LUCIANO BERIO - Sequenza III For Female Voice


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LUCIANO BERIO - Sequenza III For Female Voice

Circumstances of Performance (When, where and why)

  • Graphic score
  • Written in 1966
  • Berio wrote for wife, who sings piece 
  • Explores sounds of the human voice
  • Extended vocal techniques
  • Avant-garde, composer breaking new ground
  • Not usually performed at festivals
  • Based on a poem not by Marku Kutter
  • Uses a graphic score
  • Berio later re scored the work for 3 singers rather than one, too difficult for most 

Tonality (Key) 

  • Atonal, no key
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Performing Forces (Interesting and unusual features)

  • Wide range of sound
  • This piece needs TIMBRE, exploiting different timbres of her voice
    -Pauses (for breath or hesitation)
    -Pitched singing
    -Shortvaal body noises (tongue clicks, coughs, finger snaps)
    -Sound that involves changes in timbre (trills, tremolos, hand cooped over mouth)
    -Streams of fast articulated sounds (laughing and muttering)
  • Very demanding
  • Phonetic pronunciations
  • Non-phonetic pronunciations 
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Texture (Layers)

  • Monophonic 
  • Solo female voice

Melody (Tune)

  • No real melody
  • Some use of melisma's for example (t-r-uth)

Harmony (Chords)

  • No chromatic notes because it is atonal
  • Since this is a solo female vocalist piece there are no chords

Rhythm Metre (Time Signature)

  • Irregular, left open to interpretation
  • some parts faster than other for example(when singer mutters of laughs) 
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Structure (Sections)

  • 0:00 - Entrance of the woman
  • 0:21 - Contrasts her contrasting moods
  • 1:48 - Disturbed singing
  • 4:29 - First anxiety attack
  • 5:16 - Calming down
  • 6:49 - Second anxiety attack
  • 7:26 - Return to a still, uncertain state of mind
  • Episodic
    -A = tense
    -B = anxious
    -C = hyperactive
    -D = dreamy
    -E = serene
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