18 February 2010

Source Book of Proposed Music Notation Reforms by Gardner Read

An interesting find in the library this afternoon was Gardner Read's 'Source Book of Proposed Music Notation Reforms'. It basically catalogues the attempts to usurp traditional music notation over the years and some of the examples prove to be interesting visual works. Many address specific problems that have arisen in denoting particular musical elements but none really have had the ability to replace the classic Western format that most of us will be familiar with. A lot, however, seem to be very similar variations. At least to this musically untrained eye.

There may be the potential to incorporate some of these into descriptions of noise - particularly those symbols that represent the length and pitch of a particular sound. Notation for percussion instruments might also be of use given how it is less about representing melody.

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