The idea of notation implies, if not demands, performance. Virtually any form of writing is a kind of notation and any form of reading is a type of performance.

The idea of notation implies, if not demands, performance. Virtually any form of writing is a kind of notation and any form of reading is a type of performance. Poetry is an intensely physical art, one that activates several senses at once. In aural societies poetry has traditionally been accompanied by facial movement, gesture, manipulation of symbolic objects, the drawing and painting of figures, the wearing of costumes, etc. — all of which, in a tribal context, are read. Poetry still is a physical art using multiple senses: the body as a whole equals or sometimes replaces the voice in performance art, and even silent readers turn pages, move their heads, their eyes, the roots of their tongues if not their tongues and lips, and so forth.

NOTATION AND THE ART OF READING by Karl Young.