Composition No. 26F is based on the concept of a repetition continuum.  That being the use of repetition and the gradual change of events by either adding a given element to the basic idea scheme or taking away a given element.  The range of material in this version can be separated into several categories—simple configurations, having to do with an idea built from one or two notes—multiple configurations, ideas that are constructed from several different figures and shape configurations, that being shapes which serve as generating considerations for repetition.  The use of dynamics must also be considered a principle factor in this composition, for the nature of how a given figure is set up dynamically determines whether or not its transformation can be successful.  The nature of a given idea transformation also necessitates the use of link structure elements—that being the modulation of given aspects of a principle idea structure.  This composition is dedicated to the composer Phillip Glass.

Anthony Braxton, liner notes to Alto Saxophone Improvisation 1979 (Arista A2L 8602); also Composition Notes B (Frog Peak, 1988: 218)


[page missing] an attitude—(that is beneficial to 'rehearsing').

In Composition No. 26F the interpreteter is given visual material devices that establishes an alternative operational musical environment.  The reality of this work was conceived as a discipline to isolate the phrase (and moment) nature of the music through repeated restatements on a given focus—(idea).  Ideas in this context are established, repeated and gradually transformed through the use of either additive phrase splicing (that hook on to either the beginning or ending of a given phrase)—or diminutive phrase splices (the reduction of some aspect of a given musical focus-idea).  The use of this technique moves to solidify a very special reality of procedure operatives—having to do with the breath of a universe that refocuses operatives—having to do with the breath of a universe that refocuses on how its own continuity is to be maintained (worlds of elements that are shifted and shifted—yet hung together by common material particles that in the beginning seemed unimportant).  To really experience this phenomenon is to better understand the position of a given idea function—or sound function.  This is so because the reality implications of Composition No. 26F reemphasizes the role material dynamics play in establishing how we heard 'what we thought we hear').  In this universe of sound a sound (or sound fragment) that seemed either unnecessary or 'extremely supportive' (and own its own, musically not very interesting) suddenly becomes the center of a reforming universe the opened up right before our eyes.  This is the magic of Composition No. 26F.

There are two basic materials groupings categories in Composition No. 26F that can be discussed involving:  (1) the use of simple configurations and (2) the use of multiple configuration.  The first category has to do with the use of uncomplex material has a basis for establishing the reality of its music.  In this context I am referring to the use of two and three second phrases that consist of either one note (sound) or one static viewpoint.  The challenge of this procedure involves learning how to erect simply structures that are clear—so that the listener as well as the performer can see 'what is to be transformed'.  Visually the use of static materials in this manner can be viewed in figure [blank].  Static materials in Composition No. 26F can involve anything from one note to one statement—one uncomplex statement.  The use of this technique also clarifies the spectrum range of the music on many different levels—for the simple and multiple configurations in this context moves to establish a 'region of involvement'.

The performance implications of Composition No. 26F involves establishing many different attitudes and descriptions not normally associated in our minds with invention.  In this context the instrumentalist is asked to establish stabilizing musical patterns in Composition No. 26F that serves two distinct purposes (1) listening clarification for the audience and 92) mental and physical rest for the instrumentalist.  It is important for the instrumentalist to recognize the nature of this work so that its use can be positive (and positively given and received).  The fact is a performance of Composition No. 26F is a physical phenomenon that must be correctly approached (and for the right reasons).  This work was not composed for any abuse on any level.  All of these matters are intended for musical purposes.  A stabilizing pattern than has to do with each instrumentalist observing his/her own affinity and vibrational nature as a means to know what the body needs and when.  Idea patterns are needed so that the performer can relax without attempting to 'push' when there might be no 'push' left.  It is important to listen to one's own forces so that higher intentions can be realized.

Composition No. 26F is a medium/medium fast pulse repetition platform for extended improvisation.  I have performed this work in many different places all over the planet.  The thrust of this work has opened many new worlds of discovery for me.

Anthony Braxton, Composition Notes B (Frog Peak, 1988: 218-223)