained pitches and glissandi; little or no perceptual resolution of discrete pitches.

Dynamics: Sustained, moderately loud dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but perceptually indistinct in this dense texture and very low register.

Gesture: Little or no sense of gesture.

 
11. Atmosphères (2) 

Rhythm: Some sense of irregular internal dynamism but no clearly articulated rhythm.

Pitch: Very low register, narrow compass, chromatically saturated.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but perceptually indistinct in this dense texture and very low register.

Gesture: Little or no sense of gesture.

 
12. Gorécki Symphony No. 3 

Rhythm: Clear, metrical, moderately slow, periodic rhythm.

Pitch: Very low register, narrow compass, diatonic structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-soft dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous low string timbre.

Gesture: Sense of gesture created by melodic counterpoint; no strong sense of global direction.

 
13. Requiem 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by syllables and introduction of new notes; no clear sense of metre or synchronous coordination between voices.

Pitch: Low register, narrow compass, chromatic structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-soft dynamics.

Timbre: Predominantly vocal timbre, bottom of male vocal range.

Gesture: Sense of gesture created by melodic counterpoint; global contour of slow divergence.

 
14. Mycenae Alpha 

Rhythm: Some internal dynamism but little if any clear rhythmic delineation.

Pitch: Mid-register; fairly narrow compass; little or no pitch salience; perceptual saturation.

Dynamics: Loud dynamics with some fluctuation.

Timbre: Synthetic, noisy timbre.

Gesture: Some sense of gesture created by shifting contour; no clear sense of global direction.

 
15. Asterism (1) 

Rhythm: Some internal dynamism, but difficult to discern because of the near-saturation of noise. No discernible coordination or periodicity between parts.

Pitch: Noise-based spectral saturation, little if any perceptible pitch structure.

Dynamics: Sustained, loud dynamics.

Timbre: Emergent from heterogeneous instruments, but percussion dominates (especially very loud cymbal roll).

Gesture: Global crescendo.

 
16. Sud 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by event onsets and dynamic crests; no clear sense of metre, periodicity, or coordination.

Pitch: Diffuse (filtered noise) and unstable (glissandi) sense of pitch; middle register, fairly narrow compass.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium dynamics.

Timbre: Consistent, noise-based timbre, weak sense of pitch created by filtering.

Gesture: Shepard tone-like arrangement of staggered, descending glissandi.

 
17. Vox 

Rhythm: Rhythmic events created by modulation of voice and by shifting sound sources; no clear sense of metre or periodicity.

Pitch: Narrow, mid-register pitch band corresponding to the approximate frequency of bees buzzing; overlapping and superimposed pitches within this range; no clear sense of harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium dynamics, inverted arch contour resulting from shifting sound sources.

Timbre: Beginning with vocal imitation of bees buzzing, shifting to sample of actual bees buzzing, returning to vocal sounds.

Gesture: Transformation-return gesture created by deployment of sound sources.

 
18. Pacific 

Rhythm: Rapid, quasi-percussive rhythmic rearticulations; some local periodicity but no clear sense of metrical coordination; irregular accent structure.

Pitch: Little or no perceptible pitch; mid-register noise-based sounds.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Noise-based, granular, fluctuating timbre.

Gesture: Stratification between rapid foreground and drone-like background

 
19. Tracés d’Ombres 

Rhythm: Some sense of rhythm created by timbral and dynamic modulation; little if any articulation of event onsets; no sense of metre or periodicity.

Pitch: Weak sense of unstable pitch in predominantly inharmonic sounds produced by extended techniques; medium and high tessituras; some loose pitch centricity but with continuous fluctuation and jitter; no clear sense of harmony.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Stratification of several timbral layers distinguished by register as well as spectral complexity: a rich, inharmonic mid-register layer, and a very high, squeaky, scratchy layer.

Gesture: Undulation within each of the stratified layers; no sense of global directedness.

 
20. Clair de Terre 

Rhythm: Very dense activity from a panoply of sound sources; clear, periodic pulse at the beginning of the excerpt, followed by a montage texture with much rhythmic activity but no clear synchronicity.

Pitch: Some pitch in the various sound sources but no clear pitch structure in the montage; broad and constantly changing tessitura and compass.

