chapter  6
24 Pages

Playing Feldman

Structures of both pitch and of time in Morton Feldman’s music of the early 1950s were designed and composed in identifiable ways. This has been conclusively demonstrated in each of the four analyses with regard to several levels of pitch organisation (or, in the case of Intersection 3, the reterritorialised mapping of pitch onto density), the time-architecture of the four works and also in terms of interactions between these structures of pitch/density and of time. The analysis has also revealed particular aspects of this organisation that are common to all four works: the fundamental 12-tone ground (or equivalent in terms of density), the proportional partitioning of time to generate both form and rhythm, the organised deployment of abstracted pitch-classes within the frame of time-structures, and also a handling of vertical space according to structuring proportions similar to those applied to the time-frame. Reinforcing the importance of the vertical space, we have observed Feldman’s use of ‘Wolpean’ intervallic proportions as the registral surface-level deployment of pitch-classes.