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nu notation and
  minimalism

     David Black



                   1
“Traditional Notation” through the ages




                                          2
Traditional Notation




         •   Biased towards pitch and notes

         •   Limited to equal-tempered pitch, pulsed...
Traditional Notation



•   No spatial trajectories

•   Single-note events dominate

•   Synthesis parameters/computer mu...
Hebrew Cantillation




                           Gregorian Chant




                                                   ...
Chinese Qin Notation (500 C.E.)




                                                                                 6

• ...
Guidonian Hand (< ~1000. C.E.)




                                                                              7

• Mnem...
Chopin, Prelude in A
                        Op. 28, No. 7




                                                           ...
J.S. Bach - Gott sei uns gnädig und barmherzig
                         (BWV 323) - 1725

                                ...
Claude Debussy - Clair de Lune - 1903
                visualized using Music Animation Machine
                           ...
Harp Notation




                                                                                 11

Seven pedals set th...
New Notation



•   Aid composer in visualizing composition

•   Sound parameters/sound synthesis

•   Give instructions t...
Jazz Lead Sheet - Giant Steps (John Coltrane)

                                                                           ...
Solo Transcription - Giant Steps (John Coltrane)

                                                                        ...
Pictograph Notation - Gardner Read, 1998

                                                                                ...
"A Composer who hears sounds will try to find a notation for sounds. One who
        has ideas will find one that expresses ...
"The notation is more important than the sound. Not the exactitude and
         success with which a notation notates a so...
"Remember that space does not correspond literally to time."

             Cornelius Cardew - Treatise - 1963-1967


     ...
Text



"Performance advice. Divide the musicians into those involved in dot events (percussionists
     and pianists?) an...
George Crumb - Makrokosmos - 1972/1973

  ”an all-inclusive technical work for piano [using] all conceivable techniques”

...
SYMBOLS USED:
                                                       B—Bell-line sounds
                                  ...
Earle Brown - December 1952
                           Vocal rendition

                                                  ...
Earle Brown - December 1952
      Electronic rendition

                              23
My first impulse is to work in scoring and performance
    processes both of which are represented in the score
    Decembe...
Earle Brown - Cross Sections and Color Fields - 1975
           “You can’t grow up in America and not
           have a co...
Iannis Xenakis - Metastasis (1954)
                                                                                 26

  ...
Electronic Music Notation




                            27
Goffredo Haus - EMPS system - 1983




         Melody/Harmony




 Sound Analysis/Printing



                           ...
Unité Polyagogie Informatic (UPIC) de CEMAMu
                         Xenakis, 1977
                                      ...
Iannis Xenakis - Mycenae Alpha - 1978
                                                                             30

• F...
John Cage - Fontana Mix - 1958


                                                                            31

• for any...
John Cage - Williams Mix - 1952


                                                                      32

o Used “found”...
Kees Tazelaar - Geoglyphs - 1999


                                                                  33

     o Tendency m...
Kees Tazelaar - Pier en Oceaan - 2002


                                                                           34

o T...
György Ligeti - Artikulation - 1958




                                                                          35

• Co...
György Ligeti - Artikulation - 1958
                                                                                36

  ...
Han-Cristoph Steiner - Solitude - 2004


                                                                                 ...
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Kontakte - 1960

                                                                                3...
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Helikopter Streichquartett - 1994


                                                              ...
Karlheinz Stockhausen
            -
     Spiral - 1994




                                                               ...
Pedro Gomez-Egana - clark nova - 2006
                                                                          41

  • “C...
Minimalism of Steve Reich




                                                               42

http://www.npr.org/templa...
Clapping Music - 1972




                                                                                   43

One perfo...
Clapping Music - 1972




                        44
Come Out - 1966




                                                                                   45

"I had to, like...
Different Trains - 1988




                                                                        46

• First classical ...
Violin Phase - 1967




                                                                   47

Temporal variations created...
Electric Guitar Phase - 2001




                                                       48

Played by Dominic Frasca, simi...
Music for 18 Musicians -




    Let’s take a step backwards into Western tradition...Let’s
recover my birthright ... Let’...
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Sound Culture Reading #4

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Transcript of "Sound Culture Reading #4"

