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Leon Stefanija / Nico Schler


Approaches to Music Research:

Between Practice and Epistemology

Europischer Verlag der Wissenschaften

Table of Contents
Foreword . 7
Kevin Korsyn
The Aging of the New Musicology 9
Marie-Agnes Dittrich
Reply to Kevin Korsyn, Including Remarks on Musicology and
Musiktheorie in Germany and Austria in Times of the Bologna
Process and of Knowledge Evaluation 25
Christian Bielefeldt
A Reply to Kevin Korsyns The Aging of New Musicology .. 33
Kordula Knaus
A Reply to Kevin Korsyns The Aging of New Musicology .. 41
Leon Stefanija
Outside of Musicology 47
Nico Schler
From Interdisciplinarity to Perspectivism in Music Research . 53
Matja Barbo
Music as a Metaphor? . 67
Peter Wicke
From Schizophonia to Paraphonia: On the Epistemological and Cultural
Matrix of Digitally Generated Pop Sounds . 75
Lubomr Spurn
Semiology in Music and Art: Czech Music Semiology . 81
Dalibor Davidovi
Interception . 87
Katarina Habe
Current Issues and Trends in the Psychology of Music in Slovenia .. 93
Jasmina Talam and Tamara Karaa-Beljak
Ethnomusicological Research and Fieldwork Methodology:
Experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina .. 101
Gregor Pompe
Musical Analysis and / or Interpretation The Case of Opera .. 107

Audra Verseknait
Between Borrowing and Intertextuality:
The Dies Irae in Twentieth Century Music 117
Ivana Perkovi Radak
Approaches to Serbian Orthodox Music: A Case Study of Stevan Stojanovi
Mokranjacs Complete Works 133
Tijana Popovi Mladjenovi
The Possibility and Purpose of Disciplinary Intersections and Permeations:
The Case Study of Regers Variationen und Fuge ber ein Thema von
Joh. Seb. Bach for Piano, Op. 81 141
Morag Josephine Grant
Whatever happened to Crazy Jane? ... 159
Ira Prodanov Krajinik
Free Religious Music in Serbia and its Social Context .. 177
Marija Masnikosa
Formalism and Contextualism in Contemporary Musicology:
Why Could it not be a Joint Venture? A Case Study ... 185
Vesna Miki
Romantic Notions in the Popular Music Discourses:
Several Examples from Serbia ... 199
Manfred Heidler
Military Music in the Bundeswehr: Some Remarks Concerning the
Interdisciplinary Discourse on Manifestations of Music in Uniform . 207
J. Daniel Jenkins
Erwin Steins New Formal Principles and the Analysis of
Schoenbergs Atonal Period Music 217
Barbara Smolej Fritz
Processes of Self-Regulation in Music Learning: Between Theory
and Practice 231
Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kanlinga Dona
Music Therapy: Sri Lankan Approaches 241
List of Authors 251


The symposium Approaches to Music Research: Between Practice and Episte-

mology was organized by the Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Uni-
versity of Ljubljana, as well as by the Slovenian Musicological Society. In two
days, May 8th and 9th, 2008, 31 scholars offered heterogeneous views of one
central issue: the relations between music-research ideals and practices.
Although participants from different branches within music research ap-
peared alongside with scholars from several sister disciplines that grant music
as a relevant medium through which other phenomena are discussed, the gather-
ing was not conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary research. The interdis-
ciplinarity was seen as one of the approaches even as one of the most appeal-
ing for contemporary musicology due to its inclusive nature. For this reason,
one of the fathers of the international conference on interdisciplinary musicol-
ogy, Richard Parncutt, held one of the four invited talks (unfortunately, the con-
tribution by Professor Parncutt could not find its place here). Several other
speakers, who delivered their papers at the symposium, were unable to contrib-
ute their papers on time for this publication.
However, the organizational background may shed some light. The con-
tributions are a result of the second musicological symposium organized by the
Department of Musicology in Ljubljana that coincided with the ending phase of
the curricular renewal of the study of musicology in Ljubljana. Yet, its aim was
far from opening up a platform for pragmatic questions regarding the applicabil-
ity of academic models to the current situation: this symposium aimed at juxta-
posing several key issues of the process of changing in music/ology with regard
to the relation between the ideals and practice.
The intention was, thus, to reflect the musicological practices, but to offer
a reflection concerning disciplinary intersections as ideal-typical formations in
which different contemporary musicological practices meet each other, either
positively or in more negative terms.
Of course, the suggested topoi of the symposium1 were getting at elemen-
tal, difficult-to-answer questions about the position that musicology holds
within the humanities and sciences. Well aware of the risks in addressing basic
issues of pragmatically understood interdisciplinarity, the symposium especially
encouraged case-studies of basic epistemological reflections with an emphasis
on the practice of music research from any field.
Therefore, the overall posture of the symposium consequently also of
the contributions published here remain somewhat problematic. They do not

