Saturday, June 27, 2015


Nr. 22: HYMNEN (Anthems)
Electronic and Concrete Music (4-Channel)
(1966-67)  [~114 min.]

Additional Works:
Nr. 22 1/2: HYMNEN mit SOLISTEN (Anthems with Soloists)
Electronic and Concrete Music with 4 soloists (presently withdrawn)
(1966-67)  [~126 min.]
Nr. 22 2/3: HYMNEN (Dritte Region) / Anthems (Third Region)
Electronic and Concrete Music with Orchestra
(1969)  [~42 min.]

     HYMNEN is a massive tape soundscape using samples of 40 national anthems, various field recordings of public events, a few dialogue "inserts", shortwave radio noise and synthesized sound (from sine and pulse generators) to create a kind of "portrait of humanity" as it melts together, bursts apart, and then is reborn as a new utopian entity.  The idea and initial work on HYMNEN began in 1965, just before Stockhausen made an extended trip to Japan, where he created TELEMUSIK.  TELEMUSIK also used synthetic sounds combined with modulated, culturally-meaningful sound samples, though in that case, traditional folk songs were modulated instead of national anthems.  After returning from Japan, Stockhausen resumed work on HYMNEN, armed with the experience he gained from creating TELEMUSIK.

     One of the main ideas behind the use of these national anthems is to have them act as "signposts" for listeners, as they travel through this unknown world of sound, noise and disconnected voices.  Stockhausen felt that "everyone knows the anthem of his own country, and perhaps those of several others, or at least their beginnings."  Another thing that Stockhausen has always enjoyed presenting is "an apple on the moon" - that is, a mundane object, trivial in normal surroundings, but VERY interesting in the middle of a jarringly unexpected environment.  In any case, these anthems were altered in many various ways electronically, and sometimes one anthem would affect another.  For example, in "intermodulation" (see TELEMUSIK), the harmony of one anthem would be recreated with the rhythm of another anthem, which would in turn be affected by the "dynamic envelope" of yet another anthem.  These anthems are also enhanced as they appear with concurrent "scenes from daily life" - field recordings of civic events and rural environments native to that country.

     The structural organization of the anthems in HYMNEN seems to me to be based on an idea that probably began in KLAVIERSTÜCK V and would also play an important part in "formula composition", especially in the opera cycle LICHT.  In KLAVIERSTÜCK V, Stockhausen surrounded "central notes" with "satellite tones", which were expressed as grace-note fragments.  The other piano works of that time developed additional techniques to provide anticipatory and after-image colorations to the central notes (specifically through the use of pedalling techniques and silently-depressed keys ("halo tones")).  In LICHT's super-formula, the central tones of the 3 main melodic formulas are similarly ornamented in many different ways to provide a melodic "story".  In HYMNEN, the "central anthems" are intercut and intermodulated with secondary satellite anthems to create the impression of an individualistic, yet interdependent, human society.  

     "The point is, to find compositional processes of confrontations and mixtures of style
 - of intermodulations - in which styles are not mixed together into a hodgepodge, 
but rather in which different characters modulate each other and sharpen their originality."

Anthems and Signals from Earth
     The first sketches for HYMNEN used 13 national anthems as "central anthems", of which 8 were eventually included in the final work.  These 8 central anthems were initially distributed over 4 "regions":
  • Internationale: Region I
  • France (La Marselleise): Region I
  • Africa (various): Region I and IV
  • Russia (Gosudarstvenny Gimn SSSR): Region II and III
  • Germany (Deutschland-lied): Region II
  • USA (The Star-Spangled Banner): Region III
  • Spain (La Marcha Real): Region III
  • Switzerland (Schweizerpsalm): Region IV
     Notable "satellite anthems" include Great Britain ("God Save the Queen"), USA (2nd anthem: "Battle Hymn of the Republic").  The countries whose anthems were partially completed, but are were not used in the final cut of HYMNEN are: Greece ("in relations to Turkey and Great Britain"), the United Arab Republic, Belgium (with Luxembourg, Germany, France, and Holland), Brazil, and Albania.

     Stockhausen approached these initial 13 anthems in different ways, and created unique structural processes for each one.  Two binders of realization sketches describing the exact techniques used are in the Stockhausen Foundation archives (which I have not read yet).  In addition to the 13 initial anthems, a 14th country, "HYMUNION in HARMONDY" was formed, which represents the rebirth of humanity in a new pluralistic entity (HYMUNION is a word-combination from "hymn" and "union").

     It may be useful to hear the anthems in their "original" incarnations.  Below is an "Anthem Kit" where some of the main anthem "Centres" can be heard (though not the actual recordings that Stockhausen used, unfortunately).  You could perhaps have some fun playing several combinations of the below anthems at the same time to make your own "hymnen mixtur"....  (click only on the left edge of each "channel", otherwise a new window pops up...)
(USSR) Internationale
France La Marseillaise
Germany Deutschland-Lied
Upper Volta Hymne Nationale Voltaïque
Russia Государственный гимн СССР
USA Star Spangled Banner
Spain La Marcha Real
Switzerland Schweizerpsalm
    Besides the anthems, concrete sounds and synthetic electronic tones, the other main ingredient (mostly in the first section) is shortwave radio.  For more on this, see SPIRAL.  With the below player, I suppose one could also mix in some shortwave radio to the above anthems...have fun!

