Non Stop

The Schaeffer Non Stop mobile application invites you to interact with Boguslaw Schaeffer’s graphic score entitled nonstop. Play with the graphic elements of the score by controlling the samples assigned to them. This is you who compose the final shape of the piece!

Intent on departing from the undesired tradition to the full, the avant-garde of the 1950s employed a new notational solution: graphic notation. As explained by Bogusław Schaeffer himself, largely ‘free’ graphic scores only suggest the musical output rather than design or predict it in detail. Musicians willing to execute graphic notation—and not the traditional, note-based one—are therefore expected to display brilliant, surprising imagination. (The score for Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Studie II, with its exact planning of sonic execution, is unusual in this respect). Apart from Schaeffer (and Stockhausen), creators of graphically notated music include, among other composers, John Cage (Atlas Eclipticalis), Sylvano Bussotti (La Passion selon Sade, Five Piano Pieces for David Tudor), Earle Brown (December 1952), Christian Wolff (For 1, 2 or 3 People), and Anestis Logothetis (Pyrifleghethon, Acheron, Kokkytos). For selected scores and more information, see:

The ‘sonification’ of all twenty-four boxes in nonstop (1960), the peculiar graphic score known from numerous exhibitions, is to continue for anywhere between 6 and 480 (!) minutes. As noted by Jadwiga Maria Hodor(Grafiki Bogusława Schaeffera. Sześćdziesięciolecie twórczości kompozytorskiej (The graphical scores of Bogusław Schaeffer. For the 60th jubilee of the composer’s activity), Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, Fundacja Przyjaciół Sztuk AUREA PORTA, 2007) the composer allows any interpretation in terms of pitch, free transposition of chords (derived from how the hand is positioned on the keyboard of the piano, the instrument for which the work was written in the first place), as well as any combination of symbols contained within a single box: each of them may combine with any other. What ultimately determines the outcome is the sum of ‘contaminations’—Schaeffer’s favourite word. Replicating itself in a way, the musical material can be performed over an extended stretch of time with no actual repetition whatsoever.

Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble (‘Musicians Associated’) is a group who specialise in performing new music, founded in 2014 by Kraków-based instrumentalists who had previously shared stage as part of the European Workshop for Contemporary Music and during Darmstadt’s Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. The ensemble comprises:
— Małgorzata Mikulska (flute),
— Tomasz Sowa (clarinet),
— Krzysztof Guńka (saxophone),
— Wiktor Krzak (bassoon),
— Paulina Woś (violin/viola),
— Barbara Mglej (violin/viola),
— Jakub Gucik (cello),
— Michał Lazar (guitar),
— Aleksander Wnuk (percussion),
— Martyna Zakrzewska (piano),
— Piotr Peszat (electronics).
In their hometown of Kraków, the group themselves pursue several educational activities within the field of new music: while instrumental workshops (Workin’ Progress) as well as competitions for young composers (Synchronized) have taken place, what remains the ensemble’s largest-scale pursuit in this domain is the series titled ‘Otwórz Uszy. Tu i Teraz’ (Open Your Ears. Here and Now)—that is, live and illustrated lectures on the most prominent and inspiring artists of, and approaches to, musical composition.

‘What rivets us in Bogusław Schaeffer’s score for nonstop is, in particular, the bus. Everything can combine with anything else, revolving kaleidoscopically in multiple directions to eventually land in one common centre. When we presented the piece onstage, it was the sampler that took this pivotal role—a variation on the traditional keyboard, capable of holding the most diverse tones. The sampler can become a saxophone, a guitar, a violin, a marimba, or even everything at once! But what if the musical chameleon were to face the original instrument? Events on the twenty-four frontlines drove our concert performance of nonstop back in 2017. Now the central keyboard sets out on its further journey, breaking away from the regular blacks and whites to be contained in the device that we are all carrying with us… non-stop. On the sampler: the countless users of smartphones. Playing the instruments: as ever, Spółdzielnia Muzyczna.’


The video presentation of the Schaeffer Non Stop app

Schaeffer Non Stop

Schaeffer Non Stop is a unique mobile application based on one of the most famous graphic scores by Bogusław Schaeffer.

Take a look at the Schaeffer Non Stop app
Bogusław Schaeffer

I compose for myself. Nobody needs my music, because the world is not interested in new music. I also draw for myself, which is therapeutic. My father was a calligrapher. I also thought that handwriting should be clear. Likewise in music. It was my father who established once for all that only lofty and important things are worth talking about.

Aurea Porta - Friends of Art Foundation

The Friends of the Arts AUREA PORTA Foundation was founded in 2001 by Marek Frąckowiak (a schaefferian actor). Krystyna Gierłowska, its creative director, and Ewa Złotowska, its president, with a little help from friends-of-the-Friends-of-the-Arts, continue the work he started, among other things by taking care of Bogusław Schaeffer’s legacy (archive). They host their beloved stakeholders in Marszałkowska street socrealistic district’s premises with a sgraffito terrace.