Clarence Albertson Barlow

(b. 27 December 1945, Calcutta).

Composer, born in India into a family of European descent and culture, later resident in Germany and the USA and now resident in Spain, of mostly orchestral, chamber, piano, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world.

Prof. Barlow composed his first works at age eleven and earned a degree in natural sciences at the University of Calcutta in 1965 and a diploma through the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London while still in Calcutta in 1965. He then had his first experiences with European music of the Middle Ages and art music from northern India and later studied electronic music at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne from 1968–73, where he also studied composition with Bernd Alois Zimmermann from 1968–70 and with Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1971–73.

Among his honours are the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt (1980) and the Förderpreis from the city of Cologne (1981). In addition, he was a member of the Académie Internationale de Musique Électroacoustique de Bourges from 1994–2010.

He is also active in other positions. He has conducted number-theory experiments with metre and tonality since 1971. He co-founded with Manfred Lexa, Christoph Lischka and Michael Manion the organisation GIMIK: Initiative Musik und Informatik Köln in 1986 and served as music director of the International Computer Music Conference in Cologne in 1988. He has worked at studios for electronic music in Amsterdam, Den Haag, Evanston, Paris, Stockholm, and Utrecht.

He taught at the Calcutta School of Music from 1966–68. He lectured at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt from 1982–94 and lectured on computer music at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne from 1984–2005. He served as artistic director of the Instituut voor Sonologie of the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag from 1990–94, where he taught as Professor voor Compositie en Sonologie from 1994–2006. He then taught as Corwin Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 2006–19, where he also served as chair of its programme in composition.

He lived in Germany from 1968–2006, with a period in India from 1973–75, and in the USA from 2006–19. He has lived in Spain since 2019.





Concerto No. 1 in D, piano, orchestra, 1961–65

Orchideæ Ordinariæ or the Twelfth Root of Truth, piano, large orchestra, 1989 (two sections may be performed separately: L'Orchidée d'argent, piano; Pandora, piano)

Concerto No. 2, «Aux fins des quelques siècles», piano, orchestra, 1961–98


String Quartet No. 1 in G, 1961

Divertimento for Winds, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 1965

11 Pieces, clarinet, bassoon, 1966

String Quartet No. 2, 1966

Trio, mandolin, violin, piano, 1966

Serenade, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, string quartet, double bass, 1967

Canonzetta, violin, piano, 1967

Cheltrovype – Tschelpowisch, trombone, cello, vibraphone, 3 percussion, 1971

variations, any melody instrument (+ voice), 1971 (also versions for [1] trombone, 1973; [2] cello, 1983; [3] cello, 1995)

...until..., any melody instrument, 1972 (also versions for [1] any number of low-pitched melody instruments, 1973; [2] violin, 1973 [also version for viola, 2015]; [3] sārangī [string instrument from South Asia], tablā, 1974; [4] variable jazz ensemble, 1974; [5] piano; [6] clarinet, 1977; [7] guitar, 1981; [8] piccolo, 1981; [9] fixed media [2 tracks]; [10] double bass, 2016)

Relationships, any melody instrument, 1974 (also versions for [1a] any 2 keyboard instruments; [1b] 2 string quartets, double bass, 1974; [1c] violin, cello, piano, 1974; [2] any 2 melody instruments from North India, tablā, 1974; [3] 2 vibraphones, 1976; [4] 2 pianos; [5] player piano; [6] bass clarinet, electric guitar, synthesizer, percussion, 1985)

1981, violin, cello, piano, 1981 (also film)

Im Januar am Nil, 2 soprano saxophones (1st + clarinet, bass clarinet), piano, percussion, 4 violins, 2 cellos, double bass, 1981–84 (also film; revision of one section, Sachets de la famille, as part of Sachets des Ciseaux Insatiables)

Spright the Diner by Nib Wryter, violin, cello, piano, 1984–86

Fruitti d'Amore, cello, live electronics, 1988 (later expanded to include as its third section uccelli ungheresi)

Les Ciseaux de Tom Johnson, alto flute/soprano saxophone, electric guitar, double bass, 1998 (also film; also version for violin, cello, piano, 1998; also revised as part of Sachets des Ciseaux Insatiables)

