MUSIC NOTATION AS

MUSIC COMPOSITION
BY WILLIAM ANDREW BURNSON
Monday, October 10, 11

What is the difference between composition and notation?

Composition
Aleatory/Indeterminacy

Composing

Improvisation
Realization

?

Notation
re Sco

--> ing ord ding Rec Rea Practice / Learning ight -- S <

S tu dy -->

Performance
M us ic al Ex pe r ie nc e

Preparation

Rehearsal
Se lf Ev al ua ti on

Listening

Dictation -->

Monday, October 10, 11

Articulation Serial music. Graphic. Percussion Aleatory. Textual. Microtonal. Symbolic.. October 10. Phrasing. Formalization.. Interactive Music Monday. Proportional.INNOVATIONS IN COMPOSITION Renaissance Baroque Classical Romantic Early 20th c. Dim. Abstract Musique Concrète. Post WWII Technologic Accidentals Loud and Soft Graded Dynamics Cresc. 11 . Multiphonics. Music Production Software.

Graphic. Dim. Abstract Musique Concrète. Phrasing. October 10. Proportional.INNOVATIONS IN NOTATION Renaissance Baroque Classical Romantic Early 20th c. Multiphonics. Percussion Aleatory. Post WWII Technologic Accidentals Loud and Soft Graded Dynamics Cresc. Textual... Microtonal. Music Production Software. Symbolic. 11 . Formalization. Articulation Serial music. Interactive Music Monday.

Mycenae Alpha . October 10. 11 An example Max/MSP (interactive music) session .Iannis Xenakis An example GarageBand session Spiral Galaxy (Makrokosmos I. George Crumb) Monday.

MODERN DAY TYPESETTING Monday. October 10. 11 .

MODERN DAY TYPESETTING Monday. October 10. 11 .

11 .MODERN DAY TYPESETTING Monday. October 10.

11 . October 10.MODERN DAY TYPESETTING Monday.

it was the spring of hope. it was the winter of despair. it was the epoch of belief. it was the worst of times. it was the season of Light. we were all going directly to Heaven. ? = It was the best of times. we were all going directly to Heaven. it was the epoch of incredulity. it was the epoch of incredulity. Monday. we were all going the other way. we were all going the other way. it was the age of wisdom. we had everything before us. October 10. we had nothing before us. it was the age of wisdom.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Compare the following renderings of the opening sentence to A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens): It was the best of times. it was the season of Light. it was the worst of times. we had nothing before us. 11 . it was the spring of hope. it was the epoch of belief. it was the age of foolishness. it was the season of Darkness. it was the season of Darkness. it was the age of foolishness. we had everything before us. it was the winter of despair.

it was the epoch of belief. it was the winter of despair. Strictly speaking these two snippets have nothing in common! Monday.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Compare the following renderings of the opening sentence to A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens): It was the best of times. it was the winter of despair. we had nothing before us. it was the age of wisdom. it was the age of foolishness. it was the season of Light. we were all going the other way. Letters are different shapes. Words are not in the same location. we were all going the other way. sizes. we were all going directly to Heaven. it was the worst of times. it was the epoch of belief. it was the spring of hope. it was the worst of times. ? = It was the best of times. it was the age of foolishness. it was the season of Darkness. it was the epoch of incredulity. 11 . we had nothing before us. it was the epoch of incredulity. it was the spring of hope. October 10. it was the age of wisdom. it was the season of Darkness. we were all going directly to Heaven. we had everything before us. we had everything before us. it was the season of Light.

It was the best of times. we had everything before us. it was the age of wisdom. 11 . it was the worst of times. it was the winter of despair.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Though the two passages differed graphically. it was the spring of hope. it was the season of Light. it was the winter of despair. we were all going the other way. Just like a written language. in the context of a typographic grammar. it was the epoch of belief. we were all going directly to Heaven. it was the spring of hope. it was the epoch of incredulity. it was the worst of times. Visually distinct representations can have the same underlying content. we consider them the same. it was the epoch of incredulity. it was the season of Darkness. it was the age of foolishness. it was the age of foolishness. October 10. = = Monday. we had nothing before us. we were all going directly to Heaven. it was the season of Darkness. we were all going the other way. it was the epoch of belief. it was the age of wisdom. we had everything before us. it was the season of Light. music notation also has a grammar. = It was the best of times. we had nothing before us.

People say this Probably don’t hear this too often. 11 . Monday. October 10. I know what you mean.. Bad form: whatcha is not in the dictionary Direct object is whatcha? Indirect object is whatcha? Descriptive Grammar (Linguistics) I know whatcha mean. OK I know whatcha mean..GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Side Note: In the grammar of language we can also study it from two vantage points: Prescriptive Grammar (English) I know what you mean.

the style guide or the language? Monday.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Which came first. October 10. 11 .

articulation) onto a two-dimensional canvas? Monday. voicing. phrasing. the style guide or the language? In music notation we face a similar problem. dynamics. instrument. October 10.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Which came first. 11 . rhythm. Emulates conventions established through a centuries-long evolution of a naturally-occurring process of thousands of typesetters and composers collectively solving a notational problem: How do you project a multi-dimensional concept such as music (pitch. Many prescriptive music notation guides show recommended practice as a set of rules.

In designing a representation of music notation. rather than being authored by any one person or specific group.GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) Music notation developed organically in response to the needs of composers and typesetters. 11 . we need to know something descriptive about the notational grammar A prescriptive set of case-by-case rules that handle most cases is not sufficient to represent all notational possibilities that carry meaning. October 10. Monday.

GRAMMAR (notationally speaking) ? Monday. October 10. 11 .

Part-Based Containers (i.REPRESENTATION A pervasive approach to representing music comprises part-based (row first) multidimensional containers. measures in parts in score) Part Score Measure Monday. 11 . October 10.e.

a time-based (column first) container can be used Time-Based Containers (i.e. instants in parts in score) Part Score Instants Monday. October 10.REPRESENTATION Alternatively. 11 .

REPRESENTATION Caveats of a container-based representation: 1) Example of Part-Based failure: Ossia Staff Is this a part with hidden measures? 2) Example of Time-Based failure: Grace notes In what order should the notes appear? Monday. October 10. 11 .

GRAPH THEORY Organizes relational information by nodes and links Link (or “Edge”) Node (or “Vertex”) Monday. 11 . October 10.

what is the fewest number of colors that can be used so that no two adjacent countries use the same color. what is the shortest path that visits each city without any repeat visits. 11 . Monday. For example: 1) Traveling Salesman Problem Given a list of cities (nodes) and connecting roads (links). October 10.GRAPH THEORY Used to solve a number of difficult problems. but most maps use 5 to make the problem easier. Answer: 4. 2) The Map Coloring Problem Given a map of countries.

October 10. 11 .GRAPH THEORY Monday.

Bonne.BELLE. and so on) Takes form in some current programs: Chorale Composer (music theory) Lune (early development. October 10. BONNE. SAGE Open-source (free) software for typesetting music Provides support mechanisms for printing music regardless of the final medium (PDF. Sage” from 14th Century France Monday. notation software. algorithmic notation) Baude Cordier “Belle. web. 11 .

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