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Old 11-16-2014, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Score for "biomusic"?

I am writing a musical investigation and I would like to compare John Cage's 4:33 to some sort of biomusic. I wanted to use anything ranging from birdsong, whale calls, or insect calls. My only issue that I'm having in determining what I'll use is that I'm required to have a score for both songs I use. I am having a hard time finding a score for any kind of biomusic, but I was wondering if someone would happen to know where to find such a source.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you may have a very difficult time with that. Generally, scores (although they come in many, many flavours, at this point) are for conveying information from the composer/arranger/idea-generator, to the performer.

Generally, "Bio Music," as I understand it, either just happens and is recorded, or is recorded and then manipulated directly by the composer. Personally, I don't know of any bio-music which is scored and intended to be performed, "live."

The problem is, a whale can't interpret a score, or at least, we don't know how to create a score that could convey our idea to a whale, so there aren't likely to be many scores in that respect.

The other problem is, if you are dealing with found sounds of like systems, neural activity, whatnot, and then manipulating it, you are unlikely to design a score to tell yourself how to edit. Even if you did create such a score, why would you release it to the public?

You might have a chance at getting a hold of non-human, animal "composed" scores. You know, a cat dropped in ink, whose footprints are then interpreted as "notation" or somesuch.

My only suggestion would be to directly contact the artist(s) responsible for whatever bio-music you'd like to use, and see if any of them have such a plan or personal "score" they would be willing to give you a copy of. Worth a shot, perhaps?

(On a side note, I'm pretty sure you could classify 4'33" as biomusic. It's music created by unconscious activities of humans, not-intending to perform.)

(On a side-side note, even John Cage got tired of the popularity of 4'33". He said something like, "That piece was intended to make a point. The point has been made. I have no further for or interest in 4'33"." Just kind of interesting.)
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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P.S. Generally, it's 4'33" rather than 4:33.

The first is the notation for an amount of time, while the latter is the notation for a specific time of day.

If you're writing a collegiate paper on such an enormously, endlessly famous piece of "music," it'll look much better-er if you spell it right!

(And just because I realize that sounds snotty over the internet, I meant that in a helpful, playful, slightly teasing kind of way!)
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