Talk:Iannis Xenakis

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I just came across this page, the guy seems really interesting but based on the format I feel like I have to read an essay on his whole life to learn anything about him. It would be better if it was split into sections (early life, music style, etc.) I'm sure you guys can come up with something better than me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 1 June 2008 (UTC)


I emailed the webmaster of about the use of pictures on that site. The following is the email I sent:

Dear Webmaster,

I am an editor at the English version of Wikipedia ( Currently, the article on Xenakis contains no picture. I wish to inquire as to the copyright status of the pictures of Mr. Xenakis featured on your site. I would love to use one or more of them in the article.

If the copyright belongs to you, would you allow the pictures to be used on Wikipedia? We can only use your materials if you are willing to grant permission for this under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. This means that anyone will have the right to share and, where appropriate, to update your material. You can read this license in full at:

The license expressly protects authors "from being considered responsible for modifications made by others" while ensuring that authors get credit for their work. There is more information on Wikipedia's copyright policy at

If you agree, I will credit you for your work in the resulting

article's references section. Thank you for your time.

The following is the reply:

Dear Sir,

As all the images that are on our website are free of rights, you can use them without forgetting to mention that it comes from Les Amis de Xenakis.

Best regards,

F.R. Nupin, webmaster

I think that clears it up, right? I'm going to post a picture from that site now. Chris 15:28, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

External link[edit] is dead --Nkour

Good to know. Hyacinth 02:05, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Online supplement to "Xenakis: his life in music." is located at

Lots of score and audio examples.

I didn't add it to the external links, but if anyone else finds this a valuable resource, please do. 21:33, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Greek name[edit]

I had only ever seen it spelt Γιάννης Ξενάκης (still, I didn't have many sources to compare) in Greek until I saw this page. I did a Google search and discovered that Γιάννης Ξενάκης returns more than twice the results of Ιάννης Ξενάκης. The gamma is obviously silent since Greeks themselves have a tendency not to write it, and I think it must be correct (why else would anyone put a gamma there); it seems to be written this way by more people, at any rate. I'll go ahead and change it, but if anyone finds more compelling evidence to the contrary, by all means change it back. --Krun 18:38, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

The correct spelling of his Greek name is actually wiithout gamma. See the title page of his book:
The usual spelling of the name Yanis (John) in Greek is with Gamma, and I suppose that this is the way he spelled his name early in his life. However, during his exile he had to use mostly Latin characters to write his name, and he preferred spelling it with an I accorinding to French usage. I suppose that hes legal name was Ιωάννης like it is for most Greeks who are called Yanis (like most Jacks are officially Johns). The gamma spelling appeared in Greek texts as a back translation of his name from texts written while he was in exile. I hope to get more information from the discussion page in Greek Wikipedia.

I don't understand the reference to parralel fifths and octaves in the story of Xannakis' encounter with Honneger.

May I suggest that an IPA pronounciation or an audible link be added to the head of the article (by someone who knows better than I do exactly what the correct pronunciation is)? TaigaBridge 01:24, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

List of complete works[edit]

An anonymous wikipedia user with IP recently added a complete list of Xenakis' works which appears to be copied and pasted from, and so its inclusion in the article could be seen as a copyright violation. I am going to remove it for now.—Tobias Bergemann 09:49, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

How can a complete works lising be copyright violations? Plus the website IS a Xenakis website, not someone owning the list. I don't like your logic. the preceding unsigned comment is by (talk • contribs)

I am not an expert on copyright issues, and I agree that this is probably a borderline case. However, lists Radu Stan as "Auteur du catalogue, de la discographie et du calendrier" (under "Crédit"). As the creator of the list he would be the copyright holder, as the compilation of the list is his own work, even though it is a list of Xenakis' works. This (Radu Stan's) list can only be incorporated into wikipedia if he allows the list to be licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Of course, anybody can create a complete list of Xenakis' works by himself and put it under any license he likes.—Tobias Bergemann 21:34, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

