Work no. 121
Each of the four little pieces cycles through a single short phrase, repeated ad nauseam with no change but an occasional octave transposition. The second voice serves to conceal the repetition, so that ideally the listener is only vaguely aware of it, if at all. The title refers to both the historical harpsichord lessons from 17th and 18th century collections, and the concept of teaching inexperienced listeners about how to listen for repeated material in a contrapuntal texture.
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