Composition No. 23A is a thematic generating structure for my creative quartet music that was composed in 1973.  The science underlining this effort was conceived in conjunction with my composite series of interchangable works for the post-Alyer creative quartet context.  All of the works in that series have been designed to isolate given conceptual and/or functional specifics into an infra structure procedure discipline (that can be used in the actual 'moment procedure' of the music).  Composition No. 23A is constructed to establish a thematic-like improvisational music that can be openly approached with respect to both its interpretation and timbre.  A given treatment of this work can be fashioned for any duration and/or instrumentation because there are no overstructure specifics for its interpretation.  The work is designed to establish a medium slow pulse sound environment asking to what traditionally referred to as a ballad context.  In this context Composition No. 23A seeks to open the total space of the musics' canvas so that dynamic cross-ensemble interaction can take place.  What this means is that there are no traditional instrumentationroles to be maintained or designated inside the actual reality of the music.  Composition No. 23A provides a thematic reference ponit inside of open improvisation.  The reality of this effort has provided an important color for my quintet music—for the instrumentalist as well as the listener.  Composition No. 23A is dedicated to the Master Vocalist Billie Eskinine.

Composition No. 23A is constructed in one extended section and can be positioned anywhere in a given improvisation (and repeated as often as desired).  The work has been designed to establish an atonal like thematic context that directs the nature of its collective ensemble input (treatment).  In actual temrs Composition No. 23A is an extended monophonic structure that establishes two material principles in its infrastructure ingredients:  those principles being:  (1) the use of long phrase material in the opening first half and (2) the use of moving eight-note figures for the second half.  Each of these primary sections can be viewed for what it poses to the composite interpretational implications of Composition No. 23A.  This is so because each section introduces both a melodic and a pulse criterion that can be utilized for extended interpretation.  The opening section materials present a lengthy sustained context that emphasizes the contour of the greater form.  The use of this procedure serves to accent the composite texture of the music while also establishing the conceptual focus of the music.  It is from this point where the effectiveness of Composition No. 23A's material dynamic can best be viewed—because the use of extended long phrase material in this manner helps to solidify a dynamic forum for Composition No. 23A's later interpretational possibilities.  This is also true for the material nature of the second half of the work even though the ingredients underlying its construction activates different factors.  The second half of Composition No. 23A's material construction utilizes more movement in its note to note and phrase material.  The reality of this criterion serves to clarify its use of differnt thematic references as well as Composition No. 23A's pulse diversity.  Together the quartet could have extended timbre possibilities in performance—but the actual composition was not conceived with any 'particular' instrument or instrumental combination in mind.  The science underlying Compositoin No. 23A's reality involves merely reproducing the music I heard in my head during its construction.  There are no serial or predetermined harmony fixtures in the work.  During Composition No. 23A's construction I did utilize given material (note) decisions as regards repeating particular intervals or minor phrase constructions.  But none of these devices were practiced from a preconceived systemic basis.  In actual terms there is not enough material in Composition No. 23A to utilize elaborate composing systems.  I designed Composition No. 23A so that I could have a relatively simple structure in my quartet composition books that could accomplish its preconceived objective—that being to establish a thematic context for open-ended improvisation.  Since its construction I have performed Composition No. 23A in many different contexts and countries—with many different instrumental combinations.

Anthony Braxton, Composition Notes B (Frog Peak, 1988: 24-27)