His list of complete works that is copied from the website leaves out a few of his crucial works, so I thought I'd add them into the list. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Williamcedar (talkcontribs) 04:40, 16 May 2006 (UTC2)

As far as I know, the list on is as complete as it can be. (Radu Stan was responsible for Xenakis' works at Xenakis' publisher Editions Salabert.) It is not the same list that is currently in the article, which is very incomplete. Please feel free to expand the article in any way you see fit. —Tobias Bergemann 07:47, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Complete Work list[edit]

Dear all, I am the "anonymous", who had completed the Xenakis work list. I am quiet surprised about the debate that has arisen from this. My source was not, but the official Xenakis work catalogue of Ed. Salabert, available as a printed promotion brochure (distributed free of charge) and a free download version from As a long-standing great admirer of all the works of Iannis Xenakis and a musicologist I have written articles and produced radio-broadcasts on the music of Iannis Xenakis. Besides this since 2002 I am the official promotion representative of Ed. Salabert in Germany, Switzerland, Poland and the former GUS states. So I did not see any problems in making this work list available to the users of Wikipedia. Though I admit this was not a very original contribution, I am somewhat disappointed that my efforts have been deleted now. Best, Michael Zwenzner

Your efforts are not lost as they can be easily restored from the change history of the article. When I removed the list you had inserted it was not because it was "not a very original contribution" but because I was unsure whether you had the right to place the list on the article, thereby automatically putting it under the GNU Free Documentation License. I have since then changed my mind: A complete list of Xenakis' works is probably below the threshold of originality and therefore not protected by copyright law. I think I am going to merge the list back into the article. — Tobias Bergemann 10:21, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I see that one and a half year later the list of works is still very incomplete. I was specially surprised to realize that absolutely no electronic pieces were included in his "selected works", although the main article correctly states that "[he] is particularly remembered for his pioneering electronic and computer music"... I added at least a few of his most important electroacoustic pieces.--LuisJ (talk) 22:51, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I know I promised to merge the list back into the article. However, I am not sure if a complete Xenakis works list is really an improvement of the article. After all, the article already contains a link to the works catalogue. Here is the list (as restored from article history):
  • Seven untitled pieces, Menuet, Air populaire, Allegro molto, Mélodie, Andante : 1949-50; piano, unpublished
  • Six Chansons : 1951; piano; 8’
  • Dhipli Zyia :1952; duo (vln, vlc); 5’30
  • Zyia :1952; 2 versions: a) soprano, men’s chorus (minimum 10) and duo (fl, pno); b) soprano, fl, pno; 10’
  • Trois poèmes : 1952; narrator and pno; unpublished
  • La colombe de la paix : 1953; alto and 4-voice mixed chorus; unpublished
  • Anastenaria. Procession aux eaux claires : 1953; mixed chorus (30), men chorus (15) and orchestra (62); 11’
  • Anastenaria. Le Sacrifice :1953; orchestra (51); 6’
  • Stamatis Katotakis, chanson de table : 1953; voice and 3-voice men chorus; unpublished
  • Metastasis : 1953-4; orchestra (60); 7’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Pithoprakta :1955-6; string orchestra (46), 2 trb and perc; 10’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Achorripsis :1956-7; orchestra (21); 7’; Bote & Bock
  • Diamorphoses :1957-8; electroacoustic tape. 7’
  • Concret PH :1958; electroacoustic tape; 2’45"
  • Analogiques A & B :1958-9; string ensemble (9) and electroacoustic tape; 7’30"
  • Syrmos :1959; string ensemble (18 or 36); 14"
  • Duel :1959; 2 orchestras (56 total) and 2 conductors; variable duration (circa 10’)
  • Orient-Occident :1960; electroacoustic tape; 12’
