Panufnik’s harmonic language was equally strictly disciplined. The kinds of chords he used would most often result from the possibilities of transformation offered by the interval cell lying at the base of the work. He would consciously limit his harmonic language, avoiding dense, complicated sound structures. Panufnik’s harmonies are neither tonal – in spite of some references to the major-minor system, such as the use of tonal centres, especially in his early works, or chords of a double, major-minor character, with both major and minor third simultaneously – nor are they avant-garde. The composer was far from employing serialism, although some elements of his creative method resemble the techniques used in dodecaphony. He did not overload his compositions with an exaggerated degree of dissonance; one must search in vain for sound clusters in his scores, he also rarely used quartertones. The harmonic language devised by Panufnik, in which symmetry also plays quite a significant part, is characterised by originality and, working together with the other elements of the composition, imparts to his music its specific climate and character.

Programme note for Sinfonia Mistica Programme note for Sinfonia Mistica Programme note for Arbor Cosmica Triangles, Panufnik's comment