Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
From ScratchWritings in Music Theory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Tenney, Larry Polansky, and Lauren Pratt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038723

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038723.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

About Diapason

About Diapason


(p.394) Chapter 19 About Diapason
From Scratch

James Tenney

, Larry Polansky, Lauren Pratt, Robert Wannamaker, Michael Winter
University of Illinois Press

James Tenney reflects on his 1996 composition Diapason. Near the beginning and the end of the piece, the “diapason” includes harmonics from the forty-eighth through sixty-fourth, whereas at the dynamic climax, it includes the first through the seventeenth partials. Tenney discusses some unusual procedures that are required to perform the piece, including: all of the string instruments are retuned in an elaborate scordatura; wind players are free to choose from the set of pitches being played at any moment by the string players nearest to them; and to facilitate this process, each wind player is seated between two string players or is, in fact, surrounded by from four to six string players whose pitches can thus be matched in this way. Tenney also claims that he produced these unusual pitches because of his belief that we have entered a new music-historical era during which there will be a resumption of the evolutionary development of harmony.

Keywords:   harmony, diapason, harmonics, pitch, string instruments, scordatura, wind players, string players, James Tenney

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.