• 1/2009: Music: Intersections and Contexts

    1/2009: Music: Intersections and Contexts

    Preface

    ČIERNA, Alena: Preface
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 3 – 4

    Studies

    CHALUPKA, Ľubomír: Eugen Suchoň’s Work in Historical and Generational Relations to the Development of the 20th Century Slovak Music
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 5 – 38

    The contribution focuses on observing the position of Eugen Suchoň and/or his generation in particular periods of the Slovak music – namely since 1920s to 1980s. Each decade documents the development of professional Slovak music. The starting point was a formation of the Suchoň’s generation – later known as “Slovak Music Moderna” – which accentuated its programme sources since its artistic commencement and subsequent development in the inter-war period. Despite a common artistic opinion a stylistic individuality of each of Suchoň’s schoolmates was moulded already in the course of the 1930s. In this time Suchoň formulated his own peculiar compositional technique and he had already presented his first matured artistic results appreciated by critique. Paradoxically in the time of the World War II the Slovak music experienced one of its blossomings. New pieces by younger members of the “Slovak Music Moderna”, a swift entrance of Ján Cikker and namely a success of Suchoň’s Balladical Suite on foreign stages contributed to this bloom. After 1945 an important demand appeared to enrich the stylistic profile of the Slovak music creation by new inspirations. It was a compelling challenge for the Suchoň’s generation; nevertheless, its members usually persisted in their original positions.
    At that time Suchoň finished his work on the opera The Whirlpool, which was labeled as “the first Slovak national opera”. However, its premiere in December 1949 took place in a new cultural and political environment, as the Slovak society had been incorporated into the ideological ambit of the Soviet Union. Proclaimed ideas of socialist realism forced the composer to rework the piece.
    While writing his second opera in the course of the 1950s Suchoň intensively tried to innovate his style by the way of acceptation of transformed dodecaphonic technique. This transformation led him to a cycle of works in the 1960s as well as to theoretical reflection of his own compositional endeavour. The cycle Kaleidoscope, Symphonic Fantasia on B-A-C-H and his theoretical treatise Akordika od trojzvuku po dvanásťzvuk (Structure of Chords from the Triad to the Twelve-tone Chord) represent Suchoň’s specific contribution to the inter-generational confrontation intensified by the entrance of talented young composers at the time, who were interested in adoption of new contemporary insiprations and techniques from the European music and were polemically ranged against the traditional sources cultivated by the Suchoň’s generation.
    In the closing period of the Suchoň’s creative activity, when the Slovak music creation – especially in the 1970s – increased in volume and later it was enriched by the work of the composers oriented on the ideas of so-called postmodern style, Suchoň maintained his accomplished stylistic position penetrated by elements of reminiscence.

    FUJAK, Július: Several Remarks to Some Motives in Music Semiotics by Peter Faltin
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 39 – 45

    The presented paper deals with the challenging ideas of the Slovak musicologist Peter Faltin (1939–1981) in the sphere of music semiotics, particularly in the second chapter of his important musicsemiotical work Význam estetických znakov – Hudba a jazyk (The Meaning of Aesthetical Signs – Music and Language), titled Význam v hudbe (The Meaning in Music). Faltin based this chapter first of all upon the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, namely from the period following his work on Tractatus logico-philosophicus. From it he deduces reconstitutional results for the character of the semiotic reflection of music semiosis, syntax and various aspects of comprehension of music meaning, which appear to be topical also in the context of the so-called existential semiotics of music nowadays.

    RUMÁNEK, Ivan R. V.: Music in the Classical Japanese Noh Drama and its Asian Roots
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 46 – 83

    The author gives a detailed insight into the music and rhythm of the classical noh drama, focusing on the processes of development that have been taking place in this theatrical form during all the centuries of its existence, thus pointing out that noh as we know it today is not necessarily the one there was in the day of its codifiers Kannami and Zeami (14th to 15th century).
    Fundamental terms of noh musical theory are explained like utai (singing), fushi (melodical parts), kotoba (declamatory, less melodically-based parts) and the names of tones, the two „scales“ tsuyogin and yowagin and how they correspond to the Western notes.
    Based on research done in Japan by Japanese scholars it comes out that the musical and rhythmical outfit of the noh performance had a somewhat different form around 1600 as testified to by records and writings from that period. Notes in the utaibon (manuals for the noh singing), using Chinese characters denoting the tones of the pentatonic scale show that the tones used in the noh singing corresponded to these. The author poses the basic question – which of the two pentatonic scales in use in Japan might have been in the basis of the noh singing, and tries to solve this by tracing back to the very roots of the pentatonism in its very country of origin – China. From the 6th century, the Chinese music adapted influences from the “Western Regions”, which also meant the incorporating into the Chinese musical theory of Indian heptatonism which prevailed in the music of early Tang, giving it a dimension apotheosed in the reign of Emperor Xuanzong. Thus enriched music reached Japan around 700, starting a completely independent development there. The author shows the variety of Japanese scales and its application in the noh practice. He compares the tones used in the noh singing today with the theoretical status quo known from earlier periods.
    Specimens of singing are provided, illustrating practically what has previously been dealt with theoretically. The differences between the various schools are also pointed out.
    Introducing the four musical instruments used in noh – fue, kotsuzumi, ohtsuzumi and taiko, the author explains the substance of the intricate rhythimcal patterns and the way they combine with the vocal singing. It is obvious that rhythm has always been the decisive element, far more resistent to the inperceptible changes in the course of the centuries than undergone by the melodic element. In tracing the roots of the noh rhythm the author suggests striking similarity between noh rhythm and ancient Greek quantitative metre and tries to find an answer to this fact.
    The final part of the study gives an outline of the various “shôdan” – passages the whole noh play consists of, and characteristics of the representative shodans.

    Essay

    KILIÇ, Lenka: A Brief Excursion into the History of Women’s Composing
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 84 – 88

    Interview

    MARTINÁKOVÁ, Zuzana: A Composer and Society on the Edge of the 20th Century.
    An Interview with the Composer and Music Theoretician Egon Krák
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 89 – 98

    Material

    LANGSTEINOVÁ, Eva: Memorandum from the International Scientific Conference Culture – Art – Education
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 99 – 102

    Review

    KOPČÁKOVÁ, Slávka: Zuzana Sláviková: Integratívna umelecká pedagogika (Fragmenty)
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 35, 2009, No. 1, pp. 103 – 104

    [The contribution is available only in Slovak language in the printed version of the revue.]