Music of Twelve Centers

for piano, 1981, duration: 27 minutes.1,6

MUSIC OF TWELVE CENTERS, completed in October of 1981, was commissioned by Bucknell University for pianist Barry Hannigan, to whom the score is dedicated.

MUSIC OF TWELVE CENTERS, for solo piano, is a collection of eleven lyrical pieces (one piece has two centers) which explore different tonal centers.  The individual pieces express a wide variety of styles from game-process pieces to jazz to etudes.  In all the wide variety, a common compositional technique involves the presentation of musical ideas that are fragmented as a part of the development of the piece.  These fragments continue to appear, in the same or another piece of the collection, as their tonal implications and expressive possibilities are re-examined by juxtaposing them with contrasting ideas.

   One aspect that all the pieces share is the idea of "center," a concept related to, but less constraining than "Key." The idea of a center frees the composer to establish a tone or note as being most important not only by melodic and harmonic pattern or function but also by other strategies.  Some of the strategies that are developed in MUSIC OF TWELVE CENTERS include:

(1) Reiteration of a single tone - #1, #2, #4, #7

(2) Sympathetic resonance - #2, #3, #9, #11

(3) Reiteration of a single chord - #5/6, #8

(4) Resolution of vertical aggregates - #10, #12


Music of Twelve Centers

Barry Hannigan, piano

No. 1 - B Flat


No. 2 - E Flat


No. 3 - C


No. 4 - F


No, 5 / 6 - D and A Flat


No. 7 - A


No. 8 - D Flat


No. 9 - G Flat


No. 10 - G


No. 11 - E


No. 12 - B


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1 Published by Theodore Presser Co., Inc.

2 Published by Carl Fischer, Inc. = available from Theodore Presser Co., Inc.

3 Recorded by CRI. - available from New World CRI :  Catalog No. NWCRL484

4 Recorded by SEAMUS Recordings

5 Available from the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music

6 Recorded by Black Canyon Recordings

7 Recorded by Albany Records

T   © Larry Nelson 2017