Excerpt: 'Music in Text' by Bobby Barry



Music for the Pub

A group of drinkers sat round a table. Each begins with a full glass (a variety of different beverages and glass sizes may be employed).

Using a pencil, the back of a lighter, or some similar implement, as a beater each player strikes the side of their glass to produce a note.

To a bar of equal length (set by the first player), performers enter successively, with the fi st to enter striking once to the bar, the second twice to each bar, the third three times to each bar, and so on.

Players may drop out temporarily at any moment to take a sip (thereby changing the pitch of their instrument) before rejoining with the next successive rhythm (i.e., four times to each bar of equal length, five times, six times, etc.)

The piece ends when the drinks are empty.

Music for the Beach

One bucket is full of pebbles, the other is full of water.

Performers take two pebbles each from the first bucket and rub them together.

If any part of either pebble breaks off, throw both pebbles into the bucket of water. Otherwise, throw the larger pebble into the bucket of water, and the smaller back into the bucket of pebbles.

As soon as your pebbles strikes the surface of the water, hum any note.

Stop humming at the very moment another pebble (not the next one) hits the water.

The piece ends when there are no more pebbles in the first bucket (or no more water in the second).

Music for the Supermarket:

At an agreed time, everyone in a certain supermarket is to start ballroom dancing to whatever music is playing on the in­store radio.

They are to continue dancing for two songs.

If the second song contains a backing vocal or choral part, everyone is to sing this part as they dance.

Nobody sings the lead.

Excerpted from Music in Text, by Bobby Barry, 2014. Published by Bläck Charm Nostalgi Vassa Tänder.