Certain associations can become attached to music. That is the lesson of intertextuality. In recent years, topical analysis has appealed to many musicians whose toleration of musical semiotics does not extend beyond the self-referential or, in other words, beyond music qua music Eero Tarasti is a notable exception. There may be token remarks about the socially constituted character of topoi, but social content is quickly dissolved into form for the analysis to proceed.
In the book before you, my commitment is to social semiotics, not to semiotics as a means of demonstrating musical-theoretical positions divorced from social meaning. The reader will no doubt find that my concerns differ here and there from those of the preceding authors, that I make different emphases, and that I have taken up either more extreme or less extreme theoretical positions. An overv iew To conclude this introduction, I will allude briefly to the chapters that follow and try to underline what is new or distinct about some of the positions I am adopting.
Each successive chapter considers the workings of a particular relationship between ideology and musical style. My intention is to illustrate my current understanding of how musical styles construct ideas of class, sexuality, and ethnic identity. In doing so, I am concerned to demonstrate how such constructions relate to particular stylistic codes in particular historical contexts.
The book is divided into four parts that present the chapters in related pairs. My argument, here, is that music does not act as a simple channel through which ideology is mediated and can therefore be renegotiated. For example, it is not a straightforward matter to negotiate different expressions of sexuality in music; a representation of sexu-. The past ten years have witnessed a wide-ranging debate about the feminine and masculine in music, particularly as it relates to social issues such as public and private performance and to compositional matters such as gendered themes or gendered conflict in sonata form movements.
Part II explores the workings of ideology in relation to popular music and, in so doing, underlines the resistance of postmodern theory to the metaphysical spell of a universal aesthetic. Having tackled issues of gender and sexuality and the relationship between them and musical style, I now consider ethnicity for the first time.
The emphasis on the popular sharpens the argument, because this kind of representation needs to be widely understood and easily assimilated in order for it to be popular. The ideology embedded in the way the American Indian is represented tells us, predictably, about the attitudes of the person who stands outside Native American culture. Defenses of the popular that relate its value to its historical context often provoke the question: How is it to be valued once its historic moment has passed?
To this end, it explores qualitative issues in British dance band music. A critique of musical style needs to take account of incongruity between styles. For instance, what is admired as good singing in one style may not be so perceived in another. Part II is the popular counterpart to part IV. Part III presents two case studies to explore the ideology embedded in representations of two concepts that are themselves conjoined in a binary opposition, the sacred and profane. It becomes clear, however, that he often makes musical choices with reference to Christian religious discourse and thus for ideological rather than structural reasons.
Do demonic elements appear even where Liszt has not chosen to indicate their presence by title? In the eighteenth century, the demonic topos is found, most famously, in the music of Mozart. In the music of Liszt, demonic topoi abound and a typology of the demonic becomes necessary. I contend that the primary demonic technique for Liszt is that of negation: negation of the beautiful,.
The secondary technique is parody, though qualities are often negated and parodied or mocked at the same time. There is a sense that the demonic is not just evil but gleefully evil. The fourth and final part of the book tackles the issue of ideology and cultural otherness. This chapter explores a variety of questions that concern the impact of Orientalist ideology on Western music. Is there any consistency to be found in the way non-Western cultures have been represented?
- The Unwanted Christmas Gift: A Musical Present Which Changed A Mans Life;
- Bridge Games (Coming Together: Neat Book 7).
- Leave a comment;
- Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation.
- Join Kobo & start eReading today;
Is it often only the exotic, or the cultural Other, that is signified rather than a particular ethnic musical practice? When did these styles become recognizable? Once established, did they perpetuate themselves as musical discursive codes in which a musical text of the East replaced the actual East? Is there a change in representations of nonWestern cultures that can be related to the growth of Western nationalism and imperialism? However, the lack of identification of the black African with an Orientalist style is explained by the association of black people with African-American music making.
In the early decades of the twentieth century, the African becomes represented in and by jazz.
Consideration is given to the social and ethnic connotations of references to African-American styles in these pieces. The broader European social context—modernity, the alienated creative artist, and cosmopolitanism—is also found to be important. The chapter dis-. It goes on to explore the use of jazz-influenced styles as satiric weapons and, finally, discusses the misconceptions of African-American music making that were widespread among European composers of this period.
It will be obvious from this overview of my chapters that the kinds of broad arguments I am making rely for their persuasiveness on a considerable amount of supporting evidence. On top of this, I am aware how easily a detailed analysis or close reading tends to become fixated on musical structure rather than on historicizing musical discourse.
To the reader who bemoans the plethora of examples, I will simply say that where I have felt that they merely lend additional weight to rather than deepen my argument I have consigned them to the notes. There they may be savored or ignored at will. Representations of sexuality in music are not restricted to eroticism; it would be possible to devote an essay to a discussion of how musical representations of masculine and feminine laughter differ or to a comparison of masculine and feminine grief. However, I have chosen eroticism—if that is not too strong a word to describe my Victorian examples—because it offers such clear examples of how gender difference is constructed in music.
What we find, here, are disjunctions in representation rather than any kind of universals or constants that can be traced through the changes brought about by an autonomous evolution or progress of a Western musical language. There is certainly no progress to be discovered in the way eroticism has been depicted in music: representations of eroticism in contemporary music are not more real now than they were in the seventeenth century. The fact that the latter can seem cool or alien to us today points to the way sexuality has been constructed in relation to particular stylistic codes in particular historical contexts and is therefore cultural rather than natural.
It may be accepted already that everyday notions of sexuality are socially constructed rather than a reflection of the natural world. In other words, sexual ideology cannot be straightforwardly renegotiated in music, because a representation of sexuality in music has to relate to the pregiven code of the particular musical style within which it is articulated. Certain popular musical styles, however, have sometimes been treated as if they had arisen from attempts to negotiate differing expressions of sexuality in music.
You may feel convinced that something is a reflection of reality if, in Althusserian terms, its ideological character interpellates you as a subject that is, calls out to you in a manner that makes whatever it is appear obvious to you ,6 but history has a way of slowly revealing the ideological character of representations.
How does a composer represent sexuality? How does a performer convey sexuality? How does a listener interpret sexuality for example, interpret a performance as erotic or interpret a composition as erotic? Taking the case of eroticism and music, we can see how the possibilities and complexities of this relationship increase as we move from one to another of the preceding questions. The performer, it must be emphasized, is a complex communicative channel. Susan Cusick has demonstrated how the ideas of Josephine Butler, that in our everyday life we engage in performances of sex and gender, may be applied to the performance of music.
Sheila Whiteley, also indebted to Butler, has described k. Sexual discourse in the baro que er a The present study of representations of eroticism begins in the seventeenth century. Although the sixteenth century was not lacking in ability to represent affective states, as the Netherlands motet shows,14 it was in seventeenth-century music that a stile rappresentativo was consciously established. For example, in the.
That was done, in spite of its impact on the sound of the music sometimes inverting dissonances, for example , in order to conform to audience expectations of male operatic sexuality. Producers of this opera found themselves in a very different position from that of those working with Wagnerian music drama, where it was accepted that eroticism would be recognized in the music, if not in the performer. Since this duet is now thought not to be by Monteverdi, though it was once readily accepted as such, it serves all the better to illustrate musical conventions which are in themselves ideological constructs , since there is less likelihood of our being sidetracked into questions of individual artistic genius.
