Experimental music notation resources



More from Roger Reynolds:


Pauline Oliveros

from Sonic Meditations
"Sonic Meditation X"

Sit in a circle with your eyes closed. Begin by observing your own breathing. Gradually form a mental image of one person who is sitting in the circle. Sing a long tone to that person. Then sing the pitch that person is singing. Change your mental image to another person and repeat until you have contacted every person in the circle one or more times.


wonderful, splendid, excellent


Free Music No.1 (1937) by Percy Grainger
Composed for String Quartet
Arranged by composer for four Theremins

brilliant score


Free Music No.1 (1937) by Percy Grainger
Composed for String Quartet
Arranged by composer for four Theremins

brilliant score


Bill Smith:


Man, I hadn’t peeked in this thread in a while.

@laborcamp dropping fucking bombs in here!


Help me out @Rodrigo !
I am starting to run thin in my collection…


Other than my Notations21 book you’ve got this shit on lock! Will have a look through my stashes though.


Ok, some contributions!

Aaron Cassidy:


Thierry De Mey:

And some instructions:


David Dunn:




Nicolas Collins:




James Saunders:




I love this thread. But it raises SO MANY QUESTIONS. I don’t even know where to begin.

Maybe here: have any of you tried playing back any of these scores? Which seem most useful to you as a musician?


I’ve played from many of the scores I posted, and many more similar to them.

I suppose it depends on the piece and what the notation is trying to communicate. I tend to prefer scores that deal with sounding results rather than physical motion, as that can often be misleading, or require additional layers of “pencil” notation to be added to the score.

But it really comes down to what size/shape/parameters you (as a composer) want the performers to focus on while learning/performing the piece. Notation is NOT an absolute thing, even in the strictest of approaches. So the notation acts as a (very colored) filter through which the music is communicated ‘through’ (simplifying music to ‘communication’ for the sake of this metaphor).


Are there any particular pieces where you feel the composer was particularly successful at communicating intent?

If I were trying to answer that question, I’m not really sure how I’d go about evaluating success in this context, unless I had some “extra” knowledge of the composer’s intent, beyond the score itself. But maybe through interviews or other artifacts, you do have some of that additional perspective about some of the pieces?