Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition is a book by Greek composer , architect , and engineer Iannis Xenakis in which he explains his motivation, philosophy, and technique for composing music with stochastic mathematical functions. It was published in Paris in as Musiques formelles: nouveaux principes formels de composition musicale as a special double issue of La Revue musicale and republished in an expanded edition in in Paris by Stock Musique. It was later translated into English with three added chapters and published in by Indiana University Press, republished in by Pendragon Press with a second edition published in , also by Pendragon. It has been described as a groundbreaking work. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. McHard

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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Formalized Music by Iannis Xenakis. Pendragon Press is proud to offer this new, revised, and expanded edition of Formalized Music, Iannis Xenakis's landmark book of In addition to three totally new chapters examining recent breakthroughs in music theory, two original computer programs illustrating the actual realization of newly proposed methods of composition, and an appendix of the very latest develo Pendragon Press is proud to offer this new, revised, and expanded edition of Formalized Music, Iannis Xenakis's landmark book of In addition to three totally new chapters examining recent breakthroughs in music theory, two original computer programs illustrating the actual realization of newly proposed methods of composition, and an appendix of the very latest developments of stochastic synthesis as an invitation to future exploration, Xenakis offers a very critical self-examination of his theoretical propositions and artistic output of the past thirty-five years.

This edition of Formalized Music is an essential tool for understanding the man and the thought processes of one of this century's most important and revolutionary musical figures. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 1st by Pendragon Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Formalized Music , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. The following is a just a small portion of the complete review. As usual, I recommend reading the full thing. REVIEW: March 7, 16th day of juice fast : From Xenakis' "Preface to the Second Edition": "The formalization that I attempted in trying to reconstruct part of the musical edifice ex nihilio [reviewer's note: Latin for "out of nothing"] has not used, for want of time or capacity, the most advanced aspects of philosophical and scientific thought.

But the escalade is started and others will certainly enlarge and extend the new thesis. This book is addressed to a hybrid public, but interdisciplinary hybridization frequently produces superb specimens. IMO, Xenakis has upped the ante for human intelligence so high that humanity shd be proud that he even existed.

If 10 stars were an available rating, I'd give this an From Xenakis' "Preface to Musiques Formelles ": "For this purpose the qualification "beautiful" or "ugly" makes no sense for sound, not for the music that derives from it; the quantity of intelligence carried by the sounds must be the true criterion of the validity of a particular music.

From Chapter 1: "Free Stochastic Music": "Art, and above all, music has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression.

It must aim through fixations which are landmarks to draw towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal.

This tremendous truth is not made of objects, emotions, or sensations; it is beyond these, as Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is beyond music. This is why art can lead to realms that religion still occupies for some people.

If this bk had gone downhill in intensity from here I might've been disappointed. But, no, it only escalates..

Now I'm listening to "Orient-Occident" All electro-acoustic music. In the case of those many of us for whom the Philips Pavilion that Xenakis designed who's an architect on top of his other talents at the World's Fair is a landmark event in the history of the world, the drawings on pp are worth the price of admission alone In my case the "cost of admission" was free insofar as my friend Unfinished Symphonies gave me this bk after he got it at a library sale.

Take the 1st paragraph of this caption for illustration B: "A ruled surface consisting of two conoids, a and d , is laid through the curve bounding the right half of the "stomach. The straight directrix of a passes through a second peak and is joined by an arc to the directrix of d. Four hundred loudspeakers, lining the interior of the shell, were required to fill up the space with the sonic scintillations of Concret P-H and to effect a common emanation from architecture and music, conceived as an entity: the roughness of the concrete and its coefficient of internal friction was echoed in the timbre of the scintillations.

It is possible to produce ruled surfaces by drawing the glissandi as straight lines. I performed this experiment with Metastasis this work had its premier in at Donaueschingen.

Thus I believe that on this occasion music and architecture found an intimate connection. I indicate the causal chain of ideas which led me to formulate the architecture of the Philips Pavilion from the score of Metastasis " p 10 Next up in the accompanying music to writing this review is "Kraanerg" , "S. This will explain: "As a result of the impasse in serial music, as well as other causes, I originated in a music constructed from the principle of indeterminism; two years later I named it "Stochastic Music.