WDR Electronic Music Studio during the recording of HYMNEN.
From far left: Octave filter, 

1/3 octave filter bank (perpendicular, stacked), 
frequency analyzer,
bandpass filter on top of tunable amplifier, 
Heathkit sine generator and tunable frequency amplifier on top of...
3 1/3 octave bandwidth filters on top of...
2 signal generators (semi-hidden behind...)
4 sweep (sine tone) generators with a stop clock on top,
2 beat frequency oscillators, 
2 pulse generators (cut off), 
mixing board
tape recorder (foreground).
     The equipment at the Studio for Electronic Music at the WDR center which Stockhausen used to create HYMNEN's synthetic sounds are mostly the same as those used to create earlier works such as STUDIE I, GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE, and KONTAKTE.  They include the following:
  • Frequency generators: Sine-wave beat frequency oscillator, square wave, sawtooth generators
  • Pulse generators (beats)
  • Feedback generators
  • White noise generators
     These synthetic electronic sound sources were processed with several devices which modulate or filter characteristics of the sounds:
  • Band filters (octave, third octave bandpass, W49 radio filter, etc...)
  • Ring modulators (see MIXTUR)
  • Signal "choppers"
  • Variable speed tape recorders (pitch shifting)
  • Tempo transposing (without pitch shifting) devices (Springer tape recorder)
  • Reverb units
  • Rotation table for spatializing the sounds in 4 channels (a signal is projected out of a speaker which is spun around, with microphones placed at the 4 compass points)
     For pictures and more info on these electronic devices, see the pieces linked to above or my post on the WDR Electronic Music Studio Tour (photos of electronic gear, 2015).  The Signal "choppers" are an especially interesting effect.  Here, Stockhausen uses a pulse generator to trigger the opening and closing of another channel (usually containing an anthem or an electronic chord), creating a tremolo-like rhythmic effect. 

Modulation of Anthems
     The anthems themselves were subjected to various kind of manipulations using the signal processing devices described just above.  Some ideas include:
  • Splicing and recombining fragments of several anthems and then reassembling them to form "new" anthems
  • Increasing or decreasing pitch and/or tempo
  • Perforation: one layer of an anthem would be intermittently muted so that another anthem layer underneath could be heard ("signal choppers")
  • Looping cadential chords into drone harmonies and then microtonally modulating the chord tones
  • Layered reverb, filtering, intermodulation (one anthem modulates another), etc...
Cover to the 1st edition of the HYMNEN score.

Russian Electronic Chords
     In the CD book(let) included with the Stockhausen Edition CD of HYMNEN, Stockhausen gives one example of how he recreated, manipulated and redistributed the parts of the Russian anthem (USSR).  This anthem appears as atomized electronic chord phrases throughout HYMNEN, usually with different attacks, decays, transpositions and modulations.  Several phases of development are described:
  • Harmonic permutation: The anthem was notated as a 112-chord melody, and as the anthem progresses, the chord notes were shifted around until the harmony became more and more atonal.
  • Synthetic tone creation: Each note of every 4-part chord was created with sine tones
  • Filtering: Each sine tone was distorted and its bandwidth filtered (the photo a few pages above has 4 sweep (sine-wave) generators, which were probably recorded simultaneously and processed in 4 different signal chains).  Additionally "rhythmic phrasing" was created by manipulating the dynamics of the tones (volume spikes, etc...)
  • Montage: The 112-chord melody was divided into 8 "refrains", and these refrains were reordered (into the sequence 1, 5, 2, 4, 8, 3, 7, 6).  
  • Spatial Distribution:  The 112-chord melody was divided into 4 sections, each with a different movement scheme (clockwise, counter-clockwise, cross-looping (I, III, II, IV) and counter-cross looping (I, III, IV, II)
  • Sound modulation "as process": the layered 4 channels of synthetic tones begin "normal", but over the length of the 112 chords (about 10 minutes) the sound is increasingly modulated by various effects in different combinations: chopped with impulse generators, processed with reverb, ring-modulated with layered sine, noise and feedback frequencies, etc...
  • Finally, the re-ordered fragments of this sequence are embedded intermittently over the 4 Regions of HYMNEN.

      HYMNEN is a massive work, but the main shapes can be (very) broadly described by the processes which affect each of the main "center" anthems (some of the anthems crossover from one Region to the next, but as far as I can tell these Region markers as "practical" (ie - for LP sides) rather than reflecting a structural change).  Before the anthems begin however, the work opens with a kind of introductory "Shortwave and Anthems Overture"...

