Western Notation and Performance

Guerino Mazzola, Yan Pang, William Heinze, Kyriaki Gkoudina, Gian Afrisando Pujakusuma, Jacob Grunklee, Zilu Chen, Tianxue Hu, Yiqing Ma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In previous parts, we discussed ways to record music directly using digital technology. These techniques require us to think of music as precise air pressure variations, and they encode this acoustic data. The advantage of this approach is great accuracy in reproducing sound. However, computers are essential to the process; only a computer can read and write digital sound files. Historically, music was perceived as a series of gestures (see Chapter 2), rather than a string of sound waves. The traditional approach to ‘recording’ music is therefore to symbolize these gestures instead of the acoustics they create. Such efforts started with the medieval neumes and resulted in modern notation systems that we call symbolic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Music Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameComputational Music Science
ISSN (Print)1868-0305
ISSN (Electronic)1868-0313

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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