The music I love is all produced by strong personalities, driven by their own personal philosophy. They write scores in which certain combinations of sounds may be freely chosen by the interpreter.

Two logical infirmities are apparent which deny them the right to speak of chance on the one hand and "composition" on the other composition in the broad sense, that is : "1. The interpreter is a highly conditioned being, so that it is not possible to accept the thesis of unconditioned choice, of an interpreter acting like a roulette game.

The martingale betting at Monte Carlo and the procession of suicides should convince anyone of this. We shall return to this. The composer commits an act of resignation when he admits several possible and equivalent circuits.

In the name of a "scheme" the problem of choice is betrayed, and it is the interpreter who is promoted to the rank of composer by the composer himself. There is thus a substitution of authors. The two infirmities mentioned above are terribly aggravated here. I would like to pose a question: If this sheet of paper is put before an interpreter who is an incomparable expert on Chopin, will the result not be modulated in the style and writing of Chopin in the same way that a performer who is immersed in this style might improvise a Chopin-like cadenza to another composer's concerto?

From the point of view of the composer there is no interest. As for the idea of "an interpreter who is an incomparable expert on Chopin" improvising "a Chopin-like cadenza to another composer's concerto"?

Why not? What wd the similarities be? I'm reminded of when Neely Bruce performed what he announced as a Chopin piece at a friend's wedding party in or thereabouts. As for serial composition becoming banal? A major factor in Xenakis' criticism of other composers' approaches to games is that his approach specifically references Game Theory in its mathematical purity: "Before passing to the problem of the mechanization of stochastic music by the use of computers, we shall take a stroll in a more enjoyable realm, that of games, their theory, and application in musical composition.

Each of the conductors directs sonic operations against the operations of the other. This value is written in a grid or matrix at the intersection of the row corresponding to move i of conductor A and the column corresponding to move j of conductor B. This is the partial score ij , representing the payment one conductor gives the other.

This game, a duel , is defined as a two-person zero-sum game. I stress the word " competitive " regarding the above - but not all games are competitive. This is much more my approach. Xenakis's music is highly influenced by the intense experiences he had as a Communist student resistance fighter during WWII against the Nazi occupation of Greece.

I was still able to remember all the particulars, above all - naturally - the fact that the two cellists were placed near the front of the platform on either side, with the percussion player between them as "umpire". The details of performance, with the types of sound, methods of articulation and gesticulation, and above all the markedly "sporting" character of the piece, remained in my mind with the utmost clarity.

At that time I was working on a composition for entirely different forces and with a totally different disposition of the material; I could see no relationship, as regards either content or form, between the sound world of the two concepts. I did not want to give up work on the piece on which I was already engaged in order to bring a dream to realization. Nine nights later, however, the dream performance was repeated, with the same clarity of detail as before.

I was perturbed, this time I made notes, and tried to define the elusive time element of the imaginary music in terms of concrete tempi. On the following morning I realized that the dream had been repeated yet again. This time I laid everything aside, in the belief that fate had knocked three times, and that it was high time to do what was required of me.

The dream has never again been repeated, which is a pity, because I should like to compare it to the finished score. Feb 03, Stuart rated it liked it Shelves: music. I very much like Xenakis' music as well as his general philosophy to music.

My critique is the minimalist one, that I would prefer the music to demonstrate simply one mathematical concept in a audible way. In some of his pieces I hear the general concept being played out: sound clouds, sound masses evolving. But as a composer there are no techniques outlined here that I can use.

Oct 02, J C is currently reading it. This book is currently out of print and used copies go for absolutely ridiculous prices.


Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (Harmonologia Series, #6)

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Other Titles in the Harm onologia Series No. Portions of it appeared in Gravesaner Blatter, nos. Library of Congress Cataloging-Publication Data. Xenakis, Iannis, a Formalized music : thought and m thematics in composition 1 Iannis Xenakis. Includes bibliographical refer ISBN y and aesthetics. Musicth century-Philosoph. Music 3.





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