Moreover, as Margaret Murata has argued, there was something of an oral character to Western seventeenth-century music, evidenced by its common pool of musical materials. Was it intended to sound unnatural, in the sense of befitting a god or someone more than ordinarily human? At every point where we anticipate closure, the line continues; it is as if she is clinging on to Caesar and allowing him no opportunity to escape. The instrumentation is unusual: it includes a harp, which may be regarded as a substitute for the lyre, the instrument of the erotic muse, Erato.
Poppea has the rhetorical skills of the courtesan, Cleopatra the rhetorical skill of the sovereign. As advised earlier, however, we need to take performance into consideration. This ballad offers itself as a possible vehicle for drawing-room flirtation behind a mask of Arcadian otherness, just as at Vauxhall the songs of nymphs and shepherds subtly underlined from a respectful distance the use of the pleasure gardens for courtship. The question we have to leave in abeyance, though it is one that Lawrence Kramer has attempted to answer, is how far male samesex desire in the nineteenth century might have encouraged an identification with the position of the female singing to the beloved male.
The answer is that her song can also be interpreted as being about two children, which makes the raising of objections embarrassing. A vigorous rhythm on alternating tonics and dominants would have associations with such things as timpani parts in martial music; it would connote power and boldness, activity rather than passivity, in other words masculinity rather than femininity. Yet was it appropriate for a Victorian woman composer to write this kind of music?
It is surely significant that this development in aesthetics coincides with the emergence of a scientia sexualis. Suffice it to say, here, that the feminine in music was charming, sweet, delicate, and sensitive and that women songwriters were expected to produce work that was pretty, charming, and either simple or, if not, decorative rather than complex or learned. It is composed by a woman, but its gendered musical style is masculine: it characterizes the male in love, not the female in love. The ability to reproduce only, rather than originate, was held to be a peculiarity of the female mind.
The musical style that represents a jilted male or a male pleading with the female object of his desire is similarly gendered. A remarkable deconstructive strategy and, if it did not actually happen, there is still a lesson to be learned. It is difficult today to understand how easy it would have been for a woman to make this song sound indecent, something that would have been accomplished effortlessly then. The crucial point is that its musical style conforms to a Victorian representation of virile masculine sexuality.
And yet the song amuses now, especially the conclusion, thus providing another example of disjunction in representational codes and the all-important specificity of the sociocultural contexts within which their meanings are construed. These three are not the only possible erotic stereotypes of female sexuality, of course, but they were the ones favored in the United States at this time. A stereotype is a representation that is repeated as if it were natural, or a known constant. We cannot be sure which is imitating which—an ambiguity of considerable.
There are elements of sadomasochism present: the record concludes with a resounding slap as she fights off the libidinous Mr. Hemingway while throughout the song we hear clear signs of her excitement at his presence. Mae West and others who played the predatory stereotype appropriated the smears, bent notes, and growling plunger-mute effects of the Cotton Club in Harlem.
Hence, associations of the wild and the primitive pass over to the singer who utilizes these devices. Then, becoming associated with representations of wild, predatory female sexuality, these effects which are now heard as female cries, purrs, moans, groans, and breathless gasps can return as a highly charged yet nonvocal musical eroticism.
There is no sense, of course, in which one is really sexier than the other; each encodes eroticism in a different way and for a different function.
Strauss is drawn to the waltz as the sexiest of music, a reputation it continued to hold in Vienna for some years after the production of Salome. It is perhaps difficult for some to accept that sexy music is not sexy in itself but only in relation to its cultural and historical context, but the examples in this chapter indicate that this is so.
It is surely significant that Larkin mentions the Beatles in the poem cited earlier. These performances were. As we noted earlier, however, Cliff Edwards in imitating her only ever had the option, as a man, of sounding unreal. It seems that representations of male and female sexuality can occupy the same territory only when one or the other of them is the camp version.
Furthermore, camp is not something that is produced only when a man behaves like a woman; a woman may turn a representation of femininity into camp. Things do not work so easily between man and woman, or between any sexual partners for that matter. It would be seen, rather, as a dividing effect created by learning difference as gender difference.
The difference between this and the case of Mae West and Cliff Edwards is that performances by the last two were contemporaneous, whereas Lennox was quoting a style of representation that had become historic. It is the historic character of her quotation that makes it an example of the playing with signs that is a feature of postmodernism. The other typical feature of the postmodern which Lennox and Madonna both seem aware of is that it is double-coded: on the one hand, the quotation serves to inscribe, but on the other hand, the sense of parody or self-consciousness about the quotation serves to subvert.
It may indeed be complicitous with the values it inscribes as well as subverts, but the subversion is still there. Contemporary social theory, domestic sphere ideology, the new scientia sexualis, and aesthetics of the sublime and the beautiful ensured that certain musical styles were considered unsuitable or even unnatural for women composers. Female creativity was also denied or inhibited by educational and socioeconomic pressures born of ideological assumptions. Men, too, were affected by the sexual politics of the age, because the supposed revelation of biological truths in music meant that the presence of feminine qualities in their compositions could lead to invidious comparison with the less elevated output of women.
Questions about the nature of music, its purpose, and whether it had a predominantly masculine or feminine character occupied the thoughts of many Victorians. Around midcentury, explanations were being sought for the large number of women among the institutionalized insane. I have known some young women, and know of many more, who were quicker and surer in the study of harmony and counterpoint than most men. If it be objected that there are few women composers, I. Women composers lacked the encouragement of both concert opportunity and academic recognition.
Women as musicians For women, musical performance was regarded as an accomplishment not an art requiring mental effort. Leppert notes that in postbellum America sewing machines and pianos were often bought from the same retailer. Marcia Citron has stressed the importance of the salon for women, but as professionalism increased, there was an attendant decline in the salon music making, and professionalism, as Citron has shown, created a whole range of problems for women. True, one who sits aloft in the critical chair, has nothing to do with such sublunary matters, but if folks will raise their lorgnettes at such little gear, we must needs report the truth, and so there is an end of the matter.
- Product Details.
- Carrying a Concealed Handgun.
- Search for Articles by Author.
- Recent Posts.
- The History of Herodotus - Volume 1 and 2 (Illustrated, Annotated).
Needless to say, the three men were not subjected to any such commentary. Presuming, however, that they intend to challenge a public verdict upon their performance, it is a question whether, with a band of such powerful attraction, we can hope to secure perfectly independent critics. Not every member of this orchestra was a woman, but the majority were twenty out of twenty-five , though the leader was male Mr.
There is the organ also. At one time it was considered unlady-like to play it. But there must surely be less to remark upon in a lady playing the organ than in turning the levers of a tricycle, as we may see them doing constantly in the streets. Music and femininit y Worries about the effeminacy of music were already present in the eighteenth century, as Richard Leppert has shown. He was asked questions about his largely unsuccessful attempts to encourage the study of music at his school where it was not an official subject.
And there would be no laughing at them by the rest of the boys? Do you think there are many boys who care as volunteers about learning music in the school? A little later, H. There is, in fact, a painting titled Music by Frederick Leighton c. Schubert is a more feminine character compared to the other; far more loquacious, softer, broader; compared to Beethoven he is a child, sporting happily among the giants. Whatever the gender ideology here, it is evident that Schumann is speaking metaphorically—note that he also uses a childhood metaphor—and this is made clear when he modifies his pronouncements: To be sure, he brings in his powerful passages, and works in masses; and still he is more feminine than masculine, for he pleads and persuades where the man commands.
