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Compared to those monuments, the French-American composer Edgard Varèse’s “Ionisation” barely amounts to a flyspeck. The work’s This work is likely not in the public domain in the US (due to first publication with the required notice after , plus renewal or “restoration” under the. Edgard Varèse. Ionisation, for 13 percussionists. Composition Information ↓; Description ↓; Appears On ↓. Share on. facebook · twitter · tumblr.

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Edgard Varese: Ionisation (1931)

The inclusion of the bass drum scored in ionisaion same way as Texture I would result in a texture that moves quickly up and down the frequency scale, not doing so has left a texture that has colouring but is also attempting melody with anvils. The form of the work is the consequence of this reaction.

Below is a recording of Ionisation followed by a brief listening guide.

There are also similarities to Texture I and Texture II, a degree of juxtaposing of the two textures is felt as the texture starts. At bar eight is the lions roar string drum it’s intentions here could be to act as an effect to the sirens decay as it stops.

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Ionisation, for 13 percussionists

The title is derived from the ionization of molecules, as electrons are dispersed through the process of atomic change. As the other sounds in this section are higher than the bass drum the question may also arise as to why the bass drum was not used more.


There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Periodically the crash cymbal or gong is heard clearly above the other instruments although any signs of these instruments are eliminated by the time the texture is three quarters of the way through. Another thematic piece of this texture is the tubular chimes. In Texture I the cymbals had been a main part of the composition; the scoring of pp lowers the dynamic level enough to not overpower the bongos or snare, leaving it to act as colouring to the lower end of the frequency scale.

The white arrow shows third part of the bass drum, at this point the maracas and tambourine are also ionistion. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Unlike the first linear elaborations this version includes the siren adding pitch movement as the anvils give the impression of melody within percussion.

The dramatic contour is in the degrees to which these rhythmic cells, which evolve into recognizable blocks of sound, seem to not be working together, continually growing and expanding the soundscape with the friction of their coexistence.

One critic described the performance as “a sock in the jaw. The tambour militaire in this texture actually contradicts the analysis of Texture I. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: At measure 9, the second of three structures appears, a polyphonic rhythmic texture shared by two or more instruments of opposing timbres contrasted with relatively short interjections by other instruments.

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The music of the early twentieth century saw a lot of experimentation and expansion of the percussion section, resulting in music written for only unpitched percussion. The Boydell Press, Here lie two reasons for the debate: Playing a similar pattern to Texture II, the tambour militaire is scored to elaborate musically with the bongos, also joining the anvils in near identical scoring as the crescendo begins at bar sixty-two.


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Edgard Varese: Ionisation () by The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble on Amazon Music –

With this experimentation emerged music written solely for large groups of percussion instruments, the percussion ensemble. Once more the bass drum also seems to be playing and is the only low sound we hear, as all the other parts are of the high sounding nature.

The first bar also includes parts of the metallic instruments inventory, one of the main thematic pieces to Texture I. Ionisaation the texture opens high in dynamic level, siren one is clearly heard. The sirens are placed at the start of the piece so as not to interfere with the perception of pitched melody that is scored for the guiro castanet and tambourine.

Ionisation, for 13 percussionists | Details | AllMusic

There are suggestions of the characteristic sounds of modern city life. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. These also play an important part at bar seven where the crescendo of metallic instruments begins. Structure three is a monophonic texture that incorporates most of the ensemble.