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Welcome to the Musician’s Dice. The Musician's Dice are a creative tool that can be used in any number of ways: they bring the element of chance into the musical process. They can be used in composing Aleatory and 12 tone-music, or as a basis for improvisation; they're fun in a jam session. They also make an effective study tool: they can be used as "musical flash cards" when learning harmony, and their randomness makes for fresh and challenging exercise in sight-singing and ear training.
History. Incorporating elements of chance in musical composition and performance is not new; "musical dice games" date as far back as the late 18th century. Best known of these is the "Musikalisches Wurfelspiel," attributed -- perhaps falsely -- to Mozart; in it, two standard six-sided dice are used to string together composed phrases in random ways.
In the twentieth century, Charles Ives, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen all utilized randomness to some degree in their work, mainly by leaving certain aspects of form up to the musician. It was John Cage, though, who pioneered the use of chance elements while actually composing -- employing, among other things, the I Ching.
Origins. The Musician's Dice are derived from the Muzoracle, a music-based system of divination developed by composer and recording artist J S Kingfisher. In addition to the applications listed above, the dice in this set can be used in conjunction with the Muzoracle system.
Stuff that Stocking. The Musician's Dice make a great gift for the music-minded -- they're creative, useful, fun to fondle, and look cool on the coffee table.
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