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It’s All in Proportion: Tracing the Evolution of the Time-Aggregate in Roberto Gerhard’s MusicThis chapter investigates a very specific innovation in Roberto Gerhard’s compositional practice and traces its possible origins. The technique in question is the “time-aggregate” or use of proportions, directly derived from the tone row, as a structural device. This inquiry begins Roberto Gerhard’s article “Functions of the Series in Twelve-Note Composition” and then works in reverse chronological order through his writings and compositions and through the musings of other scholars finally dwelling on three works which are believed to be Gerhard’s earliest experiments in the use of the method: the Three Impromptus (1950), Capriccio for Solo Flute (1949), and the Sonata for Viola (Cello) and Piano (1948/1956).
Metamorphosing: The Construction and Deconstruction of Roberto Gerhard’s Symphony No. 2There are three structural methods, which can be summarised from Gerhard’s paper “Developments in twelve-tone technique”, that employ the series (or its derivative time-set): to fix the length of the rhythmic articulation of individual pitches; to control the ordering of the twelve transpositions of a series so each is presented once before a transposition is repeated; finally, to determine the duration of these transpositions. The series, therefore, has the ability to govern microcosmic and macrocosmic parameters of a composition. All three of these can be found in Roberto Gerhard’s Second Symphony (1957-59). On revising the Symphony in 1967-68 to create Metamorphoses he reworks the material of the original ‘the changes - from slight to complete - take place on all levels: in the writing, in the orchestration, in the ordering, in the disordering (...)’ In the process of recomposing Gerhard, at times, seems to deliberately disregard the methodology he imposed on himself in the earlier version. The aim of this chapter is to investigate how much he ignores this on revising the Symphony; how the changes he made impact on the coherence of the newer version; finally to make some suggestions as to why he felt the structures could be broken.