The suggested topoi of the symposium were: (1) Institutional Contexts Epistemological
Agendas, (2) Formalism and Contextualism: Antinomous, Contingent, or Complementary
Views?, (3) Musicology: Criticism vs. Empiricism?, and (4) Pedagogical Issues.

offer a rounded-off scientific volume of issues regarding the main premise of
the meeting: the relation between the ideals and practices in different fields of
music research. However, they offer, hopefully, a modest yet case-sensitive
contribution to the epistemological debate of music research.

Ljubljana, January 2009 Leon Stefanija & Nico Schler

Kevin Korsyn (University of Michigan, USA)

The Aging of the New Musicology

The title of this paper pays homage to an essay that Adorno published in 1955
called The Aging of the New Music, in which he argued that the New Music
was beginning to show symptoms of false satisfaction . . . The sound remains
the same. But the anxiety that gave shape to its great founding works has been
repressed. (Adorno 1955, 181.) So, I would like to consider whether we can
identify a similar phenomenon at work in musical scholarship, so that we can
speak of the aging of the new musicology. I use the term new musicology as a
convenient label to cover a number of trends that may be quite diverse, and may
not have the coherence of a movement.
Like the New Music, which has its essence in the refusal to go along
with things as they are, the new musicology had drawn much of its energy
from its outsider status, from its opposition to the status quo. But what happens
when the outsider becomes an insider, when the opposition becomes the main-
stream? I am not alone in sensing the potential of institutionalization to neutral-
ize or domesticate innovations. The editors of Radical Musicology, for example,
have identified a perception that the projects going under the name of new
and critical musicology have been succeeded by a certain disciplinary re-
trenchment or even counter-reaction (Biddle and Middleton 2007). So, I want
to understand the causes and effects of this institutionalization while asking how
we might sustain or recover some sort of oppositional edge in scholarship. In
asking these questions, I am exploring themes from my book Decentering Mu-
sic: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research (Korsyn 2003). In 1985, Jo-
seph Kerman published a noteworthy critique of the state of current musicology
in the United States (Kerman 1985); as valuable as his work was, the changing
state of our field demands a new critique.
One of the things my book seeks to problematize is the idea of progress
in the humanities, a principle that would seem to be implicit in any contrast be-
tween new and old musicology. We have some notion of what progress en-
tails in science and technology; at least until recently, we have tended to assume
that such progress involves achieving greater control, greater mastery over na-
ture. In the humanities, however, the desirability of achieving a quasi-scientific
control over the objects we study involves fundamental decisions about values.
Although disciplines in the humanities, including musicology, can develop ac-
cording to an internal logic of problem-solving as successive contributions an-
swer the questions that a given research program makes possible, they can also

respond to larger social and historical changes in the values that drive research,
that set priorities and goals, and may even determine what counts as knowledge.
In such fields, progress might involve more than the mere accumulation of
knowledge and might be conceptualized in ways other than a merely linear ad-
vance toward greater control. Instead, progress might entail a connection to the
values of ones own time; being contemporary might mean reflecting contem-
porary attitudes or modes of consciousness. So despite my affinities with Ker-
man, my work differs from his not only because of the internal development of
musicology since Contemplating Music appeared in 1985, but also because the
world outside musicology has changed.
This is where things get difficult, however, because we inhabit a time of
conflicting and often incommensurable values and sources of identity, in which
there seems to be no authoritative language or value system through which to
represent music, its meaning, or its history. Alongside the impulse to accumu-
late knowledge, therefore, it is possible to identify a resistance to knowledge
within the humanities today; a will-to-ignorance accompanies the will-to-
knowledge. This is not a skeptical position, in which we doubt the existence of
any certain knowledge, but rather a response to a cultural dilemma that seems to
bring incommensurable kinds of knowledge into contact, along with incommen-
surable values and sources of authority, so that experience can seem at odds
with itself, ruled by a logic of paradoxes and double binds. For those of us who
deal with music and the other arts, this ambivalence extends to the very objects
we study, since we must live with the melancholy wisdom distilled into Walter
Benjamins aphorism that there is no document of civilization that is not also
at the same time a document of barbarism an insight that is quoted more of-
ten than it is understood (Benjamin 1968, 256). Since there is no position out-
side or above culture from which to study it, as scholars we are also implicated
in this dialectic of civilization and barbarism. So we might apply Benjamins
insight to our own discipline by saying there is no document of civilized musi-
cology, including my lecture today, that is not also a document of barbarism. If
this is true, we have good reason to be of two minds about what we do. How to
manage this ambivalence, to see why it has arisen and how we might respond to
it, drives much of my recent work, including my book Decentering Music. No-
tice that I say manage this ambivalence, and not overcome it or progress
beyond it, because it seems to be a pervasive cultural condition, rather than
something unique to musicology, and one that seems likely to intensify, rather
than diminish.
Since the internal conflicts that the concept of ambivalence implies make
it an uncomfortable state of mind, it would be tempting to deny such feelings of
disenchantment and adopt a cheerier tone, perhaps more in keeping with the
American virtue of optimism. Yet, there are good reasons for sustaining this
discomfort and even embracing it as a source of insight. In her important recent

