This article explores some of the diverse forms that musical notation has assumed in the early twenty-first century and discusses its use along a broad spectrum of creative intention, which includes visual representation of sounds, verbal lists of instructions or provocations, and much else. Drawing upon his own experience as a composer, and on studies of the work of composers both older and younger (Stockhausen, Lucier, Wolff; Molitor, Lely), the author examines the changing meanings of notes, staves and clefs, and the possibilities of graphic scores, text scores, and hybrid forms of notation.
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