Pitch and Texture Analysis of Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna. Jan Jarvlepp. Lux Aeterna ( ) by Gyorgy Ligeti is a single movement composition of about nine minutes. Drei Phantasien Nach Friedrich Hölderlin: II. Wenn Aus Der Ferne. Cappella Amsterdam & Daniel Reuss. 6. Drei Phantasien Nach Friedrich Hölderlin: III . ‘Rules as Strict as Palestrina’s’: The Regulation of Pitch and Rhythm in Ligeti’s Requiem and Lux aeterna – Volume 10 Issue 2 – BENJAMIN R. LEVY.

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The listener will probably conclude that the piece liigeti ended when the singing stops and lift the tone arm from the record. The words of the text are also treated canonically.

Unlike the beginning of the piece, this canonic block begins with a simultaneous attack in all four voices.

About ten bars later an A flat pitch center begins to appear.

For this reason, I cannot pinpoint the emergence of a new pitch center to a specific bar in this case. Block 5B bars starts with the sopranos and tenors simultaneously attacking B an octave apart. This creates a smooth pitch transfer from an unclear adjacent pitch area to a clearly defined pitch center. Since not all four voices of block 1 get to sing the last four syllables on the high A due to the simultaneous cut-off, aeferna are enclosed in square lugeti in Example 3.

In barsthe composer presents an interesting preparation for the next section, block 4. This ending represents a return to the original central pitch, F.

Lux Aeterna (Ligeti) – Wikipedia

Lux Aeterna by Gyorgy Ligeti is a single movement composition of about nine minutes duration for unaccompanied sixteen part mixed choir. Block 3A lies below 3B and 30 in pitch range with no overlap. In Example 14, the first 14 syllables of the piece are lined up in vertical columns so that the rhythmic values assigned to each syllable can be compared from voice to voice.


Introduction English Born in Transylvania, in the border region between Hungary and Romania, Ligeti studied composition at first locally and then at the Budapest Academy, where he became a professor in The three pitches of the first chord of block 4 sound ulx an A 7th chord. The tenors enter about halfway through this section, singing in the same range as the women.

Lux Aeterna (Ligeti) – Wikiwand

The pitches Aeetrna, A and F cause it to sound like a B 7th chord with no third to indicate whether it is major or minor. Human perception is such that one accepts large gaps in the lower register with little experience of tension.

This effect has been used in orchestration by modern composers as a tension building device. The final word of the text, “luceat”, is left incomplete in two of the four alto sections. This is followed by a section where only the mens’ voices sing, and then the women aeetrna on the text ” Quia pius es.

On the Wergo and Deutsche Grammophon recordings not only is the 7 bar silence omitted, but each recording appears last on the side of the disc.

The Lux aeterna was commissioned by the conductor of the Stuttgart Schola Cantorum for inclusion in a recording of new music. F and Lhx, which were important pitch centers in block 1, are present only below middle C.


A small amount of the “hole in the middle” effect is present but does not function in the same way as before. Sopranos 1 and 2, and Tenors 1 and 2 sing only the syllable “Iu”.

They fade with out simultaneously. A similar exceptional case can be found among the generally appears that Ligeti wrote the first three soprano and alto voices of the xanon adhering to his flexible talea without great deviation. The A gains great prominence in bars by appearing an octave higher while being supported by the original Qeterna pitch.

The flexible talea structure of block 3B sopranos, bars is shown in Example 15 using the same vertical column format as the preceding example. Block 3C bars appears simultaneously with block 3B, using ligetj same text, but is different in pitch content and canonic structure.

Examples 3 – Two kinds of texture are used in this piece: It tends to blend partially with the other blocks present and to act as a soft drone. The words “lux aeterna luceat eis” mean “may eternal light shine on them.

Hyperion Records

However, the strong B, A and A pitch centers aaeterna in the other vertical cells do not fit conveniently into a traditional tonal plan. The band of sound exceeds two octaves and contains all twelve pitch classes. The piece may be sung by sixteen soloists or by a larger choir divided into sixteen sections.