terre thaemlitz writings

- Terre Thaemlitz

Originally posted on comatonse.com May 22, 1996. A collection of illustrations on paper napkins falsely presented as graphical 'music scores' from electroacoustic compositions. This was a prank on people who valued such Modernist practices, as well as a reaction to BMI and other publishing agencies which, in the 1990's, sometimes still asked producers and record labels to provide copies of compositional scores as proof of authorship when registering works. In both a post-Cagean era, as well as an era of digital sequencer and sound-file based composition with no connection to traditional music notation, the problem of how to produce 'music scores' was an issue frequently discussed among friends at the time.


Graphical scores are often used during the production of a piece, although they may be sketched at any stage from conceptualization to mastering. Scores are read from top to bottom with the vertical axis representing time. The horizontal axis can represent right and left channel separation or the dispondency between audio elements. The scores above are not attributed to particular pieces since the same score may be used for multiple pieces and in relation to different processes of development.