Shortwave Overture (with Russia Chords)
     This 6-minute opening section uses shortwave radio noise (4 layers, Morse code, etc...), the beginnings of various anthems, fragments of civic and rural sound scenes, Roulette announcements from a mysterious Croupier, and "howling" electronic noise glissandi. The shortwave "babble" is a simulation of twiddling the knobs of a radio around midnight (when many international stations would play their anthems before signing off).
     Interspersed are drone fragments of an electronic (synthetic) chord sequence, which is actually a sine-wave version of the Russian anthem (described above in "Russian Electronic Chords"). The Russia Chords (RC) are usually accompanied by field recorded fragments of a political student demonstration (or other "sound scenes"). Additionally, a "Croupier" intermittently announces Roulette events for this and the next section.
     This anthem is initially modulated the least of all of the following anthems. It carries over the noise glissandi howls, and at the end is modulated to sound "wobbly" ("warbly"?) - not quite 'underwater', but something along those lines. In the middle, the Russia chords get a "choppered" effect, after which an  "international red fugue" occurs, where Stockhausen and 2 other people intone meditations on the color red in layered sequences. After this, a second Internationale layer is added to the first, and manipulated to create polyphonic rhythms. This section ends with a rising "flood sound" (swarms of granulated tones).
     After a few "pillars" of electronic chords, the "Marseillaise" enters and is modulated and intercut with various other anthem fragments.  Several groups of pillar chords punctuate the ending section.  This is followed by a bridge consisting of high flood sounds and block electronic chords (pillars), then by a concrete section of transformations back and forth between human and animal sounds (through cross-fading and electronic modulation), and finally leading to a rendition of the French anthem "quacked" by ducks (ie - quacks were intermodulated with the Marseillaise).  Eventually a low hum comes to the foreground, which is a reminiscence of a propeller plane flying high in the sky while in an open field (I think).  This section ends with a final rendition of the Marseillaise, 8 times slower than normal.
     A drum roll signals the beginning of the German anthem, "Deutchland-Lied".  This anthem is intercut with itself as one layer of choir and one layer of brass orchestra.  In addition, fragments are sometimes "choppered".  Eventually a held choir chord is split into two layers (representing East and West Germany), with one rising and the other falling.  In the complex following section, a brief fragment of the "Horst-Wessel-Lied", a German anthem played during wartime, surfaces.  The end of this section is marked by a multi-layered, multi-temporal dialogue insert, where Stockhausen and assistant David Johnson consider (and re-consider) WDR studio manager Otto Tomek's concern over the use of the politically-sensitive wartime anthem.
     The anthems of various African countries are all mixed together in various layers, accompanied by high electronic chords of the Russian anthem.
     The electronically-created Russian anthem is featured here, and the fragment used here is notable for the individual modulation and manipulation of each of the constituent notes in each chord.  Continuing on into Region III, the electronic anthem undergoes various tempo changes, but in general remaining fairly slow.  African anthems surface here as well, since the USSR was attempting to politically influence the African continent at the time. 
     Reflecting the "melting pot" nature of the US, the "Star Spangled Banner" is somewhat rhythmically intercut with various anthems from "friendly" nations.  The other main element here is that the shortwave radio sounds return and are featured in a "solo" in the last portion.
     The Spanish anthem is introduced with a fiery Spanish folk dance ("Sevillanas", the only holdover from TELEMUSIK), after which Spain's national anthem, "La Marcha Real", is treated to double-layering and increasingly sped up. The ending section is punctuated by 7 electronic tone intervals which sound like glockenspiels.
     The Swiss anthem, "Schweizerpsalm", in a version for chorus, appears as "pre-echo" announcements during the ending of the Spanish section.  In the actual Switzerland section, the choral fragments are interspersed in transposed layers, and are accompanied by KONTAKTE-like tone pulses of different tempos.  At the end, the Swiss anthem is held in a suspended (looped) chord.
Hymunion in Harmondie
     This anthem is for the world after a theoretical global apocalypse and spiritual rebirth.  It begins with pulsations left over from the Swiss anthem, and as this is modulated, the texture is punctuated by faraway outcries of "Turid", "Nacar", "Iri", etc...  The croupier from the beginning of the work briefly returns (to close, and then open a new betting round), after which the only remaining sound is the inhalation and exhalation of a man's breathing (Stockhausen).  This calm, meditative section (with some inhalations/exhalations cleverly edited out) is marked by 7 "time windows" into the past and future, which are somewhat like the time windows of MIKROPHONIE II.  These time windows are further characterized by "window frames", which are represented by opening and closing pillar chords (left and right frame sides) as well as high and low drones (top and bottom frame sides).  Sustained Russia chords are representative of "screens" or "glass".  Near the end, Stockhausen's "signature" appears a couple times: "Pluramon", which is a "person who is both a pluralist and a monist, who likes the many but who concentrates also at the same time on the one".  The work fades out with the sound of slow breathing (Stockhausen's).

     Below is a more detailed rundown of HYMNEN.  The timings below are from the HYMNEN score and theoretically should match up with the original LP sides.  However, due to variations in tape and turntable speed, it's likely that these timings will get more and more "off" as the sides play, but not by much more than 1-5 seconds (I hope).  The HYMNEN Stockhausen Edition CD track numbers are also listed below, and naturally these would be more exact.  The published score to HYMNEN is a "transcription" which Stockhausen wrote out while carefully listening to the tape, armed with a stopwatch, earphones and a piano.  It includes alot of "data", but the below table is an attempt to point out a few of the more structurally important items.
Countries Trk
CD Track Titles, notes
Centres Satellites CD A
Afghanistan (old), Columbia, Albania, Denmark, Ethiopia (old), Dahomey (now Benin), Germany (pre-WWI), Argentina, Belgium, Egypt,
Shortwave Radio: 4 layers of fast-changing shortwave stations are interspersed with brief fragments of various national anthems and a few "sound scenes" (field recordings).  The shortwave noises include dense noise timbres, morse code transmissions, high squealing, rumbling, tremolos, etc...
Howls (H): Several thick noise glissandi rise and sometimes fall from the depths.
Russia Chord Group (RC): Several fragments of modulated Russia chord sequences appear (starting at 1:15 with Chord 72 out of the previously described 112) with different attacks and decays, sometimes with wavering middle register tones.  These Russia chords are accompanied by field recordings from a political student demonstration (among other concrete "Sound Scenes" such as animal noises, drumming, etc...).

