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Category: notation

On Different Methods of Notation

lily.jpgDavid Collins has written a short paper on different methods of notation which have evolved recently, and he thought that some readers here might be interested. The paper is available here.

The primary languages discussed are Mondrian, Abc notation, Csound, and Lilypond. The paper is not intended to be comprehensive. Collins hasn’t discussed other tools such as Philip’s Music Writer, or the various audio programming environments such as SuperCollider, Chuck and others.

The software discussed is not necessarily Linux-specific, but it is all FLOSS and available on Linux – and the information might be of interest to people who use Linux to compose music.

Collins welcomes feedback and corrections.


Jul 5, 2010
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Live Stage: Experiments on the Notation of Shapes [hk Hong Kong]

ens1.jpgExperiments on the Notation of Shapes by Joao Vasco Paiva :: February 12 – April 4, 2010 :: Opening Reception: February 12; 7:00 – 9:00 pm :: Artist Talk: March 24; 7:00 pm :: Unmeasured Music: March 31; 7.30 pm :: I/O (Input/ Output), 31 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Experiments on the Notation of Shapes by Portuguese artist and Hong Kong resident, Joao Vasco Paiva, is a generative multi-channel video installation where Hong Kong cityscapes are used as coordinates for sound synthesis. Computational translation, footage of urban planning and architectural elements are used as a musical score. In this work, a post-apocalyptic aura consumes the concrete form of the metropolis. Two wall-based projections present Hong Kong cityscapes. The city, its emptiness and its structure are kept in “time images” that solicit contemplation. Continue reading


Feb 9, 2010
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Notation. Calculation and Form in the Arts [de Karlsruhe]

benjamin.jpgNotation. Calculation and Form in the Arts :: until July 26, 2009 :: ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Lorenzstraße 19, D – 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany.

Notation. Calculation and Form in the Arts is dedicated to the multifaceted spectrum of artistic process existing between concept and work. The exhibition places works from all areas of art from 1900 until today in relation to one another: sign systems in literature, music, painting, choreography, architecture, photography, film and in media art. During the 20th century, artists have repeatedly made visible new realities through the connection between scientific calculation and artistic form. Morphic resonances, serial structures and sound waves: Modernity has rediscovered the intellectual aspect of existence as a field of research for art. Continue reading


May 11, 2009
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[Yasmin] Oral Traditions and the Digital Arts

rg-notation-1-small.jpg“… As a musician/ composer I am studying new digital forms of notation and especially the replacement of oral instructions and oral transmissions by what I call “encapsulated traditions” which can be likened to software manuals.

Notations are interesting entities, because they usually are not artworks themselves but invite actions that produce artworks.

Usually, throughout different musical cultures, notations constitute that part of a performative action that someone (author, cultural environment etc.) considers non-contingent on the performance context i.e. the essence of the work. E.g. western music notation has struggled over centuries to define pitch (vulgo: melody) and durations (vulgo: rhythm) in notationally unambiguous ways, where chinese music notation was more concentrated on pitch and timbre (e.g. how to play a note). Continue reading


May 11, 2009
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Net_Music_Weekly: “Piano Etudes”

etudes.jpgTurbulence Spotlight: Piano Etudes by Jason Freeman, with Akito Van Troyer and Jenny Lin [Needs Adobe Flash Player plugin; Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 2+, Safari 2+, or any recent web browser] — Inspired by the tradition of open-form musical scores, Piano Etudes is a set of four short works, each of which is notated as a collection of short musical fragments with links to connect them. In performance, the pianist must use those links to jump from fragment to fragment, creating her own unique version of the composition.

The pianist, though, should not have all the fun. So an accompanying web site enables anyone to create their own version of each etude, download it as an audio file or a printable score, and share it with others. In concert, pianists may make up their own version of each etude, or they may select a version created by a web visitor. Continue reading


Feb 9, 2009
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P22 Music Text Composition Generator

p22.jpgThe P22 Music Text Composition Generator is a free online music utility that allows any text to be converted into a musical composition. This composition is displayed in musical notation and simultaneously generated as a midi file.

