JUBEL FÜR RUEDI                    audioscoreexemplary      exhibits Phase B activity

Jubel für Ruedi was planned as celebratory music for Rudolf Lutz on Sep. 29th, 2015, after he received the Swiss STAB-Jahrespreis (the Stiftung für Abendländische Ethik und Kultur's annual prize).


I considered what I was going to play by making a few sketches during the week prior to the recorded performance.

Below is a transcription and analysis of the audio recording, written after the audio recording was made:

the recording of my performance for Ruedi and other guests on September 29th, 2015:

After finding a melody and accompanying counter-melody for the left hand, I began to consider ways to develop the music further. Two passages came to mind that I decided I did not want to imitate exactly, but use some of their harmonic content. The first passage constitutes the first eight bars from Beethoven's Sonata in A Major, Op. 101 (incorrectly indicated as Op. 110 on my manuscript to the left) and I was interested in the way he harmonizes a descending chromatic line in the bass. On the manuscript, I transposed the contents of the bass line to E Major, the key in which Jubel für Ruedi would happen, and tried to find suitable melodic material using similar rhythmic gestures as in the original Beethoven. The way the notated passage continues, when the rhythmic content begins to look similar to Beethoven's original, more resembles a transposed transcription of the Beethoven.

Another passage that came to mind was excerpted from Sehr rasch und leicht from Schumann's Humoreske, Op. 20. I wanted to channel the harmonic intensity and character of this particular music. Here to the left is a transcription of the passage transposed to E Major, and to the right the original Schumann.

[a transcript of the handwritten comments I included on the manuscript after transcribing the recording on December 8th, 2015:]

comments after transcribing:

Why not continue in V in m. 17?

D# in m. 18 a 'mistake' but lead[s] to F# / C# mod[ulation]

m. 22 wrong bass note for descending fifths sequence

m. 47-54 successful realization of Humoreske transcription

mm. 39-43 too similar to mm. 54-57

In his book The End of Early Music..., performer-musicologist Bruce Haynes discusses transcribing recorded improvisations:

Some improvisers believe it is impossible to transcribe improvisations. But then, the best performers of written music give the illusion that they are improvising (since to read mechanically is the kiss of death). Besides, composing is often a matter of repeating a good invention often enough to be able to remember it and get it down on paper. The act of writing down the notes is actually a mechanical process that consists of documenting an idea that already exists. The creative moment has already taken place when the invention or inspiration occurred to the composer while performing or practicing. Often, of course, this will be followed by a structural organization that can sometimes be achieved only on paper (Haynes 2007, 209).


The structural organization of ideas on paper is indeed a way to codify ideas that already exist (as discussed in more detail in the subchapter Improvisation9 in the chapter On Scales of Improvisation) but these ideas can also be realized directly in performance, recorded, and organized on paper through the process of transcribing the recording.