But all this merely in comparison with Beethoven; compared to others, he is masculine. Now what Schubert is wanting in is just this sustained strength and comprehensive thought. Today, when we recognize masculinities and femininities as culturally constructed pluralities, we could perhaps interpret sonata form conflict, particularly of the nineteenth-century variety, in terms of a dominant masculine code and a sexual otherness. This remains problematic, since feminine connotations of certain musical material undoubtedly existed; yet a gay composer might feel inclined to identify with such material in its struggle against another kind of material that was assured of dominance, especially when a self-association with the latter necessitated an identification with hegemonic normalcy.
We can scarcely doubt but that many of those simple, touching, heart-breaking melodies and poems that have descended to us, were created by women. A version of this article60 was skittishly reviewed by Niecks, whose views on Schubert have already been referred to. The preceding sentiments elicited the following response: This is very probable, and yet how strange again that in the songliterature one meets with no touching and heart-breaking melodies composed by women—at least not heart-breaking in the sense of the authoress.
Surely no one will wonder at my denying these epithets to the melodies of the female composers who have made themselves a name as song-writers! The idea that if female creativity existed at all, it existed in a separate feminine sphere had become commonplace in the next decade. Moreover, we have seen that what constituted masculinity and femininity in music originated in metaphors; and so, when women composers were being told to express their femininity in music, they were really being asked to offer evidence that these metaphorical and therefore ideological representations of femininity were, in fact, biological truths.
Eustace J. The sublime and the beautiful Nineteenth-century aesthetics tended to bifurcate into theories of the sublime which was typified by qualities such as the awesome, solemn, pathetic, colossal, lofty, and majestic and the beautiful typified by qualities of the graceful, charming, delicate, playful, and pretty. Longinus was concerned with the power of rhetoric to express grand ideas that create an intense, emotional response. Though the beautiful and sublime may be found united, they are distinct qualities.
So, even at this date, it is obvious that the sublime is not going to be an option for women, although the beautiful clearly has possibilities. Some of the features Niecks picks out are fine sensitiveness, delicacy of feeling, ready sympathy, acute observation—especially of little things that are nearest and dearest—occasional outbursts of power, short glimpses of far-reaching vision, and, along with this, a languid dreaming This is how Crotch describes the beautiful in music: The melody is vocal and flowing, the measure symmetrical, the harmony simple and intelligible, and the style of the whole soft, delicate, and sweet.
Surely the sublime, as requiring most mind in the person gratified and in the author of the gratification. His ideas are larger, the thought is deeper, the outlines are grander, and the mind with which they are imbued is loftier. It would seem. The words, written by Claribel herself, concern children praying, a suitably feminine subject, since the moral education of the young was a womanly duty see Ex.
Miss M. Miss Lindsay90 was the first woman to make a success of composing sacred songs of this type, songs that adapted example 2. This was about as serious as a woman composer could be without being thought disloyal to her femininity. The present example adopts the rum-ti-tum 68 meter and repeatednote style of melody of a bucolic patter song in comic opera see Ex. Blackwood wrote the words as well as the music, and it may seem remarkable that, as an intelligent woman, probably the recipient of similar barbed comments herself, she could not resist such ideology.
Yet we have to consider how long it was before a woman was able to find a way of being funny in public on the subject of women other than at her own expense. Humor in drawing-room ballads reinforced ideologies of both class and gender. None of these five ballads transgress codes of femininity. Let Me like a Soldier Fall. However, I would contend that the use of sonata form for a song tends to feminize that form by giving emphasis to the second subject.
This happens if verse and refrain form is suggested, with the second subject cast in the important role of refrain tune even where the poem does not itself fall. A song in sonata form has a tendency to create this impression, because lyricism is as much an established characteristic of a second subject as it is of a refrain melody. Freed from service to the Will, the composer could write music that was an objectification of the Will, fit for aesthetic contemplation.
In woman they are the dominating element, and so long as they are dominant she absorbs music. These are the features that delineate an aesthetic domain of potent, monumental masculinity. I am not concerned here with moments of Kantian epistemological transcendence where these masculine features have been transformed into a desexualized sublime. Yet no sooner have we begun to register the tempo and make the necessary masculine associations than we are held in suspense.
What follows is thrice unexpected: first, because we cannot anticipate its arrival because of the pause ; second, because it is not the tonic chord that we anticipate after hearing the dominant seventh; and third, because the dynamic level is fortissimo in sudden contrast to the previous piano see Ex. The bass clef was thought of as a uniquely masculine domain, for whereas men were taught both treble and bass clefs in training colleges, women were taught only the treble.
This last effect occurs again at example 2. Let us now consider what aesthetic theorists from the British tradition have to say about effects like these. Here we find a similar use of a pause to ensure and enhance the unexpected. Note how the second pause in the opening bars arrives after the note has already been held for the duration of a minim and, therefore, since this note is held longer than the previous pause note, the listener is prevented from predicting the beginning of the next bar.
We also find an unexpected change of dynamic in this bar. Furthermore, in this movement there are many crescendi, some unusually long for the date of its composition, and there is a general thickness of texture: indeed, the function of the wind and brass instruments is, for the most part, to thicken the orchestral texture. But for you I might not have been able to tackle Saint Joan, who has floored every previous playwright. Your music is more masculine than Handel. At the same time, just as it was posited that for Schubert a disinclination to identify with normative masculinity might have urged him toward musical devices that had feminine connotations, it could now be sug-.
That the power relations embedded in nineteenth-century sexual discourse gave rise to gendered discursive codes in music is evidence that music should not be considered in isolation from the political arena. The biological arguments about masculinity and femininity in music did not disappear in the twentieth century. The opinions just cited, for example, need to be considered alongside a discussion of the impact of women having taken over male roles when they did the work of those who had been sent to the front during the First World War.
Berkhofer: That the idea of the Indian originated and continues up to the present as a White image poses major dilemmas for modern Whites as well as for Native Americans. Through continued use of the term Indian, does the present-day White still subscribe to past stereotype? In addition to these words of caution, I should warn the reader that my title is ambiguous, since my focus for most of this chapter is not on Native American performers of popular music. That is often not the case.
Moreover, these copies of a nonreality, it must be emphasized, became reality. Early representat ions No obvious musical signs of difference accompany the earliest appearances of Native Americans in Western music. Interestingly, these examples show a reverse of later Orientalist representational convention, since it is the Self that is feminized here rather than the ethnic Other. He makes some attempt to match the ethnic origins of certain characters to suitable music. Here, as is often the case in Orientalist representations, the higher orders are less marked, if at all, by signs of the Other.
As applied to the Native American, the Noble Savage trope, despite a few earlier instances, really belongs to the first half of the nineteenth century. Michael V. They were largely of the Noble Savage type. Alongside this, it should be noted that Pres. The 68 meter is a pastoral convention; the only suggestions of the Other, musically, appear in the leaping intervals of the excerpt quoted earlier, and in an earlier vigorous rhythm in the accompaniment—though that could also suggest agitation or the white man in pursuit see Ex.
In the next decade this stereotype was supplanted by that of the Bloodthirsty Savage. Influential in the construction of this image were the tales of brutality circulated by frontiersmen who, of course, had a vested interest in persuading the government to remove any obstacles to their push westward. The Indians in this ballad attack wagon trains for the sheer hell of it,35 they are merciless, and they whoop and yell.
