Mating time

John Beckwith
John Beckwith
Composition Date: 1982
Revision Date: 1982
Duration: 00:14:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), With Electronics and Instrument, , Keyboards


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Other electronic
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
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Programme Note:

John Beckwith

Mating Time, 1982

Commissioned by: CBC

“... an aural cornucopia, commissioned by CBC Radio for a Valentine’s Day broadcast, of statements and sounds of love, ranging from the courtship antics of frogs and mosquitos to setpiece poems by bp Nichol. (...) A tour de force and a hoot.” William Littler, The Toronto Star, October 6, 1992

“The shape of the piece evolved as a series of mating-call sequences
alternating with sung poems: X-H-X-V-XXX-L would indicate the succession of passages, if X stands for animal sounds and the other letters the three poetic texts (by bpNichol). The work calls for twenty solo voices, ten of each sex. Eleven performers stand in a semicircle on the stage in alternating order male-female-male-female, etc., and the other nine form a circle around the hall behind the audience in the order female-male-female-male, etc. Some of the singers have percussion instruments; all of the singers have large (men) or small (women) clickers of the kind found in toy shops, and these sounds punctuate the music at given points. (...) There is a background part for an electronic keyboard as well. Nichol and I collected the animal noises from reading and recordings; they range from rhinoceroses to frogs to various birds to (believe it or not) barnacles, the latter evoked by clacking of the teeth.”

Premiere Information:
Elmer Iseler Singers, Elmer Iseler, conductor, Lydia Adams, electric piano, Toronto February 27, 1982


  • Call Number:
  • MV 6901 B397ma
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), With Electronics and Instrument, , Keyboards
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • November 2, 1988
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ((44) p.) ;
    44 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 43 cm
    2 p. of notes ;
    2 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • For SATB chorus and electric keyboard. Singers also play percussion.
    English words.
    Ms. (photocopy).
    Commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
    Duration: ca. 14:00
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Available Products for this piece:

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Mating Time: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Mating time by John Beckwith (Score)
Printed on demand
Mating time
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