• 4/2014: Analysis – Pedagogy

    4/2014: Analysis – Pedagogy


    ČIERNA, Alena: Preface
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 309 – 310


    ŠTEFKOVÁ, Markéta: Elements of Traditional Music Employed in Artistic Music of the 19th And 20th Centuries. “National Style” Elements in Edvard Grieg’s Piano Works
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 311 – 333

    Folklore inspirations played a significant role in the artistic music of the 19th and 20th centuries. The beginnings of the employment of folk material in 19th century are joined with the appeals of Johann Gottfried von Herder, who urged the nations to search for their spiritual treasures and strength in folk cultural tradition. On the basis of the application of characteristic dance rhythms, intonation figures, stylization of the traditional folk instruments playing etc, composers tried to endow their music with a certain local ambience, a certain “couleur locale”. Carl Dahlhaus pointed to the fact that a number of these elements were not uniquely “national” in their essence; they may be found simultaneously in many folklore traditions across the continent. For the creation of the piano play idiom with a pronounced “national” character, Frédéric Chopin was of a principal significance. He considerably inspired also Edvard Grieg, the main object of the submitted study. Folk music, which was the primary source not only for these two authors but also for many other composers of Eastern-European, and even Scandinavian provenance, works as a certain “archaic” folklore layer of an obviously “supranational” character. This is probably what Bartók had in mind when he spoke about “peasant” music.

    A specific way of the use of these stimuli in the work of Bartók and Janáček was reflected by a significant Czech musicologist Jaroslav Volek, the author of the concept of the so-called “flexible diatonic” from 1980, which has been extremely popular in Czech musicology since the end of the 20th century until today. The author of the submitted study emphasizes that the substantial features of archaic folklore of this provenance were revealed by Jozef Kresánek already in 1951 in his treatise The Slovak Folk Song from the Musical Standpoint. In this work he presents a more pronounced and conceptually maturated opinion than Volek. Subsequently, Kresánek elaborated this opinion more particularly in his later works from the 1980s and 1990s, particularly in Tonality (1982). Kresánek’s ideas met with a large response in Slovakia, e.g. in the concept of sub-octave, octave and supra-octave thinking of Juraj Beneš.

    From the position of this thinking tradition the author of the submitted study explains some harmonic and tonal phenomena in Grieg’s music. Analysing the examples mainly from Grieg’s piano works she points to his special way of the stylization of folklore idioms in accordance with the application of Baroque rhetorical devices and Late Romantic harmony, mostly of Wagnerian provenance, and to certain unique elements of his poetics. Compared to the 19th-century composers, the 20th-century composers had totally different motivation for the employment of folk music elements in their music: for them the actual motive for the research of folk music was a “crisis” of European music language, mostly of the harmonic language. Their goal was not to compose a national music, but music which would be supranational, cosmopolitan and universal, although also crucially leaning upon the sources of domestic music creativity. The changes which occurred in their music were by no way superficial; they crucially touched the morphology and syntax of the language of the existing artificial music, its paradigmatic base. The difference between both approaches was outlined by Béla Bartók in his article The Influence of Peasant Music on Modern Music from 1931, where he indicates three manners of the use of folklore material, ranging from a direct quotation to the composer’s adoption of folk music language to such an extent that he masters it “perfectly as his mother tongue”. The author uses this viewpoint while scrutinizing Grieg’s work, and adverts to the fact that we can find all manners of the folk music elements utilization mentioned by Bartók in it.

    Concluding her study, the author identifies with Grieg’s opinions formulated at the end of his life in correspondence with American historian Henry T. Finck, the author of two monographs on his music. Although in this period Grieg was justifiably considered to be the creator of the idiom of Norwegian or Nordic or Scandinavian music, he asked for recognition predominantly as a supranational, universal and cosmopolitan artist, the co-creator of the contemporary European artistic music language. He considerably influenced the following development of European artistic music far away from the Scandinavian borders.

