Soune Notation

Kettling, 2013
Drömspelet, 2021
Nomictic Solutions, 2018
Nomictic Solutions, 2018


Soune (old English for “to sound”, or Sound + Line)

Already for years, Miika Hyytiäinen has worked on Soune graphic notation to write and communicate embodied, intuitive, colourful and emotional music.

The first version of the Soune graphic notation was created by Hyytiäinen in 2013 for the opera “La Fig- ure de la Terre”. Already here, the need was crowing directly from the needs of the musical dramaturgy. The opera consists of two musical poles: a scientific worldview of the Enlightenment, described by Baroque music quotes on the one hand, and embodied life associated with quotes from Nordic folk music. Later on, Hyytiäinen and some of his students used this notation in dozens of pieces for different notation, including strings, winds and even small mixed orchestras. Although no re- search has been done on the efficiency of reading Soune, it is generally considered quick to read and especially learn by heart after the short learning period.

In December 2023, Soune is presented in Graphème – Volume 3, a publication for experimental music scores, published by Smallest functional unit.

Reading and writing Soune 

You read the score from left to right, in a steady tempo indicated in the score (for example, one page equals 15 or 30 seconds). 
You read the pitch vertically. Typically the in relation to the registers of your voice or instrument, or the open strings. Pitches aren’t absolute (unless needed for specific sections in relation to other sound).
The darker bottom line indicates the melody to be sung or played, the thickness (using different colors) indicates the dynamic to be used.
Colors have different meanings for different instruments. For the use in the voice, see below.

Some works composed with Soune