Mozart-Würfel [Mozart Dice Game] (2007) – Götz Dipper

Götz Dipper

The installation traces its lineage to a musical dice game that was produced and popularized under Mozart’s name two years after his death. Playing the game, one can compose an (almost) infinite number of different waltz melodies. For each of the 16 measures of the waltz there are 11 different possibilities to choose from. So 1116 = 45 949 729 863 572 161 different waltz melodies are theoretically possible, and it would take more than a billion years to play them all.

A predetermined harmonic schema ensures that all the versions make musical “sense.” Götz Dipper has recreated the Mozart dice game as a modern slot machine. For each of the 16 measures there is a virtual reel of notes that visitors can set in motion and play. Unlike the historical dice game, with the Mozart-Würfel installation visitors can also deliberately compose their own versions. This allows them to explore and understand the operative principle behind the game.

Sound sequence: Mozart-Würfel (2007)

Photo: Götz Dipper, Mozart-Würfel (2007), interactive sound installation, ZKM | Karlsruhe