Arrow of being, arrow of becoming
for string quartet

Hope Lee
Hope Lee
Composition Date: 1997
Duration: 00:08:00
Genre: Strings (bowed), Solo / Ensemble, Quartet (2 Violin / Viola / Cello)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
Programme Note:
In Plato's work 'Timaeus', he made the distinction between the world of Becoming (journey) - "the object of opinion and irrational sensation, coming to be and ceasing to be, but never fully real" and the world of Being (destination) - a fundamental world "apprehensible by intelligence with the aid of reasoning, being eternally the same", claiming only the latter was real. In life we reach our destination (being) by takig a journey (becoming) in the realm of time. Music is a reflection of such a journey. (from the score)

'arrow of being, arrow of becoming' is the sixth piece of the eleven projected works for various ensembles in a cycle inspired by ancient Chinese philosophy, poetry, and music. To-date pieces completed in this cycle are:

'In the Beginning was the End' for accordion an harpsichord, 1989.

'Hsieh Lu hsing' for guzheng, di, shao, er hu, for 2 players, 1991.

'entends, entends le passé qui marche...' for piano and tape, 1992.

'Tangram', for bass clarinet, harpsichord, and tape, 1992.

'Voices in Time', for chamber ensemble or chamber orchestra, accordion, tape, and lie electronics, 1992-94/95. (from the score)

Premiere Information:
March 9, 1997, Vancouver. March 10, 1997, Calgary. March 13, 1997, Montreal.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 3134 L478arr 1997
  • Genre:
  • Strings (bowed), Solo / Ensemble, Quartet (2 Violin / Viola / Cello)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 6, 2004
  • Type:
  • Print-music, published
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (ii, (10) p.) + 4 parts ((32) p.) ; 30 cm.
    12 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 21 cm
    Parts page count: 32
  • Additional Information:
  • For string quartet.

    Sections of title page in English and German.

    'In life, we reach our destination (being) by taking such a journey (becoming) in the realm of time. "Arrow of being, arrow of becoming", is a reflection of such a journey.' (from title page)

    Commissioned by Innovation in Concerts in Montreal (Tim Brady, artistic director) for the Canadian tour of the Smith Quartet from Britain with support provided by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

    Contains performance notes.
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  • Printed copies of this title are available from Furore Verlag. Please contact the publisher directly.
    Published by Furore Verlag
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Calgary