Cecilia Arditto

About notation

Casi cerca (2003) score detail

I like to think of written music as an entity that originates itself every time it is invoked. Different from other arts, where the physical object is always there, music exists only when someone reads a music score.
Music uses a foreign language to express itself, and that is not sound waves but graphical signs. This oblique mechanism gives to the music, both in sound and discourse, an ambiguous condition. Ambiguity brings fragility and strength at the same time.
The history of western music has always been dancing together with the development of musical notation, one feeding the other, in an indivisible relationship. Musical notation is not only a tool to preserve the right sound waves in the correct order but a way of thinking and creating music. Most of the written music would have been impossible to be conceived without writing down ideas on paper. Music notation is both a registration and generation activity at the same time.
Music scores are meticulous, specific, and obsessive with details. The wonderful paradox is that the manifestation of this accuracy is a live act. Written music has its full expression in the present moment. Fresh and fragile. This imperfect-perfect, defined-undefined, precise-imprecise double-sided coin is the fascinating arena that provides music its abstract condition.

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