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Barbaric Chord

The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev was evicted from his lodgings on several occasions on account of the noise which accompanied his endeavors. Eventually he stopped composing at the piano, using it only to test certain harmonic combinations. This practice proved adequate until his work was interrupted one day by the arrival of a policeman: "You have just played two hundred and eighteen times in succession," he announced, "the same wildly barbaric chord. Don't deny it. I was in the flat below, I counted them. I summon you to vacate these premises..."

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[Music] has definitely reached and passed the greatest degree of discord and complexity that can be attained in practice," Prokofiev told the New York Times in 1930. "I want nothing better, more flexible or more complete than the sonata form, which contains everything necessary for my structural purposes."]

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