Words as Music Notation (1998/2012)

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The use of verbal notation elements in Western music from the baroque period and onwards is outlined, with examples. Some important examples of Fluxus, Scratch Orchestra and subsequent works are characterised. Two Stockhausen works before the text collections are examined for their different uses of verbal elements. From this as well as from the analysis of Stockhausen's text collections (see the articles mentioned at the top of the article) it is concluded that verbal language since 1945 may describe both musical material (parameters) and processes – including game rules and if-then relations. In Stockhausens' text collections there were varying degrees of determination. By contrast, standard notation is concerned with details.
Publikationsdato2 jul. 2012
StatusUdgivet - 2 jul. 2012

Bibliografisk note

The contents of this article are translated from an earlier article and slightly revised. The previous publication "Sprog som musikalsk notation" may be found here at vbn.


  • notation (music)
  • music analysis
  • fluxus
  • Scratch Orchestra
  • Stockhausen Karlheinz
  • Wolff Christian