Felle Hymnus Van Verre, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, timpani, 2001 (section of Jubileum-Fanfare, a collaboration with Louis Andriessen, Gilius van Bergeijk, Martijn Padding, Diderik Wagenaar; may be performed separately)

Sachets des Ciseaux Insatiables, flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, viola, piano, percussion, 2002 (new versions of sections from Im Januar am Nil, Les Ciseaux de Tom Johnson and Four Identical Pieces)

Otodeblu, flute, alto flute, bass flute, 2002 (version of work for player piano/piano 4 hands)

Estudio Siete, flute, alto flute, bass flute, 2002 (version of work for player piano)

Glockenspiel für Jens, 6 percussion, 2004 (version of choral work; also version for 6 violas, 2010)

Septima de facto, flute, clarinet, trumpet, viola, cello, organ (+ piano), vibraphone (+ timpani), 2006 (also versions for 2 pianos; player piano; ensemble of computer-driven mechanical instruments, 2006)

resonancia flautomática, any melody instrument, live computer, 2008

Pinball Play, 4 clarinets (tuned to Bohlen–Pierce scale), 2010

vinte e cinco anéis, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 2010

Amnon, who led it, tenor saxophone, cello, piano 4 hands, Hammond organ, 2015

Progéthal Percussian for Advanced Beginners, 6 percussion, 2003– (ongoing work)


Missa Brevis pro Unitatis Ecclesiæ «ut sint unum» (texts from Catholic liturgy), mixed chorus, 1967

documissa '87 (texts from Lutheran liturgy), mixed chorus, fixed media (2 tracks), 1987

Glockenspiel für Jens (texts from songs for Mardi Gras from Cologne by Gerhard Jussenhoven, Hans Knipp, Willi Ostermann, Hartmut Priess, Jupp Schlösser), soprano, alto, 3 tenors, baritone, 2004 (also versions for carillon; 6 percussion; 6 violas)


Zwei Gesänge (texts by Joseph von Eichendorff, Stefan George), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1968

Haiku (text from phonemes), baritone, clarinet, 1968

Three Owen Songs (text by Wilfred Owen), baritone, piano, 1968


Piano Suite, 1966

12 Variations, piano, fixed media (2 tracks), 1968

Textmusik, 1971 (15 versions, 1972–84, including [7], organ; versions 1–2, 4–6, 6a, 8 realised by computer programme entitled Programm TXMS, 1972)

Stochroma, 1972

...until... (5), 1974 (version of chamber work)

Fugue on the Name Cage after No. 5 from Six Fugues on the Name Bach Op. 60 by Robert Schumann, any keyboard instrument, 1973

Fantasia quasi una Sonata con «Mantra» di Stockhausen, 1973

Relationships (1a), any 2 keyboard instruments, 1974 (version of chamber work)

Relationships (4), 2 pianos, 1976 (version of chamber work)

Çoğluotobüsişletmesi, piano 2 or more hands, 1975–79 (also version for 4 pianos, 2006)

Relationships (5), player piano, 1984 (version of chamber work)

Variazioni e un piano meccanico, player piano (with pianist), 1986

L'Orchidée d'argent, 1989 (section of Orchideæ Ordinariæ or the Twelfth Root of Truth; may be performed separately)

Pandora, 1989 (section of Orchideæ Ordinariæ or the Twelfth Root of Truth; may be performed separately)

Otodeblu, player piano/piano 4 hands, 1990 (also version for flute, alto flute, bass flute)

Qu'a lieu d'en bas, piano 2–8 hands, 1994

Four Identical Pieces, 1995 (also revision of one section, Elle l'a vue, elle l'a bue, la pomme insatiable, as part of Sachets des Ciseaux Insatiables)

Estudio Siete: A Metamorphosis of Oskar Fischinger's Study No. 6 as well as a short Paraphrase of Conlon Nancarrow's Study No. 6, player piano, 1995 (also film; also version as Estudio Siete, flute, alto flute, bass flute)

Sechsunddreißig Skandierte Gesichtspunkte, 1997 (also film)

