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The Sonata for Guitar in 1920-1950 Period - Ph. D. Thesis Resume by Costin Soare

The Sonata for Guitar in 1920-1950 Period - Ph. D. Thesis Resume by Costin Soare

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The resume of my Ph. D . Thesis about the so-called 'neo-romantic generation' in the guitar world (approximately 1920-1950)...
The resume of my Ph. D . Thesis about the so-called 'neo-romantic generation' in the guitar world (approximately 1920-1950)...

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Published by: costin_soare_2 on Jul 06, 2012
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 „The Sonata for Guitar in 1920-1950 period – The Neoromantic Generation ” 
Ph.D. Thesis by Costin Soare
We will begin by saying that metaphorically speaking and bycircumscribing the object of our research, the 1920-1950 period represented forthe guitar world a sort of sonata exposition: it is the time when certain ideas,certain “themes” were presented, their development still being “work inprogress” today. There are many factors which have had their contribution tothe boom of our instrument in the 20
century, unfortunately still seen at thattime as a “less serious” one; if we were to choose three main “themes”, thosewould be:
the predecessors
- the guitarist-composer Francisco Tárrega and theluthier Antonio de Torres;
the guitarist
Andrés Segovia and
the composers
of theso-called neoromantic generation (Turina, Ponce, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, José,Manén, Moreno-Torroba). Our thesis, entitled
 „The Sonata for Guitar in 1920-1950 period – The Neoromantic Generation ” 
, forays the world of the composersmentioned above through their output in a certain genre,
the sonata
; ourapproach will follow an analytical approach at a syntactic and, especially,semantic level, by highlighting the emotion and sentiments specific to theperforming act during its progress. We will present an account of our researchby succinctly discussing each chapter of our thesis.
The first subchapters of the introduction represents in fact the theoreticalbase of the thesis: the first, discussing
 general aspects
concerning the
analyticalmethods in the 20th century
, starts with a short description as found in
Treatise of Musical Form and Analysis”
by Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea. Theirenumeration (
the referential-descriptive method; the positivist-constructivist method;the hermeneutic method; the energetic method; the structural method; the holisticmethod of Schenker 
) reveals also, beside the specific approach of each method,some historical and philosophical implications, namely theinteraction/complementarity which always existed between the philosophicaland practical ways of knowledge: in this way, the aesthetics, the sciencestudying, defining and enouncing the principles/laws of beauty in the art ofsounds, will influence the musical theoretical thinking and also the practicalside of it during different eras. The importance of the concept derived fromhere,
, resides in the way certain ideas, attitudes specific to acertain field of thought, could be found and have an influence in another: theintercrossing of music with imagination and creativity, with literature, poetryand visual arts, but also with psychology, hermeneutics, philosophy, rhetoric,mathematics, can be of help in the
search of an analysis model with relevancein the performing act 
.This second subchapter proposes varied perspectives in the search of theanalysis method(s) which can get us closer to the „correct” way of performing amusical work:
this search
represents the fruit of our experience and, having nopretension to offering definitive or complete answers, we will try to offer our
 personal vision
, defined as a mode of being with a certain perspective of theworld around. A first idea springs from the words of Arthur Schnabel whodeclares that „the true analysis means a
clarification and intensification of themusical sensibility
, an additional stimulus in the correct direction, as establishedby our musical instinct”, in contrast with a formal type on analysis whichmakes more harm than it helps. That implies also a good intellectual thinking:for avoiding all sorts of excesses there is a need to find an equilibrium betweenthe emotional and the intellectual side; Schnabel also recommends studyingcomposition, a great exercise for a musician-performer.Then we discuss the analysis model developed under the supervision ofthe conductor and professor Takao Nakamura, whose relevance in
understanding and interpreting a musical score was already verified in variouscontexts. Based initially on analysing the music with text, the model needed aset of questions regarding the way in which certain structures, tonalities,timbres and so on, are able to create certain affective moods, namely theemotions felt by the performer and also by the audience.Following this road we reach the subject of
musical rhetoric
which is, historically speaking, a part of the theory and practice of the BaroqueEra, but which is also generally applicable in the theory of interpretation for anykind of music. Being based on the rhetorical-musical figures, the concept of
musica poetica
was searching, as Dietrich Bartel says, „a balance between scienceand art,
, speculation and craft”. A short enumeration of theaffects (
 Amor, Luctus seu Planctus, Dolor, Laetitia et Exultatio, Praesumptio et Audacia
etc.) and of the rhetorical-musical figures (
abruptio, anabasis, antithesis,climax, dubitatio, epizeuxis, passus duriusculus
etc.), as found in the treatise
 Musurgia Universalis
by Athanasius Kircher, is meaningful to our research: wecan observe how certain musical patterns give a specific affective „answer”,scientifically documented by the theoreticians of the era.One of the essential features of the music, that of
expressing something
,could be found in all the musical epochs: one of the meanings of the term
„is referring at the
emotional qualities
of music as perceived by theauditors”, in the opinion of the musicologists Juslin and Persson. To be able tocommunicate those emotions, a mediator between the composer and the publicis needed: this is the
. But what and how is the performer
? For an accurate answer, theinstrumentalist needs a „guide of performance” to help him find the musical„truth”, an objective view in a very subjective world, that of a language at theborders of the ineffable. The book of Diana Moş,
„Introduction to the hermeneuticsof the musical discourse”
, offers a possible way in which one can decipher themusical
and its meanings: „the object of the hermeneutics will be notparticularly the music score, but the discourse – the text being actualized,performed at a certain moment”. Using a linguistic terminology based on a

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