Archive for the “Notation” Category

The photos to the right show where I make all of my music; the top is from the early 1990s, the bottom from 2007. The equipment has changed drastically but one thing remains a constant, in every workspace I’ve had going back to the mid-’70s… See the single sheet of paper tacked on the wall with an image of a piano keyboard, a long row of notes from low to high, and lots of lines above that? It’s a photocopy of a chart from a book I once owned, on the ranges of all the orchestral instruments. It also includes the frequency in hertz, as well as the naming convention of each note. Michael Urich in La Porte, TX has even been kind enough to offer an exact copy of it online.

Recently I spotted another by Charles Houghton-Webb over at BWMusic, that I think will become the new candidate for my wall; in addition to all the original has, this one extends the range, color-codes some stuff, and adds the standard MIDI note numbers for each pitch. It’s also a PDF file, so the print quality’s a bit better (the PDF is password-protected, but Charles offers the password right there on the page). Plenty of this information has long been internalized, but it’s still something I glance at almost automatically a few times during the composition of any piece.

So how about it? Do any of you have some little, almost-totemic item that stays at your own workspaces, no matter when or where?

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ArtikulationWhile I’m on my Ligeti mini-memoriam kick, and apropos of nothing in particular, I want to offer this video from YouTube.

In the 1970′s, Rainer Wehinger created a visual listening score to accompany Ligeti’s 1958 electronic piece Artikulation; our YouTube poster kindly synched this score up to the recording, so you can follow this elegant little graphic essay pretty easily in time to the music. (I can’t seem to embed YouTube videos in the forum, so just click on the image to view.)

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…or effect that you ever asked for from a player in a score of yours, that surprised you by how well it worked? (Bonus points for telling us what made it so musically essential for you to ask for it.)

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Thought you might find this interesting…got this from Randolph Peters on the Finalelist. Absolutely incredible how much of this was done by hand.

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