  • Herma : 1961; for solo piano; 10’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • ST/48,1-240162 :1956-62); orchestra (48); 11’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • ST/10, 1-080262 : 1956-62; ensemble (10); 12’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • ST/4, 1-080262 : 1956-62; string quartet; 11’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Morsima - Amorsima (ST/4, 2-030762) :1956-62); quartet (pno, vln, vlc, db); 11’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Atrées (ST/10, 3-060962) : 1956-62; ensemble (11); 15’
  • Stratégie : 1962; 2 orchestras (82 total) and 2 conductors; variable duration (10 to 30’); Boosey & Hawkes
  • Polla ta dhina :1962; children's chorus (20) and orchestra (48); 6’; Modern Wewerka
  • Bohor :1962; electroacoustic tape; 21’30"
  • Eonta :1963-4; pno and brass quintet; 18’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Hiketides :1964; brass quartet and string ensembles (24 or multiples); 10’
  • Akrata :1964-5; wind ensemble (16); 11’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Terretektorh :1965-66; orchestra (88); 18’
  • Oresteïa :1965-66; children’s chorus, mixed chorus (36) and ensemble (12); 46’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Nomos Alpha : 1965-66; vlc; 17’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Polytope de Montreal :1967; 4 ensembles (each 14); 6’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Medea Senecae : 1967; men's chorus and quintet (cl, bsn, trb, vlc, perc); 25’
  • Nuits :1967-68; mixed chorus (12); 12’
  • Nomos gamma :1967-68; orchestra (98); 15’
  • Kraanerg :1968-69; electroacoustic tape and ensemble (23). 75’; Boosey & Hawkes
  • Anaktoria :1969; octet (cl, bsn, horn, 2 vln, vla, vlc, db); 11’
  • Persephassa :1969; 6 perc.; 24’
  • Synaphaï :1969; pno and orchestra (86); 14’
  • Hibiki-Hana-Ma :1969-70; electroacoustic tape; 18’
  • Charisma :1971; duo (cl, vlc); 4’
  • Persepolis :1971; electroacoustic tape; 56’
  • Aroura :1971; string ensemble (12); 12’
  • Mikka :1971; vln; 4’
  • Antikhthon :1971; orchestra (60 or 86); 23’
  • Polytope de Cluny :1972; electroacoustic tape; 24’
  • Linaia-Agon :1972; brass trio (horn, trb, tba); variable duration
  • Eridanos :1972; orchestra (68); 11’
  • Evryali :1973; pno; 11’
  • Cendrées :1973; mixed chorus (36 or 72) and orchestra (73); 25’
  • Erikthon :1974; pno and orchestra (88);15’
  • Gmeeoorh :1974; organ; 20 to 29’
  • Noomena :1974; orchestra (103); 17’
  • Empreintes :1975; orchestra (85); 12’
  • Phlegra :1975; ensemble (11); 14’
  • Psappha :1975; perc; 13’
  • N'shima :1975; 2 mezzo-sopranos and quintet (2 horns, 2 trb, vlc); 17’
  • Theraps :1975-6; db; 11’
  • Khoaï :1976; harpsichord; 15’
  • Retours-Windungen (:976; 12 vlc; 8’
  • Epéï :1976; sextet (ob, cl, trp, 2 trb, db); 13’
  • Mikka-S :1976; vln; 5’
  • Dmaathen :1976; duo (ob, perc); 10’
  • La Légende d’Eer :1977; electroacoustic tape; 55’
  • À Hélène :1977; women’s or men’s chorus; 10’
  • Akanthos :1977; soprano and octet (fl, cl, pno, 2 vln, vla, vlc, db); 11’
  • À Colone :1977; men's or women’s chorus (20), and ensemble (18); 14’
  • Kottos :1977; vlc; 8’
  • Jonchaies : 1977; orchestra(109); 17’
  • Ikhoor :1978; string trio; 11’
  • Mycenae Alpha :1978; electroacoustic tape; 10’
  • Pléïades :1978; 6 perc; 46’
  • Palimpsest :1979; ensemble (11); 11’
  • Anémoessa :1979; orchestra (90) and mixed chorus (42 or 84); 15’
  • Dikhthas : 1979; duo (vln, pno); 12’
  • Aïs :1980; baritone, perc and orchestra (92); 17’
  • Mists :1981; pno; 12’
  • Embellie :1981; vla; 7’
  • Serment-Orkos :1981; mixed chorus (32 minimum); 7’
  • Komboi :1981; duo (harpsichord, perc); 17’
  • Nekuïa :1981; mixed chorus (54 or 80) and orchestra (98); 26’
  • Pour la Paix : 1981; a) mixed chorus (32 minimum); b) mixed chorus, electroacoustic tape, 4 narrators; c) 4 narrators and tape (pre-recorded chorus plus tape); d) electroacoustic tape (pre-recorded narrators and chorus plus tape); 10’ (a), 26’45" (b,c,d)
  • Pour Maurice :1982; baritone, pno; 4’
  • Pour les Baleines :1982; string orchestra (60); 2’30"
  • Shaar :1982; string orchestra (60); 14’
  • Tetras :1983; string quartet; 16’
  • Chant des Soleils :1983; mixed chorus, children's choir, brass (18 minimum), perc; 8’
  • Khal Perr :1983; brass quintet, 2 perc; 10’30"
  • Lichens :1983-84; orchestra (96); 16’
  • Thalleïn : 1984; ensemble (14); 17’
  • Naama :1984; harpsichord. 16’
  • Nyûyô :1985; quartet of Japanese instruments (shakuhachi, sanger, and 2 kotos); 10’
