Our friends Holger Hartvig and Arthur Carlander made an awesome sound-recording workshop, and along with it a manual (note: it's in danish!) that instructs how to use specific gear that is both useful and affordable.
Click to download the manual!
Most of the pieces shown here does not have a specific tonality or specific sounds in general determined before playing them, so we wanted to try to make a piece that actually does, also to demonstrate how GRATISSCORE makes it possible to perform a piece of tonal music, without ever having played or heard it before; a form of simplified prima vista. Each square in the score represents a note between A and G. They are to be played within the same octave, when the square jumps. It is a nice one to play huddling up seven people around the piano, but can also be played by dividing the tones between different instruments or be played by fewer people, choosing multiple squares to react on. The multiplayer version gives the piece seven different interpretations of the timing and they of course also play the instrument very differently, resulting in a dynamic push and pull of the piece, timing-wise and touch-wise.
Lavender is a dramatical loop-piece made for one person - it can be used as a part or a background in an ensemble. You can also play it as several players with same or different sounds.
7 note melody
"ona" is an example of a piece made with the score-generatorarranged for 7 different samples. Its a space-full piece of music that can be used as a background or as an instrument in another piece.
This score mimics the game ‘Tug of War’. First a rope is drawn across the score and the players are divided into two teams. Then each player draws themselves/a character pulling the rope according to their team’s position on the rope. The scroll is to be moved back and forth, meaning that the person managing the scrolling decides who will be the winning team in the end (of if its a tie). Contrary to the videoexample, you can try a version where players only play when they cross middle as the rope is pulled in the fortunate direction of their team. Tip: Beforehand you can decide on a winner-jingle to be played when one team has crossed the middle. That can be done by a single individual or by the whole group. Maybe it's not even just a jingle for the winners, but a musical celebration of the game overall.
TUG OF WAR
Even though many of these scores incorporate improvisation, this score is particularly structured around composed and improvised sections. First a basic drawing is made on the score, that look something like this: O————O Then each player plots in a symbol/icon/character somewhere on the line in the middle, in the position they want to. After everybody has drawn their symbol, the two round areas at the ends of the line, are filled with a collective drawing. Playing the score follows a similar logic: Players are to play when their symbol touches the red line and everyone plays when the round, collective zones touch the red line. A variation could be that everyone plays when a symbol on the horizontal line touches the red vertical line. This creates an oscillation between a collectively composed scenario (the symbols on the line) and improvisations (round zones)
This score requires very minimal drawing. The rules of the score are simple: The three partitioned spaces, resembling a kind of sportscourt, are each linked with a tripartite band. First band plays when there is activity in the left space, second band plays when there is activity in the right space and the third band plays when there is activity in the middle. There is a symbol drawn on the scroll - in this case a microphone. The space in which the microfon moves around is here marked in the interface of the camera, meaning that it doesn’t move by as the scroll does. This layering has numerous possibilities! If you are not using a camera to project or record the score the static layer can be suspended above the scroll in other ways, either on transparent paper or with custom props of your own making. The red line in the other scores has a similar function and that can also be replaced by an analog version, simply by mounting a pencil or stick thingy above the scroll.
You can build something similar quite easily, or you can simply slide a piece of paper across a table. Our set-up sometimes uses a document- camera, a computer and a projector, so that more people can read the score, but for more intimate settings, looking directly at the scrolling score works just fine. Here are some scores we made using the scroll:
We also made up a different and more analog set-up that allows for making animated scores, this time with a scroll device:
Now we'll go through some of scores made with the score-generator!
CHAMBER CHUNK is a piece composed for color coded instruments - take a look at this piano, here we have color-coded the notes from A to G resembling the squared colors in the video. This piece is composed by one person, and the color-coded instruments is a way of reading the score if you play alone. BTW - it needs a bit of practice, so you can do a piece like this one if you think practice is fun :) I tried to hit an endless chamber-riff-vibe, and I think it would sound great for oboes, clarinets and flutes with a breakbeat under.
CHAMBER CHUNK: Color-coded instruments
The group forms a circle facing each other, it has to be big enough for a person to move around on the inside of the circle. The group choses two or three persons to be the bees. The first bee starts walking(flying) around the group and whenever the bee flies behind you you sing/play and you stop whenever the bee has flown past you. Then the next bee starts moving around in the innercircle with the same rule: sing/play when there is a bee in front of you ADD ON RULE: If the two or three bees sits down at the floor at the same time the whole flower circle turns around 180 degrees.
are some posters for you to download! They are made with our friends, the Whistlegraphers. Whistlegraph is a form of its own for you to explore, check it out . We made these posters together specifically for workshops, in order to teach the method behind this artform, that combines drawing and singing.
