Luciano Berio

Abstract scores combine graphics, music

Abstract scores combine graphics, music

It takes a little time to unroll "Scroll," a composition by Baltimore composer Will Redman, since it's on paper that measures 8 feet long, 8 inches wide. It takes even longer to digest.

Although there are four distinct lines of music on the elongated page, indicating at least four players, there's no specification of instruments.

So how do you perform such a piece? Ask Redman and he'll just say: "That's up to you."

There are no clefs, so playing treble or bass notes is also up to you. Except there aren't too many recognizable notes.

The top part of the page, for example, starts with a few inches of a curvy line, like a stock market graph on a...