By Vidas Pinkevicius
There are two basic types of atonal music - serial music and aleatoric music. If you want to write serial music, you want to control as many musical elements as possible. The more, the better. So write a series of notes in which any particular pitch cannot be repeated before an entire series is over. In total serialism you assign each pitch a duration, dynamic level, articulation, and color.
In aleatoric music you leave everything to chance. The pitches are assigned to the specific numbers of the roll of the dice. You roll the dice and write the note that has shown up by accident. Roll some more and write another pitch. Twelve pitches of the chromatic scale - twelve numbers of two dice cubes. That's how it works.
There's one thing serial and aleatoric music have in common - they both sound exactly the same.
Cats love such music. Every time you see a cat on a keyboard - that's what they're using.
"Hey, Tigger, what are you playing?"
"I can't decide what I want to play - total serialism or aleatory".
"Can't you just compromise? Play serial aleatory or something."
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.