Lytteøvelser 2

In Buenes work “Three Studies for Microtonal Piano (2019)”, there are some subtle quotes from Schuberts sonata D.960, and I wanted to show a comparison of the two in order to see how Buenes microtones contribute concerning timbre.

Schubert D.960 ( vs Buene (

  • Several perfect intervals (5ths and octaves) , yet minor, and in the lower range and soft dynamics, this results in a “round” timbre.

    • D.960
    • bar 1
    • mov.2
  • Perfect intervals (octaves), but the lowest C# creates an unstable/shaky fundamental due to it’s string course micro-cluster (-55cent, +55cent, 0 cent).

    • III
    • bar 1-3

Buene Three Studies

  • A sharp sound, due to both the accent and the dissonant quartertone interval. The wavy beatings gradually dissappear while the resonance of the highest pitch becomes inaudible.

    • I
    • bar 5
  • Harmonic struggle, due to the quartertone low 5th in the first chord, and like insects beatings in the 2nd chord (due to the little “swarm” of different C#5’s.

    • I
    • bar 14
  • “Hidden”
    If a quartertone is not one of the lower harmonics of a harmonic spectrum, it often stands out, almost aggressively, especially if it is the top note of the chord. However, when this pitch (such as this 5th 16th-note of the bar) has the melodic pitch, but the attack was hidden in a prevoius chord, then it blends more.

    • I
    • bar 15
  • The microtones were more obvious than the “hidden” one (I-bar 15).

    • I
    • bar 45
  • Several layers of beatings, especially due to both the quartertone narrow 5th and octave.

    • I
    • bar 37
  • The quarter-tone high D changes the colour when the bass (and pedal) changes from C# to E.

    • I
    • bar 49
  • The active releasing of keys (when the durations are rather short) creates an illusion of the piano that can sustain its sound, like an organ.

    • I
    • bar 68
  • Sharper, colder than the former one (bar 68). I hear the pitches in the sustained (first) chord moving rapidly up and down (as a scale )

    • I
    • bar 71