Vitaly Komar & Alexander Melamid Music Writing - Passport, 1976

Rules

The quartet employs a code using an entire chromatic scale from A2 in the ’cello through to B♭4 in the first violin.

The passport texts corresponds directly to the sequence of pitches across the four instruments in the resulting score.

Further rules determine articulation, bow placement and technique. Dynamics are indeterminate.

Durations are quarter note per letter, and quarter note rest per punctuation mark.

Words are indicated by measures, the four sentences are delineated with double bar lines.

Measure one is All, A2 in ’cello and two G♯3 in second violin. Passport at measure 27 is {C4,A2,E♭4,E♭4,C4,B3,D4,E4}.

Text

All citizens sixteen years of age and older who live in urban areas, central regions, or villages of city type must have a domestic passport.

A domestic passport is issued by the militia in the place of residence of the citizen.

A domestic passport can be exchanged under the following conditions: due to a change of family name or first name, due to expiration, etc.

Repeated offences by a citizen of the USSR against official passport regulations will be considered a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.

Pitch Assignment Table

a/AA2
b/BB♭2
c/CB2
d/DC3
e/EC♯3
f/FD3
g/GE♭3
h/HE3
i/IF3
j/JF♯3
k/KG3
l/LA♭3
m/MA3
n/NB♭3
o/OB3
p/PC4
q/QC♯4
r/RD4
s/SE♭4
t/TE4
u/UF4
v/VF♯4
w/WG4
x/XA♭4
y/YA4
z/ZB♭4

Materials

  • score
  • recording [mp3]

The manuscript parts were written by the Krasnyi String Quartet players in simpler time signatures for ease of performance.