    BERNÁTH, Ľuboš: Specific Signs of Béla Bartók’s Musical Language and Their Utilization in the First Two Volumes of His Cyclic Piano Work Mikrokosmos (An analytical study from the viewpoint of a composer)
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 334 – 363

    The study has confirmed our presupposition that some compositions reflect the author’s musical thinking and encode important signs of his expression. Even in the first two books of Bartók’s cycle Mikrokosmos the majority of structural elements are present and more or less visible. The cycle Mikrokosmos helps young musicians (beginning composers) to comprehend how the immense world of music, i.e. “macrocosm”, is created out of simple and elementary (melodic, rhythmic, harmony and building) components. I would like to mention the concept of the “spiral”, which very aptly characterizes this cycle. In the whole work the author is handling similar technical and compositional problems, each time on a higher level and always with an opportunity of a choice.
    While dealing with analytical examples a considerable attention is devoted to harmony and structural aspect. Here my idea about B. Bartók as a synthesist was confirmed. In his music the systems, incompatible and dissimilar at first sight, really interlink. I believe that Bartók never rejected major-minor system, but attempted to modify it to a certain extent, sometimes deliberately suppressed it and mainly, he looked for a way to overcome it. He arrived at interesting results, adding to his harmonic language a distinctive and a unique character, apparent at the first hearing.
    I classify him as a synthesist because he never rejected the legacy of European music, on the contrary, he accentuated how necessary it is for an artist never to forget his roots. On the other hand, his harmonic system is giving clear and explicit signals to the future. His interest in folklore, folk music and traditions only confirmed it. He even went further in his search and studied certain archetypes which were present at the cradle of European music.
    He emphasized, sorted and defined pentatonic and its role in both folk and classical music. It is interesting that Bartók never arrived at establishing a self-contained theory about archetypes in music, which he came upon daily while in the field, and which he commonly used in his compositions. However, due to his tireless research, authors like Z. Kodály, G. Bárdos, as well as J. Kresánek could later follow in his work as a collector and draw some significant conclusions from it.

    Studies – Acoustics

    BREZINA, Pavol: Acoustic Character of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Diakovce
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 364 – 372

    The first mention regarding the church is found in the Papal Bull from 1102. The building was later rebuilt, enlarged and consecrated in 1228 by Vác Bishop Brictius and Nitra Bishop Jacob. It is a three-nave building with three apses and two towers situated at the western side of the church. Later (supposedly from the second half of the 16th century to the 17th century) the church was divided into two storeys; this building modification makes the church a unique object in the whole Central–European area. The sacred building is significant also from another point of view – its architecture is influenced by the Lombard style and the building material is brick. The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Diakovce joins two sacred buildings in itself – a Roman church and a basilica. They are mutually joined; however, it was possible to carry out the acoustic research separately in both spaces. The goal of the research was to characterize the comprehensibility of speech as well as other acoustic parameters defining acoustic conditions from the musical viewpoint.

    Studies – Pedagogy

    KAVEC, Adam: The Role and Position of a Répétiteur in Dance Education
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 373 – 404

    The submitted study offers a brief insight into the dance accompaniment and focuses on the position of a répétiteur, who next to the dance teacher participates substantially in the educational process at the six-year conservatory offering a wide range of educational programmes and subjects. The study adverts to the differences between the position, competences and tasks of a répétiteur in dance and music teaching. It explains the role of a répétiteur and of music accompaniment. It draws attention to the lack of the initial specialized education and preparation of répétiteurs. The study compares the legislative position of a répétiteur in the Slovak Republic with the legislatives of the countries of the Visegrád Four. On the basis of the accessible sources the author set up a survey of the sallaries of répétiteurs and conservatory teachers, description of working positions of a répétiteur, as well as ways by which the qualification for the profession of a répétiteur can be achieved. Last but not least, on the basis of accessible sources, of the author’s teaching practice and research, he proposes some changes for the State Educational Programme for the Conservatory in the Slovak Republic, and supplies the curriculum of the subject “practice in piano accompaniment and standard of a répétiteur” proposed by the Methodology and Pedagogy Centre in Žilina.


    KENDROVÁ, Zlatica: Malé osobnosti veľkých dejín – veľké osobnosti malých dejín. Príspevky k hudobnej regionalistike
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 405 – 407

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

    CSEHIOVÁ, Agáta: Tibor Tallián: Béla Bartók
    In: Slovenská hudba, Vol. 40, 2014, No. 4, pp. 408 – 410

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