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Telephone Book

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Michael Torke

Michael Torke

General Info

Year: 1995
Duration: c. 19:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: William Holab Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $140.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00


1. The White Pages - 6:10
2. The Yellow Pages - 6:40
3. The Blue Pages - 3:55


Full Score
Flute (doubles Piccolo)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet (doubles Bass Clarinet)



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Yellow Pages was composed while I was a student at Yale, in the spring of 1985. I had just finished my first large piece, Ecstatic Orange, and I chose more open, diatonic harmonies as a kind of relief from the denser chords I had just used. My decision to write for two winds, two strings, and piano came from the belief that it would be a practical combination, and that I would be more likely to get performances in the future.

Ten years later, in 1995, when Present Music offered a commission to expand these musical ideas into a three-movement composition, I jumped at the opportunity. Given that the Yellow Pages are generally accompanied by the White Pages (for residential listings) and the Blue Pages (for government listings), it seemed natural to use these two other sections as models for additional movements.

Referring to the alphabetical listings found in these familiar directories, I devised a kind of musical equivalency: bars of music repeat, but I continually introduce new key signatures. The result (going through the complete cycle of fifths, but not transposing anything) is the feeling of much activity over gradual change, much like the way alphabetical order works. (It takes 133 pages of "A" entries to get to the "B's" in my phone book, yet the ending letters of all the entries change constantly). Each movement explores a slightly different application of this treatment.

In addition, the names of the movements also refer to my synesthetic response to the keys I chose. The Yellow Pages is in G major - a key which I've always associated with yellow. White is A minor; blue is D major - and those are the respective keys used.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Michael Torke website Accessed 28 July 2019
  • Torke, M. [1995]. Telephone Book: For Chamber Ensemble [score]. Hendn Music: New York.