Composed in , Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation is the first piece of Western classical music to be scored for an ensemble comprised solely of. Compared to those monuments, the French-American composer Edgard Varèse’s “Ionisation” barely amounts to a flyspeck. The work’s Sheet Music – £ – Edgard Varèse – Ionisation (Percussion Ensemble).

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September 30, at The radical, innovative nature of the work was such that the New York Philharmonic percussionists who were approached to perform Ionization soon proved unable to cope with the work, and typesetters had to be called in to complete the task!

Below is a recording of Ionisation followed by a brief listening guide. Ionization was a brilliant confirmation of percussion as an independent musical medium. You are commenting using your Facebook account. The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia.

Retrieved 30 August In opera or program i. Three other instruments appear only in the last bars of the work: It demonstrated how powerfully a genuine musical idea can be expressed in new sounds. His spatial conception of music anticipated the electro-acoustic music that emerged in the s, involving taped recordings broadcast on loudspeakers that projected sound-masses moving in space.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Having moved to America at the age of 32, the French-born composer was deeply affected by the aural experience of living in urban New York. Well, that would count as part of the larger piece, rather than a stand-alone piece in and of itself. By the s he had become a veritable guru of twentieth-century musical creation.


You are commenting using your WordPress. April 30, at A Sketch of the Man and His Music”. Giant strides in percussion Beginning inat a time when percussion instruments in the orchestra ionnisation unprecedented development, composers began using these instruments in response to influences as diverse as Slavic folklore or the freewheeling use of the drum set in ragtime groups.

Pierre Grondines is a musicologist and choral conductor. Ionisation then dissolves away in a ionisaton mist of decaying gongs, disappearing into the same fog from which it rose. From cymbals to sirens Ionization is composed for 13 musicians playing some 40 instruments. Not only did it herald the liberation of the percussion section from its traditional supportive role; it vaerse a turning point in musical vocabulary.

Ionisation features the expansion and variation of rhythmic cellsand the title refers to the ionization of molecules. Avant-gardeThomas May.

Ionisation (Percussion Ensemble)

April 26, at 9: There are those indefinite in pitch, like the bass drum, snare drum, wood blocks, and cymbals; those of relatively definite musical pitch, such as the piano and chimes; those of continually moving pitch, like the sirens and ‘lion’s roar. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the percussion section was expected to provide colour as well.


La Scena Musicale – Vol.

Reinforcement, evocation, and colour From Bach to Brahms, the job of the percussion section in the orchestra had basically been to reinforce the accents already present in the musical exchange among the other instruments. There are suggestions of the characteristic sounds of modern city life. Agitated figures in the drums punctuate the backdrop of bells and moaning sirens, increasing in resolve until 4: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Journal of Music Theory.

Following a brief interruption from 0: As the composer later described, “I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena.

To fully appreciate the importance of Ionization, we need to look briefly at the function of percussion instruments in the orchestra. Beethoven, however, was able to transcend this limitation.

Ionisation (Varèse, Edgard) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

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