Five Silent Studies

1st performance: Artculture Resource Centre, Toronto, 1981

A work for solo piano in five movements. All pitches in this piece are notated with a diamond-shaped note head, which indicates that the piano key is to be depressed silently, without the hammer striking the string. Some of the pitches are written marcato, so that inevitably, some notes will sound due to error of touch by the pianist. The sustain pedal is depressed throughout the piece, so that the notes that accidently sound will linger until they die away, thus creating a quiet 'wash' of harmony that is an 'indeterminate mistake'.

©Gordon Monahan 1980.

photo by Sydney Dinsmore

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