Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Husarik, Stephen. "John Cage and Lejaren Hiller: HPSCHD, 1969." American Music 1 (Summer 1983): 1-21.

The performance of John Cage's and Lejaren Hiller's HPSCHD, for seven harpsichords, tape, and a menagerie of multimedia, at the University of Illinois in 1969 was an event unlike any other, and especially unlike MUSICIRCUS, put on at the same university two years previous. For HPSCHD, Cage and Hiller set out to write a computer program that could divide the octave 52 ways, since this was something a computer could do that a human could not. Mozart's Musical Dice Game was used to come up with the material for the seven solo harpsichord parts, in conjunction with the I-Ching. For Solo Harpsichord II, 20 "passes" of the original part devised from the Dice Game and I-Ching were performed. Solo Harpsichords III and IV played the same material, but with replacement parts culled from Mozart piano sonatas included in place of some measures from the Dice Game. Parts V and VI were similar to III and IV, except that their replacement measures came from Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Gottschalk, Busoni, Cage, and Hiller piano pieces. Solo Harpsichord I was a transcription of the tape-orchestra part in which the octave was divided into 12 tones. Finally, VII played any Mozart piece or anything else anybody else was playing, at any time. Cage's interest in what happened when many layers were superimposed was the impetus behind the work, in addition to exploring different levels of microtonality.

Works: Cage and Hiller: HPSCHD.

Sources: Mozart: Musical Dice Game, K. 294d/K. Anh. C 30.01 (7-9), Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 284 (7), Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 330, Piano Sonata in G Major, K. 283, Fantasy in C Minor, K. 475, Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 281; Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57, Appasionata (8); Frédéric Chopin: Prelude in D Minor, Op. 28 (8); Robert Schumann: Carnaval (8); Ferrucio Busoni: Sonatina No. 2 (8); Cage: Winter Music (8); Hiller: Sonata No. 5 (8).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Marc Geelhoed

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License