Musica Ricercata is a piano piece written by György Sandor Ligeti, the composer of the 20th century. He composed this piece during his Hungarian period, which is considered to be Ligeti’s early period. Under the shadow of the censorship and pressure imposed on artists by cultural policies in Hungary, he tries to develop an innovative perspective. During this period Ligeti reimagining the main elements of music, such as sound, interval, melody and rhythm and composed the Musica Ricercata. The work consists of eleven movements and pitch class used in this work increases exponentially in each successive movement. In Movement I only one pitch class was used, except for the last four meassure, and the movement was shaped by the use of this pitch class in different ways. This study explores how the diversity in the Movement I of Musica Ricercata is achieved. To investigate this aim, after literature research and data collection, Movement I has been analyzed harmonically and technically; motivic and rhythmic studies are shown on the sheets. While doing this analysis, it was based on the pitch class and post-tonal theory terminology. Ligeti’s research on motive, register, articulation and rhythm, in order to eliminate the monotony, were examined. In addition to being limited and sequential, the structures created with certain materials were shown; and the primitive forms of the techniques such as rhythmic crescendo and static structures that the composer created in his later periods were determined.
Keywords: György Sandor Ligeti, Musica Ricercata, contemporary piano music, pitch class