  1. 1. nu notation and minimalism David Black 1
  2. 2. “Traditional Notation” through the ages 2
  3. 3. Traditional Notation • Biased towards pitch and notes • Limited to equal-tempered pitch, pulsed rhythms • Limited representation of timbre 3 Criticisms of Common Music Notation (CMN) – page 726 •! Most western music between 1600 and 1900 uses common music notation •! Much music falls outside usability of CMN •! Biased towards pitch and duration of notes •! Limited to equal-temperament, pulsed rhythms, and fractional durations of notes •! Few provisions for representation of timbre • Improvised music is hard to put into terms of CMN
  4. 4. Traditional Notation • No spatial trajectories • Single-note events dominate • Synthesis parameters/computer music is unsuitable • Inefficient at describing sounds • Not for use in computer/electronic music 4
  5. 5. Hebrew Cantillation Gregorian Chant 5 Hebrew Cantillation - gave instructions to singer as to how to shape the melodic structure, but weren’t specific notes. Gregorian Chant - Gave way to common music notation with eventual staff (lines) structure and dot note heads.
  6. 6. Chinese Qin Notation (500 C.E.) 6 • Chinese Qin Notation o Didn’t say what was played o Only gave finger positions, stroke techniques, tuning, perhaps similar to guitar tablature.
  7. 7. Guidonian Hand (< ~1000. C.E.) 7 • Mnemonic Hand of Guido of Arezzo o Helped with sight singing o Joints of hand used to train hexachords (whole note scale) and solfege (do-re-mi... note names)
  8. 8. Chopin, Prelude in A Op. 28, No. 7 8 • Chopin Prelude (example of established notation as we know it)
  9. 9. J.S. Bach - Gott sei uns gnädig und barmherzig (BWV 323) - 1725 9 • Example of relationship between “piano roll” visualization and musical score
  10. 10. Claude Debussy - Clair de Lune - 1903 visualized using Music Animation Machine 10 Extended piano roll concept, brought to you by the “Music Animation Machine”: video here: http://www.vimeo.com/90612
  11. 11. Harp Notation 11 Seven pedals set the strings of the hard to many possible chromatic harmonies, making glissandi and chord playing easier. Example of common music notation adapted to new instruments (the chromatic harp)
  12. 12. New Notation • Aid composer in visualizing composition • Sound parameters/sound synthesis • Give instructions to musicians for performance • Can be used as documentation for the piece itself • Useful for new/electronic/computer music 12
  13. 13. Jazz Lead Sheet - Giant Steps (John Coltrane) 13 Example of “lead sheet” - common in jazz, which gives the melody and chord structure with which the performers improvise.
  14. 14. Solo Transcription - Giant Steps (John Coltrane) 14 This sheet continues where the previous slide leaves off - the improvised saxophone solo of John Coltrane, transcribed form the recorded material, which follows the chord structure presented.
  15. 15. Pictograph Notation - Gardner Read, 1998 15 Updated notation possibilities invented by Gardner Read, from his book available here: http://www.amazon.com/Pictographic-Score-Notation-Gardner-Read/dp/ 0313304696 These are meant, like the harp notation, to adapt common music notation to new instruments
  16. 16. "A Composer who hears sounds will try to find a notation for sounds. One who has ideas will find one that expresses his ideas, leaving their interpretation free, in confidence that his ideas have been accurately and concisely notated." Cornelius Cardew - Treatise - 1963-1967 16 • Graphical score that allows for some improvisation, where performers devise their own methods for interpreting the score More resources, recordings, and video here: http://www.spiralcage.com/improvMeeting/treatise.html
  17. 17. "The notation is more important than the sound. Not the exactitude and success with which a notation notates a sound; but the musicalness of the notation in its notating." Cornelius Cardew - Treatise - 1963-1967 17 • The instructions were a guide which focused each individual's creative instinct on a problem to be solved - how to interpret a particular system of notation using one's own musical background and attitudes. Animation http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/picturesofmusic/pages/anim.html
  18. 18. "Remember that space does not correspond literally to time." Cornelius Cardew - Treatise - 1963-1967 18 • Not supposed to be played spontaneously, but practiced as a set of explicit instructions
  19. 19. Text "Performance advice. Divide the musicians into those involved in dot events (percussionists and pianists?) and those involved in line events. Dot events to be exclusively soft." Cornelius Cardew - Treatise - 1963-1967 19
