The Notation of Collection II
The notation of Collection II is the result of my experiences notating the works of the previous collection. It is a clearer, more practical notation.
As before, a score generally consists of two parts: the graph and the key. These are now two separate files; in contrast to the previous notation, the graph now stands completely alone with no compositional parameters. The graph is in JPEG format and the key is a Microsoft Word document. Works not based on integer sequences do not contain a graph; the instrumental works in Collection II do not contain a graph either.
A good graphic representation of an integer sequence can tell one a lot about its structural features and how music might sound modelled on it. Point graphs are particularly useful for visualizing music.
The graphs of Collection II vary in size from 1332 X 3300 pixels to 19176 X 3300 (print size 4.5 X 11 inches to 64 X 11).
The graph always shows the orientation of the pitch-parameter of the sequence: the top of the graph always represents higher pitches.
All relevant information about the musical parameters of a composition is contained in the key. This includes information about pitch, timbre, spatial location, dynamics, time, and attack and release values, among other things. Also included are the actual values of the sequence or numbers used as models.
In Collection II the key relies more on description than previously. The first thing given is generally a description of the sequence. This is not meant to be a thorough description, but rather as an aid to memory; those interested in learning more about the properties of the sequences should visit one of the following web adresses:
Sometimes a description of the piece is given first for works not based on integer sequences.
orientation refers, more specifically, to the frequency orientation of the work. Ascending means that 1 would represent a lower pitch than 2, for example.
The temperament gives the information on the tuning-system used. Φ represents the golden ratio value (1 + 5)/2 = 1.6180339…, φ represents its reciprocal .6180339….
As before, the following notation is used for waveforms:
Collection II was written to be listened to with speakers at 30 degrees left and right. The distance to the speakers varies from speaker to speaker, but is typically 50 to 70 inches (130 to 180 cm). -30° represents a full pan to the left.
I continually refined my stereo-effect technique in the course of Collection II. For this reason, there is some inconsistency in the notation of pan. This process of refinement began with Zeck Reps Density no. 1, at which time I started using the term simulated spatial location (abbreviated s.s.l.). Although simulated spatial location was handled effectively in Collection I, the works of Collection II demonstrate a higher level of refinement in this respect. Beginning with φ Signature Sequence no. 3, I stopped considering pan values to be relevant information about a composition. A pan value of 15° meant, for example, that I made the strength of the signal between the left and right speaker at a ratio of 25%:75% of the value given in the Csound score – a limited technique. Pan values were given in the scores rounded to 2 decimal places. In the course of Collection II, my methods of calculation for the strength of the signals to the speakers changed significantly and became complicated to the point where it had too little to do with the composition to notate; the strength of the signal is a technical detail and not a compositional one, those interested in the technical details of the production of the music can see the Csound file.
An arrow (→) represents a linear change from one value to the other. For example, if the integers 1 through 8 were used in a sequence and the indication was fff → ppp, the integer 1 would be represented by fff, 2 by ff, 3 by f, and so on. In the case of waves, this means that they morph into one another, being added together at different strengths to achieve this.
As before, a dynamic scale from ppppp to fffff is used for practicality; ppppp is used for sounds approaching 0 dBA, fffff represents sounds around 100dBA (not used in Collection II).
attack and release roll-off refer to changes in the attack and release values. Using roll-off, it is possible to sharpen (or soften) the articulation according to an integer sequence.
The values used section of the key shows parameters and information used in programming the WAV file used for the work. Integers and parameters appearing in gray as opposed to black are not actually heard in the composition.
May 17, 2005