I’ve noted analogies with tracing and typography in my search for models when using speech melody transcriptions as the basis for pieces of music. Another aspect, which touches on tracing as an approach, is the use of projections – in the case of drawings either using a camera obscura or the more portable camera lucida. Hockney’s thesis is that these devices enabled artists to make drawings that would be difficult to “eyeball”. One might argue that Janáček’s speech melody notations were “earballed” and that it is only with current technology that we finally have the means at hand for accurately depicting speech.
I noted some time back how I found it useful to make an analogy between speech melodies and typography – that speech melody transcriptions might be formed in a way analogous to the shaping of typefaces out of origins in handwritten lettering. Another analogy that might be made, given the strong element of reduction, is between transcriptions and tracing. Andy Warhol made a number drawings, including portraits of Hockney, by tracing over projections of photographs. David Hockney draws attention to some of them in his book Secret Knowledge, pointing out that Warhol’s skill lay in “knowing which lines were the most important.”