0:00: REGION I begins: 4 layers of Shortwave radio, fast station switching, anthem fragments (continued below)
1:08: Howling glissando (H)
1:15: Russia Chord 72 (RC 72)
1:35: Howl
2:13: Howl, RC
2:39: Plane hum motif (returns in Region II)
2:48: Howl
3:30: RC w oscillating center tone
4:09: Howl (arc)
4:29: Howl
2 4:34: Croupier: The isolated voice of a croupier interrupts with the 1st of 4 game-related announcement inserts:  "Faites votre jeu, Messieurs, Dames, s'il vous plaît" (Place your bets, please, Ladies and Gentlemen)
4:50: RC w oscillating tone
5:21: Howl
5:55: Shortwave layers pause
3 5:56: 1st CENTRE begins: Internationale, RC
6:29: China, low throbbing pulse begins
6:52: (oscillating RC pauses on a fast rising gliss)
7:22: Canada, Howl
7:32: Ghana
4 7:50: Croupier: "Neuf - the nine...", then shortwave, Internationale resume
8:05 (final Region I RC group, "choppered", ending with RC 87)

5 9:32: "Rouge rouge …" ("red, red...") in 4 languages: 5, then 4-part multilingual "fugue" on variations of the word "red"
6 11:54: Croupier: "Impair et manque." (winnings for odd and low number bets.)
11:58: Howl, resumation of shortwave
12:05: Internationale
12:13: 2nd layer Internationale enters in different tempo, but eventually synchronizes
12:47: Howl (arc)
13:00: Internationale briefly warbly (intermodulated), then Howl
13:35: Internationale warbly
13:56: Polyphonic layers again
14:27: Howl
14:47: Howl, Internationale warbly
15:31: Howl (final)
7 16:09: Croupier: "Messieurs, Dames, rien ne va plus." (no more bets will be taken.)
16:46: Internationale: polyphonic and warbly
17:25: "Flood sound" begins as bass drone
FRANCE Great Britain, Germany 8 17:41: Introduction to 2nd CENTRE
17:48: Flood sound pauses, rises and then hovers in high register as granulated noise particles
18:29: Electronic chord-melody ("sound pillars"), RC?
19:15: insert "Mode und sex" ("Fashion and sex")
20:42: Electronic sound pillar stutter (chord accents)
Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Spain, USA, Russia 9 21:07: 2nd CENTRE begins: France (Marseillaise) enters w wild tremolo, then modulated and intercut with various other anthems (at left) as high flood sound continues.

10 22:36: Conclusion of 2nd CENTRE begins: Marseillaise (again, w. additional parallel layers, various dynamic envelope shapes, but no satellite anthems.  High flood sound continues.
23:05: Pillar chord group 1 (16")
24:05: Pillar chord group 2 (29"), descending, then intercut w. snippets of children yelling
25:23: Pillar chord group 3 (37"), descending, then patches of modulated sound
11 26:44: Bridge: Pillar chord group 4 (5"), then flood sound swirling
(plus 3:12 extra time if w live Soloists)
12 27:38: Intermediary piece (transition): flood sound alone w. isolated white noise "shakers"
13 0:00: REGION II begins: Pillar chord group 5, patches of Marseillaise fragments
0:40: high RC electronic tones begin, and continue for the next several minutes, flood sound descends to...
1:01: sounds of men calling, becomimg...
1:30: marsh birds...
2:13: isolated high groups of calls flying away
14 2:30: Ducks
2:44: Marsh ducks quack the Marseillaise
3:01: crowd noise begins fading in, descends
15 4:00: Marseillaise intro chord, played in bass register, followed by low modulating drone (like an overhead plane hum), sometimes with white noise shakers
6:42: brief silence of 5 seconds, followed by hum return
7:40: sparse crowd noise added, modulated to low register 
16 8:07, 8:19: Marseillaise intro chords surface a few times, modulated to low register
8:36: Marseillaise "reminiscence": 8 times slower, filtered and modulated
11:39: drum roll prelude to German anthem
11:45: (High RC electronic tones pause.)
17 11:46: 1st CENTRE begins: Germany (Deutschland-Lied): 2 layers (Choir and Brass) are intercut (Br/Ch/Br/Ch/etc…), sometimes in "chopped" form
12:27: Choir chord sustains, then slowly splits into 2 layers which slowly gliss away from each other (up/down)
13:23: Choir and Brass  resume intercut phrases
13:50: quote of Horst-Wessel-Lied (banned wartime anthem), high RC electronic tones resume
14:04: Deutschland-Lied cuts back in
14:10: Men shouting fades in
18 14:20: 1st Transition
14:38: distant mortar shots surface, collage of high electronic tones, ship christening, marching parade, German anthem, drones, shortwave, crowds (all modulated, filtered, choppered)
Great Britain, Upper Volta, Dahomey 19 16:15: Great Britain (God Save the Queen, "scattered by the wind as though from a transatlantic transmission")
17:06: crowd chanting "We want the Queen!"
17:28: Tape switch sound, followed by isolated chopped high tones and chants
17:56: Choppered Upper Volta, Dahomey anthem fragments (pre-echo to the next Centre)

