In 1956 György Ligeti composed “Artikulation” after moving to Cologne into the same building as sound pioneers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig. While its reported that he was highly influenced by the crazy electronic sounds he heard coming out of this building this is one of only two electronic pieces he composed before returning back to the intrumental medium.

The liner notes for the score provide an explanation for what’s going on in the music:

The piece is called ‘Artikulation’ because in this sense an artificial language is articulated: question and answer, high and low voices, polyglot speaking and interruptions, impulsive outbreaks and humor, charring and whispering.

This is classified in the “Discretization” class of Musical Analysis, where the  process of analysis often involves breaking the piece down into relatively simpler and smaller parts. Often, the way these parts fit together and interact with each other is then examined in different contexts.

24 years later (1970) Rainer Wehinger created a “Hörpartitur” or “score for listening” for the piece, representing different sonorous effects with specific graphic symbols much like a transcription. Which is shown below. While the piece already had a score – this visual score can be considered a more user friendly version which focuses on the main sonic charectaristics instead of traditional elements like discrete pitches and symbols.

To realize this in a score, Wehinger used a timeline measured in seconds, and used shapes and colors instead of notes on a staff. He used dots for impulses and combs for noise. He used different colors to represent variations in timbre and pitch.

artikulation023

For a number of years this has existed on record and then later cd – and now finally on the internet as someone scanned the pages, synced it to the music and added a “current position” bar.



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