World's Largest Sheet Music Selection


Pale Fire

Digital Sheet Music

By Burton Goldstein

Be the first! Write a Review

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Multi-Percussion, Harp, Piano - Digital Download
Composed by Burton Goldstein. 20th Century, Contemporary Classical, Modern. Score. 48 pages. Published by Burton Goldstein Music (S0.683467).

Item Number: S0.683467

Pale Fire was one of my first pieces to use groupings of a basic common pulse as the main way to have different instruments play in different tempi simultaneously.

The old way of notating simultaneous tempi, and not just for me, was to use elaborate tuplets. In a bar of 4/4 you might find one player reading largely quarter note tuplets (7:4) and another playing quintuplet 16ths, perhaps with the added headache of having clumps of them tied together. Picture this – the tempo is fast and you have nothing but quintuplet 16ths. But sometimes you have, within the bracket, a dotted 8th followed by an 8th tied to a 16th quintuplet. And maybe no one is playing on the beat! And so on.

The obvious problem is that it is hard for anyone to relax while playing this, assuming they actually can play it. I have heard confessions from L.A Phil players confessing massive faking, even in the presence of a composer like Ligeti and Carter. And a never-to-be-named world-famous quartet confessed to fudging the truly astounding notational complexities of Ferneyhough.

So another way to notate complex simultaneous tempi is for everyone to play 8th notes, say, and each player can accent the first note in his of eighth notes. Of course, each player can have different length groups. See m.15 of Pale Fire for a simple start to this process.

Eventually the piece has sections which sound extremely free, but are really some complex rhythm like 11:7:3, but written in a way that avoid complicated tuplets.

One can go a bit beyond this without relating problems for the players if one simply has some players playing groups of simple tuplets, like triplets. So Player #1 can play a compound line such that every fourth triplet is emphasized. Player #2 can has a part constructed of constant 16ths, written so that every fourth 16th note creates a pulse, and every third pulse is accented somehow.

About SMP Press

This product was created by a member of SMP Press, our global community of independent composers, arrangers, and songwriters. Our independent musicians have created unique compositions and arrangements for the Sheet Music Plus community, many of which are not available anywhere else.

Click here to see more titles from these independent creators and to learn more about SMP Press.

Please note this product may not be eligible for all sales, promotions or coupons offered through Sheet Music Plus - please check promotional details for specifics.

About Digital Downloads

Digital Downloads are downloadable sheet music files that can be viewed directly on your computer, tablet or mobile device. Once you download your digital sheet music, you can view and print it at home, school, or anywhere you want to make music, and you don’t have to be connected to the internet. Just purchase, download and play!

PLEASE NOTE: Your Digital Download will have a watermark at the bottom of each page that will include your name, purchase date and number of copies purchased. You are only authorized to print the number of copies that you have purchased. You may not digitally distribute or print more copies than purchased for use (i.e., you may not print or digitally distribute individual copies to friends or students).

Close X

By signing up you consent with the terms in our Privacy Policy

I am a music teacher.