20 18:07: 2nd CENTRE: Studio Conversation, "Otto Tomek sagte": Stockhausen and David Johnson discuss (in multiple over-dubbed time layers) Otto Tomek's concern about the use of the politically-sensitive Horst-Wessel-Lied (the full English-translated transcript is included in the HYMNEN CD booklet).
Upper Volta, Dahomey, Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Gambia, Sierra Leone, 
Union of 
S. Africa, Tanganyika 
21 20:28: 3rd CENTRE: Africa: Modulated/chopped anthems of the African continent, with high layer of modulated and chopped Russia chords (Upper Volta, Dahomey, Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Gambia anthem fragments), sounds of drums, children, etc...
22:04: feedback flood sound, causes brief pause (RC layer remains)
22:20: anthem collage resumes (Sierra Leone, S Africa, Tanganyika)
Ivory Coast, Guinea, Cameroon, Niger,
22 23:38: 4th CENTRE: USSR: Features Russia's electronic chord sequence in the foreground (each note of a 4-note chord is independently filtered, modulated, reverberated, spatially distributed and dynamically regulated, all at reduced speed).  A few African countries surface due to the USSR's political influence there at the time.
24:45: Ghana fragment
25:31: Ivory Coast fragment, followed by steps on a metal staircase
26:59: "Var"
27:37: Guinea crowd noise, Cameroon, Niger fragments
28:07: feedback rising (flood sound), Togo fragment
29:13: falling high tone "bird calls"
1 Region III
0:00: Togo, Niger fragments with feedback hissing
0:19: feedback flood sound descends
0:22: Russia chord tones resume

2 0:27: 1st CENTRE begins: USSR (Cont.): Russia chord sequence continues from where it left off at the end of Region II (various modulation, filtering, etc…)
3 3:31: Refrain USSR: Briefly normal speed
3:53: Back to slow speed
4 5:17: 2nd Refrain USSR Faster again
5 6:20: End of  USSR: Continued RC modulation with pitch transpositions
7:22: Morse code tones fade in and out
USA France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain 6 9:27: 2nd CENTRE begins: USA-Collage: Star Spangled Banner - intercut with various foreign anthems every 1 or 2 bars (US/Great Britain/US/France/US/Italy/etc… and blended with 2 shortwave layers, "thumping" impacts (broken electrical connections?), etc...
Japan, Battle Hymn of the Rep., Canada, Great Britain 7 10:24: Japan, etc: USA intercut w Japan, Battle Hymn of the Rep. ("Glory, glory hallelujah"), Canada, Great Britain, shortwave, thumping
Israel, Egypt 8 11:22: Israel etc.: USA intercut w Israel, Egypt, shortwave
9 11:49: Turkey etc: USA intercut w Turkey, Brazil, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Austria, shortwave
Ireland, Belgium, Sweden,
USA 2:Battle Hymn of the Republic: "Glory Glory Hallelujah"
10 12:50: Ireland etc.: USA intercut w Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, shortwave (and USA 2: "Glory, Glory Hallelujah")

11 13:24: 2nd Transition (USA -> Spain): US chord held in loop
13:51: Entry of shortwave sounds (high swooping sine tones, Italian dance orchestra w announcer) with soft crackling 
USA (2) 12 14:14: USA: Battle Hymn of the Republic: "Glory Glory Hallelujah" (children singing), shortwave cuts out, US anthem loop chord continues