An important distinction for stereotyping is made: cowboys have guns and Indians have bows and arrows, although for an unexplained reason the Sioux Chief has a gun. The song is in the Aeolian mode, which was to become a favorite signifier for Indian melody see Ex. Here it is uncertain whether any attempt is being made to present a melody of Indian character, since the Aeolian mode is also common in folk ballads.
However, it is important to stress that even where such an intention exists, what we are given is usually a simulacrum, a copy of an Indian melody that does not exist, rather than a pseudo-Indian melody. When that kind of melody is recognized as Indian, it is recognized from familiarity with such simulacra alone, not from familiarity with Native American music. From disappear ing peoples to eco-war r iors In the early twentieth century, the perception that the American Indian was disappearing encouraged, in some quarters, a nostalgic return to the Noble Savage trope.
It is an irony that Indians only acquired legal status as American citizens the year before the film was released, when many people presumed them to be disappearing. Now it was a matter of providing the Indian with paternalistic care. They live in a mystic world of enchantment peopled by spirits, voices, music, whisperings of God, eternal and everlasting immortality.
They are as simple as little children. A feature of this song that was to prove common was that the verse rather than refrain plays the larger role in signifying the Other. It is important to remember that meanings arise from the interrelations of signs; that is how we recognize this dance piece as a representation of American Indians. It was, after all, merely a novelty item: one of its two composers, S.
This was not the only occasion on which ballroom dancing was given an Indian dimension. The last bar of the musical example introduces a minor chord with a major sixth added above its root; just before the coda, this same dissonant harmony is pounded out see Ex. This chord is also an Indian signifier, example 3. Sidney D. It is a demonstration that musical signs, cuckoo calls aside, share the arbitrary character of linguistic signs, since this chord has acquired its connotations only through use in Indian pieces of a similar stylistic code.
This can even be the case when the Indian signifier is derived from Native American musical practice. The way example 3. Furthermore, its prominent tritone can easily be interpreted as a conventional marker for evil—an illustration that even if material is incorporated from a Native American practice, its meaning may still be interpreted in terms of white Western cultural experience. For most of the time the semiotics of the film are at the basic level of pounding drums signifying Indians and raucous bugles signifying cavalry.
The impact of Hollywood film scores is seen in the expanded number of signs for Indians and the consistency with which they are used in popular songs. However, the old signs continue to exercise their attraction. Therefore, to compensate, we are given eight-to-the-bar tom-tom drumming, which would have made a considerable impact since drums were not a feature of Nashville country music at this time.
The move from verse to refrain is accompanied by a shift to the major key and the adoption of a full-blown county style. This contrast finds an appropriate match in the lyrics: the verses narrate, apparently sympathetically; the refrain comments scornfully. The eight-to-the-bar tom-tom. This song stands as a warning to those who would seek to find a correspondence between some of its features and actual Native American musical practices.
Signs for Indians had become so well established by the second half of the twentieth century that there was no difficulty separating friend from foe even in instrumentals. The stereotypical Indian enemy was the Apache, despite the fact that there was never a single political, geographical, or tribal group of this name, only a variety of nomadic families, some of whom banded together.
It is heard in the twangy guitar and sections in galloping rhythm—both wellestablished signifiers for cowboys. Three and a half million war posters carried the picture, and it was also put on three-cent stamps. Unfortunately, this image can prove no less dehumanizing and also has a tendency to imply that Native Americans are unable to cope with the grim practicalities of modern life.
How shocking it is for some to see litter lying around on a modern reservation! A book that had an impact on awareness about what modern society was doing to the earth and, at the same time, established a firm link between Native Americans and environmentalism followed soon after; it was God Is Red by Sioux scholar Vine Deloria, Jr.
A perhaps surprising sympathy has been shown for the plight of the Native American within the genre of Heavy Metal. The Iron Maiden song is notable for its adoption of two different enunciating subjects: the first two verses are given as if issuing from the mouth of a Cree singer, but then the viewpoint shifts to that of an onlooker who vents anger. There appeared to be a widespread readiness to believe that a cognitive understanding of the meaning of the chants contained within its washes of atmospheric synthesized sounds was unnecessary, that one could understand them intuitively as a kind of nonrational communion with nature.
That description is not without a certain logic, because the chant is packaged to be consumed as linguistically meaningless. The excerpt of chant played in the advertisement prompts no debate about logocentrism; it is, indeed, to be accepted as an instrumental. These Native Americans are producing sounds without meaning, thus signifying their closeness to the earth by identifying with nature rather than discursive meaning. Even in Dances with Wolves there is a contradiction in the way the Pawnee are represented, compared to the Sioux it carries a suggestion of bad Indian, good Indian.
The favorite image, however, is the Indian as eco-warrior, the specifics of tribe, time, and place being of no great concern. There has always existed a diversity of regional cultures, many of which not only survived the twentieth century but also have entered the twenty-first century revitalized. Native American cultures are not museum relics; they are living and changing. In the economic sphere, one could point to the phenomenon of the Indian casino, an institution that flourishes as a result of reservations being exempt from state laws on gambling.
Today Native American musicians will be found performing in all popular styles or fusing them with their own traditions. Some examples may be mentioned: Bill Miller with his country style, the jazz-influenced wooden flautist R. Carlos Nakai, Redbone with their Cajun style, the folky singer-guitarist Sharon Burch, the rappers WithOut Rezervation, Walela with their gospellike style, the Latin-influenced trio Burning Sky, and the internationally esteemed Joanne Shenandoah, who mixes pop, country, and traditional in the songs she writes and performs.
It should not be thought that the incorporation of traditional elements serves merely to provide a spicy ethnicity to otherwise familiar idioms. I have been reserving discussion of Buffy Sainte-Marie, one of the pioneers of fusion between folk, pop, and Native American musical practices, in order to collect some final thoughts together.
She did, of course, write the. Even carnivalesque inversions enlighten us only about the persons whose values are being inverted, rather than offering an insight into the culturally alien. The Buffy Sainte-Marie song just cited succeeds, I think, in communicating a deeper awareness of the cultural energy of those she identifies with as her people. Listeners with a white Western cultural background will, of course, hear it as a Western popular song that embodies difference. Instead, it offers a positive insight into a different culture—a culture that, paradoxically, also happens to be Western.
Rendez-vous à Bray (Rendezvous at Bray) (1976 review)
Do they represent a golden age in quantity rather than quality? Is it possible to construct criteria for deciding what is good and bad in music whose social moment has passed? Perhaps, in this particular case, the answer is that such things as humor and sentimentality are very period-specific; they quickly become dated, and so an old record often seems to lend insight into the way people felt at a specific time that, being past, in turn evokes nostalgia and a feeling of empathy with those whose lifetimes preceded our own.
At the same time, it must be acknowledged that when we respond in such a manner the meaning of the music to us differs from its meaning to its original listeners—a neat illustration that history and aesthetics are not mutually exclusive categories. Is it at all possible, then, to take any steps toward finding answers to the preceding questions in the current relativistic climate, or can we speak only of differences rather than aesthetic values?
The second can be countered by considering matters of incongruity. Incongruity is produced as the effect of conflict between stylistic codes, so that the conventional meanings of these codes are negated or thwarted. Alternatively, one might say that incongruity results when predictability is avoided by unstylish means.
This may be unintentional and therefore likely to produce purposeless conflict or confusion of meaning or premeditated conflict, as is the case with parody, where a clash of codes is used deliberately so as to provoke critical awareness of style. Incong ruous mixing of st yles By the turn of the twentieth century, Britain had long adopted a European classical perspective on what constituted qualitative norms in music and was restaking its own claims as a major player in this field with composers such as Elgar, Holst, and Vaughan Williams.