Dynamics: Fluctuating loud dynamics.

Timbre: Highly complex and continuously changing; the composite of the many, densely superimposed sound sources creates an impression of saturation.

Gesture: Frenetic bombardment.

 
21. Pithoprakta 

Rhythm: Very dense rhythmic activity; many clearly defined event onsets (pizzicati) densely superimposed; no sense of metre or synchronicity.

Pitch: Wide tessitura and compass, changing over the course of the excerpt (at times broad saturation, at times emphasizing the low register); pizzicato onsets most perceptually salient, but each note glisses following the onset; no clear harmony or pitch structure.

Dynamics: Covarying with tessitura; ranging from medium-soft to medium-loud.

Timbre: Homogenous string timbre, covarying somewhat with register.

Gesture: Globally shifting register creates downward-migrating gestural gestalt.

 
22. Ligeti Double Concerto (1) 

Rhythm: Dense, rapid, tremolo-like rearticulations; local, superimposed, shifting periodicities; no clear sense of metrical synchronicity.

Pitch: Brief but stable pitches; narrow, middle-register compass; diatonic intervals (m3 + M2) emphasized initially, followed by chromatic filling in.

Dynamics: Soft dynamics; slight crescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: String timbres, gradually transforming to emphasize upper harmonics (SP).

Gesture: Gradual timbral shift and chromatic filling-in create a progressive intensification.

 
23. Lutosławski Symphony No. 2 

Rhythm: Asynchronous, attack-dense, superimposed patterns between multiple instruments; some individual metrical organization but no synchronous coordination or common pulse.

Pitch: Fairly narrow compass, middle-register tessitura, chromatically saturated overall pitch structure but with continuously and indeterminately changing configurations as per the aleatoric texture.

Dynamics: Fluctuating, loud dynamics; slight decrescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: Fairly homogeneous brass timbre; some notes standing out as brasher.

Gesture: Slight decrease in compass / tessitura and loudness creates slight but progressive diminishing of intensity.

 
24. Riverrun 

Rhythm: Very dense, granular texture; a very large number of very short, superimposed sound events; continuous activity but no sense of pulse, meter, or synchronous coordination.

Pitch: Distributed stochastically and microtonally across broad range.

Dynamics: Sustained medium-loud dynamics; imposed decrescendo at the end.

Timbre: Sine tones and frequency-modulated sine tones distributed stochastically via granular synthesis; possible to hear multiple strata if low and high registers are perceived as distinct layers; also possible to hear as an amalgamated whole.

Gesture: No clear sense of gesture, apart from continuous, frenetic activity.

 
25. Wings of Nike 

Rhythm: Rapid, granulated rearticulation of short sound events; no clear sense of metrical synchrony.

Pitch: Stable pitches; prominent m7 in middle register; other lower sounds in background.

Dynamics: Sustained, medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Synthesized sounds; quasi-vocal quality in one stratum; indistinct rumble in another.

Gesture: No clear sense of gesture; continuous, dense rhythmic activity and sustained pitch.

 
26. Crystal Music 

Rhythm: At least three distinct layers: (i) many short, very rapid micro-events similar to a “shatter” pattern, (ii) slow-moving notes, and (iii) a drone with no rhythmic differentiation.

Pitch: (i) has predominantly medium-high sounds with little pitch salience, (ii) consists of mid-register notes with strong pitch salience and diatonic intervals (parallel m3s), (iii) is a low rumble with little if any pitch salience.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-soft – medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Distinct timbres for each layer: (i) inharmonic / noisy; lack of clear pitch due to large number of very brief, superimposed events; (ii) harmonic synthetic timbre, “flutey” sound; (iii) indistinct, noisy. Other sounds include sine wave-like timbres in brief, granular textures.

Gesture: Pitch ascent in (ii) gives an overall ascending character; movement towards a brighter, synthetic timbre at the end gives a sense of intensification.

 
27. Mimetismo 

Rhythm: Very rhythmic texture; relatively sparse, short sound events with clearly defined attacks. Some periodicity in guitar tremolo, but at too rapid a pace to be perceived as metrical; some loose sense of meter emerges towards the end of the excerpt.