13 14:45: "Shortwave-Salad": (1 dense layer of mostly modulated noise interference bands)
14 15:35: Shortwave: intermittent obscured speech, staccato noises, wind
15 17:14: Shortwave: Morse code/High squealing noises
16 17:45: Whisperingly whistled vocal noises
17 18:26: Stockhausen to Johnson: "Well, what did you say, David?"
Johnson (in German): "Well, I have said we must get from America to Spain...across the Atlantic, across the ocean in a few do you say?"
18 18:40: Spain Introduction: Spanish Sevillanas (folk dance), whistling/whispering continues
19 19:15: 3rd CENTRE begins: Spain: Spanish anthem very fast with parallel octave layers becoming increasingly faster and asynchronous
19:48: Hidden RC electronic tones surface and soon gliss downwards
20 19:54: Spain Twice as Fast: RC continues (looped, modulated), as Spain returns several times, each time faster and faster
21 20:07: Spain with Waltz
22 20:22: Spain Refrain
23 20:50: Spain Reprise
7 glockenspiel tones appear as the Spain/RC texture continues as fast modulated anthem fragments and pulsating "rushing sounds"
21:03: Glockenspiel Seventh
25 21:36: Glockenspiel Major Second
26 21:55: Glockenspiel D (fade in)
27 22:11: Glockenspiel Tritone crescendo (fade in)
28 22:27: Glockenspiel Tritone ff
29 22:46: Spain Furioso (at fastest tempo)
6 Switzerland Announcenents (fragments of choir) begin appearing, each time clearer and clearer
23:06: Glockenspiel Minor 3rd & 1st Announcement Switzerland ("I see you approaching at dawn...")
31 23:16: Glockenspiel Minor 6th & 2nd Announcement Switzerland ("I see you in an ocean of rays...") (modulated)
32 23:30: 3rd Announcement Switzerland (modulated)
(plus 4:43 extra time if w live Soloists)
33 0:00: REGION IV: Modulated wind sounds (spaceship-like), high tones (like Indian bells)
34 1:00: 4th Announcement Switzerland
35 2:18: 5th Announcement Switzerland
36 3:07: 6th Announcement Switzerland
37 3:50: DOUBLE CENTRE 1st Realm begins: Switzerland: Swiss anthem fragment in different tonalities separated by an interval of a 4th, final chord becomes looped pulses, changing speed with various high pitch artifacts
4:35: 2nd pulse layer appears - "like motorboat"
38 4:45: 1st Continuation Switzerland: Isolated Swiss fragments surface, become pulses, etc…
39 5:47: Feedback Quarter Note=132 (tempo of new pulse layer)
40 6:21: 2nd Continuation Switzerland, whirring noises begin
41 6:46: Feedback Quarter Note=72: Swiss fragments, pulse layers, whirring noises
42 7:33: 3rd Continuation Switzerland: Swiss fragments, pulses, etc…
43 7:55: Fast Feedback: Swiss fragments, pulses, etc…more whirring noises cont.
8:20: Descending RC (sounds like THX surround-sound logo!)
44 8:49: Feedback ca. 9 per second: Swiss fragments, pulses, etc…
45 9:04: Switzerland - End: Final Swiss anthem chord, held in loop

46 DOUBLE CENTRE 2nd Realm begins: Hymunion (hymns and union) in Harmondie, Ruled by Pluramon
9:17: Calmly pulsating bass chord derived from Swiss anthem chord begins, descending RC continues
10:07: Bass chord pulse descends in pitch and tempo
47 10:26: Man calls: "Turid" (descending chord, bass pulsing, whirring sounds, etc... continued)
48 11:01: "Nacar"
49 11:20: "Iri" w girls' laughter
50 11:59: "Maka"
12:56: Descending noise band in foreground (jet landing), then wavering
51 14:17: Croupier: "Messieurs, Dames, rien ne va plus!" (no more bets will be taken!) , (pulses continue), followed by sudden return of loud descending noise band, bass pulses and artifacts ("noise of the apocalypse"?)
52 16:43: "Maka" echoes, noise band fades out
17:15: RC resumes (fade in)
53 18:04: Sine Wave Melody, fades out
54 18:36: Sine Continuation with reverb
55 20:08: Croupier: "Faites votre jeu, Messieurs, Dames, s'il vous plait." (Place your bets, please, Ladies and Gentlemen.) (2x)
20:37: Electronic sounds fade out
56 20:45: Breathing (Stockhausen): development in durations, lengths and colour of breathing
7 Inserts:

57 21:07: 1st Insertion (reminiscence): Ghana folk dance with drum and male voices ("no frame" - ie, no accompanying RC accents or other layers) (from RII 24:45)
58 21:53: 2nd Insertion (reminiscence): Russia with Internationale, modulated, chopped (begins with "left frame" RC accent)
59 22:43: 3rd Insertion (reminiscence): Internationale (RC 90 accent, sustained chord - ie "left frame and screen")
Great Britain
60 23:54: 4th Insertion (reminiscence): England  (RC 112 accent, sustained chord, with bass drone - ie "left and bottom frame and screen") (from RII 16:15)
61 25:56: 5th Insertion: India folk music (RC 48 accent, sustained chord, high and low drones - ie "left, top and bottom frame and screen")

62 26:57: 1st Signature Stockhausen: "Plu.ra.mon"
63 27:26: 6th Insertion: conversation in a Chinese shop (choppered), (RC 91 accent, sustained, low drones, ending RC 92 chord accent ie - "framed on 4 sides with screen")
64 29:02: 2nd Signature "Pluramon" and 7th Insertion - "Empty Frame" (ie - no country-specific sound element, low electronic "lion roar" drone with high tone and final chord accent)
30:26: Breathing rhythms

Other Works
HYMNEN mit SOLISTEN (Anthems with Soloists),
Electronic and Concrete Music with 4 soloists (presently withdrawn)
     This version of HYMNEN features the 4-channel tape accompanied by 4 live soloists.  This version was actually premiered before the tape version, and was performed frequently in many different and exotic locales (Persepolis, Jeita caves, etc.).  The Stockhausen Edition CD 10 includes the tape-only version as well as the version with live soloists (Harald Bojé (electronium), Johannes Fritsch (electric viola), Alfred Alings and Rolf Gehlhaar (tam-tam), Aloys Kontarsky (piano), recorded 1969).  The instructions for the soloists are entirely text-based:
  • Double individual notes for coloring
  • Lengthen individual notes, especially in the bass 
  • Create polyphonic counter-voices in exposed (empty) registers
  • Do not literally play along with diatonic anthem figures, but rather play only individual notes,
    intervals or a melody fragment, which are changed through an atonal intermediary note. During
    this, predominantly major sevenths, minor ninths, and tritones are used for harmonically dissonant reinterpretation.
  • In general, a fragment, once chosen, should be retained for a long time and changed
    with a goal in mind (example: take apart a fragment of an anthem and slowly “microscope” it).
  • Continue a fragment of another player, and/or supplement with individual notes.
  • etc... (full text included in the CD booklet)
     This version also has some "fermata" moments where the soloists play mostly static textures unaccompanied by the tape, specifically near the end of Region I and at the end of Region III (noted in the timeline above, Tracks 11 and 32).