Moreover, there was a history of importing elite French, Italian, and German music to satisfy the tastes of the English, Scottish, and Anglo-Irish aristocracy. An immediate way in which the contradictory welcome given to popular music from the United States becomes apparent is in the urge to mix elite and popular styles. What does it tell us about style? Is it not simply good singing? Dance band songs have their own range of associated vocal techniques that are not found in elite music—scatting, growling both pioneered by Louis Armstrong , speaking, whistling, whispering, crooning, yodeling, and smearing or bend-.
The classical listener may accuse the dance band singer of unclear vowels, exaggerated vibrato, insincere accent, nasal production, and so forth, in the mistaken belief that excellence is to be attained by adopting classical practices. However, a musical style is a discursive code that has developed from the solidification of conventions, and although it may be subject to further development and change, that process cannot be achieved by rupturing, negating, or contradicting its most important and defining attributes.
This is a stylistic hybrid that returns periodically as a fusion that seems possible and, indeed, desirable to some. The dividing line between the military band repertoire and that of the dance band or the light orchestra was not sharply drawn. In classical style, where balancing sound is a matter for composers, not studio producers, such a voice tone would sound incongruous and suggest an artificial remedy had been sought for a lack of projection techniques.
Crooning worked well for records, since it added to the intimacy of a musical commodity that could be consumed personally and privately in the home. The individual identity of singers was deemed relatively unimportant until Al Bowlly built a following of admirers. Recording technology was most notably exploited in matters of balance: only with the arrival of the microphone was the double bass able to replace the tuba, the former being all but inaudible on acoustic recordings. Recording technology could be used to create novel effects.
Evidence for this is given by the common practice of releasing simultaneously different band arrangements of new songs: consumers were expected to buy the interpretation they preferred. This, in turn, gave rise to the practice of releasing budget-price recordings that closely copied an existing record, rather than offering an alternative interpretation. The so cio cultur al context of dance band music Since the problems of incongruity outlined earlier are as much involved with the historical and social context of the production of dance band music as with its technical features, we should seek to understand what was peculiar about the cultural context in which this new music emerged and estab-.
Furthermore, the psychological effect of being born near the start of the new century must have contributed to a sense of difference. A distinctive generation, therefore, was ready to identify with a distinctive and, in many ways, consciously oppositional music.
Perhaps this explains why dance music, unlike the music hall, succeeded in winning over a large fraction of the middle and upper classes. In consequence, a figure such as Ambrose acted as a symbol of a broad class alliance, which stretched from the wealthy clientele of the Mayfair Hotel see Fig. Dole and the means test had been the fate of many after the First World War, and consequently the emotional temperature of the United Kingdom was running high. Predic tabilit y of repertoire and perfor mance The repertoire of some bands was more predictable than others.
Accordion bands were inevitably drawn towards tangos, just as banjo bands found the blackface minstrel repertoire irresistible. Accordion bands, mandolin bands, and banjo bands all featured a rhythm section of piano, bass sometimes bass banjo in banjo bands , and drums and often a xylophone which provided an attractive percussive contrast with the reedy accordion tone.
The history of the involvement of black musicians in British popular music of this period has been only recently the subject of research. Jolson was heir to the emotionalism and sentimentality of the U. Black bands at first found themselves judged by minstrel standards, and early jazz musicians found it almost impossible to disentangle themselves from minstrel business. There was no obvious alternative to this way of performing to a white audience.
It was a confusion that existed in the United States as well as Europe and was shared by both audiences and performers. The major figures in dance band music are generally performers rather than songwriters, a fact that indicates a particular musical emphasis. In a survey of classical music we would examine scores; but even for a dance band record with little or no improvisation, the score of the arrangement is an inadequate representation of the music. To clarify the position, we might contrast the relative ease of studying a stage play from the printed page with the difficulty of studying a film from its screenplay.
If transcribed, it will often produce complex notation for example, five against three and awkward-looking syncopation. However, jazz flexibility differs in that it is part of a polyrhythmic structure. A predictable rhythmic pattern in an unchanging tempo may form the background to an unpredictable and rhythmically flexible improvisation.
In the late twenties a group of influential musicians and critics was determined to define jazz in a particular way. Jackson attempted to distinguish as true jazz music innovative in style, which contained improvised solos. He was as committed to the idea of progress as any modernist of the concert hall and heard evidence of progress in recordings of white rather than black musicians, interpreting performances by the former as innovative and polished and by the latter as retrogressive and crude.
Firman was first influenced by the two-beat ragtime style but moved to a four-beat style before the decade ended. The first chorus sounds like classic New Orleans threepart polyphony, except that the front line is clarinet, trumpet, and, instead of trombone, tenor saxophone. He came without a band of his own and was part of a variety bill. The reception ranged from surprised bewilderment to the ecstasy of Melody Maker readers whose excitement had been stirred up beforehand.
Instead, he criticized the audience for applauding at the end of solos and in the middle of numbers! His puzzlement at the Trocadero is another matter. The predictable, the functional, and ext r amusical necessities In order not to confuse the predictable with the functional, it is important to weigh the importance of differing extramusical necessities when considering the musical output of the palais or dance hall band, the show band, and the radio band. In trying to understand how the popular music of this period was consumed, the importance of the dance is not to be underestimated.
The primary function of much of this music was what anthropologists term conative, its main object being the regulation of physical movement. This is not to say that ballroom dances were so rigidly codified that space was unavailable for individual freedoms: quicksteps, for example, offered skillful dancers an opportunity for fancy footwork. Anyone who simply listens to old dance band records is not repeating the same experience of consumption as was had by those who were familiar with the functional side of the music. This is true even though there is no doubt that dance band records were also played simply to be listened to and many were not strict enough in tempo to substitute for the rehearsal pianist in ballroom dancing classes.
The predictability of dance rhythms must also be weighed against their effect deliberate or otherwise as a counter to sentimentality. Show band numbers often involve a visual element that needs to be considered as a vital part of the experience. Since people were watching, not dancing, show bands were less predictable in matters of tempo than the palais bands. It also differs from a typical dance hall number in being a song for children.
Predic tabilit y and musical sig ns Certain musical and verbal signs are used time and again to evoke a particular sociocultural location in the imagination of the listener. Since such signs rely upon a conventional association between signifier and signified, they can be adopted by any songwriter. Jimmy Kennedy, who was Irish, and Michael Carr, who moved to Ireland as a child, could no more ignore those necessities than Louis Armstrong could suddenly shake off a history of expectations associated with blackface minstrelsy.
British bands usually found themselves pretending romantically to be in the Wild West or the South Seas. It is being used, as a quotation of the music of the classical composer Mendelssohn, to signify an artistic, poetic, and elevated vision of spring. The effect then achieved is that Mendelssohn is mocked by what follows—music markedly different from his own.
The technique could be compared to that of montage in film, although here it is a juxtaposition of two different sound images, or to the startling juxtapositions found in surrealism or subcultural bricolage. Many sublimely ridiculous things seem to have been introduced deliberately into this recording:. The band appears to be adopting the sophisticated strategy of sending up the song by being serious. Predic tabilit y of r hythm and har mony Some additional words are necessary concerning predictability as it relates to rhythm and harmony.
