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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathAudiovisions
Belle, bonne, sage (Cordier, Baude)Mo-No: Musik zum Lesen (Schnebel, Dieter)

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their new civic freedom had given up their dependence on church functions and princely allowances, thus causing those music genres that could be performed in the home—primarily piano and chamber music played by small ensembles—to become particularly widespread.

So-called ‹eye music,› often exemplified by making reference to works by Johann Sebastian Bach, illustrates how extensively the visual communication of musical structure represents an independent aesthetic level when certain symbolic meanings only become obvious by reading the score. The composer Dieter Schnebel took this thought to the extreme in his book «Mo-No: Music to[2] In the mind of the reader, stimuli to musically appreciate the world of noises and visual text/graphic compositions, which are meant to be taken in by reading alone—mono—and silently, only allow an imagined music to develop out of text and image. Nam June Paik, La Monte Young and George Brecht also composed music for the imagination, which they laid down as so-called «events» in brief textual instructions.


The examination of the specific situations in which music is produced reinforces the diagnosis: Making music also feeds on a variety of visual stimuli—from the flow of reading the score to observing the instrumentalist's motor activity to the gesticulatory coordination of acoustic occurrences amongst several musicians. This continues on the recipient side: The players' gestures and facial expressions convey information to the listeners about context (for example, intended emotion), melody, harmony, and rhythm. The expressive quality of the music—but also the virtuosity demanded of the musician—become more transparent through the visual comprehension of the instrumental performance and supply material that is included in the aesthetic experience and evaluation of music.

Intermediality in Music and Fine Art

Music is clearly an intermedial, above all audiovisual phenomenon to a much larger extent than one might spontaneously believe—more extensively than can be said for fine art. A remark made by Marcel Duchamp provides further explanation: «On peut regarder voir,

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