Viewing Graphic Scores, with GSAPP students

  On Wed 10/3/12, the Music & Arts Library was pleased to welcome two groups of students from the Graduate School or Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), to view a  presentation of a selection of graphic scores from our collections.

Graphic scores are musical scores where the composer has used graphic elements which go beyond conventional musical notation, in representing the musical intentions of the composer. The students were particularly interested in seeing how these musical representations related to diagramming and some of their drawing assignments.


Students were able to browse several scores from our collections, featuring graphic musical notation, ranging from the 14th-century “Belle, Bonne, Sage” by Baude Cordier, in the shape of a heart (reproduced in facsimile, left), to Robert Moran‘s 1965 “L’Apres-midi du Dracoula” (next photo) (one realization of this score can be heard here). Other works on view included pieces by John Cage, Sylvano Bussotti, Robert Ashley, Earle Brown, Pauline Oliveros, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

  We were delighted to have these two groups visit, and love opportunities to show off materials from the collection…

… and, it’s particularly exciting to host groups that are doing interdisciplinary work. Music and sound are overlapping with a lot of other areas, these days.

Thanks, GSAPP students, for stopping by! And, if you’re an instructor or TA interested in having your Columbia class visit, or if you just have further questions or interests in graphic music scores,  don’t hesitate to contact us, at