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Survey: sketches and music composition

Nov 23 2006 | 11:25 am

Dear composers,

Please find below a questionnaire on composition practices. This survey is meant to study the relation between notation and composition, focusing in particular on the sketches drawn at the early stage of a composition. If you do draw sketches before composing a piece, you are kindly invited to send them attached as an image, along with this questionnaire. Please send your answer to this e-mail address: or fill this questionnaire on the web :

Please forward this questionnaire to any person or list interested in the subject.

A disclaimer follows the questionnaire.

Best regards,
Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut

*Questionnaire: Sketches and Music Composition*

1 -What material did you use at the early stage of the composition ? (i.e. pen & paper, computer, instruments,…)

2 – Where were you when you started? (at your usual desk, in your bed, walking,…)

3 – What was the first representation of the piece? (a vague shape, an organised structure, a process that has nothing to do with visuals, …). If you don’t use representation you can go to question 6.

4 – What do you represent at this stage? (structure, melodic patterns, rhythmic patterns, dynamics, states, events, etc.)

5 – How much details are represented at this stage?

6 – If you didn’t represent anything, how did you think of the piece?

7 – How did the piece evolve from its early stage, did the overall structure remain or did it change?

Questionnaire Disclaimer

You have chosen to complete the Questionnaire: Sketches for music composition.

In order to continue with this questionnaire, your consent is needed. Please read the following information.

By agreeing to participate in this study, you the participant agree to the following questionnaire. You understand that all information will be kept in the strictest confidentiality and anonymity and that your information will only be identifiable by your research identifier which you will complete before answering any questions.

If at anytime you do not wish to complete the questionnaire then please stop doing so.

Having completed the questionnaires you may subsequently withdraw your information by contacting the researcher and quoting your research identifier.

You may also be asked if you would like to participate in further research. If you agree, you will be asked to provide contact details for yourself. This can be an e-mail address, postal address or telephone number.

In this situation replies will not be anonymous as the researcher will have to use the contact medium. However, you are reassured that all replies in this situation will be dealt with confidentially and answers to the questions will be made anonymous as soon as possible via coding procedures.

The researcher agrees to abide by your wishes at all time, and agrees to maintain all replies and correspondence in complete confidentiality and anonymity.

Should you have any queries before proceeding please do not hesitate to contact me. This does not oblige you to complete this questionnaire.

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut
Interaction, Media and Communication Group
Queen Mary, University of London

Tel:+44 (0)207 8825 257

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