To the classically trained musician, much dance band music appears to consist of repetitive rhythmic patterns bound into a metrical straitjacket. Often the attention of the classical musician has been arrested by a kind of repetition that is used regularly in this style instead of the kind of repetition found in classical style.
The device of the riff will serve to illustrate the point. Musematic repetition shows the influence of African-American music, and musematic techniques become increasingly common in twentiethcentury dance music, reaching a peak in swing tunes and arrangements. However, the characteristic parallel motion of dance band harmonies can in some hands result in awkward voice leading; in such cases, the unpredictability of individual parts is scarcely a matter for praise.
The fondness for parallel motion means that consecutive fifths also feature as a matter of contingency rather than deliberation; thus, the effect they produce is again born of accident rather than imaginative usage. In instances like these, the unpredictable elements are merely random by-products of an overly rigid treatment of one musical parameter at the expense of others. There is no purposeful design to stimulate or delight; they issue instead from a pursuit of stylistic practice in which the mechanical has overridden the imaginative. Note also that the tune continually outlines a D-minor triad, yet Waller does not use this chord once in the entire song.
In this song unpredictability is clearly linked to musical imagination see Ex. Bruckner also presents hermeneutic difficulties for critical musicologists engaged in the ideological critique of sexuality and gender in music. The issue of gendered themes and the erotic character of the climax in tonal music suddenly seem irrelevant or inappropriate when discussing Bruckner.
In fact, New Musicologists and Critical Musicologists of every hue appear reluctant to discuss Bruckner or offer any explanation of his famously massive climaxes. It is also my purpose, with reference to the words Lux in Tenebris in my title, to consider whether the applicability of the Hegelian dialectic to Bruckner in the way it has been applied to Beethoven is open to challenge.
Robert Simpson, for example, points out that the continuation of the opening of the slow movement of the Third Symphony recalls in texture. Compare, likewise, the conclusions of the Te Deum and the Third though the latter is in D major, not C major. Symphonic form, however, offered fresh opportunities, especially that of a massive affirmative ending not suited to the Mass because of its concluding humble prayer. This sacred quotation at the end of the exposition may remind us of the Kyrie quotation from the F-minor Mass at a similar point in the Finale of the Second Symphony.
Perhaps, in a transitional work such as this, Bruckner was attempting to bring a moral and religious character to sonata principle, before realizing that the sonata structure he had inherited was itself incapable of accommodating his musical vision. Again, I would suggest that Bruckner finds the approach to a recapitulation a suitable point to present a darker side. Sleep is associated with darkness and death, because it eclipses conscious thought. The movement opens with an approximate inversion of the fugue subject of the Finale of the Fifth and, later, contains more specific references to the Seventh and.
Eighth Symphonies. Before Bruckner, the minor triad and key had changed in its signification. In the early Baroque, minor tonality as distinct from the modal was too recent to have acquired the conventional character of a signifier. Major gradually became an opposition to minor in the Baroque.
In contrast, darkness has connotations of immorality especially lust , evil, and Hell. There is calm at figure T only a dozen bars before the massive climax of the Adagio of the Eighth Symphony Nowak edition. There is no reconciliation of contradictions: in a word, light cannot be reconciled with darkness. It is in some ways epitomized by the lack of struggle between the polka theme and the chorale theme in the Finale of his Third Symphony see Ex. Here a Hegelian dialectic cannot work because there can be no reconciliation between life and death.
Minor is always the antithesis—but not a true antithesis, because Bruckner privileges major over. Consider, for example, the unexpected revealing of the tonic at the point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Seventh Symphony see Ex. As an illustration of Hegelian sublation applied to sonata form, here is Rose Rosengard Subotnik explaining the reconciliation of dialectical opposites in middle-period Beethoven:. Through the recapitulation the subject seems not only to bring together within itself, but actually to derive from within itself, the principles of dynamic development historical change and fixed, eternal order unchangeable identity and to synthesize the two into a higher level of reality.
In the dialectic of darkness and light we cannot move toward a higher synthesis. This also holds for darkness and light: as stated earlier, darkness is understood as absence of light and not vice versa. However, Adorno regarded nineteenth-century music as lacking implicative power. As a result, the home key does not feel stable at the recapitulation. The inverted theme in the Seventh Symphony does work as an opposite because musical descent has been established by convention as an opposite to ascent in music of this style and period and the inversion of this theme produces an unwavering descent see Exx.
Symphony no. Since many musicologists have commented on the gendered character of nineteenth-century sonata structures, we should consider the applicability of such ideas to Bruckner. I am referring here to balanced tonal masses rather than a balance of power. In a rudimentary musical structure, for example, a move from tonic to dominant may be balanced by a flat-side move to the subdominant.
This does not mean that the tonic does not remain the commanding tonal area; the tonic chord was the Generalissimus for Bruckner. To have concluded his Ninth Symphony with a loud tonic major version of the first subject of the first movement would have been out of the question. In contrast, Bruckner often presents a sudden outright victory, but with a sense that the conflict may recommence. Light is absent at first but destined to shine in the darkness at the end. In certain cases, pitch is important: inversions, for example, are not accidents.
Bruckner, it may be noted, uses inversion, augmentation, and diminution but not retrograde, which drastically affects rhythm. Instead of having composers play their own works, virtuoso pianists started to take over the stage. It was unusual even for composer-pianists to play only their own works.
In this regard, Scriabin was atypical of his generation because he played his own music exclusively since he left the Conservatory. The interpretive challenge of playing works that the composer himself frequently performed is the fine line between authenticity and individuality. The current performance practice and style shape the obsession with the perfection in tempo, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing and proportion.
The element of restraint and control becomes the norm of the interpretations and the flexibility of tempo becomes more reserved. The difference between the faster and the slower sections are much slimmer. Anything that disturbs the invariability and the flow of the piece is not recommended. The rhythm, dynamics and phrasing in general become somehow more predictable. The overall performance practice prefers uniformity in the interpretation rather than extreme contrast.
Also, the aspect of improvisation was completely taken away from the classical performances. The score itself seems to speak the whole truth in the contemporary performance practice, even though the composer himself in the early twentieth century would rarely follow it exactly. We can just imagine the impact that the early recordings must have made in their time and the value they possess in the present century. Each performance carries a different interpretation. The pianist interprets the notations on the score into sounds and the audience then decides if that particular performance is convincing or not.
Most listeners do not go to concerts to hear any specific analytical demonstrations. They rather go for that magic which is necessary for a successful performance. This magic is perhaps the alliance between the analytical and the spontaneous, order and freedom. The pianist must create a thought out concept of interpretation after a comprehensive study of the piece which, unfortunately too often tends to be restrictive. The composer — pianist has the concept already in him it is there since the moment of creation. The interpretation changes from pianist to pianist, but once when it has got the established life, pianists tend to be less flexible.
Composers, on the other hand, rarely have strictly fixed ideas of how their music should be performed. For the same reason, Scriabin rarely played exactly as he wrote in the score. His interpretation changed from performance to performance, but the essence of his artistic interpretation remained distinctive. I think we can say it is Scriabin himself and his performance. Some of the descriptions by his biographer might be an exaggeration or an act of mystifying the composer.
They believed that no other pianist could deliver the same effect. Pianists who have performed Scriabin to particular critical approval include Vladimir Sofronitsky, Vladimir Horowitz and Sviatoslav Richter. Sofronitsky never met the composer, as his parents forbade him to attend a concert because of illness. The pianist said he never forgave them. According to Horowitz, when he played for the composer as an eleven year old child, Scriabin responded enthusiastically and encouraged him to pursue a full musical and artistic education.
