Alan Licht's minimal top ten


ROW 12:
A Monstrous Work of
Computer-Generated Minimalism

The File

Download ROW 12 (MIDI file, 411 KB, about 7 hours long)

The Notes

In 1636 father Marin Mersenne, in his Harmonie universelle, asked how many musical sequences can be generated upon an extension of three octaves, comprising 22 notes, without repetitions (shades of future twelve-tone compositions!). Mersenne observed that to write down all these songs would require enough reams of paper to fill in the distance between heaven and earth, even if every sheet contained 720 songs and every ream was so compressed so as to be less than an inch thick. In fact, the number of possible songs amounted to 1.124 billion billions. Dividing this figure by the 362,880 songs contained in each ream, one would still obtain a 16-digit figure, whilst the number of inches between the center of the Earth and the stars is only 28 thousand billions (a 14-digit figure). Anyone who wished to copy out all these songs at a thousand per day would have to write for more than 22 billion years.

--Umberto Eco, The Dream of a Perfect Language

There are 3856 12-tone rows that start on the same note and contain every interval exactly once (m2, M2, m3, M3, p4, T, p5, m6, M6, m7, M7- octaves are ignored and the interval is measured upward from the first note to the second note). This file contains all of them as calculated by a computer program written by Mike Ciul. Each one is in a separate measure, so they can be numbered by measure number.

The Copyright Information

ROW 12: a MIDI file of tone rows
Copyright (C) 1999  Mike Ciul
This information is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this work; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

copyright © 1999 MIKE CIUL HOME