Kuri Suti Bekar, 1998 (also film)

'...or a cherish'd bard...', 1999 (also film)

3:4:5, piano/2 pianos, 2004

Ludus Ragalis, 1974–2006 (also version for organ)

Septima de facto, 2 pianos, 2006 (version of chamber work; also version for player piano, 2006)

Tischgeistwalzer, 2 pianos, 2009

Song of DanieL, 2013

KQJZ: waveform ambidextrously uncopyrightable, 2013

Für Eleath, 2013

No.V: Three Bagatelles, 1975–2020 (its three sections may be performed separately: quarantasette estratti da un vicolo ludofilo, 2019; Klavierstück für Luise, 1975 [section of Reidosklopädie? Enzykloskoport?]; Fantasy Prelude Miscibly Infused, 2020)


Textmusik (7), 1971 (version of work for piano)

Le loup en pierre, Van Hagerbeer mean-tone quarter-comma A = 419 organ (+ Thomas Hill 12 equal temperament A = 440 organ), 2002

Ludus Ragalis, 1974–2006 (version of work for piano)

Für Simon Jonassohn-Stein, MIDI-controlled pipe organ, 2012


Glockenspiel für Jens, 2004 (version of choral work)


Sinophony I, fixed media (4 tracks), 1969–70

Sinophony II, fixed media (8 tracks), 1969–72

Reidosklopädie? Enzykloskoport?, fixed media (2 tracks), 1972–76 (one section, Klavierstück für Luise, later incorporated into No.V: Three Bagatelles, piano)

CCU, fixed media (8 tracks), 1980

Deutscher Sang, fixed media (2 tracks), 1980

(Stopt niet in de Vink), fixed media (2 tracks), 1991

Talkmaster's Choice (installation for live computer), 1992 (also version as fLvXv$: A Time and Attention Study, or His Master's Voice, fixed media [2 tracks], 1992)

Six Fugues on the Name Cage after Six Fugues on the Name Bach Op. 60 by Robert Schumann, MIDI-keyboard, computer, 1992

Farting Quietly in Church – Vortrag über Haiku (text by the composer), baritone, player piano, computer, 1994

...until... (9), fixed media (2 tracks), 1995 (version of chamber work)

Zero Crossing, fixed media (8 tracks), 2001 (also film)

Approximating Pi, fixed media (16 tracks), 2007

Four ISIStudies, fixed media (4 tracks), 2003–08 (its four sections may be performed separately: Für Gimik: Vortrag über ISIS, 2003 [also film]; Eleven Steps in Staying a Kingly Dream, 2004; Untitled/Oil on Metal, Wood, 2007; Ceci n'est pas une œuvre d'art, 2008)

Songbird's Hour, fixed media (1 track), 2011

Songbird's Hour Octasected, fixed media (8 tracks), 2013

Five Dodecaphonic Pieces, fixed media (12 tracks), 2016–17 (its five sections may be performed separately: 13C2~, 2016; 13C2=STΦn, 2016; 13C2≈0, 2017; 13C2, 2017; 13C2=[ħ], 2017 [also film])

Coronialus, fixed media (2 tracks), 2020


)ertur(, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, film (by the composer), 2015

FILMS (note that an asterisk [*] indicates that the film title matches a work title in the main list above and that the work in question forms the soundtrack of the film):

uccelli ungheresi, 1988, revised 2017 (third section of Fruitti d'Amore)

'Falling Music' by Frederic Rzewski, 1993 (graphical illustration of Falling Music by Frederic Rzewski)

'Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow' by James Tenney, 1994 (graphical illustration of 'Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow' by James Tenney)

Estudio Siete, 1999, revised 2016*

Im Januar am Nil, 1999, remastered 2016*

Kuri Suti Bekar, 1999, remastered 2009*

Sechsunddreißig Skandierte Gesichtspunkte, 1999*

1981, 1999*

'...or a cherish'd bard...', 1999*

Les Ciseaux de Tom Johnson, 1999*

Für Gimik: Vortrag über ISIS, 2003*

Zero Crossing, 2016*

13C2=[ħ], 2019*

Evanescent Evidence, 2021