MiM quiz – Expert level / Education

Remember, this quiz is not about testing your knowledge about contemporary music. It's all about getting to know the four composers - their music, techniques, but also inspirations and private stories. We invite you to take on this challenge - discover the universe of four personalities and dive in into their music.

Creative periods - Pierre Boulez

Which work by the composer is earlier? Which is later?

The earlier one should be indicated.

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Discreet use of live electronics (delay, reverb diversification) points to a later period of Pierre Boulez creations, associated with the IRCAM technology (Dialogue de l'ombre double, 1985). In the case of Le marteau sans maître (1954), the earlier date is indicated, inter alia, by the melody characteristic for the avant-garde of the 50s.

With whom did the four composers study?

Veljo Tormis

Arvo Pärt studied composition in Tallinn with e.g. Veljo Tormis, a composer known primarily for his choral compositions.

Luciano Berio

The eminent Italian composer Luciano Berio was young Louis Andriessen’s composition professor in 1962–1964.

Olivier Messiaen

In the same period, also in Paris, Olivier Messiaen conducted his famous analysis class – his broad horizons, unconventional interests and openness attracted many composers, including Pierre Boulez, who several years later became leading figures of the European avant-garde.

Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979) was a teacher of many outstanding composers, including Kazimierz Serocki, who in 1947–1948 explored the secrets of composing under her guidance thanks to a scholarship he had been granted.

Creative periods - Arvo Pärt

Which work by the composer is earlier? Which is later?

The earlier one should be indicated.

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Perpetuum mobile (1963) was written before Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli period, Adam’s Lament (2010) is one of more recent works by Arvo Pärt.

In which example is the sound of instruments transformed electronically?

Choose one or more:

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Pierre Boulez – …explosante-fixe… for MIDI flute, two flutes, ensemble and electronics (1991–93).

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Louis Andriessen De Tijd for choir and orchestra (1980–81). Louis Andriessen sometimes used electronics, but the sophisticated colours and effects in the piece are achieved without electronics.

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Kazimierz SerockiPianophonie for piano with electronic transformation of sound and orchestra (1979).

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Arvo Pärt – Miserere (1989–92). Arvo Pärt did not use electronics, the reverberation is, of course, entirely natural.

Composers and trends of music of the recent and distant past had a considerable influence on all four composers. Link a source of inspiration to a composer.

Igor Stravinsky

The affinity between Stravinsky’s and Louis Andriessen’s music is evidenced not only by the Dutch composer’s works but also by a book devoted to the Russian’s oeuvre which Louis Andriessen co-authored (The Apollonian Clockwork).

Bela Bartók

The impact of Bartók’s music can easily be discerned in Kazimierz Serocki’s oeuvre of the first half of the 1950s, for example, in his Sonata for piano.

Gregorian chant, early polyphony

To a large extent the style and techniques Arvo Pärt developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s were a result of his studies of Renaissance and late medieval polyphony, and Gregorian chant.

Anton Webern

The avant-garde of the 1950s, including Pierre Boulez, considered the music of Anton Webern to be its predecessor and model to be developed further.

20th- and 21st-century composers would often explain their composition techniques and engage in more general theoretical reflections

Many published books or articles; some conducted lectures at universities or courses, sometimes also commented on their works during encounters with non-expert audiences. But there were also those who did not comment on their oeuvres, assuming that music spoke for itself.

He published many books on music written by himself and other composers (especially 20th-century composers). In addition to educational and theoretical work addressed to specialists (composers, musicians, theorists), he devoted a lot of attention to providing comments on contemporary works for concertgoers, including young people.

He lectured in composition at conservatories and courses for young composers. He wrote one book – but he did not devote it to his own oeuvre but to the music of a composer that was artistically particularly close to him.

He did not give interviews and was reluctant to comment on his own oeuvre. He included his reflections on the foundations of his music in several hitherto unpublished lectures.

He did not write about his own music, but in interviews and numerous contributions on various occasions he said a lot about it.

Well done!

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