Pitch: Little sense of pitch in electronic sounds; strong sense of pitch in guitar sounds; low “pedal tone” with upward bending throughout excerpt, some mid-register chords emphasizing m3s in a chromatic ascending pattern in the latter part of the excerpt.

Dynamics: Soft for most of the excerpt, becoming louder towards the end.

Timbre: Inharmonic granular electronic sounds, juxtaposed with unprocessed acoustic guitar.

Gesture: Overall sense of ascent and intensification, primarily driven by the guitar layer.

 
28. Lutosławski Double Concerto 

Rhythm: Very dense, uncoordinated activity; local periodicity in individual parts, but no common pulse or meter.

Pitch: Chromatic saturation in mid-low register; less dense motion in counterpointed voices in low and medium-high registers.

Dynamics: Sustained loud dynamics.

Timbre: Relatively homogeneous string timbre.

Gesture: Mini-Shepard-tone-like gesture in repeated rapid descent in mid-low register; gradual splitting off of contrapuntal voices creates increased stratification and consequently a diminishing sense of unity or coherence.

 
29. Ligeti Double Concerto (2) 

Rhythm: Fairly dense rhythmic activity in fluctuating degrees throughout the excerpt; periodicity in local gestures whose phases change relative to one another somewhat irregularly, such that there is no overarching sense of meter but quasi-metrical moments emerge and then disappear.

Pitch: Chromatically saturated m3 in mid-register.

Dynamics: Fluctuating soft dynamics.

Timbre: Homogeneous flute-dominated timbre, fairly dull and diffuse at the bottom of the instrument’s range.

Gesture: Interweaving and overlapping of similar gestures; gradual thinning of texture over course of excerpt.

 
30. Polymorphia (2) 

Rhythm: Very dense activity; some rhythmic pop-outs caused by rapid registral displacement but predominant sense of rhythmic saturation and therefore indiscriminability.

Pitch: Little or no clear sense of pitch, due to spectral saturation and pervasive glissandi.

Dynamics: Sustained medium-loud dynamics with micro-fluctuations as voices move transiently into different registers.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre, but creating a “vocal” illusion of a crowd of people through its organization.

Gesture: No clear sense of global gesture.

 
31. Ligeti Double Concerto (3) 

Rhythm: Tremolo-type rapid rearticulation; some local periodicity but continuously changing, with no clear or sustained sense of pulse or meter.

Pitch: Mid-low register, narrow compass, only two pitches separated by m3 for most of the excerpt; small amount of chromatic expansion towards the end.

Dynamics: Medium-soft dynamics with some minor fluctuation.

Timbre: Somewhat heterogeneous woodwind timbre, shiftting from clarinet-based to bassoon-based.

Gesture: Little sense of gesture; subtle trajectory of expansion and timbral intensification.

 
32. Jeux Vénitiens 

Rhythm: Complex, active, and moderately dense polyrhythm; some local periodicity but no coordination, pulse, or meter between the parts.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from mid-low to mid-high register; complex chromatic pitch content, which, combined with lack of synchronous coordination, inhibits the emergence of a discernible or stable harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics, fluctuating with changes in other parameters.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous, woodwind-based timbre.

Gesture: Strong sense of superposition of multiple gestures, each with its own contour, trajectory, and rhythmic profile, but with no global sense of gestural coherence or coordination.

 
33. Asterism (2) 

Rhythm: Complex, active, fairly dense polyrhythm. Some local periodicity but no coordination, pulse, or meter between the parts.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high register; complex chromatic pitch content, which, combined with lack of synchronous coordination, inhibits the emergence of discernible or stable harmonic structure.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics, fluctuating with changes in other parameters.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous ensemble timbre, with prominent woodwinds and percussion.

Gesture: Strong sense of superposition of multiple gestures, each with its own contour, trajectory, and rhythmic profile, but with no global sense of gestural coherence or coordination.

 
34. Ligeti Double Concerto (4) 

Rhythm: Highly varied over the course of the excerpt, with moments of dense activity alternating with moments of relatively long sustained events (pitch bends in addition to stable pitches). Strong sense of rhythmic coordination between the parts but no clear periodicity or meter.

Pitch: High register; fairly narrow compass varying over the course of the excerpt from about a tritone to near-unison with microtonal inflection.

