Interesting Scores

I love looking at scores. Here is a score that I received during a drumming (和太鼓) workshop recently. It is one way that Japanese drummers score traditional songs (especially those used for festivals aka 祭り):

The score is read from right to left, top to bottom. It uses phonetics to represent note duration and strike position on the drum. For example, カ (pronounced ka) is a rim strike, テン (pronounced ten) is kind of an 8th note, ツク (pronounced tsuku) is two 16th notes and so on. It is meant for learners to recite out loud while they are practicing the song for the first time. Typically, there is no well-defined meter (like 4/4) in Japanese drum ‘songs’. Hmm, ER-101? :smirk:

Do you have any scores that you like or find interesting?


As a visual artist I find the experimental scores especially fascinating. I have a pretty good collection of images which over some months I have posted to this thread on the “lines” forum.
I hope it’s ok to link here?



That is a wonderful collection @laborcamp! And totally welcome. Can’t wait to go through it slowly.

i love the lines thread, so many beautiful scores!
here are two more by johannes kreidler:

although not directly related, some examples of concrete or visual poetry have a musical quality which remind me of some abstract scores:

ernst jandl - erschaffung der eva (creation of eve), 1957

Guillaume Apollinaire - Il pleut (it rains), 1914


Great drum score, totally nothing like western drum notation. I really like volcalising patterns and having words for both rhythmic value and drum position is a first for me. When teaching (drum kit tuition is most of my week) I like to vocalise rhythms. Young kids take to using drinks and it’s funny for them and me as they stream back a series of drinks like a frantic bar order.

Tea = 1/4 coffee = 1/8 Coca Cola = 1/16 simple syllable to rhymes division stuff. Then there’s lemonade which is 2x 1/16 and 1x 1/8th and pineapple which is opposite 1x 1/8 then 2x16th.

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I can totally relate to this. Some people have trouble internalizing a rhythm without first vocalizing it. It’s also interesting to note about the Japanese language that syllable duration is actually part of the language (written and spoken) which makes using it for rhythmic encoding very natural. I’m not talking about the long vowel, short vowel construct in English either. It’s literally the same sound and depending on how long you hold it, the resulting word will sound completely different to a Japanese person to the point where they probably will not understand you (just like pitch contour is important for Mandarin) if you get it wrong. You can’t even really make jokes by interchanging the syllable durations because it just sounds too different to a native speaker apparently.

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Makes it look so easy and it really is not!! I tried… and failed, it really really hurts :slight_smile:

I mean, it’s an apprenticeship-based musical form where one might potentially spend years learning to sing parts and maintain instruments before starting on technique. Love the sound of tabla. Anyone who can play one has clearly transformed their mind. :open_mouth:

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Exactly, I spent about 6 moths really trying before I realised that I was never going to be good enough to be able to do the things I wanted to because I’d have had to have started 20 years ago and my ageing body just won’t let me. I got ok at it and could pull off a couple of taals and even get the sounds more or less right most of the time, but there was no way I was ever going to be a ‘master’!

Anyway, we digress :slight_smile:

The reason I posted it was the point that a notation needn’t be visual. I’ve always been fascinated by the Hindustani classical oral tradition, and in particular the vocalized note values.

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Happy to see conversation on notation/scores here. I’m working on an essay which looks at the synth patch as a form of notation, and came across this the other day from newmusicbox, which may be of some interest:

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