According to an anecdote he argued with Rachmaninov because he played the piece of Scriabin in a slow manner, emphasizing more the romantic part. Scriabin said that some of his pieces should be played in a powerful manner. I wonder how would Scriabin discuss any other pianist who possessed the interpretative creativity and great technique needed to play his music effectively. His attitude toward his music and its interpretation also changed as he developed his philosophy. How boring! Music takes on idea and significance only when it is linked to a single plan with a whole view of the world.
People who just write music are like performers who just play an instrument. They become valuable only when they connect with a general idea. The purpose of music is revelation. What a powerful knowledge it is! Scriabin associated lights and colors with sound and reflected religious symbolism in his music. The rays of lights translate into sounds already added visual dimension to his compositions. In the end it would be impossible to know exactly how to realize these abstract ideas in actual performance.
Therefore it is only sure that certain way not to suggest these ideas is through the type of rigid performances which is currently considered as mainstream. So, I want to apology for my current playing and teaching abilities. I also love very much my good friend Zoran, who is one of my oldest and dearest friends, so it was not possible for me to refuse his invitation to come here, to Ohrid, and to miss this event.
With this short story about the first pianist, I want to remind us on the very beginnings of pianism. Most the time we are unaware that on our path we are largely guided by the great example of E. He truly was an artist whose work represents in several perspectives a reflection of the modern artistic values. Those of us who do anything right learned it from him. Today, Emanuel Bach is remembered primarily as a respectable and influential German composer and musician, and as a son of great Johann Sebastian Bach.
Personally, I find touching the injustice which the history and theory of pianism ignore the value of legacy of this great artist, who actually was modest, sensitive, but also hardworking, very valuable and highly intelligent man. Haydn studied his work and he said that whoever knows him well will see that he owes Emanuel Bach a great deal. His music was, unfairly, compared with the work of his famous father.
Well, it was not easy to be a son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, or especially to undertake a career in music under the shadow of such a father. The fact is that Sebastian and his sons, especially the most remarkable, Emanuel, composed very different types of music. That would be as foolish as comparing Bach to Handel, or Mozart to Beethoven.
It is very well known that elder Bach was the crown at the end of a whole period of music composing. Emanuel, on the contrary, was an innovator. I think it is fair to say that if the value of Sebastian is unquestionable, so is that of his son Emanuel too. On the other hand, a search for own artistic personalities was more difficult to them. To say that Sebastian was the only great Bach and that his sons were unworthy successors to his legacy, as many in the past did, betrays a lack of critical judgment.
Indeed, we are still suffering from the effects of this shortsightedness. The problem complicates the fact that composer rarely considered a work finished, so he revised quite frequently. This fact has obvious effects for responsible editors of his music. At the same time elder Bach or Mozart, has been honored by two complete works editions!
The work of our great spiritual father and teacher reflects an image of the 18th century as an interesting time in music history. Emanuel was born in Weimar, most probably on the 8th of March and died in Hamburg on December 14th of Any way, together with serious law and general studies, Emanuel had his father as the only music teacher. Highly gifted, Emanuel became a famous virtuoso at the keyboards.
He settled down in Berlin at Soon he started to work for Frederick the Great, one of the most notable educated kings of all time. Frederick himself was a decent flautist, and was assembling a musical suite consisting of several of the great composers and performers of the day. Emanuel placed himself in the forefront of European music during his service in Berlin. After the 30 years he served Frederick, at the point it seemed that he had everything Emanuel decided to leave Berlin.
The truth is he had enough reason to become dissatisfied with his royal employer. His compositions were ignored, he was unpopular for the independence of his mind and he was underpaid too. Like an image of almost every artist today. He resigned in and than replaced his godfather Telemann as Music Director at Hamburg. There he mostly provided music for 5 churches, but also gave concerts and published many of his compositions. Emanuel became so well known throughout Europe as refined and creative musician.
He was known as one of the leading clavier players in Europe.
incompleteness an erotic nocturne Manual
In Berlin, Emanuel made his personal stylistic evolution. It corresponds with the gradual domination of homophonic gallant style over the baroque polyphony. That was the time of transition in music, from the Baroque style to the Classical that followed. Music was moved from the church into the salon, from fugue into sonata.
In European cultural centers, the members of high social classes created a new musical audience. The new audience considered itself sophisticated, though it was often very superficial and shallow. The changes in music had a philosophical background. The mode of expressing was of great importance, so the style became a significant element of art. The music along with the melodrama was defined no more as the rational, but as emotional art.
So the concept of sensitivity appeared. It seemed that certain idea was born in those circumstances and it just waited for the right artist to express it. Well, Emanuel was becoming the musician whose work followed those changes in concept of art. A highly educated and intellectual person, he was aware of the new ideas of the time. His intention was to achieve a very different effect. He was attracted to Italian bel canto and instrumental music of Italian and French masters. He also searched for inspiration in the work of Telemann, and other contemporaries, particularly Handel and Haydn.
As Berlin was a rich artistic environment, he was in touch with the works of playwrights, poets and philosophers too. His interest in all the arts and philosophy let him made a dynamic personal style by applying the principles of rhetoric and drama to musical structure. These sonatas are expressive, chromatic and dramatic, fitting the new style of composition that Emanuel was going to create. Some of the movements have the wide range of moods through which composer can navigate in a mere few bars. Starting with an improvisatory Moderato, sonata presents a collection of incredibly innovative effects.
The Adagio non molto than proceeds with a singing like texture and leads to a very brilliant Finale. We are going to listen the closing of the 1st and half of the 2nd movement, because we have limited time for this lecture. It is the recent performance on the modern piano instrument by Mehmet Okonsar, Turkish pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist. Example 1 Well, as we can see, with these sonatas Emanuel was on the trail of a new musical direction. During his residence in Berlin, Bach composed in other genres, but his main work was concentrated on the clavier.
The clavier was in the center of his activities. It was evident by the fact he used to call the trios as piano sonatas accompanied by violins and cellos. They clearly established the basis of the classical sonata form with its 2 themes in the 1st movement. Lucid in style, delicate and tender in expression, they are even more notable for the freedom and variety of their structural design. They break away from the Italian and the Viennese schools, moving instead toward the cyclical and improvisatory forms that would become common several generations later.
Sometimes all movements are in sonata form, and there were slow finals, too. The 1st movement is dividing in 2 parts. It has 2 themes with tonal and character contrast, sometimes without real development. The slow movements with interesting harmonies have very direct and deep expression.
And if you listen closely the ornaments, it reminds even to Chopin. This touching performance is by Mikhail Pletnev. Example 2. What can we say after this music? To my ears, there is something different about it, something that is very attractive, even provocative. He delights in stunning the listener with an unexpected modulations, dynamic shifts or new rhythmic patterns.
He uses disintegration of opening motives, opening motives in wrong key and avoidance of expectations that had been created. Also explores intense contrasts, fermatas and dramatic silences, changes of tempo, complex melodic details and recitative writing. He was probably the first composer who made free use of harmonic colors. Beethoven may have learnt some tricks from him. This music has magnetic attraction upon performers, listeners and music critics too. Emanuel composed more works for solo keyboard than for any other medium. Except sonatas, he also composed many shorter works, including character pieces, individual dance movements, solfeggios, and other single movement works of various lengths.
