ERC funding

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the DigiScore project, grant agreement No 101002086

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Digital Scores

A digital score is not a singular, identifiable creation, nor is there an exemplar for what one might be. Nor are they dominated by the single sense of sight (symbols on a page). In fact, computation and digital media facilitate the communication of ideas across a range of senses. These could be embedded as visual, acoustic, tactile, robotic, or sonic and involve an equally wide range of materials such as text, movement, sound, code, image, haptic objects, as well as the sense of time, presence, and co-operation. 

Digital scores communicate contemporary ideas between musicians that would be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve using existing score-systems. They do this by enabling such ideas to be contained and packaged in a combination of hardware and software and re-presented for live realization in performance. A defining feature is they benefit from the usability and functionality of dynamic technological environments at some level, and are responsive, evolving as the performance progresses and operating on a level of interactivity more in common with gaming and immersive new-media art. Crucially, their language of communication is not bound up with traditional training and constructs (although it could be), making them an ideal cross-/ multi-media platform for inclusive music-making.

Digital scores are as much about the creative potential of the medium as the technological solution and what these combined can deliver in no other way. Therefore, when a musician is interested in something that the technology is capable of creating through and with the technology - without which it couldn’t have happened - then we can call that a digital score. For example, a composer writing a composition in scoring software as they might have done if it was on paper, is not creating a digital score. This is a traditional score produced using digital technology. However, if the composer was to employ some of the functionality of the software, such as advanced technological features or use a plug-in that can distort or transform the notation, then suddenly this starts to become a digital score.

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