book Ugly Feelings, Sianne Ngai (2005) contends that certain emotions that
have been dismissed as negative or ugly, including irritation, boredom,
anxiety, paranoia, and others, may prove more accurate indexes of our cultural
situation than other grander, more operatic emotions: In the transnational stage
of capitalism that defines our contemporary moment, our emotions may not link
up as securely as they once did with the models of social action and transforma-
tion theorized by Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and others under signs of relatively
unambiguous emotions like anger or fear (ibid., 5). And far from merely indi-
cating an individuals transient, subjective states, emotions may function as
knotted or condensed interpretations of predicaments that is, signs that not
only register visible different registers of problem (formal, ideological, histori-
cal) but conjoin these problems in a distinctive manner (ibid., 3). This cogni-
tive function of emotion becomes especially evident when they are presented
through the highly mediated forms of academic and artistic discourses. So, I
want to examine the discourse generated by musicology, taking it very seriously
as a region of culture indeed, honoring it as such and not only reading it, but
listening to its feelings, to the mood it projects, to see how musicologists expe-
rience themselves in their art, listening, as it were, to the music of musicology.
To understand why a fresh critique of musicology is needed, it may be
useful to reflect on the situation that Kerman faced in the decades leading up to
Contemplating Music, particularly in terms of the fundamental conflict in values
that he saw in the field. The musicology that he decried as positivistic found a
programmatic statement in an essay published by Manfred Bukofzer in 1957,
who wrote that the description of the origin and development of styles, and
their transfer from one medium to another, is the central task of musicology
(Bukofzer 1957, 31). It was this emphasis on style as the collective achievement
of a group that Kerman found so misguided, and that he wanted to replace with
an emphasis on singular and unique works of art. In 1965, two decades before
publishing Contemplating Music, Kerman sought to reverse the hierarchy estab-
lished by Bukofzer and others between the individual and the collective. Using
the metaphor of a ladder, he wanted to redirect the energies of the field toward
what he called criticism, one informed by history to be sure, but oriented to-
ward the human meaning of individual works:

Each of the things we [musicologists] do paleography, transcription,

repertory studies, archival work, biography, bibliography, sociology,
schools and influences, style analysis, individual analysis each of these
things, which some scholar somewhere treats as an end in itself, is treated
as a step on a ladder. Hopefully the top step provides a platform of in-
sight into individual works of art into Josquins Pange lingua mass,
Marenzios Liquide perle, Beethovens Opus 95, the Oedipus Rex.
(Kerman 1965, 62-63.)