In addition, he wrote 4 duets for two keyboards and made arrangements for solo keyboard of several of his symphonies and concertos. His music for solo keyboard reflects the full range of genres cultivated in Germany between the s and s. There are also 6 fugues and at least 2 suites, genres that were already somewhat old fashioned in his time, but he also wrote rondos and fantasias, works that contributed to his reputation as a progressive and imaginative composer. Keyboard music remained of essential importance throughout entire life of Emanuel. In his last working period he also wrote a very important and influential 6 sets of keyboard pieces titled For connoisseurs and amateurs Wq 56—59, Haydn admired this work, and the connection between two composers is evident in these short sonatas of 2 or 3 movements.
Work represents a significant contribution to the repertoire of keyboards at a time when piano generally began to dominate the harpsichord on the music scene. In these sonatas Emanuel used the sound potential of the new instrument, and began the transition of keyboards technique from harpsichord to piano. In his life time there were 3 principal categories of keyboards: clavichord, harpsichord, and fortepiano. Emanuel was a great proponent of the clavichord, and most of his German contemporaries regarded it as a central keyboard instrument, for performing, teaching, composing and practicing.
Emanuel thought clavichord as an instrument on which one can most correctly judge of keyboard player. The clavichord is suggested in many of his works for solo keyboard, for example, by markings for Bebung which denoting a type of vibrato or also with plentiful dynamic markings. His ideas were extremely modern. I will try to demonstrate how much his music was progressive of the time with the next example. We are going to hear the part of his Fantasy in c minor, this time on clavichord.
I found the obvious similarity in the specific performing elements of sensitive style in both of this music. I think it is not coincidence that Emanuel liked exactly the clavichord. We have to admit that in many ways this instrument reminds exactly the modern guitar. The action of the clavichord is unique among all keyboard instruments. Despite its many limitations, including extremely low volume, it has expressive power. The player is able to control attack, duration, volume, and even provide certain subtle effects of shaping of tone and a type of vibrato unique for the clavichord.
Emanuel was highly respected as a performer on the clavichord. He enjoyed a strong reputation as a very capable and distinctly expressive performer. He claimed that every keyboard player needs the harpsichord to develop proper finger strength but the clavichord is for the study of good performance. He considered that physical sensitivity and the ability to execute extremely fine touch difference are necessary for development of keyboard technique.
He is all power but no art. According to an anecdote, he has never opened the cover of the piano while he played. Each of these artists with its own work had revolutionary influence on pianism, precisely by insisting on sensitivity in playing technique. In the 18th century, there were not too many professional pianists around. Emanuel, along with his brother Johann Christian was among the first who played the new instrument, piano in public.
In Hamburg Emanuel had made an impression as a pianist. He had become thoroughly familiar with instrument while he was in the service of Frederick the Great, who collected everything, and had 15 of Silbermann pianos in There is his statement that the pianoforte, when it is well built, has many fine qualities, although its touch must be carefully worked out, a task which is not without difficulties. Yet, he holds that a good clavichord, except for its weaker tone, shares equal attraction as the pianoforte.
Immediately recognized as a definitive work on keyboard technique, it laid the foundation for the keyboard methods of Clementi and Cramer. Clementi said that everything he knows of fingering and the new style, everything he understands of the pianoforte, he learned from this book. Its principles were built into almost all textbooks on instrumental music before The work still ranks among the most important fundamental works of piano pedagogy.
In this capital work Emanuel deals with fingerings, ornaments, performance practice, intervals, figured bass, accompaniment and improvisation. The essay set up the fingering for each chord and some chord sequences. Its fingerings for scales are modern, with the thumb frequently turned under and only a few remaining of sequences. These innovative principles of fingering can be traced back to the lessons Emanuel received from his father.
It produced the most important effect on the culture of keyboard playing in the second half of the 18th century. These methods were taken over and further propagated by other teachers and composers. Emanuel also recommended arched fingers and relaxed muscles and was quite specific about pose of hands and arms.
Since then it has been standard piano technique and it continue to be employed today. It advises pianists to listen closely good singers. Its famous words every pianist should press in own artistic personality. In the 18th century the good taste represents the ability of the musician to intrude his own personality, his technique, his style, his musicianship on what he was playing. But if he oversteps the limits, and maid work uninventive, his taste was suspected.
Today we have the same problem. But years ago, the performer had much more choices how to play the figured bass, ornaments which have a huge role in baroque and rococo music, how to improvise on fermatas and cadenzas, how to vary the repetitions and reprises. The egocentric little virtuoso could easy go wild faced with such reach opportunities. Emanuel, like all other authorities, called on self control. He was one of the first who described the tempo rubato. It should be required reading in every music school. From the Verzuch, musician can get the best idea of performance practice in 18th century.
With a short piece entitled Keyboard piece for right or left hand alone H. In this way Emanuel continued the efforts of his father, presented in didactic nature of the Inventions and The well tempered clavier. For Emanuel it was always of great importance to passing along of his own knowledge. Indeed, he had a large number of keyboard and composition students all his life. He knew the art of developing masters better than anyone.
Whoever came out of this school was received well in all over the Europe. With his ingeniously creative and innovative works he developed the new style to a point where Haydn and Mozart will naturally grow upon. Again we listen the performance of Mr Pletnev.
And there is still much to explore. For example his fantastic keyboard concerts. But, that will stay for another time. With this story, I wanted to inspire you to research this great music for both pleasure and study, as Beethoven used to do. We should remember these wised words! Well, thank you for shearing your time with me. I hope we will meet again, if not before, than next year, at same place, probably with some other story. Thank you! Even one century after his sudden death in the middle of his rising as extraordinary and original composer, Alexander Scriabin remains one of the most controversial figures in music history.
With his music as a product of a unique and complex mind, he still inspires passionate debates and polarizes opinion. He is predominantly remembered today for his eccentric ideologies and his compositions that pushed the boundaries of tonality. But during his lifetime he was revered for his pianistic abilities. After examining his musical heritage and investigating the performance practices surrounding his compositions through reviews, memoirs and analyses of his piano rolls, this information will establish that, although Scriabin was a product of his Russian cultural heritage, he also developed a highly individualistic piano style.
Today with the knowledge extracted through a comparison of the printed and performed versions of his compositions we can imagine a truly Scriabinesque interpretation, that creative world of interaction between composer, pianist and philosopher. Alexander Scriabin was an odd person who did not fit any convention. His music does not quite match in any tradition.
It is a rather unique case in music history. Scriabin entered the Conservatory in Moscow and joined the class of Vassily Safonov former student of Leschetizky, who had selected him as a student while he was still studying with Zverev. During his time in Conservatory Scriabin had catastrophic hand injury which led to the writing of tragic First sonata and Nocturne and prelude for left hand op. The finest of his works are small scale ones: preludes, mazurkas, morceaux, poems, dances, etudes. In last years of his life Scriabin as a composer, pianist and person stimulated many admirations and, often, mad idolatry.
That era was a special period in Russian cultural history which is usually called the Russian artistic renaissance — a period of unique blossoming of poetry, music, visual arts, theater and new philosophy. To them Scriabin was a prophet and even more than that — a creator, a virtual divinity. How can we explain this mysterious metamorphosis in perception?
Again his audiences obviously did hear something different from what we usually hear today. He played, especially later in life, many concerts throughout Russia, Europe and the United States. Evidently, in his own performances Scriabin was very suggestive, intensive and convincing.