Dr Paul Attinello: Lecture Details and Video

Dr Paul Attinello (Newcastle University)

5th October 2011

The Structure of Graphic Scores: Systems, Deconstructions, Liberations

The study of graphic scores created in Europe and North America, beginning in the late 1950s, opens the door to a complex world of interpenetrating systems, pitting against each other the linear with the nonlinear, the pictorial with the symbolic, and the precise with the approximate. The notational and compositional ‘maps’ represented in different scores are not an undifferentiated mass, nor is each unique to itself. Instead there are a number of implied conceptual distinctions that can be considered, not only as a series of separate activities, but also in relation to each other.

This paper focuses upon what one might call the ineffable: those aspects of individual scores that are incommensurate with our habits, expectations, perceptions, and, in some cases, with any other scores. Although such extraordinary flights and mutations may not always be able to prescribe a formal or generalizable language of musical communication, they are remarkable in their ability to tell us about the limitations of our musical imagination: they can, in fact, expand the limits of our understanding, of music as well as ourselves – and thereby transform our composition and performance of every score, every work, every activity.

Paul Attinello is senior lecturer at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University; he has taught at the University of Hong Kong and UCLA. He has published in Contemporary Music Review, Radical Musicology, the Journal of Musicological Research, Musik-Konzepte, Musica/Realtá, the revised New Grove, and in essay collections and reference works, including the groundbreaking Queering the Pitch: The New Lesbian & Gay Musicology. He is co-editor of collections on reinterpreting the Darmstadt avant-garde and on music in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Current projects include a monograph on music about AIDS and a collection on contemporary composer Gerhard Stäbler.

Last modified: Friday, 8 June 2012, 4:24 PM