LUNA NOVA HOME> Extended Techniques for Piano> Harmonics Ex. 3

George Crumb, Voice of the Whale, Paleozoic (Var. III)
At the beginning of the cello harmonics in the middle of the second line of Paleozoic variation of George Crumb’s Voice of the Whale, a cluster of harmonics produces a bell-like sonority in the piano part. These three notes and the corresponding harmonics are all a half-step apart. The pianist plays this cluster on the keyboard with the right hand while the fifth-partial harmonics are stopped on the three neighboring strings with the left hand fingers. As is the case with the other examples of harmonics, Crumb makes his intentions very clear for the performer by notating the actual pitches that are heard. This way, the pianist can locate the exact point on each string that produces the harmonic in the correct octave. During the preparations of the piano, the performer can play each fifth partial (in this case they are C#, D, and E-flat) on the keyboard and find the very point on each string that is most in tune with each partial. In order produce the maximum sorority, the left-hand fingers have to come off of the strings at the same time and with the same quickness that the right hand comes up and off of the keys.
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