Notational semantics in music visualisation and notation
Faculty of Education and Arts
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts / Music Research Group
This paper examines a range of methods of exploiting the inherent semantic qualities of graphical symbols, colour and visual communication. Moody’s Notations Theory is used as a starting point in the discussion of expanding the range of techniques for visualizing sound and instrumental notation. Recent findings in the understanding of semantic primes, visual language, perceptual metaphors and “weak synaesthesia” are examined and connections to existing sound-based fields such as spectromorphology, action-based scores, graphical and animated notation. The potentials for the use of colour to represent timbre both for descriptive analytical and prescriptive compositional tool in electroacoustic music is explored. Works by Cathy Berbarian, Luciano Berio, Aaron Cassidy, Vinko Globokar, Juraj Kojs, Helmut Lachenmann, Ryan Ross Smith and the author are discussed.