Page 1


Earle Brown

Time Spans for Orchestra

(1972)

Score (transposed) Instrumentation

Duration: approximately 12 minutes

3 Flutes

The conductor needs an arrow indicator

1 Alto Flute

with numbers 1-3 (provided with score)

2 Oboes

to show the musicians which page to

1 English Horn

perform from.

3 Clarinets in Bb 1 Bass Clarinet 2 Bassoons 1 Contrabassoon 4 Trumpets in C 4 Horns in F 4 Trombones 2 Tubas 2 Pianos 2 Harps 2 Vibraphones 2 Marimbas 16 First Violins 14 Second Violins 12 Violas 10 Violoncellos 8 Contrabasses


Earle Brown wrote TIME SPANS for Conductor/

The conductor may conduct the events in any sequence or

Composer Hans Zender, who first performed the

juxtaposition, in changing tempi, loudness, and in general

piece in Kiel, Germany, during the 1972 Olympics.

mold and form the piece. The inherent flexibility of the materials allows the work to constantly transform itself

TIME SPANS includes both “open form” — as Earle Brown

and re-express its potential, while the sound materials and

called it — and “closed form.” Pages 1 and 3 are both “open

characteristics which I have composed contain the essential

form” while page 2 is “closed form.”

“identity” which makes this work different from any other.

Earle Brown formulated general instructions for “open form”

I have felt that the conditions of spontaneity and mobility

for earlier compositions, such as NOVARA (1962; published

of elements which I have been working with create a more

by Editions Peters), excerpted below:

urgent and intense “communication” throughout the entire process, from composing to the final realization of a work.

Novara (1962) , Directions for Performance

I prefer that each “final form,” which each performance

Preliminary Notes

the work and its conditions of human involvement remain a

Spontaneous decisions in the performance of a work and

“living” potential of engagement.

the possibility of the composed elements being “mobile” have been of primary interest to me for some time; the former to an extreme degree in FOLIO (1952), and the latter, most explicitly, in TWENTY FIVE PAGES (1953). For me, the concept of the elements being mobile was inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder, in which, similar to this work, there are basic units subject to innumerable different relationships or forms. The concept of the work being conducted and formed spontaneously in performance was originally inspired by the “action-painting” techniques and works of Jackson Pollock in the late 1940s, in which the immediacy and directness of “contact” with the material is of great importance and produces such an intensity in the working and in the result. The performance conditions of these works are similar to a painter working spontaneously with a given palette.

necessarily produces, be a collaborative adventure, and that


Score and Structure

a left-hand signal and initiated by a down-beat from the

The conductor may begin a performance with any event on any

conductor; the size and rapidity of the down-beat implies

page and may proceed from any page to any other page at

the loudness and speed with which the event is to be

any time, with or without repetitions or omissions of pages or

performed. The conductor must, as with any notation, insist

events, remaining on any page or event as long as he wishes.

on accurately articulated relationships from the rhythmic “shape” of phrase and pitch sequences in this work.

Time Notation There is a built-in factor of flexibility in the notation and

General Modifications of Events

scoring of this piece because the availability of forms is

con d ucte d fe r mata :

based on letting go of the idea of metric accuracy. This is

fermata at any time during the performance, in any single

achieved through the notational system used in this work.

event or combination of events. Both hands cupped

This system, which I have called a “time-notation,” is a

towards the orchestra and held stationary indicates that all

development of the work in FOLIO (1952 and 1953) and most

musicians in that group should hold the sound or silence

clearly represents sound-relationships in the score as I wish

which they are at that moment performing, until the next

them to exist in performance, independent of a strict pulse

sign from the conductor tells them either to cut off or to

or metric system.

continue from the point of interruption. A cut-off is signaled

the conductor may introduce a

with both hands and must be followed by another eventConducting

signal from the left hand and a down-beat. To continue, the

The conducting technique is basically one of cueing; the

conductor moves both hands from the “hold” position back

notation precludes the necessity and function of “beat” in

to the body and then outward towards the orchestra, palms

the usual sense (although the conductor does indicate the

up (as if giving the initiative back to the orchestra).

relative tempo). The number of the event to be performed is indicated by the left hand of the conductor — one to five

con d ucte d stop :

fingers. A conventional (right-hand) down-beat initiates the

combination of events at any time during the performance.

activity. The relative speed and dynamic intensity with which

The normal, two-hand cut-off signal will silence his entire

an event is to be performed is implied by the speed and

group. Leaving the hands up will hold that silence until the

largeness of the down-beat as given with the right hand.

signal to continue from the point of interruption is given. If

Nearly all of the events in the score have been assigned

the hands do not remain up in “hold” position, the musicians

dynamic values. These are acoustically accurate in terms of

are to expect another event-signal from the left hand, and a

instrumental and ensemble sonority and balance and must

down-beat.

the conductor may stop any event or

be respected as written, although the conductor may “override” the indicated dynamic values and raise or lower the

mod i fication of s i ng le eve nt :

over-all loudness.

