Mutual Prescriptions series


players.png ~4-?
time.png 3 min

This series deals with music materials, parameters and dimensions and with changing them.

Set up

Collectively, choose one of the pieces [A-K, see below].

Gameplay instructions

One player indicates by hand-sign a number between 1 and 5. Everybody then plays according to the instructions belonging to that number, until someone else indicates a new number. Sections with a new indication can may follow each other fast or slow as you like.

Game end

The piece ends when there is no playing and no one takes a new initiative.


No pre-arranged sequences neither of elements nor of musicians indicating numbers. You may practise contents first if you need to

Pieces to choose from

1. fast changes
2. slow changes
3. no change
4. something new/different
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. very fast call-response (pointillistic – unpredictable)
2. other kinds of call-response
3. more alternating than responding
4. neglect each other
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. light timbres
2. dark timbres
3. mixed timbres
4. interweawing timbres (making a pattern together)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. like classical music
2. like popular music
3. like experimental music
4. like electronic music
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. very long sustained tones (more than 10 seconds)
2. sustained tones of middle durations (1-3 seconds)
3. extremely short tones (under and much under 1 second; pointillistic)
4. mixed durations
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. pianissimo
2. forte
3. piano with sforzandi (=sudden strong, short accents)
4. individually making sudden changes between different or contrasting, unchanging levels ("terraces")
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. individual slow crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
2. individual fast crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
3. individual both slow and fast crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
4. Various individual changes, both sudden and gradual (and also some passages having a constant level)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. melodies
2. motifs
3. patterns
4. something else
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. monumentally slow
2. very fast
3. slow, gradually becoming fast (accellerando)
4. fast, gradually becoming monumentally slow (ritardando)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. widely differing tempos
2. shared tempo (someone starts) – keep it simple!
3. shared tempo (someone starts) – make it complicated!
4. no tempo
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

1. Only one musician playing totally solo (The first to start - but not the one giving the sign! A new one sign = change musician)
2. Two musicians playing (those who are the first to start)
3. Three musicians playing
4. Four musicians playing
5. ad lib. (no prescription)


Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen (2009, published with the kind permission from the author)
Original score at:

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