What is a motion graphic score?

Brief history of Graphic Notation:

The approach of using motion graphics is based on graphic notation. There have been singular attempts in figural notations already in the 15th century. Other approaches that tried to tear down the walls between art forms date to the 1920s like Paul Klee’s ’Fuge in Rot’[1] a graphical design of a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach.

However we need to differentiate between graphic notation as structured and detailed instructions for the performance and musical graphics as an agent for improvisation and pieces of art on their own. Since the 1950s in the US and Europe different approaches developed. While in the US for instance John Cage used his graphic notations to indicate rather actions than discrete notes, Earle Brown worked with images for free improvised music.

In Europe new notations were regarded as a necessity to the changing compositional state of the art approaches using movements of sound and the processing of sound, like for instance by Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in his piece ’Pour Piano’ from 1971[1]. The intention of the graphic notation is to make expressions and elements accessible to the viewer or performer, that are not possible to describe with the regular symbolic and normative notation. Iannis Xenakis with his piece ’Mycenes Alpha’ from 1978 was the first among the first to use the computer for notation using his UPIC, a highly sophisticated computerized musical composition and notation tool using a tablet for drawings to create waveforms[1].

Since the 1980s there was a change when especially visual artists started to deal with graphics and music, as their interest in developing an individual form of expression using graphics seems to be stronger than the visual interest of composers. Over time, in terms of music, graphics became rather a descriptive form of expression, meaning describing music after it was composed or simply accompanying music like VJing or music video. In this context Visual Music becomes a point of interest[2].


02.2 A first Definition:

A real definition can not be accurate at this stage of the project. Nevertheless I will give it a try: Motion Graphic Scores use the ideas of Graphic Notation and reconfigure them regarding animation, time based media and the digital domain. Or you could dumb it down and say it is "Graphic Notation with a 21. century face lift".



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