Truly Arcane Theory Joke

This afternoon we were analyzing movement VII of the Quartet for the End of Time, and came upon a passage using, for the only time in the piece, the following mode of limited transposition, which I asked the class to identify:


Came the answer from the back of the class: “It’s the Tchereptatonic!”
Some of you will get it.

The rest of you presumably have lives.


  1. says

    After Ivan?
    KG replies: Alexander. And the octatonic.
    Interestingly, I knew Ivan and Serge, and once chauffeured them and their mother (Alexander’s widow, a famous classical pianist) around Chicago. Then two of Ivan and Serge’s sons, both composers, Serge and Stefan, attended Bard, one in the undergrad program and one in the summer MFA program. Serge had never heard of the scale named after his grandfather. And now Stravinsky’s great-grandson (and son of former Village Voice sportswriter John Stravinsky) attends Bard.
    I’m a total sports-phobe – one of many unlikable things about me – but I always read John because he wrote about women’s lacrosse and jai alai and all those games that would never be covered in a regular newspaper.