Compositions by Bill Alves

Information about Pelog Partita

Javanese gender barung, viola, cello, percussion.

Duration: c. 15:00

Pelog Partita naturally enough, was conceived as a counterpart to Slendro Suite, as pelog and slendro are the two classes of tuning systems found in the traditional music of Java. While slendro features five pitches distributed roughly equally within the octave, pelog has seven separated by clearly unequal step sizes. This gives pelog a very different character, and more possibilities. While this gender still has only five pitches per octave, Suhirdjan, who built the instrument for which I wrote this piece, used a system of removable keys so that I can choose which five of the seven possible pitches I can play in any one movement. As in Slendro Suite, they are tuned to just intonation and the pitches sometimes far away from their Western counterparts. I wrote this piece for and dedicated it to Cynthia Fogg and Tom Flaherty.

Score distributed through the American Gamelan Institute.

Major Performances:

Here are some excerpts from the score. The score is in quasi-conventional Western notation, with each pitch notated as its closest equally tempered counterpart.

Excerpt from movement 4 of Pelog Partita.

Excerpt from movement 5 of Pelog Partita.

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Updated on October 10, 1999 by Bill Alves (