Symmetric compulsion

Recently I’ve had a lot to do with a very special tone row. It’s a mirrored palindromic row derived from the trichord {5, 8, 9}. The three notes after the prime trichord are its retrograde, the next three are its inversion, and the last three are its retrograde inversion. The clock-diagram of this row has a clear mirror simmetry.

This row is its own transposed retrograde inversion just like the row from the fifth movement of Schoenberg’s Serenade, Op. 24. Thus the second hexachord is the retrograde inversion of the first one, which summarizes the feature of the entire row (see the green square in the matrix). The matrix is symmetric along the red diagonal in the figure below, being P0 = RI9 and I0 = R3, P9 = RI6 and I3 = R3, and so on.

Moreover, the middle eight notes of the row compose an octatonic scale.

Not so bad for just three notes!


About epogdous

I'm an italian student of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in Sapienza University of Rome. Dispite my scientific interests (which range from structural biology to immunology, etc.) I cultivate a deep passion for classical music and in general for musicology. As a teen I studied the flute but basically I'm a self-taught pianist and composer. I'm well-acquainted with the music of 1850-1950 era. I generally don't like to say I have preferences for some composer in particular but I can't deny that Ralph Vaughan Williams and Charles Ives hold a great fascination to me. I think that the common message of their music is the transcendentalist precept "low living, high thinking".
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1 Response to Symmetric compulsion

  1. Pingback: Serial alignments |

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