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Work Title
Hymns and Variations
Composed in 1979. Premiered in Bonn, June 10, 1979.
Ensemble Type
Work Length
Approximately 20 minutes
For twelve amplified voices.
For this work, Cage employed harmonic subtractive techniques on two hymns by William Billings: Old North and Heath. Each hymn is treated in this fashion for 5 iterations, resulting in 10 variations. The subtractive techniques are similar to those Cage used in Apartment House 1776 and Quartets I-VIII. The composition makes use of only vowel sounds, which should be sung without vibrato.
Peters Edition EP 66812