Small assignment: Graphic notation: introduction
Introducing students to the concept of graphic notation. This approach allows movements and sounds to be converted into notation.
Goal and output
Understanding the connection between sound and notation.
Introduction to graphic notation. The objective here is to understand that there are many ways of notating various musical elements and sounds.
Graphic designs illustrating individual sound events or longer musical structures.
• This assignment can be introduced through assignment 24 (Movement–sound), selecting the most interesting sounds for further processing.
• Talk about sounds and musical events and think about how they could be written down and illustrated on the page.
• Try to think of how to notate various materials in ways that are as simple as possible but illustrative.
• You may perform the completed graphic scores in the group and then talk about how ambiguous or unambiguous the notation is.
Topics in the assignment
Detailed description of tools
Stationery, felt-tip pens of various sizes and colours, sheets of paper of various sizes, any kind of musical instruments.
The assignment offers excellent potential for talking about the properties of sounds and for thinking about how aural events can be rendered visual and what kind of notation would be the most effective with a view to reproducing the sound later.
Although this assignment is designed as a group activity, it can be used in individual teaching too.
See also the assignments 'Movement–sound' and 'From movement expression to graphic notation'.
Assignment suitable for further study