[Smt-talk] Time-point series for Babbitt, "All Set"?

Kevin Holm-Hudson kjholm2 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 11:39:06 PST 2012

Dear Collective Wisdom,

I am considering using Milton Babbitt's 1957 composition for jazz
ensemble, "All Set," in a graduate class next semester. A web article,
hunsmire.tripod.com/music/allset.html, mentions that the work is
Babbitt's first to serialize rhythm according to "time point sets,"
but it does not specify what the series is.

Looking at the score, I have spotted P0 (in the brasses) and I7 (in
the saxes) easily enough... but those two parts do not appear to use a
corresponding (strict) time-point series. Quantifying the attacks in a
time-grid of eighth notes, the I7 time-point series would appear to be
<3, 5, 11, 6, 1, 4, 3, 9, 11, 4, 2, 2>, whereas the P0 time-point
series would appear to be <3, 5, 13, 1, 4, 10, 6, 11, 5, 1, 4, 1>.
Clearly the repetitions and missing numbers indicate I am looking in
the wrong place.

Does anyone know? (I looked at the piano and vibes as well, which
contain R0 and RI7, but there are repeated attack-point values there
as well.) A shot in the dark, perhaps, but I thought it couldn't hurt
to ask.


Dr. Kevin Holm-Hudson
Associate Professor, Music Theory
University of Kentucky
School of Music
465 Rose Street
105 Fine Arts Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0022

"Creativity has much to do with experience, observation and
imagination, and if any one of those key ingredients is missing, it
doesn't work." --Bob Dylan

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