Alternate Title: 


Print Edition Price: 

$7 one score instructions plus set of cue cards $5 additional score (instructions)

Year Authored (or revised): 



soloist, audience, 4 conductors

Instrumentation : 

Any instrument small enough to walk around with;

Duration (min): 



contact U.S. Library of Congress

First Performance: 

Colorado College, Colorado Springs, 1971.

Four audience groups, four conductors.  composers note:

Music for Audience and Soloist dates from the mid-1970s. It was originally intended for a conference of and for gifted teenagers. These young people were the first “performers” (and also the first “audience!!”), at a session I led on the subject of experimental music – in particular, the overlap between music and theater, and the possibility of group improvisation within a framework of tight control. 

In this piece,  the audience is divided into four groups, each led by a separate conductor and each reading from a separate part containing four “cues.”  These cues can be activated (i.e. chosen by the conductor) in any order and at any time. On the surface this may seem like a recipe for chaos. But in fact Music for Audience and Soloist ˆ has a very limited vocabulary of only 16 musical-theatrical events (4 times 4), almost all of them related either by close similarity or sharp textural contrast. (Ideally,  the conductors will explore these relationships as the piece progresses.)

Against this flexible texture created by the audience groups, the soloist adds another level of activity – offsetting the audience fabric, or blending into it, or prodding the conductors into altering it. There’s a separate part for the soloist, containing suggestions for activity and a loose ground plan for overall formal design. He or she must play an instrument small enough to be carried around while playing, as the solo role is quite theatrical and involves invasion of the audience space (literally as well as musically). As with the audience part(s), the solo part places seemingly random improvisation within a framework of boundaries and landmarks – so much so that (for many listeners) the resulting performance may sound controlled and even (!) logical.

Ensemble Type: 

featured soloist
Instrumentalist(s) speak or perform text

like most Schwartz recordings, there may be one located at the U.S. Library of Congress. 'Other' is the listed instrument within the available search, but this is inadequate.

Internal Fields


audience participation
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