BTW, if you choose to perform or reinvent any of this material, or have any questions or general interest it would be great to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to: Or you can upload a video of your piece and tag us with #megaxpres , and we'll find it :)
This score is also an analog animated score. Sometimes we have also called it 'Band without instruments'. For the sake of clarity, we’ll give an example starting with just the drummer though, as in the above GIF. A drummer is chosen in the band, to play on an invisible drumset. The rest of the group serves as giving sounds to this drumset, by dividing the group into four, each representing one limb of the drummer; one part of the band playing when the drummer hits with her left hand, a second part of the band playing when the drummer hits with her right hand, a third part of the band playing when the drummer kicks her right foot/leg and a fourth part of the band playing when the drummer kicks with her left foot/leg. The piece can be build up gradually, by for example starting with only hand, then adding one foot and lastly with all four limbs playing. This piece can be done with any imaginable instrument: Adapting the score to 'A singer without a voice', wherein the band mimics the sound of the unsounding voice as the singer opens his mouth, results in a strange ventriloquist-type situation. It can of course be repeated as a guitarist without a guitar and as suggested, a whole band that mimics playing and a corresponding band that ‘fills in’ the missing sounds of the mimicking band. You can experiment with having the sounding instrument of the band correspond with or, often more interestingly, differ from the mimicking instrumentalist’s instrument, so that when the singer opens his mouth, a saxophone sounds, or when an invisible bass is played, a flute is heard, and so on. This is a fun one to do! But there is also often a certain delicacy emerging, when the act of a body playing an instrument is interpreted in this way, which can translate into much more nuanced playing than if the playing band had played from a written or drawn score. Thus the score has become a body, which with all its wealth of detail and intricacy is more intuitively translated into music and which would surely be a very difficult task to notate in a written score. TIP: For THE DRUMMER, different coloured drumsticks helps a lot making the movement and the division of the band even clearer!
This next method is similar to the shapes on the floor, except now the shapes are located on a transparent surface, such as a window, a screen or other see-through material. After the shapes are marked on the surface, the band is divided and assigned a shape. Again, when there is activity inside the shape, the corresponding players play. The surface could also be thin and even colored paper lit from behind, resulting in more of a shadow puppetry type of score. Building neat contraptions as scores like this can be an integrated part of a workshop, dividing the focus between construction, design and composition.
This piece is another early and very gentle step into transforming the score into a spatial situation. As a start, a person is picked from the group to be on stage, walking. This stage can of course have any properties you like, be it a simple platform or an elaborate scenic route, or simply an open space next to the rest of the group. First, the group simply plays when the walking person's feet hit the ground, as is marked with red in the GIF above. Again the walking person has the power of the conductor to walk as they find suitable. Numerous variations can follow: The band is divided into two groups, one playing as the walking person’s right foot hits the ground, the other playing when their left foot hits the ground. After that you can assign a musical parameter to be controlled by the route that is walked, such as volume. This would mean, if the person walks from far left on stage to far right, the band plays from 0 to 100 in volume. Experiment with using the other dimensions of the stage controlling other musical parameters. Imagine a solo guitar piece, where the score is a person walking in a 3D space, and where movement across the width of the stage translates into volume, where the varying height of the walking person translates to the guitar’s pitch and where the stages depth translates to the amount of distortion that is put on the guitar. ….. but, as mentioned earlier, we’d recommend starting veeery simple and add on, instead of jumping right into intricate explanations before anyone has even played, of course depending on who you’re instructing.
It uses a very similar logic as the scores on the screen, but now unfolded in a 3D space. You mark up some areas of the floor, for example with coloured tape. This can be a fun activity in itself, making a scenography or floorplan with the group. Then a number of people is chosen to move around in the marked up space. The rest of the group is the band and are situated outside the markings on the floor. The band is divided into smaller groups and are assigned to the shapes on the floor. If we use the picture as an example: the band is divided into three, linked to the green square, the blue circle and the pink triangle respectively, let’s call them the GREEN BAND, the BLUE BAND and the PINK BAND. Now, when people start to move around in the space they will trigger the three bands when moving in and out of the shapes; when there is activity in the green square the green band plays, when there is activity in the blue circle the blue band plays, and when there is activity in the pink triangle the pink band plays. This set-up allows for any choreography to be translated into a piece of music, whether it is improvised or composed, whether it is made up of actors who deliberately ‘plays’ the band by jumping in and out of the shapes, or if it is the choreography of a Strindberg play that triggers the band, without its actors giving consideration to how they actually control the music with their movements.
