Advanced Composition and Analysis


Assigned Work

Ligeti Double Concerto, 1972

Below are some questions and things to consider that relate to this piece. Note that there are no absolute answers to many of these, (although there are to some!), but that to some extent in analytical terms, while paying due respect to 'standard' analytical methods, including 'serial' analysis, (whatever that is) or standard 'classical' harmonic analysis (good luck), one of the crucial ideas is to create your own analytical structure for the piece. One of the fascinating things about analysing more modern music is that quite often the methods of expression used have not been formulated into ‘analytical conventions’ and this, unsurprisingly, can make the music difficult to deal with ‘conventionally’. Above all, try to avoid a simple catalogue of events. A ‘serial’ analysis that is effectively a chart identifying each occurrence, version and transposition of a row may be vaguely interesting and useful in its own right, but does not necessarily (or even ever) explain how or why the music works (or doesn’t work, for that matter).






In other works of this period, including the Second Quartet (1968), Ten Pieces for wind quintet (1968) and Chamber Concerto (1969–70), he used multi-movement form to present several different faces of his music in succession. There are clock movements and cloud movements, and often these movements of diverse kinds will be made to ‘rhyme’ by means of cross-reference: such a conception of musical form goes back to previous works in two movements, the Cello Concerto and Apparitions, and further to the two-movement, opposing-but-similar forms of Bartók. The Double Concerto for flute, oboe and orchestra (1972) is again an example of this paired-movement type, and again an essay in microtonal intonation, profiting from recent developments in woodwind technique.
PAUL GRIFFITHS: 'Ligeti, György (Sándor)', The New Grove Dictionary of Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed [7/2/03]),

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