The Early Works of James Tenney

Larry Polansky

(Published in Soundings #13, Edited by Peter Garland)

Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements

I. Seeds
II. Collage #1 ('Blue Suede') and Monody
III. Computer Music
IV. New York City 1964-70
V. Three Piano Rags
VI. Quiet Fan for Erik Satie and Hey When I Sing These Four Songs Hey Look What Happens
VII. Postal Pieces
VIII. Clang
IX. Quintext
X. Chorales
XI. Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow
XII. The Drum Quartets
XIII. Harmonia
XIV. Three Indigeneous Songs
XV. Nancarrow
XVI. Meta + Hodos
XVII. Harmony

Appendix I.A: Annotated List of Works
Appendix I.B: Writings
Appendix I.C: Selected Performances, Recordings, Activities, etc.
Appendix I.D: About Tenney

Appendix II: List of Examples

Appendix III: Glossary of Selected Terms

A note on this website: This is a set of scans of the original manuscript, as published in Soundings. No editing has been done, nor any attempt to
update the information. A great deal of new information is now available on this early work (including new pieces from this period) that I didn't have access to when I wrote this in the early 1980s. It would also be nice, of course, include this new information, edit the monograph,  recopy many of the examples and reset the text (at the time, neither a word processor nor computer music copying system was available to me). Nonetheless, since the original edition of Soundings #12 is out of print, I wanted to make this monograph available to those interested in Tenney's music.

Two of the chapters (III, VII) have been reprinted in various forms (and specifically edited for that purpose) as CD liner notes. The chapter on Computer Music was first revised for inclusion as the liner notes to the Artifact/Frog Peak CD of Tenney's computer music, and then revised again (and expanded) for that CD's re-release by New World Records. Similarly, the chapter on the Postal Pieces was edited and expanded for reprinting as the liner notes for the New World CD of those works. Additionally, much of this manuscript has been used, in excerpted form, in liner and program notes for Tenney's music in the last 20 years.

Larry Polansky