This exactly reverses the relationship of ends and means proposed by Bukofzer,
in which a concern for individual works was merely one of the propadeutic
disciplines ancillary to the description of style.
But the symmetry between these two hierarchies should alert us to an un-
derlying complicity, to a deeper agreement between Kerman and his opponents.
Both he and the positivists share a belief that art reveals a fundamental human
nature. They differ, however, as to whether this human essence is best revealed
in the collective products of each Volk, and thus in national and period styles, or
in the works of exemplary individuals, who are the vanguard of the human race.
Thus they both subscribed to the master narrative of Bildung, a German word
that signifies both the products and the process of cultivation, of acquiring cul-
ture. In Bill Readingss account of the development of the modern university,
the ideal of producing a national subject through Bildung became the goal of
von Humboldts widely imitated plan for the University of Berlin; the cultivated
individual became the hero of a master narrative of the university, in which all
the separate disciplines find their purpose and focus. Readings also analyzes the
forms this narrative took in different national traditions. The belated founding
of the German state, for example, contributed to an anxiety about national iden-
tity, so that national literatures became the center of the curriculum, with litera-
ture replacing philosophy as the master discipline. (Readings 1996, 69 and 83-
84.) Although musicology did not become a university subject until after Hum-
boldt (the first professor ordinarius in music at the University of Vienna was
not appointed until 1870, for example), its place had already been prepared,
staked out by this master narrative, and Bukofzers prioritizing of style, with the
ultimate goal of describing national styles, fits right in with this tendency. In
America, on the other hand, the elective nature of the political bond led to a fo-
cus on an elective canon of world masterpieces. By distributing his list of mas-
terworks over several centuries and national traditions, Kerman shares the
American tendency toward an elective canon; in effect he was arguing for a dis-
tinctly American way of doing musicology, rather than submitting to the Ger-
man models that had been so dominant until then in the US; the title of his es-
say, A Profile for American Musicology, takes on new meaning from this
If these comprehensive and hierarchical visions of musicology, whether
Bukofzers central task or Kermans ladder metaphor, no longer seem com-
pelling, one reason may be that the social mission of the university has changed
(and here I have to compress my arguments pretty drastically). According to
Readings, we inhabit the ruins of the university, in which traces of the old
humanist ideals survive to be sure, but often reduced to the rhetoric of com-
mencement addresses and the like. The University of Culture is yielding to a
new professionalized ethos that Readings calls the University of Excellence. In

a global information economy, the idea of producing a national subject through
Bildung is no longer a priority, and a new unifying principle is increasingly in-
voked to legitimate the university, a principle ambiguously termed excel-
lence. Excellence is an empty signifier, a signifier without a referent, because
parking facilities and research grants can each be excellent without sharing
any common properties or essence. (Ibid., 46.)
If Readings vision of a thoroughly professionalized and bureaucratized
university sounds a bit alarmist, many humanists today, including a number of
musicologists, share his apprehensions in an age of Research Assessment Exer-
cises. Paul Attinello, for example, confesses that it often appears that I have
become part of a machine that mass produces presentations and publications as
in a factory (Attinello 2004, 167.) A potent sign of this new professionalized
ethos is the establishment of committees on professional development in the
AMS, SMT, and SEM, which hold sessions on topics such as how to write a
successful conference proposal. When the societies that were established to
study music begin, in effect, to study themselves and their own production
methods, the situation resembles what is sometimes called reflexive produc-
tion in the post-Fordist economy, in which the production process itself be-
comes part of production, and is continually monitored for the sake of greater
efficiency. (Lash and Urry 1994, 122-123.) Another sign of professionalization
is that many universities exist in an almost permanent state of fundraising, and
the professional organizations in music have followed suit, with the AMS, for
example, mounting a major fundraising campaign right now.
If the University of Culture could appeal to an underlying consensus
about fundamental values, a consensus that could embrace figures as diverse as
Kerman and the positivists under its humanist umbrella, the University of Ex-
cellence has opened a vacuum in terms of values, leading to a crisis of legitima-
tion, not merely in musicology, but for the university and the humanities in gen-
It is not difficult to find signs of this crisis and its attendant ambivalence
in contemporary musicological writing. Consider, for example, some of the es-
says in the volume Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern Modes of Hear-
ing, which appeared in 2004; even the question mark in the title suggests an
ambivalent self-interrogation, especially when compared to earlier, more confi-
dent titles such as Beyond Analysis, Beyond Orpheus, and so on. In her post-
script to the volume, Rose Rosengard Subotnik finds intimations of what she
calls the Next Paradigm in musicology capital N, capital P which she be-
lieves will replace, or is already in the process of replacing, the New Musicol-
ogy, a term she also dignifies with capital letters. Among the fairies that have
gathered around the cradle of the Next Paradigm, however, there must be one
named Ambivalence, because Subotniks optimism, as she baptizes the new
paradigm, is mingled with a darker premonition: What is at stake . . . in the