The P22 Music Composition Font was proposed in 1997 to the John Cage Trust as an accompaniment to the John Cage text font based on the handwriting of the composer. The idea was basic and simple-every letter of the alphabet was assigned to a note on a scale. This would allow for any text to be converted into musical notation. The idea was rejected by the John Cage Trust, however the John Cage Silence font based on his famous 4’33” composition was accepted and continues to be offered for sale to this day. Continue reading


Feb 2, 2009
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Jorinde Voigt – Matrix & Lemniscate [de Kőln]

voigt1.jpgJorinde Voigt – Matrix [Notations] with Patric Catani & Chris Imler (Composition) and Lemniscate / ∞ [Acoustic Cluster] ::until December 20, 2008 :: Galerie Christian Lethert, Antwerpener Strasse 4, 50672 Kőln, Germany.

Matrix & Lemniscate is a unique collaboration between the artist Jorinde Voigt, and composers Patric Catani and Chris Imler. The lemniscate is, fundamentally a mechanism for the infinite (∞). A lemniscus or ‘ribbon’ that chases itself in a figure of eight describes the repeated and unending journey of the unbounded. Early Indian thinkers were quick to assert the abstract powers of infinities by recognising that when adding or removing parts to infinity, infinity would always remain. Jorinde Voigt draws structures energised by real and imagined possibilities to investigate finite boundaries of systems. Continue reading


Nov 18, 2008
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Reblogged Triggers for Synaesthetes

datablast01.jpg[Images: left: Welte Light-tone disk Edwin Emil Welte; right: Vibroexponator soundtracks – Boris Yankovsky] Tonewheels by Derek Holzer and Sarah Kolster is a concise historical appraisal of sound-light synthesis with some exciting new inclusions of lesser-know contraptions and artists. Lots of interesting charts, diagrams and musical notation. Vibroexponators, Photonas and Optigans!

James Peels’ article for the online tendril of cabinet magazine, The Scale and the Spectrum, analyses the history of the chromatics of sound in the context of his own series of colour-music paintings which attempt at presenting a visual installation of silent music. Continue reading


Aug 19, 2008
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Livestage: Jason Freeman’s Flock at 01sj [us San Jose, CA]

0746001-p1-075_large.jpegJason Freeman’s Flock at the Zero1 Festival :: June 5 @ 8 pm :: June 6 @ 8 pm :: June 7 @ 4 pm and 6 pm :: MACLA :: 510 South First Street, San Jose.

In Flock, music notation, electronic sound, and video animation are all generated in real time based on the locations of musicians, dancers, and audience members as they move and interact with each other. Computer vision software analyzes video from an overhead camera to determine the location of each participant, and this data is used to create music notation for four jazz saxophonists, to render a video animation, and to generate an electronic soundtrack. By inviting the audience to help create the unique music and visuals for each performance, Flock seeks to reconcile concert performance with the dynamics of collaborative creation, multi-player games, and social networks to create an engaging live event. Continue reading


May 29, 2008
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Robotic Ecologies and Emergent Systems in Music

medusa.jpgThis past spring at the University of Virginia, a first-time joint class was offered that brought graduate students from the Virginia Center for Computer Music (VCCM) together with undergraduates in the School of Architecture.The undergraduate Robotic Ecologies class merged with the Emergent Systems in Music graduate class, and was co-taught by professors Jason Johnson (architecture) and Matthew Burtner (music), with assistance from music graduate student Troy Rogers. I had the opportunity to participate in this exciting new venture between our departments. The goal of this year’s class was for students to create and fabricate “performative spatial and acoustic instruments that sense, compute and interact to/with emergent atmospheric inputs.” The class’s group collaborations resulted in three new robotic sonic-spatial instruments. Movies and descriptions of the instruments are provided below. Descriptions were provided by the groups and video footage was provided by Jason Johnson. Continue reading


May 28, 2008
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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