Graphic Notation

Translating Sound into Symbols

Dec 4, 2023

Flyer design by Caroline Partamian

Event Details

Schedule: Monday, December 4, 2023, 6:00pm–8:00pm ET

Capacity: 30

Fee: 18

Location: Virtual

Note: This event has passed


This workshop provides a foundational understanding of graphic notation as a compositional tool. Unlike traditional musical notation, graphic notation uses images, abstract symbols, illustration, and text to convey meaning in linear and non-linear forms. This approach offers more openness to the composer and gives performers flexibility to interpret musical scores.

Led by sound and visual artist Caroline Partamian, participants will learn different ways to visually represent timbre, pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and other sonic qualities. Together we will engage with works by John Cage, Daphne Oram, Iannis Xenakis Brian Eno, Cathy Berberian, and Halim El-Dabh.

Through hands-on exercises, we will create our own graphic scores. Participants will have the opportunity to share their visual compositions on Soundial’s platforms.

All levels of experience and artists from various disciplines are welcome.

Daphne Oram demonstrates the Oramics Machine, which she co-designed in between 1962 and 1968. The Oramics Machine enabled Oram to synthesize and sequence sound by painting lines and other marks on glass and film strip. Learn more:

Materials & Software Requirements

• Computer with Zoom software installed

• Blank notebook

• Drawing Supplies: Pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, and/or oil pastels

Please email us at with any questions about the materials list

Instructor Bio

Caroline Partamian is a sound and visual artist influenced by her training in dance. She works closely with the concept of abreaction—the extraction of dormant memory stored within a muscle, resurfaced through physical movement, of which an individual was previously unaware. By focusing on the process rather than anticipated result, her work encourages what can be revealed when one becomes conscious of their kinetic movement in the process of creation.

Her work has taken on the form of compositions, graphic notations, sound environments, books, video, and more. She has shown work at ISSUE Project Room, BoxoPROJECTS, Marfa Open, Wassaic Project, Otion Front, Flux Factory, Anthology Film Archives, Babycastles, Compound Yucca Valley, and more.

She co-founded Other Desert Radio, an experimental community-based radio station in the California high desert. She also runs a small publishing press, Weird Babes, in the form of zines and prints featuring artists' and her own works-in-progress and experiments. She is also the co-founder of the Armenian Creatives group who celebrate the multiplicity of diasporic histories and modes of navigating identities via gatherings and publications.

Caroline's website and instagram

Cancellation Policy

Ticket holders have the option to cancel their reservations and receive a full refund if they do so at least 48 hours before the event starts. However, please note that any cancellation requests made within 48 hours of the event start time or after the event has already begun will not be honored.

If you're unable to attend but have a friend who'd love to take your spot, you can transfer your reservation to them before the class begins.

To request a cancellation, please send an email to hi(at) with the subject line "Cancellation Request." In the email, include the following info:

• Your full name

• Date and time of the scheduled event

For eligible cancellation requests, we will initiate a refund to the original payment method used during registration. Please allow a processing time of 5-10 days for the refund to be processed.

Soundial reserves the right to cancel or reschedule events if necessary. Despite our best efforts, unforeseen circumstances such as technical issues or unavailability of instructors may arise, requiring adjustments to the event schedule. We will make every effort to notify you promptly and provide alternative options or refunds as needed.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in these situations!

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