Next Paradigm is not just the legitimacy of any individual scholars work but
the future of musical scholarship itself (Subotnik 2004, 291-292). Apparently,
musicology may be on the brink of a brave new world, but it may also be poised
to go gently, or perhaps kicking and screaming, into the good night. To under-
stand why musicologists become ambivalent when they speculate about the fu-
ture, we should remember Richard Lepperts insight that worries about the na-
ture of late- (or post-) modern musical experience are part and parcel of the
larger anxieties about the nature or even possibility of a future tout court.1 One
context for understanding Subotniks ambivalence might be Fredric Jamesons
notion of the antinomies of postmodernism. For Jameson, the cultural logic of
our time seems to produce an uncanny interchange of properties that once
seemed safely separate and neatly compartmentalized, categories like change
versus stasis and heterogeneity versus homogeneity. He finds an equivalence
between an unparalleled rate of change on all levels of social life and an unpar-
alleled rate of standardization. (Jameson 1994, 15.) Think, for example, of the
almost frantic rate at which new consumer products, from cars to deodorants to
cell phones, enter and leave the marketplace, creating a constant buzz and mur-
mur and shimmer of new images while leaving the fundamental conditions of
consumption intact; or think of the phenomenon of celebrity gossip, with its re-
current obsessions, resembling an interminable epic poem, which takes us from
the mysterious death of Marilyn Monroe to the mysterious death of Anna Ni-
cole Smith, producing a sense of running in place, a Sisyphean dreariness,
rather than a sense of real progress. The images of temporality that are available
today and that characterize our everyday experience may influence our sense of
the temporality of scholarship and may account for why speculating about the
future of any discipline, and not just musicology, produces mixed feelings,
combining optimism about paradigm change with a sense of futility as if the
same antinomy of change and stasis that prevails in the consumer sphere might
pertain to academics as well.
Subotniks idea of the Next Paradigm raises a number of questions: was
the shelf life of the New Musicology really so brief that it has already passed its
expiration date? Is the search for ever new paradigms complicitous, with the
planned obsolescence of consumer culture, with its constant hyping of the new?
Perhaps what is needed is not something really new, but rather a way of negoti-
ating among existing paradigms, of which there are so many. It is not that the
New Musicology is obsolete, but that any paradigm, or method, or research
program risks atrophy by becoming institutionalized.
A frequent reaction to this conflict among values is simply to embrace
some form of disciplinary pluralism as a value, and there is something to be said
for this. Pluralism in religion, politics, lifestyle, and by extension humanistic
Richard Leppert, paper delivered at the Gothenburg Musicology Conference, University of Gteborg, Sweden,
August 2006.

fields is partly a consequence of the democratic revolution, which as Claude Le-
fort observed, involves a transformation in symbolic relations, rather than a
mere change in form of government, as people become free to pursue radically
different ideas of the good life (Lefort 1988, 19). So, pluralism definitely has its
utopian side and can be linked to values such as freedom, tolerance, diversity,
and democracy values that most of us share and even celebrate. But it would
be a mistake to embrace pluralism without some ambivalence, because it entails
the danger of relativism, which Adorno considered the dialectical twin of ab-
solutism and which he traced to the bourgeois faith in the self-sufficiency of a
single consciousness (Adorno 1973, 36). If absolutism is the reign of the popes
and ayatollahs, in relativism everyone becomes their own ayatollah, and we
may have a hundred or a thousand absolutes, each sealed off from the others in
stubborn isolation.
It is this negative potential of disciplinary pluralism to which Mitchell
Morris calls attention in his eloquent essay Musical Virtues, also part of the
collection Beyond Structural Listening? I must quote at length, to honor his
unique voice:

Musicological tempers were short in the 90s, and only recently seem to have
settled into a sullenness that still occasionally flares into rancor. Many thought-
ful and serious scholars hold incommensurate points of view with great convic-
tion and vehemence, and find little success in persuading opponents or even in
eliminating smaller disagreements between their own positions and those of
their philosophical allies. Journals, newsletters, internet sites, and even some of
the (quasi-) mass media all register this intellectual conflict, and AMS presi-
dents and others have frequently spoken out in attempts to establish more mod-
erate tones of discussion. As society has gone, so has the Society: everyones
feelings, it seems, are especially delicate around the turn of the millennium. . . .
Debates grow unproductively hot, scholars retreat in the face of discouragingly
high levels of repetition, and radical skepticism, though it begins to seem the
only way out of intractable argument, will most likely in the end prove merely
to be the most secure tombs for thought. It is incumbent upon us as scholars to
seek some way out of this dilemma. (Morris 2004, 44-45.)

