A Famous Composer Agrees With My Interpretation of Ego In Aleatoric and Totally Serial Music

Aleatoric, in the ‘rationalists’ usage, means dependent on chance or, in the usage of the advocates of New Music, set free from the ‘subject’.

Here the subject is clearly meant to be the composer’s ‘ego’.

But even if the ‘integral rationalisation’ succeeds and everything is ‘calculated’ in advance down to the last detail, there must be a ‘subject’ to do the calculations. Even the most formidable electronic computer can only calculate what a man gives it to calculate.

Krenek, E. (1966). Exploring music; essays. New York: October House.

Fantastic observation! Even in totally serial music, indeterminate music and chance music, the ego of the composer cannot be removed because the subject is still making choices about the process! What question we ask as composers immediately limits the answers we will receive.


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