Author Topic: Julián Carrillo (1875–1965), microtonal pioneer in western classical music  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline epicous

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Julián Carrillo was a Mexican composer, conductor, violinist and music theorist, famous for developing a theory of microtonal music which he dubbed "The Thirteenth Sound" (Sonido 13).

Having not completed primary studies, he was ignorant of the acoustic basis of music—so he was fascinated when Ortega discussed laws governing generation of fundamental intervals in music. For example, when a violin string is depressed (stopped) at its midpoint, it produces a pitch twice the frequency of (an octave above) the open string. When a string is stopped at one-third, the remaining two-thirds vibrates a perfect fifth higher than the open string (almost exactly equivalent to 5/8 of an octave). Carrillo explored these relationships in experiments. For a while he tried, but couldn't divide the string further than into eight equal parts. Then he left the traditional way of dividing the string into two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight equal parts, and, using a razor to stop the string, divided the fourth string of his violin between G and A into sixteen parts. He could produce sixteen clearly different sounds within a whole tone.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/p5IAohoYKaQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/p5IAohoYKaQ</a>
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 07:45:18 AM by epicous »

Offline Cato

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Greetings!  I discovered Julian Carrillo many years ago through the Christopher Columbus Prelude and the a capella (!) quarter-tone Mass for Pope John XXIII.

These works are also available on YouTube.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline epicous

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I discovered Julian Carrillo many years ago through the Christopher Columbus Prelude

The first work by this author that I listened.  A semi-hidden jewel.

snyprrr

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The first work by this author that I listened.  A semi-hidden jewel.

Is that on that CD with Harrison and Xenakis? I have one Carillo piece exuding atmosphere.

Offline Dax

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Trouble is that there seems to be very little of Carrillo's music that was anywhere near as impressive as the Columbus Prelude: much of it seems to demonstrate a few interesting intonations and not a lot else. I've heard a fair number of pieces - perhaps not the right ones?

Offline Cato

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Trouble is that there seems to be very little of Carrillo's music that was anywhere near as impressive as the Columbus Prelude: much of it seems to demonstrate a few interesting intonations and not a lot else. I've heard a fair number of pieces - perhaps not the right ones?

Check YouTube under his name and you can judge for yourself: to be sure, I have not heard all that many either, simply because the recordings are not there.   YouTube seems to have a good number, maybe all that are available or that have been available.

You are right though: some experimenters were content to let the unusual sounds carry the work, and did not seem to worry about much as else, as if the very odd plate was supposed to persuade you that the celery sticks were a steak.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline epicous

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Is that on that CD with Harrison and Xenakis? I have one Carillo piece exuding atmosphere.

This one:

Julián Carrillo, conductor / Asociación de Conciertos

http://musicaiberoamericanadeconcierto.blogspot.mx/2011/07/antologia-de-la-musica-clasica-mexicana.html

Offline Cato

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This one:

Julián Carrillo, conductor / Asociación de Conciertos

http://musicaiberoamericanadeconcierto.blogspot.mx/2011/07/antologia-de-la-musica-clasica-mexicana.html

This page offers more albums, including quarter-tone cello works:

http://musicaiberoamericanadeconcierto.blogspot.mx/search/label/Juli%C3%A1n%20Carrillo

And here is a quarter-tone work from YouTube, although one instrument is tuned in 1/8's:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-pxA6CwiUGI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-pxA6CwiUGI</a>
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)