Aleatoric music

aleatoricaleatorychance musicaleatory musicopen formchancealeatoric compositionaleatoricismchance operationsindeterminacy
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).wikipedia
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Music

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Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).
Music that makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called aleatoric music, and is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th century, such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Witold Lutosławski.

John Cage

CageCage, John[John] Cage
American composer John Cage's Music of Changes (1951) was "the first composition to be largely determined by random procedures", though his indeterminacy is of a different order from Meyer-Eppler's concept.
Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951.

Charles Ives

IvesIves, Charles Ives
The earliest significant use of aleatory features is found in many of the compositions of American Charles Ives in the early 20th century.
He was also among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatory elements, and quarter tones.

Indeterminacy (music)

indeterminacyindeterminateindeterminate music
American composer John Cage's Music of Changes (1951) was "the first composition to be largely determined by random procedures", though his indeterminacy is of a different order from Meyer-Eppler's concept.
In Europe, following the introduction of the expression "aleatory music" by Meyer-Eppler, the French composer Pierre Boulez was largely responsible for popularizing the term.

Pierre Boulez

BoulezBoulez, PierrePierre
In Europe, following the introduction of the expression "aleatory music" by Meyer-Eppler, the French composer Pierre Boulez was largely responsible for popularizing the term.
As a young composer in the 1950s he quickly became a leading figure in avant-garde music, playing an important role in the development of integral serialism and controlled chance music.

Witold Lutosławski

LutosławskiLutoslawski, WitoldLutoslawski
Some scholars regard the resultant blur as "hardly aleatory, since exact pitches are carefully controlled and any two performances will be substantially the same" although, according to another writer, this technique is essentially the same as that later used by Witold Lutosławski.
It also uses aleatoric processes, in which the rhythmic coordination of parts is subject to an element of chance.

Karlheinz Stockhausen

StockhausenStockhausen, KarlheinzControversy
Other early European examples of aleatory music include Klavierstück XI (1956) by Karlheinz Stockhausen, which features 19 elements to be performed in a sequence to be determined in each case by the performer.
He is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, for introducing controlled chance (aleatory techniques or aleatoric musical techniques) into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.

Graphic notation (music)

graphic notationgraphic scoresgraphic score
From this point of view, indeterminate or chance music can be divided into three groups: (1) the use of random procedures to produce a determinate, fixed score, (2) mobile form, and (3) indeterminate notation, including graphic notation and texts.
Other uses include pieces where an aleatoric or undetermined effect is desired.

Marcel Duchamp

DuchampDuchampianDuchampe
The French artist Marcel Duchamp composed two pieces between 1913 and 1915 based on chance operations.
The two compositions are based on chance operations.

Henry Cowell

Cowell, HenryCowellHenry
Henry Cowell adopted Ives's ideas during the 1930s, in such works as the Mosaic Quartet (String Quartet No. 3, 1934), which allows the players to arrange the fragments of music in a number of different possible sequences.
In the early 1930s, Cowell began to delve seriously into aleatoric procedures, creating opportunities for performers to determine primary elements of a score's realization.

Alan Hovhaness

Hovhaness, AlanHovhanessHovhaness, Alari
Cowell also used specially devised notations to introduce variability into the performance of a work, sometimes instructing the performers to improvise a short passage or play ad libitum . Later American composers, such as Alan Hovhaness (beginning with his Lousadzak of 1944) used procedures superficially similar to Cowell's, in which different short patterns with specified pitches and rhythm are assigned to several parts, with instructions that they be performed repeatedly at their own speed without coordination with the rest of the ensemble.
Lousadzak was Hovhaness's first work to make use of an innovative technique he called "spirit murmur", an early example of aleatoric music inspired by a vision of Hermon di Giovanno. The technique, essentially similar to the 1960s ad libitum aleatory of Lutoslawski, involves instruments repeating phrases in uncoordinated fashion, producing a complex "cloud" or "carpet" of sounds..

Klavierstücke (Stockhausen)

Klavierstück XIKlavierstückeKlavierstück X
Other early European examples of aleatory music include Klavierstück XI (1956) by Karlheinz Stockhausen, which features 19 elements to be performed in a sequence to be determined in each case by the performer.
Klavierstück XI is famous for its mobile, or polyvalent structure.

Lousadzak

Piano Concerto (''Lousadzak'')
Cowell also used specially devised notations to introduce variability into the performance of a work, sometimes instructing the performers to improvise a short passage or play ad libitum . Later American composers, such as Alan Hovhaness (beginning with his Lousadzak of 1944) used procedures superficially similar to Cowell's, in which different short patterns with specified pitches and rhythm are assigned to several parts, with instructions that they be performed repeatedly at their own speed without coordination with the rest of the ensemble.
The work is known for its use of aleatory.

Aleatoricism

aleatoricaleatoryaleatorism
Aleatoricism
The term aleatory music was first coined by Werner Meyer-Eppler in 1955 to describe a course of sound events that is "determined in general but depends on chance in detail".

Latin

Lat.Latin languagelat
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).

Dice

dieDice rollingpolyhedral dice
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). A later genre was the Musikalisches Würfelspiel or musical dice game, popular in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Elements of music

parametersaspect of musicaspects of music
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).

Randomness

randomchancerandomly
Aleatoric music (also aleatory music or chance music; from the Latin word alea, meaning "dice") is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).

Acoustics

acousticacousticianacoustical
The term became known to European composers through lectures by acoustician Werner Meyer-Eppler at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in the beginning of the 1950s.

Werner Meyer-Eppler

Meyer-Eppler, Werner
The term became known to European composers through lectures by acoustician Werner Meyer-Eppler at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in the beginning of the 1950s.

Darmstadt School

Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue MusikDarmstadtDarmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music
The term became known to European composers through lectures by acoustician Werner Meyer-Eppler at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in the beginning of the 1950s.

Missa cuiusvis toni

Compositions that could be considered a precedent for aleatory composition date back to at least the late 15th century, with the genre of the catholicon, exemplified by the Missa cuiusvis toni of Johannes Ockeghem.

Johannes Ockeghem

OckeghemJehan OkeghemOCKENHEIM
Compositions that could be considered a precedent for aleatory composition date back to at least the late 15th century, with the genre of the catholicon, exemplified by the Missa cuiusvis toni of Johannes Ockeghem.

Musikalisches Würfelspiel

516fKaleidacousticonMusical Dice Game in C
A later genre was the Musikalisches Würfelspiel or musical dice game, popular in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

MozartW. A. MozartW.A. Mozart
(One such dice game is attributed to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.) These games consisted of a sequence of musical measures, for which each measure had several possible versions and a procedure for selecting the precise sequence based on the throwing of a number of dice.