Textmusic 3


players.png ~2-?
time.png 5 min

Included in Learn set/collection.

One of Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen's chance compositions based on traditional playing cards.


For this you use traditional playing cards, and you may need a few decks if you have many players.

Two to six players for each deck of cards; only ace, king, queen and knight is used.


The cards are shuffled, distributed with an equal number to each player and placed in talons before players. Should some cards be left over, put them aside.

Together agree on a method of proceeding from section to section. Every section means that every player will start to interpret his or her next card. If you play the game in a circle, consecutive players might signal the beginning of the next section and turn over the cards (you'll need to announce who will be the first "dealer"). This method, however, doesn't work with if there are many players.

Gameplay instructions

For each section in the music, a new card is turned over, by common agreement with eye-contact or according to a previously laid plan. The cards are read in this way:

Meaning of suits

Spades : massively, block-like, masses of sound, etc.
Hearts: continously, legato.
Diamonds: regular, symmetric figures.
Clubs: short, irregular points.

Meaning of values

Ace: all possibilities can be used or rejected, with or without considering the colour.
King: the given material can be used without restrictions (much or little as you please)
Queen: use only the material some of the time and make pauses in the rest of the time.
Knight: play only once shortly in this section

Game end

You finish the game when you run out of cards.


Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen (1975, published with the kind permission from the author)

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