     Over a period of many rehearsals and performances, the touring musicians consolidated their parts (these are apparently not to be freshly "improvised" for every performance), and Stockhausen requested that they notate their parts for future reference by other musicians interested in performing this "commentary" role.  Unfortunately these notations were never completed, probably because transcribing one's own (co-realized) 2 hour performance and then having Stockhausen's name at the top of the page would have been understandably weird.  To add fuel to this fire, after hearing some tapes of "bad" live performances of HYMNEN mit SOLISTEN, Stockhausen withdrew this work, and any new performances at this writing would probably not get the blessing of the Stockhausen Foundation.
1973 rehearsal with the orchestra of the South German Radio (SDR) Stuttgart, conducted by Stockhausen.
The tam-tam in the center of the stage (facing Stockhausen) is for the soloists' Regions.
HYMNEN (Dritte Region) / Anthems (Third Region),
Electronic and Concrete Music with Orchestra
     Leonard Bernstein commissioned a work from Stockhausen for the New York Philharmonic, and HYMNEN 3rd Region with Orchestra was premiered in 1971 at the longest-ever concert ever held there at that time.  This performance featured Stockhausen's live soloists accompanying the HYMNEN tape for Regions I, II and IV, while Region III was performed with the orchestra from Stockhausen's newly completed work.

     An independent version of this work (without a performance of the full 2- hour HYMNEN tape) covers only the anthem Centers of Africa, Russia, the USA and Spain.  Also, this version of the tape starts with a small, unique shortwave radio "upbeat", before proceeding into the 2nd Region's Africa section (CD A, track 21, 20:28).  After the fade out of Region II, an orchestra-only section (a newly composed "Russian Bridge") is performed by the orchestra, which basically "covers" for the tape as it it switched to the next reel.  After the Bridge, the 3rd Region tape enters and the orchestra accompanies this to the end of that Region (Spain).

     The orchestra parts to be played during the tape portions were originally scored using symbolic, aleatoric notation somewhat similar in spirit to the score for STOP or PROZESSION.  The orchestra musicians were to become familiar enough with the tape so that they could freely choose pitches heard in the tape part, and use them in tremolo and ostinato figures as cued in the score.  The score also indicated graphic shapes (slopes and wavy lines) to guide pitch transpositions of these tremoli/ostinati.  Though the actual pitch material is aleatory, the symbolic notation basically serves as an orchestration of elements in the tape.

     However, because there were never enough rehearsals for the orchestra musicians to become familiar enough with the tape to pick out and play tape pitches in rhythmic unison (attacking with the tape attacks), Stockhausen eventually notated the pitches in the published score which, for the most part, the orchestra musicians simply play. This "notated" version also has some extra anthemic melodic material not present on the tape.  In other words, some "new" anthem fragments (or echoes of other anthems) are played live by the orchestra (for example 2nd bar of cue 11 or 2nd bar of cue 14).  This "orchestral accompaniment" to the HYMNEN tape is actually very involved and is perhaps comparable to the notated piano and percussion parts to the "live accompaniment" version of KONTAKTE.
This excerpt is about 20 seconds into CD B, Track 8 (USA intercut w Israel, Egypt).
The top 4 staffs are the transcribed tape part, and below are the orchestral parts.
The tape parts are shadowed or embellished by different combinations of orchestral instruments.
     The "Russian Bridge" orchestra solo is a totally new 6 minute piece, based mostly on the electronic chords of the Russian anthem. The main fabric of the Bridge is made of long held tones, with accents and other volume envelopes shaped by the conductor.  Over a period of 6 minutes, the strings play a single, slow glissando, "bridging" one Russia chord to another.  The winds and brass play long chord tones throughout (with pauses), with 3 duet "inserts" based on the Internationale and the Russian anthem.  Before and after these duet insert sections, brief moments of punctuation in the form of ornamented solo accents occur.  Other sections are devoted to conductor-led ensemble accents.  The general structure of the Russian Bridge is as follows:
  1. Strings begin gliss, entry of wind long tones
  2. Ornamental solo accents (grace note figures and 4-note attacks, followed by string trills)
  3. Wind/brass duets A (see below)
  4. Ornamental solo accents
  5. Group dynamics (conductor-shaped accents)
  6. Ornamental solo accents 
  7. Wind/brass duets B
  8. Group dynamics
  9. Ornamental solo accents
  10. Wind/brass duets C
  11. Group dynamics
  12. (String harmonics)
      Spread out at 3 points (A, B, C), the conductor cues the principal wind/brass soloists to play the insert duets as 2 contrapuntal melodies.  Each melody is played in 5 brief fragments separated by fermatas, with each fragment played by a different solo instrument (see below).
This is the first of the 3 inserts.  The Internationale (in the top staff) is played in turn by horn, clarinet, flute, trumpet and bassoon, and the Russian anthem (bottom staff), is played by oboe, bassoon, trombone, and then horn.

