Ambigram music

Monday, 17 September 2007

A few weeks ago I asked if there are any musical ambigrams. In pop music there seems to be little to none, but in classical music there are some examples. In Scott Kim’s book Inversions I found this piece of table music, originally attributed to Mozart:
This music is a 180 degrees rotation ambigram: it is written to be played by two pianists who sit at opposite sites of the sheet music, and then they both play the same tune. I have no idea how many of this ambigram compositions exists, bu it seems pretty genius to me. I wonder how it sounds! If anybody has a recording of this tune (K. Anhang 2884 dd), I would love to get a copy.
There is of course a lot of strange music made, that are crossovers between music and other art forms. This happens to be a subject that fascinates me, but it not easy to find information about this stuff. For example, here is the sheet music of a composition by Jurriaan Andriessen ( a nephew of the Andriessen that I mentioned earlier in this Soundtrack):
It is a portrait of his girlfriens Ludwig. In an interview he told that he spend thousands of hours on this musical portrait. I have not heard this composition either, so if anybody has a recording, or, even better, can make a recording of an attempt to play this, I would love to hear that.
Well, I could not think of any music that fits today’s story, so I choose a composition by Hermeto Pascaol, who used a speech by a the Brazilian president (?), and built a song around a few sentences that the man spoke.

I got this recording on a tape that Roland Vonk sent me in the late middle ages. Also on that tape is this composition, which is created in the same, almost mathematical, way:


Justin M

2008-02-09 21:55:57

It’s kinda hard to produce a recording from pictures that have as much image loss as those.


2008-04-11 23:06:35

there are a few examples of table music. it’s called a retrograde inversion canon, or sometimes a table canon or crab canon. you can hear mozart’s table music for two here (performed by a youth orchestra):

if you are interested in math, you may also like to find out more about mozart. he used math in many compositions. for example, the table music canon employs the golden ratio.

Peter Homan

2012-10-11 14:31:57

Jurriaan Andriessen was een klasgenoot van me op de Rietveld Academie. Ik heb ooit gehoord dat hij bij een auto ongeluk om het leven is gekomen. Hij heeft het ‘oog’ van de compositie een keer gespeeld in een uitzending van Sonja Barend.


2012-10-11 19:34:38

merci voor de info. Wist ik allemaal niet. Wel mooi, dat ie het oog speelde.


2015-11-18 18:07:09

Here is a musical ambigram:

You can turn it upside down and it will still sound (and look) the same.

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