The Illusion of Progress

Jones, Howard

About the work

‘The Illusion of Progress’ was inspired by M C Escher’s drawing ‘Ascending and Descending’. The drawing depicts an imaginary building which looks realistic but is impossible to construct. At the top of the building is a four-sided gallery in the form of a never-ending spiral staircase, around which a number of hooded figures are endlessly ascending and descending.

Winner of a British Composer Award, Making Music category, 2007

First Performance: Spitalfields Festival 2006, CoMA London Ensemble

Technical notes

The piece includes elements of open form, layering, and different levels of co-ordination between the parts. It may be helpful to appoint one player to lead the ground bass in Section 2 and co-ordinate with the percussion. Suitable for sectional rehearsal. Detailed notes accompany the score.


Call for Pieces Entry: Open Score 2006


The sample audio is from a recording by London Sinfonietta conducted by Gregory Rose on the album Open Score released by NMC. The album (NMC DL228) is available to purchase here.


The score for this work is included in the anthology Open Score: Contemporary Music for All (ISMN: 979-0-9002363-0-2) published by CoMA in 2016. More details


This work is available as a digital download. Upon purchase, you will receive a link to download PDF files and a licence that will entitle you to legally print copies of the sheet music. Nothing will be posted to you. For more information see our terms and conditions page.


score & parts


Sample score



8m 00s




Flexible Ensemble


4 part instrumental group, perc
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