Sound Impressions
     Stockhausen's placement of the "shortwave overture" (my own title, not Stockhausen's) at the beginning of HYMNEN is brilliant, because it really grabs the listener right from the start.  It also shows how all of the national anthems of the Earth are connected, and reveals these nationalistic musical artifacts to be expressions of a collective humanity.  After this initial blast of the "sounds of Earth", each country is visited in turn as if the listener is a tourist, traveling the globe.  The listener experiences civic events as well as rural events (and even "private" events, conversations), and all of these elements paint the world as a global community.  It's a breathtaking, epic journey, revealing new sights and sounds on every listening.

     The use of the shortwave sounds and slowly-evolving electronic Russia chords provide a kind of through-line background which anchors the whole work.  The Centres devoted to the Russian anthem where each note of the harmony is independently swirling around is really amazing and beautiful, and in fact this idea of temporally stretching out an electronically-realized "formula" would resurface in the LICHT opera's longer electronic works (FREITAGS GRUSS/FREITAGS ABSCHIED, OKTOPHONIE, and MITTWOCHS-GRUSS).  I do however, wonder why the Russian anthem was chosen for this particular role?  At this point in time, Stockhausen's music was basically outlawed in the USSR.  Also, the use of the "Horst-Wessel-Lied" must have been shocking at that time (as Otto Tomek obviously made clear to Stockhausen), but apparently Stockhausen only wanted to include a weakly-transmitted fragment of this outlawed anthem as a "memory".  I suppose not to address this in the "studio conversation" might have been like "ignoring the elephant in the room".  In any case, Stockhausen treads lightly here and does not attempt to "whitewash history".

     The idea that a world apocalypse must happen before the rebirth of a utopian global community is a bit disturbing.  However, at the time of HYMNEN's creation, the spectre of the Cold War and the war in Vietnam was very much in the air, and a nuclear holocaust was not so farfetched.  At least HYMNEN promises a happy ending, in that after this disastrous apocalypse, mankind will rise again as a united people, breathing as one, so to speak.  The mysterious "Croupier" announces a close to the preceding game round ("Messieurs, Dames, rien ne va plus!"), and then a little while later, opens a new round of bets ("Faites votre jeux, Messieurs, Dames, s'il vous plait."), with new players and winnings.

     The version with soloists is a bit problematic for me.  On the CD recording, the players are very restrained (as per the text instructions, which call for long pauses at times).  However when they do make an obvious "paint-stroke on the canvas", it seems almost unnecessary.  I think hearing this in a 4-channel surround projection would probably help.

     The version of HYMNEN (3rd Region) with orchestra has a similar impression for me at some points.  The first half where longer held tones are played to support the electronic Russia chords sound wonderful, and the Russian Bridge is another unique version of "intermodulation".  However when the US' "Star Spangled Banner" collage arrives, it becomes a bit like "anthem-overload" (at least on the first few listens).  Again, perhaps a 4-channel surround separation would help make all of these fast-changing elements more distinctive.  In any case, the orchestral part is beautifully written with many cleverly-notated realizations of the original, aleatoric "free-form" score.  In fact, this is one of the few times that one can see how Stockhausen himself would complete his own performer "assignment", so to speak (see PLUS-MINUS).  This was unfortunately borne out of frustration with the realities of modern day orchestra rehearsal practice, but it's a great reward for people interested in seeing how Stockhausen carries out the "working out" of his own conceptual material.  Of course, comparing his form-scheme sketches to finished works can give some of the same insights, but this notated realization of HYMNEN (3rd Region) is still, I think, a worthy candidate for further analysis.

     HYMNEN represented a major milestone for Stockhausen's development of electronic music, and after this 2-year project, he never again returned to using "analog" radio station sound generator equipment.  The next electronic work 8 years later would be SIRIUS, which began a new phase of using synthesizers and computers to create electronic tones - perhaps to the disappointment of a few "old-school" purists...

     On a final note, the score of HYMNEN exists in an "old" version (Universal Edition) and a "new" version (Stockhausen-Verlag).  The new edition (2012) includes English translations of all of the score text (which is in German, naturally).  It also includes several pages of introduction and photos of the electronic equipment used.

     P.S. - I wonder what the Morse code signals scattered throughout are saying? 

Sound samples, tracks listings and CD ordering:
Stockhausen's 2001 Introduction to HYMNEN
Purchase the Scores
Albrecht Moritz (ed. Jerome Kohl) analysis (exhaustive and well-detailed, helped me identify the "satellite anthems"!)
HYMNEN Region I (tape) on YouTube 
HYMNEN Region I, II with Soloists (Aloys Kontarsky (piano), Harald Boje (electronium), Peter Eötövös (elektrochord) and Christoph Caskel (tam tam), radio broadcast, early 1970s )
HYMNEN Region III with Orchestra (USA) conducted by Stockhausen (beginning and at 41:29 of "TRANS und so weiter...")
WDR Electronic Music Studio Tour (photos of electronic gear, 2015)
WDR Studios Vintage Pictures & Video Tour (120 Years of Electronic Music)
Sonoloco Review (includes some photos of the electronic studio gear from the CD booklet)

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