drumatic – alternative notation for drum sets

»drumatic« is a visual exploration of alternative forms of notation for drum sets. The thought of engaging with this topic originated in my own interest in learning drums which tended to be difficult as I was not well-trained in reading musical scores. Already when I started learning, it seemed hard to link the musical symbols of traditional notation to the sounds of this percussion instrument. As drum sounds are non-pitched sounds I wondered whether there was an alternative or more intuitive way of writing the notes. My research led to different approaches: Firstly, action notation where the performer is instructed by iconic and/or symbolic signs. Secondly, the creation of new notes (symbolic signs) which can immediately be identified and which can ‘coexist’ on the five-lined stave. And thirdly, the description of sounds created with the help of onomatopoetic words and typography. »drumatic« won a Bronze award at the European Design Awards 2010.

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