A composer transcribed his own selfie into music – and it’s really beautiful

26 August 2020, 17:27 | Updated: 26 August 2020, 18:39

By Kyle Macdonald

Composer notates his face, to create a selfie sonata and the ultimate pianistic pout.

Everything is about selfies these days, including classical music – at least according to American composer and music educator John Dante Prevedini.

The composer took a selfie and then set about notating it into a musical score. He placed the contours of the notes across three lines of double-staved piano music to match the contours of his face.

It's as exquisitely simple as that.

Read more: Someone is replacing conductors’ batons with selfie-sticks and it's really something >

Take a look at at score:

Selfie, by John Dante Prevedini
Selfie, by John Dante Prevedini. Picture: John Dante Prevedini

How does it sound?

Using a single mode (with no accidentals or key changes), the piece has a wonderful mood of stillness, contemplation and calm. Just like a relaxed weekend front-facing camera pic in your favourite café. Hear it in the video above.

Graphical representations on scores have quite an interesting history. A 14th-century love song, Chanson Belle Bonne Sage was notated in the shape of a heart. In his passions, some have observed J.S. Bach using the shape of notes to form a symbol of the cross. American composer Geoge Crumb and other composers of the 20th century took visual scores to another level entirely.

John seems to partake in lots of other interesting and inventive projects. You can find more on his Facebook page and website. We love the sound of your smile, John!