DigiScore Lecture for Composition grad students at CUNY (City University, New York)

This event was kindly organised by Doug Geers http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/academics/schools/mediaarts/departments/music/faculty/douglasgeers.php

In the room were Doug and 8 composition grad students with a range of compositional and digital media interests and engagement expereinces. The course has typically emphaised approaches to c omposition that focus on new complexity, but has always suported digital creativity and digital score type activities.

Doug also teaches on the UG grad programmes in computer music, and runs the Centre for Computer Music http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/web/academics/centers/ccm.php

Critical insights from the discussion included:

  • acknowledging that traditional scores can be split into two distinct types: top-down and bottom-up. But that any typology is divisive and needs to be very carefully considred.
  • Historic adoption of Western European Art Music notation systems in other music cultures around the world have helped them to be more broadly understood (through analysis) and accepted (into the WEAM cultural hierachy).
  • The term “digital musician” warrented some explanation as there can be a tendency in academia to own the term only for electronic music students. The digital score (and Doug) wish to include any musician who makes music with the creative potential of digital, or other, technology
  • There were examples of these grad students using illustrator and LilyPond to render fixed scores for their compositions.
  • As might be expected there was a strong leaning towards being recognised as composers (in the online poll), but a real interest in exploring the creative affordance of digital technology. The digital score certainly piqued interest in the possibilities of such explorations. Especially the theoretical framework of Taking-In/ Taken-Into