Three perspectives of the continuum in music

C Nancarrow, J Carrillo, J Estrada, Manuel Antonio, Dominguez Salas
2017 GESJ: Musicology and Cultural Science   unpublished
The paper deals with two aspects in music that began to appear during the course of the XX century in Mexico: Continuum and Macro Timbre. Nevertheless both aspects were not intentionally applied by any previous composers which involves this study (J. Carrillo and C. Nancarrow). It was not until the year of 1994 that the theorist, composer and performer Julio Estrada in his doctoral thesis "Theorie de la composition: discontinuum-continuum", described macro timbre in a detail investigation
more » ... investigation related with the aesthetic and philosophic aspects of both phenomenas. Previous to Julio Estrada's contribution in the continuum Carrillo and Nancarrow were influenced by different sources of investigations. Independent from each other their researches diverge from their musical aesthetics and experimentations; paradoxically converge in the result of micro transits. The first case-micro durations with C. Nancarrow-secondly-micro tonality with J. Carrillo. Micro durations-Conlon Nancarrow (1912-1997)-American-Mexican composer exiled in Mexico city since the year 1940 until his dead in 1997. Since the beginning of Nancarrow's exile to Mexico city began the process of his own decided musical isolation after several disappointments situations during the difficulties that instrumentalist had in order to perform his musical experiments related with poly-tempi. This new aspect in music and composition was influenced by new conceptions from the theorist and composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965) in his book New Musical Resources [1], the author discussed the aspects of several tempi which were equally balanced to the over tones produced by a single pitch. Nancarrow got familiar with Cowell's book in 1939, by that time he was preparing to emigrate to Mexico. Poly-tempi became so obsessive in Nancarrow's research that by the year 1948 in Mexico city, got a mechanic piano and began his life time musical work almost dedicated entirely for his personal instrument. Micro durations-are the result of several studies of poly-tempi originated by superimposition of several voices in different tempi with canon imitations and isorythmical games, achieving a continuum of transits in rhythm-sound obtaining results of perception that go beyond the limits of temporality. He was able to concentrate in a micro-instant of time a high amount of pitches that generates the micro transitions in the continuum. I would to take as an example study no. 21, Canon X, one of the most significant in Nancarrow's compositions, not by the complexity of several voices integrated the poly-temporality like study no 37. Canon X offers one of the most fascinating in terms of perception in the transits in the macro timbre. With a basic line of 54 notes, the composer organized it in two main layers; 1) the lowest one at the beginning of the piece perform 3.4 note per