  • Idmen A : 1985; mixed chorus (32 minimum) and 4 perc; 14’
  • Idme B : 1985; 6 perc; 13’30"
  • Alax :1985; 3 ensembles (30 total); 21’30"
  • À l’île de Gorée :1986; harpsichord and ensemble (12); 14’
  • Keren :1986; trb;. 6’
  • Horos (p.15) / (p.17) :1986; orchestra (89); 16’
  • Keqrops :1986; pno and orchestra (92); 17’
  • Akea :1986; pno and string quartet; 12’
  • Jalons :1986; ensemble (15); 15’
  • À R. (Hommage à Ravel) : 1987; pno; 3’
  • Kassandra : 1987; baritone, perc; 11’
  • Tracées : 1987; orchestra (94); 6’
  • XAS :1987; saxophone quartet; 9’
  • ATA : 1987; orchestra (89); 16’
  • Taurhiphanie :1987; electroacoustic tape; 10’45"
  • Rebonds :1987-88; perc; 8’
  • Waarg :1988; ensemble (13); 16’
  • Échange 1989: bass cl and ensemble (13); 14’
  • Epicycle : 1989; cello ensemble (12); 12’
  • Voyage absolu des Unari vers Andromède :1989; electroacoustic tape; 15’30"
  • Oophaa :1989; duo harpsichord and perc; 9’
  • Okho :1989; perc trio;13’30"
  • Knephas :1990; mixed chorus (32 minimum); 10’
  • Tuorakemsu :1990; orchestra (90); 3’40"
  • Kyania :1990; orchestra (90); 23’
  • Tetora :1990; string quartet;17’
  • Dox-orkh :1991; vln and orchestra (89); 20’
  • Roáï :1991; orchestra (90); 17’
  • Krinoïdi : 1991; orchestra (71); 15’
  • Gendy3 :1991; electroacoustic tape; 20’
  • Troorkh :1991; trb and orchestra(89); 17’
  • La Déesse Athéna :1992; baritone and ensemble (11); 9’
  • Pu Wijnuej We Fyp :1992; children’s chorus (21 minimum); 10’
  • Paille in the Wind :1992; duo (vlc and pno); 4’
  • Les Bacchantes : 1993; baritone, women’s chorus (16 minimum), ensemble (90); 60’
  • Mosaïques :1993; orchestra (91); 8’
  • Plekto : 1993; sextet (fl, cl, perc, pno, vln, vlc)14’
  • Dämmerschein : 1993-94; orchestra (89); 14’
  • Sea Nymphs :1994; mixed chorus (24 minimum); 8’
  • Mnamas Xapin Witoldowi Lutoslawskiemu :1994; brass quartet; 4’
  • S. 709 :1994; electroacoustic tape; 7’
  • Ergma :1994; string quartet; 9’
  • Koïranoï :1995; orchestra (88); 12’
  • Kaï :1995; ensemble (9); 8’
  • Voile : 1995: string ensemble (20); 5’30"
  • Kuïlenn :1995; wind ensemble (9); 7’30"
  • Ioolkos :1996; orchestra (89); 8’
  • Hunem-Iduhey :1996; duo (vln, vlc); 3’
  • Roscobeck :1996; duo (vlc, db); 8’
  • Ittidra :1996; string sextet; 8’30"
  • Zythos :1996; trb, 6 perc; 8’
  • Sea-Change :1997; orchestra (88); 10’
  • O-Mega :1997; perc and ensemble(13); 4’
I won't put the list back into the article myself, but I won't revert it if somebody else does. — Tobias Bergemann (talk) 08:57, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I was going (when I finally get around doing some work on Xenakis-related articles) to simply create a separate article like the ones we have for so many composers, i.e. List of compositions by Iannis Xenakis (compare with List of compositions by John Cage, List of compositions by Howard Skempton, etc.). We could also make that list into a genre-organized one. Hmm? Jashiin (talk) 14:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a nice solution. — Tobias Bergemann (talk) 18:20, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Finally done. I organized the list thematically, introducing various categories to avoid similarity with either the list in New Grove (which I used) or the list posted above. I also added a few little details from the scores I have (like the actual instrumentation used in the works for which both lists simply state "ensemble"). I believe this solves the copyright problem. --Jashiin (talk) 16:12, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. — Tobias Bergemann (talk) 06:59, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
For Wikipedia users seeking a list of compositions, wouldn't something like "Iannis Xenakis; List of Compositions" be a better title for a separate page listing works? I see that there are other "lists of compositions" though the exact wording varies. By leading with "Xenakis" it would appear much higher in a search on the last name alone (the list entry doesn't make the top 100 when using "Xenakis" as the search term). Searching "Xenakis works" puts the list 10th. I don't care that much, but it seems like a minor usability/search issue that could be easily rectified if others agree that a name change putting Xenakis first would be helpful. MRJayMach (talk) 13:58, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

