Welcome to Nigel Morgan
Main Menu  
Slonimsky Studies - Set 1
For solo piano

from Slonimsky Study I.
Nicholas Slonimsky, pianist, composer, conductor, author and teacher, was a pioneer in performing the works of Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Edgar Varèse, and many other American composers. He is known today principally for his Lexicon of Musical Invective (1953) and the Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (1947)

He described his thesaurus as providing ‘a comprehensive vocabulary of melodic phraseology for modern composers and performers’. Its contents are designed to provide ‘ample material for improvisation and actual composition’. As a successful resource for improvisation there can be no doubt: John Coltrane is said to have worked
daily with these scales and patterns and the book is one of the most ‘borrowed’ items from library reference sections! The evidence for the use of the thesaurus by composers is less well-known although figures such as Bernstein, Malipiero and Honegger have acknowledged it as a valuable part of their working library. The most celebrated and recognisable musical work to come out of an engagement with the collection has to be John Adam’s Slonimsky’s Earbox. This is a remarkable piece of virtuoso writing for large orchestra using many hundreds of the thousand-plus patterns found in the thesaurus. It was composed for the Hallé Orchestra and first performed at the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK.

Page << | 1 | 2 | >>

Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

This website and associated content 2013 Nigel Morgan unless otherwise stated.