[Smt-talk] fw: Lindberg mode

Daphne Leong daphne.leong at Colorado.EDU
Fri Jan 18 11:12:08 PST 2013

I'm forwarding the following query at the request of my colleague Jonathan Leathwood:

I'm currently working on a long guitar piece by Magnus Lindberg from 2004 called Mano a Mano. I have a little familiarity with some of his earlier music and the influence of the spectralists is very obvious to the ear, and there is some literature about that. So far, however, I don't see much in the guitar piece in common with those works: in fact, I would never have guessed they were by the same composer. Instead, I see that the guitar piece it is mostly based on a curious mode that runs (in semitones) <11212…>, repeating the pattern every perfect fifth. For example: <C, C#, D, E, F, G, G#, A, B, c, d, eb, e, f#, g, a…>.

Lindberg often uses common segments with other more common modes to switch back and forth. It turns out that the repeating pattern yields all pcs of the aggregate within a span of 22 semitones, and so he sometimes suggests other modes by selecting only the relevant pcs while allowing the governing mode to constrain the spacing. Finally, the mode is rich enough that you can write interesting music by choosing only the common tones between two of its transpositions, something I've noted in one passage so far.

My question is simply whether you have encountered this mode -- perhaps it's quite well known and I just haven't seen it before. One thing I wished I had was a good labeling convention for it.


Daphne Leong Daphne.Leong at colorado.edu
Associate Professor, Music Theory tel: (303) 492-4337
Chair, Theory and Composition fax: (303) 492-5619
University of Colorado at Boulder
College of Music,  301 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0301
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