The vehemence to which Morris refers seems to include what Freud called
the narcissism of minor differences (Freud 1961, 72), since it extends not just
to ones opponents but even to smaller disagreements with ones own allies.
Paul Attinello shares some of Morris concerns and worries about the danger of
solipsism, of scholarly writing so specialized as to approach something like
academic autism (Attinello 2004, 171). If the University of Excellence can lead
to the standardization of scholarly products, here we have the opposite extreme,
a tendency toward solipsism and fragmentation. In Decentering Music, I refer to

these tendencies as the Ministry of Truth (taking this term from Orwells 1984)
and the Tower of Babel, respectively. Although some of my critics have inter-
preted this pair as a stark dichotomy, my point was actually much more subtle:
there is a dialectical relationship between the Tower of Babel and the Ministry
of Truth, such as that one can turn into the other, much like the dialectical re-
versals that Jameson sees between change and stasis.
It is certainly possible, however, to view pluralism in wholly benign
terms, as Elaine Sisman does in her Presidential Message to the AMS in
2005, in her quest for a pluralist musicological literacy:

The salutary effects of the OPUS campaign can be shown to stem from both the
Opening Paths part the new initiatives already underway and the generous
donations already pledged as well as from the Unlimited Scholarship part
the possibilities to expand and make plural what we do and what we love. There
have been so many recent books and essays examining, problematizing, and
chiding our discipline that it is a relief to stop for a moment and recognize that
expansion is a valuable goal in itself, and the banal pluralism referred to by
Philip Gossett in a probing yet soothing presidential message during the con-
flicted 1990s appears to be a revivifying pluralism today, pace those who seek
to claim the stage as the next paradigm-shifter. (Sisman 2005, 2.)

A key difference between Morris and Sisman lies in their attitudes toward the
present moment versus the past, and especially the recent past as represented by
the decade of the 1990s, to which both refer. Sisman wants to relegate conflict
safely to the past, to what she calls the conflicted 1990s, so that pluralism is
invariably seen as comforting and revivifying. Morris assessment of that
decade is quite different; by characterizing the current mood as a sullenness
that still occasionally flares into rancor, he suggests a kind of stifled resigna-
tion, an attitude of suppressed hostility that is ever ready to ignite, and thus a
continuation of the conflicted 1990s by other means, rather than the arrival of
mutual understanding. Underlying Sismans conciliatory view is the old En-
lightenment ideal of tolerance. But as Marcuse pointed out in an important es-
say, the political locus of tolerance has changed from being an active opposi-
tional strategy into being part of the established order, [turning] from an active
into a passive state, from practice to non-practice: laissez faire the constituted
authorities (Marcuse 1965, 82). Under these conditions, tolerance can mutate
into the sort of passivity and even indifference summed up by a phrase from
pop psychology: Im O.K., youre O.K. Sismans Presidential Message also
shows signs of suppressed anxiety: in referring to those who have lately been
chiding musicology, she omits any mention of the critics; unlike Philip Gos-
sett and other figures whom she cites with approval, the critics must remain
nameless and faceless, mere self-promoters who are seeking to claim the stage

as the next paradigm shifter and who must be discredited so their concerns are
deprived of legitimacy.
There are signs that Sismans view of pluralism as invariably benign is
becoming something like an official position, and it is significant that she enun-
ciates it from her platform as president of the AMS, and in a fundraising appeal
that touts expansion as a valuable goal in itself. The belief that those who
question the direction of contemporary musicology are merely seeking to
claim the stage trivializes the very serious issues raised by people like Mitchell
Morris, Paul Attinello, Rose Rosengard Subotnik, and others and suggests a sort
of institutional complacency. The eloquent voices of Morris, Attinello, Subotnik
and others suggest that deep concerns about the present and future of the field


This predicament invites us to radically rethink the process of knowledge pro-

duction and the politics of interpretation, not just in musicology, but for the hu-
manities in general. By politics of interpretation I mean roughly the correla-
tion between social identity and critical or interpretive positions, or the distribu-
tion of interpretive positions in social space. I am interested in the values that
drive such position-taking, in how such values interact with individual and col-
lective identity, with how who we are and who we aspire to be affects what we
can and cannot say, including what the institutions that surround scholarship al-
low us to say and to be. So my starting point for a critique of musical research is
not music at all, but society; in this respect, I share some of the goals of the
critical theory of society associated with the Frankfurt School, although my de-
partures from them are equally important. I am not arguing for any particular
way of hearing music, or conceptualizing it, or writing about it. Instead, I look
to society and the world of human interactions as the ultimate horizon for what
we do as scholars, since we are involved in a struggle for the cultural authority
to speak about music.
I sometimes describe my project in Decentering Music as second-order
musicology, because it reverses the relation between ends and means in schol-
arship, taking the end products of musical research, the discourse it produces, as
the material for a new kind of study. One might also call this a form of recep-
tion history, but it is a reception history of the present. As the art historian
James Elkins has noted, reception history is never applied to current scholar-
ship; it never explains the most recent strategy, never accounts for the latest in-
terpretation. (Elkins 1999, 154.) This is probably because focusing on figures
who are safely dead is a way to neutralize anxiety.