First link broken?[edit]

The first external link appears to be broken. Is it a typo or has it been pulled down?

Organize bio, architecture, music, influence on others[edit]

This article needs organization, perhaps with a section on personal history, architecture, music, and influence on others. Tautologist (talk) 01:24, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Use of Xenakis' music in Jodorowsky El Topo film ?[edit]

Does anyone know if the music on the bridge scene in Jodorowsky's El Topo was lifted from Xenakis, e.g. from some Orient-Occident#, with or without authorizatoin or credit, a la Ligeti-Kubrik atmospheres-2001? Tautologist (talk) 01:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Influence, compositional methods, architecture, theory, political protest and conceptual art[edit]

This is a silly heading. It needs dividing up into sections. (talk) 15:45, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Why not just Thought and works? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gabsvillalobos (talkcontribs) 21:58, 10 May 2009 (UTC)


  • At the Shirah Arts Festival in Persepolis, he designed Polytope as a composition specific to the historic site.<ref name="Leonardo Vol. 40, No. 1">Leonardo Vol. 40, No. 1</ref> The following year he was commissioned by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Iran), to compose Nuits, which Xenakis dedicated to political prisoners in protest at the Shah’s atrocities.<ref name="Leonardo Vol. 40, No. 1"/>

The above was removed as "mistaken". Hyacinth (talk) 04:32, 14 November 2012 (UTC)