Here is another exercise that gets the blood flow going, after having been playing with the screen for a while.
10.31.2021 Yesterday we joined an ensemble of nearly forty kids between age three and 15, playing together in one big group! The mixed age of such a group, or even smaller ones, has numerous benefits that aren’t standard classroom procedure. If you go to school where teaching is divided into separate years and classes, as schools most often are, the students don’t know each other across ages and classes, meaning that meeting in such a mixed-age group can be refreshing and new, despite it taking place within the same walls as usual activities. This of course also goes for other types of institutions, be it a conservatory or an asylum center. Different age groups often encourage respect, new perspectives and new sensitivities from people belonging to another, which is certainly fruitful in a learning environment.
As we said, after a while it might be a good idea to get up and take a break from the screen. For instance, you can do this simple exercise: One person in the group is chosen to be THE CONDUCTOR. This person has initially three modes of action: Hands up, hands down and pointing. Hands up means that everyone play, hands down means that everyone is quiet, and pointing gives the conductor the opportunity to choose specific individuals in the group, who will then play. Try pointing fast across the group, thus creating a wave of sound going through the group. TIP: Maybe the instructor goes first being the conductor, but as this exercise us so simple, it’ll be easy to quickly pass on the role to one in the group. Also, being the conductor empowers people in the group to make decisions for the collective and how they think the music should sound like. Usually it works well, especially with the very young players, and if the group is big, that is even better for this one. Note! We strongly recommend to try and combine some of these exercises, dividing up an ensemble into doing several of these pieces at once simultaneously. Also it should be said that none of these are set in stone and are to be combined, tweaked and revised at will.
10.30.21 Hi! We’re doing a workshop today trying out the score-generator for the first time! Yayyy!! When we do workshops like this, it is usually a good idea to mix up using the screen with more analog exercises and pieces, so this log in green boxes will likewise appear every now to break from the general tool presentation, and give suggestions on how to vary things up a bit. We’ll both post general exercise suggestions as well as concrete experiences during our latest workshops.
Type 'stage' in the prompt and a score will open. Press 'e' for edit, and you will be directed to the interface above. Here you can plot in patterns and thus create your own musical scores. You choose a tempo (BPM), write in a pattern using captions from A to G, which each correspond to a colored square jumping. Breaks are notated with underscore _. You can also choose if you want the pattern to LOOP or not. On your own device you should also decide whether you want the built in sound to be on or off. .
Click or tap the picture or follow this URL to the site:
The score is made via this simple interface:
Now we’ll show you our new animated notation generator that we made together with our friend Jeffrey Alan Scudder (aka ). First, take a look at what the score is like and return for explanation:
Animated notation for music purposes has a quite diverse history, from rhythm based games, such as , , to the work of . One of the inspirations to the work of the S.L.A.U.T.U.R. seems to come from composer , whose animated scores (if we might call them so) sometimes feature real time manipulation and unique composing set-ups that are easy to revise. Such as in this piece of his called , where the music is written right before it is played or as in , where the score is played like an instrument. We return to these premises, by making animated scores easy and fast to produce, generate, update and edit. (More on the history of animated notation , and the use of it in a specifically activistic context, such as it has been utilized by Goodiepal & Pals (aka) . This group has contributed greatly to hyping this form of notation!
The scores presented here, whether in video or analog formats, are all based on MOVEMENT, and the ability to easily read and follow movement. The movements of the scores allow for intuitive reaction, contrary to systems of notation that require more prerequisite knowledge, such as traditional sheet music. These are more similar to other forms of graphic notation and games, which have enormous potential when you play both with children, experienced players, and with people you don’t share language and musical background with.
Hi and welcome to our site! This is where we share some experiences, ideas and ways to work with music, specifically with animated notation. These tools are made as a part of our project 'Improv for Asylum', in collaboration with , supported by Creative Europe.