A Musical Photograph?

We compare William Henry Fox Talbot’s 1835 photographic negative 'Latticed Window (with the Camera Obscura) August 1835' with Richard Beaudoin’s 2009 solo piano work 'Étude d’un Prélude VII -- Latticed Window'. We claim that the score of Beaudoin’s work is a musical photograph of a performance of another musical work, and support the claim by describing their respective photographic and compositional processes, emphasizing the uniqueness of this score in being mechanically counterfactually dependent on its target (a recording of a Chopin prelude performed by Martha Argerich). We then compare Beaudoin’s score with other possible musical photographs, including musical recordings, sonic spectrographs, ordinary musical transcriptions, and typical musical scores. Finally, we consider an argument based on the transparency of photographs.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6245.2011.01503.x
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