The Metaphysics of Notation

I came across a very interesting TED talk recently by Mark Applebaum, an experimental composer who sought to push the boundaries of the musical discipline and the way that we understand it. He briefly mentions his work, The Metaphysics of Notation, which is a piece of music that is notated using massive sheets of paper containing various pictographs spanning 72 feet. The piece was divided into 12 separate pieces, and displayed at the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. It was then played by various musicians, who each interpreted the sheet in front of them in their own way with their own instruments, creating a completely new piece any time it was performed. This way of composing, whether or not it is traditionally “musical” creates a new approach to a music and puts the focus more on the performer/interpreter rather than the composer.

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