Glover, Richard (2011) The evolution of notation in sustained tone music. In: INTIME2011 Symposium Interrogations into Music Experimentation Experimental Approaches: new insights into performance and composition, 24th-25th September 2011, Coventry, UK. (Unpublished)

Coventry INTIME2011 Abstract

Richard Glover

Evolution of notational approaches in sustained tone music

Sustained tone music can often call for extreme precision in pitch, balanced dynamic and technical control, and various subtle ensemble interactions in performance. This paper explores how these aspects of sustained tone production have been prescribed by various composers, each of whom uses the notational medium to communicate their own specific approaches to the act of performance alongside all necessary instructions to interpreters.

This paper will demonstrate the various notational practices which have stemmed from initial minimalist experiments in the 1960s, and discusses how particular aspects of the music such as technology and performance practice have exerted an influence upon approaches to notation.
The diverse working methods from composers such as Phill Niblock, James Tenney, Peter Adriaansz and Alvin Lucier will be discussed, along with recent examples from my own music. I will contrast the differing results of the notations, and will show how certain fundamental essences pervade the composers' thought towards performance of sustained tone music.

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