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Contemporary Sheet Music Exhibition

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14:00 - 14:30
Multimedia Library & Club

Program series
synthesis of the arts

curator, exhibition guide
Zsolt Romos

Contemporary Sheet Music Exhibition

Bartók Konzi – New Music is running for its eleventh year at the Bartók Conservatory, the training school of the Liszt Academy of Music. As an extracurricular element, the programme aims to broaden the musical horizons of student musicians and prepare them to interpret contemporary music. The organisers are keen to involve as many students as possible in the various events, which will then be presented in a spring project day. The young musicians spend months preparing for these events, which are usually loosely based around a theme.

The Bartók Konzi teachers admit that in their contemporary music courses, they sometimes notice that students are reluctant to learn new works because the notation of the pieces seem visually strange to them. Indeed, creating new sound effects sometimes requires non-traditional instructions, precisely notated by the composer because the set of signs and the vocabulary that had developed by the end of the 19th century is no longer always sufficient. The notations for articulation are therefore often extended with new performance instructions, signs and pictures. As a result, musical notation nowadays, in line with the composers' intentions, also relies on visual effects, sometimes using non-musical, graphic elements to express the experience. One striking consequence of these efforts is that the means of notation of avant-garde works has become quite specific, and today music notation has become a graphic activity in its own right, the music image often rising to the level of fine art. The aim of the exhibition and the lecture, beyond the visual experience, is to demonstrate the use of a kind of ‘contemporary dictionary’ to help understand unique and modern sheet music images.

The exhibition is divided into three 30-minute interactive guided tours, which – in addition to the visual experience – bring visitors closer to the unique and modern score illustrations. The guided tours include computer animations of the exhibited music scores, an insight into the stages of graphic creation, and a chance to listen to excerpts of the music.

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