Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The act of writing a score, rather than improvising or committing something to a fixed recording is a fundamentally optimistic act. It is a signal of a relationship placed in the future rather than of immediate gratification. It implies faith that future performers of the score will approach it in goodwill, as well as acceptance that that future performers will bring the unexpected into the work. Richard Winslow's law, that if you want to repeat some music precisely, you ought to transmit it orally, while if you want to guarantee that the music will change over time, you should write it down, applies. A score may also have a touch of a love letter about it, addressee unknown. The recipient of this letter, the "whom" it concerns, is expected to be active, enaged, participatory, a fundamental rejection of passivity in the face of the world as it is.

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