TDI-1 Simon Emmerson

TOPIC: ‘what signals the difference between a digital instrument (such as NIME) and a digital score’

This was the first in a series of trans-disciplinary discussions with experts from a range of fields to enhance the theoretical understanding of the digital score. The aim of this series is exploratory and openness so that we expose, rather than close, new insights that help us understand meaning-making in digital score creativity. Prof Simon Emmerson’s starting point was a challenge: ‘what signals the difference between a digital instrument (such as NIME) and a digital score’. Among many invaluable topics and contributions 3 insights emerged as critical:

1) The materiality of the digital score is a crucial element in ‘my’ engagement and understanding of the communicative properties of a digital score

2) The continuum of open vs closed systems is part of the answer to determining what signals the difference between a score and an instrument. Closed = restricted variables and options (e.g. dirty electronics hand-made instrument); open = many variables and options (e.g. a violin)

3) The fundamental stuff of the digital score acting upon our senses. i.e. the digits (1’s and 0’s) can be felt to be operating/ behaving in a digital score, which is meaningful, but it is the interfaces that give me tangible experiences.

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