My hunch is that when we think about the politics of interpretation to
the extent that we think about it at all we are constrained by questionable and
even obsolete models of society and social identity. In terms of the metaphor of
social space used earlier, we tend to conceive that space as a flat and static grid
in which critical positions satisfy the interests of preconstituted individuals and
groups. Only a new ontology of the social will enable us to rethink the politics
of interpretation.
One place I look for such an ontology is the radical democratic politics of
Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and the concept of social antagonisms a
concept that Slavoj Zizek considers the most radical breakthrough in contem-
porary social thought (Zizek 2000, 315). Antagonisms are divisions in social
space that cannot be fully represented or symbolized, because the parties inter-
fere in each others identities, so that the presence of the Other prevents me
from being totally myself (Laclau and Mouffe 1985, 125). As Zizek points out,
antagonisms resist representation because they involve metadifferences, differ-
ences about the nature of the difference. Zizek gives the example of Islam and
Christiantity, where the differences appear radically different depending on
which side of the antagonism you occupy. As long as cultures remain relatively
separate, the effects of such metadifferences can be controlled, but in an age of
multicultural encounters such as ours, you encounter the others definition of
you just as they encounter your definition of them, and both parties can be said
to interfere in each others identity.
If some of the most heated debates in musicology today involve metadif-
ferences, then the sheer obstinacy of such debates, their stubborn refusal to go
away, suddenly makes sense. In the case of figures such as Kerman and Buk-
ofzer, their disagreements about the relative priority of style versus the individ-
ual work took place within a shared space of fundamental if largely tacit values
about the centrality of the Western tradition, the humanizing function of art, and
so on. If this underlying consensus no longer exists, then the question arises:
How can one be just, how can one be fair, in an age of metadifferences? How
can one be fair to all parties, when there is no common language or value sys-
tem through which to represent metadifferences? It is not just that civilization
and barbarism are entangled, but that one persons civilization is anothers bar-


One reason why Enlightenment bromides about tolerance fall short in an age of
metadifferences is the potential to be alienated not merely from the knowledge
possessed by others, but even from what we take to be our own knowledge. To
see what I mean by this, consider Kay Kaufman Shelemays book Let Jasmine

Rain Down: Song and Remembrance Among Syrian Jews. This book is a model
of interdisciplinary engagement and multiculturalist tolerance, ranging widely
across anthropology, cognitive studies, religious studies, ethnomusicology, and
music analysis. If I call attention to some inconsistencies in this richly imagined
and valuable book, I hope you will not think less of her achievement, especially
because the problems I see are not personal failures on her part.
Shelemays goal is to understand the Syrian Jewish self as expressed in
music by focusing on the pizmonim, which are paraliturgical hymns of the Syr-
ian Jewish diaspora, in which sacred Hebrew texts are written to preexisting
melodies (Shelemay 1998, 69). The variety of cultures to which the authors of
the pizmonim have been exposed results in a corresponding variety in the
source melodies, which range from Beethoven to Broadway, and from Arabic
folk music to Farmer in the Dell. Shelemay attributes all sorts of powers to
this music, including the power to reconcile opposites, so that the differences
between sacred words and secular tunes vanish into a harmonious reconcilia-
tion, along with differences between Arab and Jew, young and old, past and
present, and so on. I would hope that Shelemay would endorse my statement of
her position. The second-order musicology that I envision should begin by en-
tering as sympathetically as possible into the intentions of the discourse it en-
gages. Since this sympathetic reading can be difficult to guarantee, I can imag-
ine all sorts of collaborative projects here.
After this first reading, however, second-order musicology seeks to dis-
cover paths not taken in the text, moments of blockage or contradiction. I find
one of these moments in Shelemay when she encounters two girls in the ladies
room who are the granddaughters of Moses Tawil, an important composer of
pizmonim and one of her key informants. When she asks them why they are not
outside, enjoying the music, their reply contrasts sharply with the generally
celebratory tone of the book: No. Were bored. This isnt our music. (Ibid.,
94.) In the context of a book that constantly praises the power of the pizmonim
to bridge social divisions, this apparent refusal to join in the praise seems strik-
ing, and I regard it as a significant blindspot in the book, but one that provides
its own special window on Halabi culture. If the book is about Syrian Jewish
identity as expressed in music, does that identity include these two girls? The
incident has the potential to tell us all sorts of things about social antagonisms,
including those between genders and generations in this patriarchal and authori-
tarian culture. Remarkably, Shelemay reports this incident almost without
comment, with nothing more than an air of kids say the darndest things.
Shelemay may even overlook an important affinity between herself and the two
girls, since she shares their social position as someone who is at the boundaries
of Syrian Jewish culture. She is the diligent outsider, the careful student who
knows she will always be outside the culture, however carefully she studies it.
They have the insiders knowledge that she lacks, but have assumed a distance

