36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 209: Scoring for sound


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 209 — Scoring for sound
27-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)


Graphic score Fantasy on Broken Glass

Practiced—fair amount of time and then spent rest writing letters and beginning to start the “partiture” [score] for the composition.


Universal Edition Musik Cover 1975
Normalcy = working hard. These days full of practice and electronic music seem to be becoming normal. That means I’m working hard. And it’s a Sunday. At least I’m writing a few letters. As I have mentioned in prior posts, I have found my “typed notes” and rough scoring drafts for my electronic composition. Here are some samples. This picture (left) is the cover of the Universal Edition book.

A score for sound. A musical score normally shows musical notation on musical manuscript paper—notes on a musical staff. As my composition is being created from the sound of a breaking glass, I cannot use musical notes on a musical staff. Insead, I am creating my score by depicting sound elements with graphics on a timeline. Pictured below are some of my graphic sketches and timings for thunder.

graphic sketches of thunder

The opening picture shows a part of the score published in the Universal Edition music education book. You can see the repetition of the sound elements.

Revision notes on Fantasy
Typing at the library. Below are a few pages of my typed notes and some of my timing graphs for the score. I was surprised to see that I documented how I created many of the elements from the single sound of a broken glass. There was an educational purpose to this project and I had audio examples of each of these different manipulations. This was presented as an educational project and composition to Prof. Kaufmann and the class. I feel like the project was a great example demonstrating musique concrète techniques. Pictured right are notes on my later revision of Fantasy on Broken Glass.

Lost tapes. For many years, I kept several large 15” reels of 1/4” magnetic tape that were the actual original composition and the educational examples mentioned above. I could see the many, many splices in the tape reel. Recently, I have been trying to find these tapes and have not been successful. They may be lost. What a shame. It would have been so great to digitize these examples, OCR scan my typed notes, and see if I could document the process of how I created the composition. I feel a bit sad.

I think I will try to write Prof. Kaufmann, or the Insitute of Electroacoustic Music, to see if there is an archive of the composition and if they can be recovered.

Yet, it was an exciting project to experiment, learn, and present in concert.

Picture 1 - Part of the examples list on how the original sound was manipulated.

Manipulation techniques

Picture 2 - Explanations of the sound manipulations.

Explanations of sound maniuplation

Picture 3 - A colored-pencil rendition of part of the score of Fantasy on Broken Glass.

Colored sketch of Fantasy score


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