Wednesday, September 13, 2006

tin tin

Main Entry: tin•tin•nab•u•la•tion
Pronunciation: "tin-t&-"na-by&-'lA-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin tintinnabulum bell, from tintinnare to ring, jingle, from tinnire
1 : the ringing or sounding of bells
2 : a jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells

Derived from the Latin word for a bell, 'tintinnabulation' is perhaps best known from Edgar Allan Poe's poem.

A ringing or tinkling sound.
The bells, the sound of the bells! A well-known poem by Edgar Allan Poe—published the year he died, 1849, but written much earlier—begins like this:

Edgar Allan Poe-The Bells


Tintinnabuli (from the Latin for ‘'bells'’) is a compositional style created by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Pärt first introduced this new style in two 1970 works: Für Alina and Spiegel Im Spiegel. This simple style was influenced by the composer's mystical experiences with chant music. Musically, Pärt's tintinnabular music is characterized by two types of voices, the first of which (dubbed the "tintinnabular voice") arpeggiates the tonic triad, and the second of which moves diatonically in stepwise motion. The works often have a slow and meditative tempo, and a minimalist approach to both notation and performance. Pärt's compositional approach has expanded somewhat in the years since 1970, but the overall affect remains largely the same.

Pδrt refers to his current style as "tintinnabuli." This can be defined as the application of various inversions of a certain chord. Also, it is a word "which evokes the pealing of bells, the bells' complex but rich sonorous mass of overtones, the gradual unfolding of patterns implicit in the sound itself, and the idea of a sound that is simultaneously static and in flux."2 Pδrt explains the term this way

Tintinnabulation is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers - in my life, my music, my work. In my dark hours, I have the certain feeling that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises - and everything that is unimportant falls away. Tintinnabulation is like this. . . . The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation


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