affects the entire group. The conductor may wish, however,

any two-hand cut-off signal

to modify only one event among two or more events The conception of the work is that the score presents

being performed simultaneously. To do this he signals the

specific material having different characteristics, and that

number of the event to be modified with his left hand; then

this material is subject to many inherent modifications,

indicates the modification — a hold or cut-off — with only

such as modifications of combinations (event plus event),

his right hand. (Events not indicated by the fingers of the

sequences, dynamics, and tempos, spontaneously created

conductor’s left hand continue to proceed normally.) It is

during the performance. All events are always prepared by

absolutely essential that the orchestra members clearly


understand this difference in signaling: a hold or cut-off

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS for the 1972 performance can

by both hands affects an entire group; a hold or cut-off by

be found in the correspondence between Earle Brown and

only the right hand affects only the event indicated by the

Hans Zender. Obviously, other interpretations and solutions

fingers of the left hand. Players whose parts do not contain

for combining “open form” and “closed form” are possible. The

events signaled by the conductor’s left hand must remain

quotations below are to be understood as specific choices for

unaffected by his subsequent right-hand indications.

one performance. These choices serve as an example as how to “read” the piece.

As soon as the conductor initiates (by left-hand eventsignal and right-hand down-beat) a new event that appears

. . . Page 2 should be a very long, very intense, hypnotic,

on the player’s part, the preceding event is automatically

elegant, severe, austere, beautiful thing. We may adjust the

cancelled. No specific stop-signal is required. The player

timings somewhat but I want it to be long . . . very dangerously

simply discontinues the event he is playing and, without

close to boring but like walking a tight-rope and juggling

break between events, begins to play the new one.

at the same time!

With these procedures clearly understood by the conductor

Page 3 is “open form” but I will give you a suggestion of

and the musicians it is possible to achieve smooth

what I “hear” for the entire continuity of the work (in this

transitions and long lines of connected material of extreme

performance). [Event #3 of page 3]: . . . is a “loop” of material

complexity and frequent modification. The first impression

to be repeated until you stop it. As to the “form” of this

derived from the score will be one of many sporadic

performance, I think of it as follows:

fragments. This wealth of fragments shows the numerous formal possibilities inherent in the work, and it is this

#1 of page 1: just the 2 pianos; majestically, basically loud

realization, not the fragmentations, that must become the

but with some dynamic variation, with much sustaining pedal

dominant characteristic of performance.

for overlapping resonances, moderate-slow tempo in looserandom rhythm, pianists listening and reacting to one another

Dynamics

but not following each other. Once through the material should

All indications of dynamics are relative to the instrumental

be enough but it could “loop” if you want, until you “feel” to

technique and register of the particular sound called for, i.e.,

bring in the first chord of #2.

a string sound to be played col legno tratto, sul ponticello, with a dynamic of ffff, must be played as loudly as possible

#2 of page 1: proceeds from chord 1 to chord 20. Musicians

regardless of the dynamic intensity produced by the same

must keep count or you can give a left-hand signal on 1, 5, 10,

dynamic marking in an instrument of a different nature.

15, etc. The rhythm is up to you but it should not be fast from

Thus, a low C in the Flute marked ffff is not expected to

1 to 20 . . . . Between 2 or 3 of the chords it could be quick but

have the same volume as a middle-register tone marked ffff

not the entire sequence fast. Each chord stops on the down-

in a clarinet. This simply means that the flutist is to play his

beat of the next, unless you clearly hold some section over into

tones at the maximum volume available in that register of

the following chord . . . but this should not be done too often

his instrument. The pppp indicates that the sound is to be

because I want to basically hear this continuity of sonority.

as soft as possible. All dynamic indications are “balanced” in this way, relative to their acoustic functions within the

Page 2 is very clear.

event-structures and the characteristics of the instruments employed in them.

Page 3: I have a feeling that this page should begin with


the two piano material of page 1 superimposed with the percussion material of this page . . . either very loud or very soft in dynamics. After this percussion area (as “loop”) I hear event #1 (quietly, with quite a bit of silence at the fermata points), followed by event #2 . . . very strong, abrupt, and perhaps rather violently . . . but cleanly. It should be shockingly active after the basic staticity of the previous material. Ending with event #4 . . . , combinations of the 5 primary sections (families) . . . . PLEASE SEPARATE the vibe-marimba chord from the BRASS! (so that there are 5 sonorities) . . . . Durations, dynamics, superpositions, “open form” . . . (if I may “influence” you), it would be beautiful as the final sound in the “open form” to hear all five sections tutti, sustaining for a long time, ppp, with percussion sections randomly attacking their sonorities (ppp) . . . so that every note can be heard but none over-powering any other. (Aha! So you see, enfin, that I am very old-fashioned and romantic!) Earle Brown to Hans Zender, 4 August 1972


1 Transposed Score

Piano 1

Piano 2

 3 Fl. 1 A. Fl.  

2 Ob. 1 E.H.

 

        

    

Time Spans  

  

 

for Orchestra

  

    

   

    

ff <> ffff (non-periodic., mix l.v. and very short durations)

 

   

    

   

 

 

   

 

 

                                                                

 

     

 

ff <> ffff (col Pno. 1) (not synchronized)

Earle Brown (1926–2002)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

mp

ff

pp

fff

p

pp

mf

mp

fff

p

mf

p

ff

pp

p

p

pp

f

pp

p

   

       2 Bn.   1 Cbn.          4 Tpt.     4 Hn.       4 Tbn.     2 Tuba          Pno. 1          Hp. 1          Pno. 2             Hp. 2        Vib. 1         Mar. 1  Vib. 2           

3 Cl. 1 B.Cl.

  

Mar. 2

  5 6

Vln. 1 5

5

Vln. 2 5 4

4

Vla. 4 4 4

Vc. 3 3 3

Cb. 3 2

 

               

(sounds 8vb)

Litolff/Peters Nr. 11145

Copyright © 2008 by Henry Litolff’s Verlag


2      3 Fl. 1 A. Fl.  

