Babbitt’s relatively early composition _Semi-Simple Variations_ (1956) presents intriguing surface patterns that are not determined by its pre-compositional plan, but rather result from subsequent “improvised” decisions that are strategic. This video (the third of a three-part video essay) considers Babbitt’s own conversational pronouncements (in radio interviews) together with some particulars of his life-long musical activities, that together suggest uncanny affiliations to jazz improvisation. As a result of Babbitt’s creative reconceptualizing of planning and spontaneity in music, his pre-compositional structures (partial orderings) fit in an unexpected way into (or reformulate) the ecosystem relating music composition to the physical means of its performance.
Link to Notes: smt-v.org/bibliographies/5_123_Mailman.pdf
Link back to Part I: vimeo.com/societymusictheory/videocast5-1mailman