Stockhausen's Music: Western Music Analysis

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The beating sound of helicopter blades is often perceived as noise; however, Stockhausen utilizes helicopters as the primary instrument in his “Helicopter String Quartet”. This utilization of unique sounds manipulated by technology is what sets Stockhausen apart as an innovative composer of the 20th century. Stockhausen’s music often seems to better resemble noise rather than music when it is first heard. However, it is due to his deeper understanding of sound and new methods of composing that Stockhausen expands Western music through the usage of modern technology. Stockhausen’s music is unique in that it was amongst the first to begin utilizing technology to modify and record different sounds. These modified sounds would often appear to …show more content…
The original pieces were created due to Stockhausen’s curiosity about the potential sounds of the tam-tam. When heard, the sounds created by the tam-tams resemble various animal calls and nature sounds (Stockhausen). Stockhausen created these sounds by hitting, rubbing, and scratching the tam-tam with various objects. The resultant sounds were then recorded and manipulated with microphones to create the wide variety of new sounds (Stockhausen 78). While listening to the different sounds Stockhausen was able to deduce which sounds belonged together in order to form a modified scale for the piece. Following Mikrophonie I, Stockhausen wanted to further experiment with the tam-tam and various methods of altering the sounds which is what lead him to create Mikrophonie …show more content…
In the case of Mikrophonie I, Stockhausen created a scale of 35 steps ranging from the darkest and lowest sounds to the brightest and highest sounds. In this scale Stockhausen utilized onomatopoeic words to describe the different steps and sounds created with the tam-tam (Stockhausen 83). In contrast, Stockhausen developed a scale based upon the relationship between the volume and scale when he composed Kontakte (Cott 95). Stockhausen’s works often seemed to lack the conventional measure found in most traditional compositions. This was because Stockhausen utilized time intervals opposed to beats. These time standards were often shaped around mathematical calculations or series. This is exemplified in Telemusik, Plus-Minus, Stop, Adieu, and Mikrophonie I and II were Stockhausen based the time proportions on the Fibonacci Series (Toop

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