Musical Instruments as Scores: A Hybrid Approach

The development of new approaches to instrumentality during
the decade of 1960 contributed to the dual perception
of instruments as scores. For many performers, the instrument
became the score of what they played. This artistic
hybridization carries substantial questions about the nature
of our scores and about the relationships among instruments,
performers and musical works. This paper contextualizes
the historical origins of this instrumental development
within Drucker’s theory of performative materiality.
Then we examine the nature and notational scheme of
this type of scores making use of the concept of inherent
score. Finally, through the analysis of two examples (tangible
scores and choreographic objects) and the notions of
affordance and constraint, a compositional framework for
shaping the inherent instrument score is presented.