Luciane Beduschi, Sigismund Neukomm's eight-voice enigmatic canon, Rio de Janeiro, 1821. Assembling and disassembling an enigma.

This article aims to reconstitute a musical enigma that Sigismund Neukomm designed in Brazil in the early 19th century. The enigma, once solved, gives rise to an eight-voice canon. This involves the reconstitution of the document (quite puzzling in itself) which contains the enigma, of the full score of the worked-out canon, and finally of the context in which the enigma was designed. Having established these points, the article then proceeds to disassemble both the original document, so as to better understand its historical context, and the canon itself, so as to identify and understand the compositional process. The canon, with eight voices at the distance of a third, contains seven canonic lines each of which is melodically distinct.