  20. 20. George Crumb - Makrokosmos - 1972/1973 ”an all-inclusive technical work for piano [using] all conceivable techniques” 20 • For amplified piano, uses extended techniques such as string piano methods (such as playing the inside of the piano with the hands) • Made to explore possibilites of piano • Like cage, put objects in strings, modified instrument itself, but objects are moved (!) during performance
  21. 21. SYMBOLS USED: B—Bell-line sounds S—Skin Instruments C—Cymbal G—Gong T—Bell-line sounds T.R.—Skin Instruments !—Triangle G.R.—Gong Roll Morton Feldman - The King of Denmark - 1965 21 • For various percussion instruments, uses a grid-like notation with symbols for instruments • Played very softly using only hands and fingers, concerned with delicacy and luminosity, taking the essential mallets out of the percussionists’ hands • Graph: how many sounds to be played per beat, and whether high, medium, or low pitch
  22. 22. Earle Brown - December 1952 Vocal rendition 22 • Associated with Cage, Morton Feldman • December 1952 – “open form scoring” o “Activity” rather than piece of music o Horizontal and vertical lines of various widths o Role of performer is to interpret score and translate graphical information to music o Brown says to consider this 2D space with time and move through it in 3 dimensions
  23. 23. Earle Brown - December 1952 Electronic rendition 23
  24. 24. My first impulse is to work in scoring and performance processes both of which are represented in the score December 1952.... I was first moved to think about such things by observing mobiles of Alexander Kolger and the very spontaenous painting techniques of Jackson Pollock. Both of these things I vaguely remember becoming aware of in boston, mass in 1948 or 49, and i had very much the impluse to do something in “our kind of music” which would have to do with this highly spontaneous performing attitude, improvisational attitude that is, from a score which had many multiple possibilities of interpretation. Earle Brown - On December 1952 24 “Having nothing to do directly (or does it?) with the jazz background, my primary aesthetic influences were the spontaneity, direct contact, the “now-ness,” and the in-the-moment immediacy of the abstract expressionist painters— especially the “improvisational” techniques of Jackson Pollock and the subtle coloristic effects of Philip Guston and Bill deKooning. More than anything, in terms of Cross Sections and many other works of mine, it was the example of the mobiles of Alexander Calder.“ Earle Brown interview: “On December 1952” http://earle-brown.org/archive.focus.php?id=726
  25. 25. Earle Brown - Cross Sections and Color Fields - 1975 “You can’t grow up in America and not have a connection to folk, jazz, or rock” 25 “As a young trumpet-playing jazz musician in the 1940s and ’50s, I played in “territory” Big Bands, and I very much admired the Big Band energy and sonorities of the Stan Kenton orchestra and its composers and arrangers. (Morton Feldman called me “the lone arranger.”) Cross Sections and Color Fields is in no way an attempt to imitate or extend these concepts—they already went further than I do here—but to be a kind of gentle “homage” to that world that I enjoyed so much....”
  26. 26. Iannis Xenakis - Metastasis (1954) 26 • First major work • Inspired by the Einsteinian view of time and his memories of sounds of warfare • 61 players, with no players playing the same part • Uses sound masses with many glissandi, dominated by strings • Although it uses sound masses and graphical notation, individual parts are still written in standard notation, leaving nothing to the performer’s discretion Score video with follow-along bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI
  27. 27. Electronic Music Notation 27
  28. 28. Goffredo Haus - EMPS system - 1983 Melody/Harmony Sound Analysis/Printing 28 • Transcribes sound of computer-synthesized music into a reading score by means of sound analysis. • Graphic notation registers sound as different symbols • Amplitudes are plotted as histograms
  29. 29. Unité Polyagogie Informatic (UPIC) de CEMAMu Xenakis, 1977 29 • Unite Polyagogie Informatic de CEMAMU (Centre d'Etudes de Mathematiques et Automatiques Musicales/Center for Studies in Mathematics and Automated Music) • Flexible user interface with a score page and a sound structure page • Wave envelopes could be drawn, as well as event information in the XY plotter • Realtime UPIC was available by 1991 • Could use samples in many different ways, such as banks of digital oscillators
  30. 30. Iannis Xenakis - Mycenae Alpha - 1978 30 • For mono tape, projected onto either of two or four sound sources around the listening room Score video with follow-along bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yztoaNakKok
  31. 31. John Cage - Fontana Mix - 1958 31 • for any number of tracks of magnetic tape or any number of players playing any number of kinds of instruments o 10 sheets of paper and 12 transparencies with randomly distributed points o Performer superimposes these to create a structure of curved lines, dots, etc
