Preparations for coma

(1974/ rev. 1993)

Preparations for Coma, the only work in which I ever used the twelve-tone system, was written before I even studied composition. For my high school writing assignments I was accustomed to use imaginary words, which were intended to evoke certain feelings in the reader. Regularly I would receive the assignments back with a red line through the words and the remark, “doesn’t exist” written by the teacher in the margins. I remained faithful to this habit, however, as the title Preparations for Coma testifies.


The typewriter part was written for an original Underwood. This instrument is heared on the CD-recording.

Harry Sparnaay and Polo de Haas, world premiere 1974
Ap-Art Duet 2016 (click on the photo)
“Robert Nasveld’s droll Preparations for Coma for bass clarinet and typewriter (1974/rev. 1993) gener- ated much amusement using a typewriter as a percussion instrument set against extreme melodic lines on bass clarinet.”
Paul Conway (Musical Opinion Quarterly 2017)