Non-Traditional String Sound Resources
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NOTE: This is a collection of symbols indicating non-traditional ways of creating sounds on traditional stringed instruments. Aside from the Bartók pizz and the percussive sound, which have moved into general practice, the entries are from Penderecki's, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima..

bartok pizz

Bartók pizz: Also called snap pizz. Right hand pulls the string away from the fingerboard and releases, causing a snapping sound. Bartók pizz.

percussive note

Percussive note: Graphic indication of a non-tonal sound. Spoken (or shouted) words might be written below the note(s); other percussive sounds are possible, such as tapping the instrument or the music stand with the bow, finger snapping or stomping feet. Composer defined. Not to be confused with the "x" which is used as a double sharp.

threnody symbol

sharpen a quarter tone

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sharpen three quarter tones

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flatten a quarter tone

threnody symbol

flatten three quarter tones

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highest note of the instrument (no definite pitch)

threnody symbol

play between bridge and tailpiece

threnody symbol

arpeggio on four strings behind the bridge

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play on the tailpiece (arco) by bowing the tailpiece at an angle of 90° to its longer axis

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play on the bridge by bowing the wood of the bridge at a right angle at its right side

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Percussion effect: strike the upper sounding board of the violin with the nut or the fingertips

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several irregular changes of bow

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molto vibrato

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very slow vibrato with a 1/4 tone frequency difference produced by sliding the finger

threnody symbol

very rapid non rhythmisized tremelo

ord. - ordinario; cancel previous special instructions

s.p. - sul ponticello; play on the bridge

s.t. - sul tasto; play on the fingerboard

c.l. - col legno; play with the wood of the bow

l. batt. - legno battuto; play by striking the wood

threnody7 At first glance, these last two entries (col legno and legno battuto), seem to be the same thing. In the Threnody score, however, the legno battuto is associated with "arpeggio on four strings behind the bridge" (graphic, right).

There is another modern construction of this sort, the col legno tratto ("drawn with the wood"). This is much less common, and the plain marking col legno is invariably interpreted to mean battuto rather than tratto. The sound produced by col legno tratto is very quiet, with an overlay of white noise, but the pitch of the stopped note can be clearly heard. [Ref: Wikipedia: Col Legno.]

Other, more traditional techniques which are used in this piece are the glissandi and the subito dynamic markings.

Composed at the turn of 1959 and won third prize at the G. Fitelberg Composers' Competition in Katowice in 1960. First public perf. took place at the Warsaw Autumn Festival of 1961 with the Cracow Phil, cond. by Andj. Markowski. 1964, Oct. 12: Pederecko wrote: "Let the Threnody ('lament') express my firm belief that the sacrifice of Hiroshima will never be forgotten and lost."

m. 6 texture change
m. 7 first overlap of texture, imitation in inversion
m. 9 misprint, 3rd bass part, 3rd note; should be, highest pitch
m. 10 change
m. 11 gesture which expands and contracts
m. 12-13 imitation in retrograde
m. 15 internal cadence before next section
m. 16 change
m. 17 ascending and descending gestures
m. 18 change
m. 20 very big change, five minute point
m. 20 Big Canon (cosmic size); Voice = Choir 1, basses imitation vls
In meter, like traditional notation (staff lines, rests) m. 38 Choir 2 comes in (Gabrielli; St. Marks) m. 44 Choir 3 enters, not complete canonic imitation m. 51 Retransition m. 56 Overlap, unpitches special effects [A] m. 62 [A] for sure, back to graphic notation m. 63 imitation in retrograde m. 69 Tonic cadence

24 Violini (Vn)
10 Viole (Vl)
10 Violoncelli (Vc)
8 Contrabbassi (Cb)

Penderecki, Krzysztof: Threnody To the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 Strings. Belwin Mills Pub. Corp., Melville, NY 11746.
Score | MP3

Adler, Samuel. Study of Orchestration, Third Edition

Fux, John. Study of Counterpoint

Gerou, Tom and Lusk, Linda. Essential Dictionary of Music Notation: The Most Practical and Concise Source for Music Notation

Kennan, Kent and Grantham, Donald. The Technique of Orchestration and CD Recording Package

Read, Gardner. Music Notation

Persichetti,Vincent. Twentieth-Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice

Piston, Walter. Orchestration

Piston, Walter. Counterpoint

Piston, Walter. Harmony: 5th ed.

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay. Principles of Orchestration

Stone, Kurt. Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook

Strange, Allen. The Contemporary Violin: ExtENDed Performance Techniques (The New Instrumentation)

Picasso Guernica
Guernica - Picasso

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