Today’s Composer Prompt (Give Up Some Control)

Instead of trying to meticulously control every sound on the page, try a piece where you share creative responsibilities with the performer(s). Experiment with finding ways to leave one or more dimensions of the music (pitch, rhythm, form, etc) up to chance or the performer’s conscious decisions.

Example: one intriguing way to collaborate on making unique sounds is to simply describe the desired sounds in a brief paragraph. This is called a “text score.” Some text scores are very detailed, while others are elusive–almost like an impressionistic poem.

Expansion: embed a text score approach (or other chance operations) within a conventionally notated piece. Remember, methods of composition need not be used for an entire piece.


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