Subject: Re: More on silence From: Brian Gygi <bgygi(at)EBIRE.ORG> Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 15:24:54 -0800
Along the lines of Elliot Handelsman's comments, a composer friend of mine responded: I consider a rest as part of a musical phrase and analogous to the musical language as "negative" hue is in a black-and-white photograph. In fact, I find that "silence" in terms of rests within a musical phrase creates "tension" more effectively than notes do at times. I have a choral work, based on a chinese poem of Tu Fu of only 12 measures long. The penultimate measure consists of six beats of silence. I find it to be the toughest measure in my music to perform, as it acts as the "dominant" chord of the phrase. The term "rest" then is a misnomer. The other point about musical "silence" is that it serves as a frame for the "song" or "piece", like a frame separates the "art" from the "wall".