Dynamics: Fairly steady, medium-loud dynamics; some fluctuation with changes in pitch and rhythm.

Timbre: Fairly heterogeneous ensemble timbre, with prominent woodwinds.

Gesture: Coordinated global gestural alternation between kinetic activity and relative repose.

 
35. Metastaseis 

Rhythm: Little if any rhythmic differentiation due to continuous glissandi; some “events” created by local crests and troughs of pitch structure.

Pitch: Very wide initial compass ranging from very low to very high; no sense of stable pitch as all voices move in continuous glissandi; gradual process of contraction over the course of the excerpt with some irregular trajectories.

Dynamics: Varying smoothly over the course of the excerpt, ranging from medium-soft to loud.

Timbre: Homogeneous string timbre.

Gesture: Coherent, coordinated gesture of progressive registral contraction in “common fate” motion.

 
36. Mortuos Plango 

Rhythm: Little rhythmic differentiation due to continuous glissandi; rhythmic events created by the introduction of new discrete pitches which then proceeds to glissando, and (less saliently) by the disappearance of other voices.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high; continuously changing inharmonic pitch structure; greater and lesser degrees of instability in pitch due to continuously changing slope of glissandi.

Dynamics: Varying (mostly smoothly) over the course of the excerpt, ranging from soft to medium.

Timbre: Synthetic sine-tones, some emergent timbre from combinations of tones.

Gesture: Coherent, coordinated, two-phase gesture, first of contraction to a point of harmonic arrival (similar to a minor chord), followed by progressive ascent and divergence of sine tones.

 
37. Jaanilalud 

Rhythm: Relatively low degree of rhythmic activity; unwavering rhythmic unison; clear 4/4 meter; steady tempo at a moderate pace.

Pitch: Parallel “planing” of diatonic chord (M9) under diatonic melody; moderately wide compass ranging from mid-low to mid-high register.

Dynamics: Fairly sustained medium dynamics.

Timbre: Fairly homogeneous vocal timbre (mixed-voice choir).

Gesture: Completely unified, globally coherent melodic gesture; prototypical “common fate” motion.

 
38. Trois Poèmes d’Henri Michaux 

Rhythm: Rhythmic differentiation most salient in percussion and wind instruments, with clearly defined events and quasi-periodic timing; no clear rhythm in voices, which are coordinated neither with the percussion nor with one another.

Pitch: Fairly wide compass from medium to high range; little stable pitch content due to continuous glissandi.

Dynamics: Sustained loud dynamics with some internal fluctuation.

Timbre: Two timbral strata: continuous wash of vocal shouts / downward glissandi, and heterogeneous, sparse percussion-piccolo overlay.

Gesture: Clear stratification between voices and instruments; voices create a noisy, quasi-Shepard-tone effect; instruments punctuate with brief rhythmic gestures; little sense of coherence between the two layers, or of global gestural direction.

 
39. Hyperion 

Rhythm: Fairly high degree of rhythmic activity, increasing (accelerating) over the course of the excerpt; local periodicity and gestural coordination but little or no sense of overall pulse or meter.

Pitch: Discrete, stable pitches, gradually decreasing in duration over the course of the excerpt; wide compass with most pitches concentrated in the mid-low register; superimposed octatonic and chromatic scale patterns.

Dynamics: Medium-loud dynamics with some internal fluctuation; small crescendo over the course of the excerpt.

Timbre: Very heterogeneous instrumental ensemble, some instruments standing out more than others (especially the piano).

Gesture: Orchestrated accelerating Shepard tone.

 
40. Points de Fuites 

Rhythm: Very dense rhythmic activity, many very brief (granular) events, clear coordination into overlapping descending gestures, no clear sense of pulse or meter.

Pitch: Quasi-whole-tone scale patterns in descending gestures, microtonally superimposed; pitch content concentrated in a fairly narrow mid-register compass, with non-pitched sound components extending to both high and low registers.

Dynamics: Fluctuating medium-soft – medium-loud dynamics.

Timbre: Synthetic, granulated timbre; mixture of inharmonic and noise-based sounds.

Gesture: Synthetically orchestrated, irregular Shepard tone.

 
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