Small Pieces for Large Chorus
1969 – 1969


variable duration


Edition Peters

Instrumentation Notes

SATB - choir a cappella

Program Notes

[The revised Peters Edition score of 2007 replaces all previous editions.]

Among other things, the SMALL PIECES seem to confirm the fact that I am a “sound” rather than a “literary” composer; any poetry that I admire enough to think of as a text I admire too much to change the natural rhythm and pitch inflection that it has when it is simply read. These “texts,” therefore, are composed of simple vowel sounds, parts of words and vocal “noises”.

Of the three pieces that we will do, the first is on a phonetic text and the pitch is “graphically” indicated as a line-drawing; it begins as a four part, parallel ensemble cluster and becomes a polyphony of 4 independent parts. The second piece is precisely notated as to pitch and time and is basically a rather static study on two “chords” and sonic relationships and interferences between them. The third piece is “open form;” based on 5 different kinds of sound material. With the 4 sections (S.A.T.B.) it gives 20 elements that may be combined and juxtaposed as the conductor(s) wish, resulting in a different form for the piece in each performance.

More Information

SATB Chorus

Selected Performances

May 14, 1972 • Capital University Contemporary Music Festival

Ensemble: CU Chapel ChoirConductor: Lewis Whikehart

Sample Page

Small Pieces for Large Chorus sample page


America Sings: American Choral Music after 1950 The Non-Traditionalists (released 1980)

Vox Turnabout

Performed by Gregg Smith Singers

Buy from

Earle Brown Music Foundation