The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Hamel: Die Umkehrung der Mitte

Peter Michael Hamel: Die Umkehrung der Mitte (2008)

for 2 Bohlen-Pierce clarinets, viola, marimba and vibraphone

(Mis)-Using the Bohlen-Pierce tone row derived from 1:3 relations as a traditional modal scale close to micro intervals of an ancient Indian Shruti mode, set in relation to the lowest empty string of the viola.

Attempting to unite or combine compositional techniques (which had been thought in music history as different, divergent, if not opposed to one another) into an integral new whole:

  • twelve-tone dodecaphonic structure
  • modal-harmonic elements with micro intervals
  • new playing techniques/noise-like intervals
  • Pythagorean sonic environments based on overtones (harmonics) in allusion to „Bohlen-Pierce intervals“.
  • assonance of diatonic and dodecaphonic intonation
  • contrast of twelve-tone series and repetitive techniques.

Die Umkehrung der Mitte is dedicated to Georg Hajdu who turned me on to the Bohlen-Pierce intonation!


Score to Umkehrung der Mitte