2 Ob. 1 E.H.

 

       2 Bn.   1 Cbn.   

1 2

3 Cl. 1 B.Cl.

4 Tpt.

    

4 Hn.

4 Tbn.

2 Tuba

Pno. 1

Hp. 1

Pno. 2

Hp. 2

Vib. 1

  

Mar. 1

Vib. 2

Mar. 2

Vln. 1

Vln. 2

4 4

4 Vc. 3 3 2  3

Cb. 3

1

     

2

3

   

                                                              

     

  

  

Cues are given: to the LEFT (of conductor) to the RIGHT to the CENTER (HIGH) to the CENTER (LOW)

for WOODWINDS for BRASS for PERCUSSION for STRINGS

1 2 3 4

(Further control of sub-divisions within each of the major sections may or may not be employed. If so, the sub-sections will be indicated by 1 to 5 fingers of the left-hand of the conductor in addition to the above directional controls)

1 __ 2 __ 3 __ I 4

I p

I p

mp

pp

v

pp

30"

4

1 __ 2 __ 3 __ 4

( pp )

1

mp

I mf

v cup mutes

I transform to pont.

3

1 __ 2 __ 3 __ 4

p

pp

mp

v

pp

 (open)

10"

I fltg. (where poss.)

I

pp

v

ff

p pp

I l.v.

fff transform nat. to pont.

f

3"

ff

1/2"

1"

2"

I

1 2 3 4 5

1 __ 2 __ 3 __ 4

pp

v

I sfz

2"

*

7"











7"





tremolo pont. pp

4"-5"

l.v.

pp

v

5"

pp B.B.

4 

mp

I

I I

5"

ff

I pp

v

10"

I

l.v.

silence

mf

p

l.v.

I

I

v

mf

l.v.

15"

I I

mp

5"

2

25"

3"-4"

( pp )

  6    5  5   5  5  4

Vla. 4

4

On this page, the 4 major timbral sections; WOODWINDS, BRASS, PERCUSSION, STRINGS; are cued by the conductor according to the condensed “time score”. The entrances will be cued by a left-hand preparation and a right-hand “down-beat”, the latter sometimes for more than one section. All entrances will be for the complete ensemble of each section. Dynamics are indicated and will be controlled by the conductor.

duration by conductor: minimum 30" *Random, very short attacks of 1, 2, 3, over strings. Hands stiff and vertical (“karate chop”), nearly no duration. Attacks not to be metrically uniform. Basically pp to mp

8"


3  3 Cl. 1 B.Cl.  4 Tbn. con sord. 4 Vla. 4 4

1

2

 

 

3

/0

 

p

f

f

   

/0

p

1

2

 

     3

4

 

 

p

3

    3 Fl. 1 A. Fl.  2 Ob. 1 E.H.

v v

1

2

  

3

       2 Bn.   1 Cbn.         4 Tpt. 

3 Cl. 1 B.Cl.

4 Hn.

4 Tbn.

4

Vc. 3 3

3 Cb. 3 2

4

     

   

    

  

    

15"

  

Vib./Glock. 1

Mar. 1

Vib./Glock. 2

Mar. 2

  



Vib.



pizz.

pizz.

pizz.

pizz.

  



    

3

5

3

2

ff

Vib.



 

ffff pizz.

 

3

 

7

fff

 

2

 

Vib.    

1

Glock.

  

5"

Glock.

5

 

3

 2 Tuba       6  Vln. 1 5    5   5  Vln. 2 5  4 4 Vla. 4 4

 /0

 

 

p

6



4

Vc. 3

5

mp

 

 







 

 





Glock.

Vib.        

Glock.

  



Vib.



  

Glock.

  


3 (cont.)     3 Fl. 1 A. Fl.  

2 Ob. 1 E.H.

 

       2 Bn.   1 Cbn.  

3 Cl. (Bb) 1 B.Cl.

4 Tpt.

          

4 Hn.

4 Tbn.

2 Tuba

Pno. 1

Hp. 1

Pno. 2

Hp. 2

Vib. 1

Mar. 1

Vib. 2

Mar. 2

Vln. 1

Vln. 2

 

   

      

                 

 

 

                 

            

  6    5  5   5  5  4 4

Vla. 4 4 4

Vc. 3 3 2  3

Cb. 3

    

  

  

1

2

3

4

Earle Brown: Time Spans  

for Orchestra - Rental Material

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you