Faculty of Education and Arts
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
In 2009, the Decibel new music ensemble based in Perth, Western Australia was formed with an associated manifesto that stated “Decibel seek to dissolve any division between sound art, installation and music by focusing on the combination of acoustic and electronic instruments” . The journey provided by this focus led to a range of investigations into different score types, resulting in a re-writing of the groups statement to “pioneering electronic score formats, incorporating mobile score formats and networked coordination performance environments” . This paper outlines the development of Decibel’s work with the ‘screen score’, including the different stages of the ‘Decibel ScorePlayer’, an application (App) for reading graphic notation on the iPad. The paper proposes that the Decibel ScorePlayer App provides a new, more accurate and reliable way to coordinate performances of music where harmony and pulse are not the primary elements described by notation. It features a discussion of selected compositions facilitated by the application, with a focus on the significance of the application to the author’s own compositional practices. The different stages in the development, from prototype score player to the establishment of a commercialized ‘Decibel ScorePlayer’, are outlined in the context of practice led investigations.