  32. 32. John Cage - Williams Mix - 1952 32 o Used “found” samples much like Fontana mix. o The score denotes cutting and splicing tape to create a final mix
  33. 33. Kees Tazelaar - Geoglyphs - 1999 33 o Tendency masking in voltage control o Random signal masking - defines “range” of random output Artis’s homepage: http://www.keestazelaar.com/
  34. 34. Kees Tazelaar - Pier en Oceaan - 2002 34 o The used sound material was organized into five main groups, that each were subdivided into the categories Tone-attacks, Tone-fields, Noise- attacks and Noise Fields.
  35. 35. György Ligeti - Artikulation - 1958 35 • Combination of graphical pictographic notation and abstract synthesis mapping • Studio of Electronic Music of the West German Radio in Cologne • Combination of tape and generated sound
  36. 36. György Ligeti - Artikulation - 1958 36 • Visualization by Rainer Wehinger o The piece is called ‘Artikulation’ because in this sense an artificial language is articulated: question and answer, high and low voices, polyglot speaking and interruptions, impulsive outbreaks and humor, charring and whispering. Wehinger score with follow-along bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71hNl_skTZQ
  37. 37. Han-Cristoph Steiner - Solitude - 2004 37 Another example of “notation” for electronic music, which uses PureData (PD) data structures to visually represent rapidly morphing textures and data masks. Each color represents a different sample, and each sample has two arrays: one for playback, and one for amplitude and panning. Artist’s homepage: http://at.or.at/hans/solitude/
  38. 38. Karlheinz Stockhausen - Kontakte - 1960 38 o Piece for four loudspeakers, electronic sounds, piano, and percussion o Tried to achieve total serialism, controlling pitch, timbre, intensity, and duration of all aspects of the music o Used spatialization between the four speakers One rendition of the piece by David Tudor, Gottfried Koenig, and Cristoph Caskel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvpesmJzQws&feature=related
  39. 39. Karlheinz Stockhausen - Helikopter Streichquartett - 1994 39 o For four helicopter with pilots and sound technicians, four television transmitter, 12 sound transmitters, and auditorium with four columns of televisions and loudspeakers, a sound technician with mixing desk and moderator, and a string quartet. o Colored score is to represent the four musicians
  40. 40. Karlheinz Stockhausen - Spiral - 1994 40 o Events appearing on short wave radio give the soloist instructions for performance, which can be on any instrument
  41. 41. Pedro Gomez-Egana - clark nova - 2006 41 • “Clark Nova” – British Music Information Center Cutting Edge Series Video of the artwork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlVDPF_-s5k
  42. 42. Minimalism of Steve Reich 42 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6209213
  43. 43. Clapping Music - 1972 43 One performer claps same rhythm for entire piece, the other performer shifts the pattern one note every 8 or 12 bars. Reich wanted to “create a piece of music that needed no instruments beyond the human body” Video of the performance with two clappers: http://www.stevereich.com/multimedia/clappingMedProg.html Video of jugglers (!!!) performing the piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXhBti625_s (jugglers performing !!!)
  44. 44. Clapping Music - 1972 44
  45. 45. Come Out - 1966 45 "I had to, like, open the bruise up and let some of the bruise blood come out to show them" About the Harlem Riot in New York City in 1964. This recorded quote of one of the accused boys is used as source material, which uses Reich’s famous phase shifting technique. More and more voices are added until there are eight voices in total.
  46. 46. Different Trains - 1988 46 • First classical work to use digital sampling keyboard (Casio FZ-1) Inherent melodies in spoken texts are transcribed and written out for orchestral instruments and played back Follows Reich’s memories before, during and after World War II
  47. 47. Violin Phase - 1967 47 Temporal variations created with the performance of two violins. The recordings slowly go out of sync with each other. This process repeats throughout the piece. Can be played live by very determined and focused players
  48. 48. Electric Guitar Phase - 2001 48 Played by Dominic Frasca, similar to Violin Phase
  49. 49. Music for 18 Musicians - Let’s take a step backwards into Western tradition...Let’s recover my birthright ... Let’s start the whole piece with a cycle of harmony ... Lets bring in strings! Let’s bring in woodwinds - they go very well with the human voice! 49 • Barely noticeable voices • Can’t actually only use 18 musicians, they would get too tired! • Explored what happens in absence of many melodic changes

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