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Einen Brief zum Thema "INTUITION" von Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen / Dänemark:

Abbildung: Carl Bergstroem-Nielsen - Dänemark

Hallo Frank,

gute Idee. etwas über den Unterschied intuitiver / improvisierter Musik zu schreiben! Ich bekomme diese Frage immer wieder von Zeit zu Zeit, da ich den Begriff ja auch selber verwende.

Kennst du die Beiträge Stockhausens zum Thema? Er fing ja mit diesem Begriff neuerdings an überhaupt, und seine Motivation war, sich von berechnbaren (Jazz-)formen der Improvisation zu distanzieren (zugleich auch, wie sicher bekannt, dass die Kommunikation auch zwischen Himmel und uns Erdenwesen stattfinden sollte ;-)

Unten sind einige Zeilen eines Artikels von mir, mit Diskussion des Begriffes, leider in englischer Sprache, aber für alle Fälle ... Angeheftet eine Doppeltseite aus "Fragen und antworten zur intuitiven Musik" (Texte IV, 1978, S.136-37)

Nicht zuletzt, glaube ich, wurde der Begriff populär an der Musiktherapieausbildung an der Universität wo ich das Fach Intuitive Musik seit 1983 lehre, weil das Wort positive Assoziationen hervorruft ... wegen Tendenzen in der Zeit und im Umfeld von Musiktherapie, vielleicht.

Und noch finde ich es eigentlich seltsam, dass so sehr wenig etnische und alte Musik mir bekannt ist, die wirklich mit freien Assoziationen, also intuitiv, arbeitet, statt mit starren ritualen. Die Shamane tun ja musikalisch das Gegenteil zu dem was sie im Inneren anstreben, indem sie denselben Rhythmus wiederholen. "Dream-chanting" bei Indianern, von der Charlie Morrow berichtete, scheint aber intuitive Musik zu sein: Träume werden nacherzählt mittels freiem Gebrauch von Stimme.

viele Grüsse!


Originaltext (draufklicken zur Vergrösserung)

The idea of an 'intuitive music'

The subject of training people in group improvisation and creating open compositions for improvising players has been called Intuitive Music since its inception.
This name was introduced in 1968 by Stockhausen, who applied it to two collections of his compositions, notated with text and published in 1968 and 1970.(8) Around the same time, the composer toured with a group playing the
music of the first collection, and recordings were released. Stockhausen wrote articles about this, and in addition there is a useful published discussion.(9) Thanks to him, the name became relatively well-known in new music circles.
It has sometimes also been used by others. Various concert groups with names along the lines of 'Group for Intuitive Music' have existed in Denmark since 1974 and, related to these, a yearly international Intuitive Music Conference has been held since 1995. Additionally, in Denmark and elsewhere, the expression "intuitive music" can sometimes be heard denoting improvised new music in general. It seems to be significant that the expression can evoke associations of both individual freedom and of something meditative. The propagation of the name is not, of course, a matter of scientific calculation. But one could, in accordance with Stockhausen's original thoughts, attempt to render the concept of "intuitive music" definable.
Stockhausen wished to stress that the music was seeking a way out of pre-defined cliches(10), and he defined intuitive music by contrasting it with improvisation within a style. For instance, a jazz musician may have a certain repertoire of figures, motifs, phrases etc. which are consciously repeated time and again. Thus, intuitive music means "intensified improvisation" or "radical improvisation". The fact that he introduced this as something to follow on from playing within composed frameworks or starting points may appear paradoxical. But in its context, it was a very radical step away from playing from notes both for Stockhausen himself and for the musicians.
The concept can be viewed as a Utopia which one can approach but never reach, as is the case with Stockhausen himself. An interesting half-way point between this view and a plain musical genre name would be to maintain that the ideal is reached at certain moments. Music therapist Anne Møller Jørgensen describes the concept like this in her final paper: "I view...intuitive music as a synthesis - a total realisation in a spontaneous expression...I would like to stress that I see intuitive music as a rare jewel within improvisation, but also that this itself can to a high degree be regarded as a moment of transition.".(11)
It is an interesting question whether intuitive music existed as a conscious and consequent endeavour before Western new music in the second half of the twentieth century. Stockhausen thinks it did not. But it is tempting to believe that somebody or even many people must have had the idea before. The idea of a free stream of consciousness seems to be of a similar nature, and this is described in ancient texts related to yoga meditation. But on the other hand, meditative music in many cultures is often a very fixed ritual - it is not within the medium itself that one lets go of thoughts and feelings. One relevant practice, however, is the "dream-chanting" of Charlie Morrow which he learned from studies with American Indians - a practice which could have its roots way back in time. Here, dreams which one feels are important are re-told by means of freely improvised song. But other than this, there is a striking lack of historical evidence.(12)


8. Stockhausen (1968) and Stockhausen (1970).
9. Stockhausen (1978) - see also English translation in Stockhausen (1993B).
10. The notion of cliche can at the same time be understood musically (sound elements which are repeated) and psychologically (habits which are repeated). One psychologist for whom this notion is central is Konrad
Lorenzer. See Lorenzer (1972) and Klahn (1985).
11. Jørgensen (1986), p.63.
12. The author would like to hear comments on this. You can send an e-mail to or write to me c/o Aalborg University, Music Therapy, Box 159, DK-9100 Aalborg, Denmark.