O Come, O Come Emmanuel
2 violins and 2 cellos in regular time, 2 violins and 2 cellos in reverse time
This arrangement is a palindrome--it sounds the same played forward as backward. Violin II begins with the the melody played in reverse, followed by the entrance of Violin I at beat four, m 1 playing the melody forward. The central axis of symmetry occurs in beat four of m 20. The celli accompaniment was written to reinforce the resulting harmony.
Because we cannot experience time in reverse, the idea of performing palindromic music is a little silly. With recording technology however, we can demonstrate the property. For this recording, the piece was performed forward. Then a reverse copy of the sound file was superimposed over and mixed with the forward version, so that the attack and decay of each note exists in both directions. The resulting sound file is literally the same forward as backward (you could download the mp3 and play it backwards and it would be indistinguishable from how it sounds played forward). As weird as the idea sounds, the resulting music is quite beautiful.
Thanks to Linda Binder for playing the violin parts. Ms. Binder appears by permission of her bad self.
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