to their own culture, and for reasons left unexplored in Shelemays book, they
do not identify wholly with Halabi music or recognize themselves in it. This is
what I mean when I say we risk being alienated from our own knowledge as
well as that of others. There is something about Shelemays double position as
an outsider / insider that she shares with these two girls and yet disavows, along
with the potential insight into her own divided experience that this insight might
Shelemay identifies with an idealized image of Syrian Jewish society,
with the image projected by her informants of how they would like to be seen.
Here we might recall Zizeks description of ideological fantasy as the counter-
part of social antagonisms: fantasy is precisely the way the antagonistic fissure
is masked. (Zizek 1989, 126.) Music theorists, and especially Schenkerians,
have often been accused of subscribing to an organicist ideology, but here we
see that such organicist unities are by no means limited to any one branch of
musical scholarship.
This idealization inevitably effects her treatment of the music, so that she
seems to shy away from engaging features of the music that might disrupt the
images of peaceful reconciliation that she favors. Since the pizmonim are writ-
ten to preexisting melodies, it would seem that words and music do not always
merge into a seamless unity. Yet, only once does she consider the potential of
the melodies to resist assimilation into their new contexts. When the well-
known Christmas carol O Tannenbaum is appropriated as a pizmon, the in-
congruity between the words and the music briefly draws her attention, but
largely because it has troubled some members of the Halabi community.
In some ways, the pizmonim recall the practice of writing words to clas-
sical pieces as a mnemonic device. I still recall the words that Sigmund Spaeth
(1949, 115) wrote for the Eighth Symphony: Beethoven still is great, in the
Symphony he numbers eight. Gertrude Stein said that every masterpiece came
into the world with a measure of ugliness in it . . . its our business as critics to
stand in front of it and recover its ugliness. (Gertrude Stein, quoted in Wilder
1986, 29.) I like to regard this as Steins version of Benjamins dialectic of civi-
lization and barbarism. In the pizmonim, the ugliness may be the failed
synthesis, the manner in which old and new textual and generic associations
clash and refuse to coalesce. In Shelemays work, her informants always praise
the pizmonim with a love that knows no ambivalence, that exhibit beauty with
no admixture of ugliness, and we should certainly respect this vernacular
knowledge, their account of their own experience. What a second-order analysis
can add to this, however, is a respect for everyones knowledge, including that
of the two girls who said they were bored, so we can understand how individual
experience registers social divisions. It may register these divisions in the form
of denial or idealization, and since idealization is part of any identity, Shele-
mays account gives us valuable information about Halabi culture, and how

some members of the community, at least, experience themselves in their mu-
Lets look at an example from the cognitive psychology of music that
will suggest how my approach differs from disciplinary pluralism as it is gener-
ally understood. An important strain of research in musical cognition draws on
the insights of the philosopher Mark Johnson, both in his independent work and
in his collaboration with George Lakoff, on such topics as the embodied mind,
image schemata, cross-domain mapping, and so forth. Within an American con-
text, the originality of Johnsons work may well depend on his receptivity to
both analytic and Continental traditions in philosophy, and he even admits that
it will be obvious that some of my most important claims are anticipated in the
work of philosophers who might legitimately claim allegiance to phenomenol-
ogy of post-Husserlian varieties (Johnson 1987, xxxvii). Yet, the musical re-
ception of his work has taken place within an institutional framework that is
largely, if unconsciously, dominated by Anglo-American empiricism in method
and philosophical outlook, so that Johnsons Continental affinities and debts
have been overlooked by his own most passionate readers. As a further irony,
Johnson himself seems constrained by the audience that he envisions for his
work, so that his range of references is dominated by the analytic tradition, and
his debt to phenomenology is rarely addressed or made explicit. And here we
see the greatest danger posed by institutional prejudices: far from being merely
external differences, the opposition between factions often appears as an inter-
nal blockage or impediment within a single school of thought. So whereas a be-
nevolent pluralism of the kind envisioned by Sisman in the quotation I cited ear-
lier might treat the analytic and phenomenological traditions as two separate but
equal modes of thought that should merely tolerate each others existence, I am
suggesting that these modes of thought actually contaminate each other, that
they are not separate, and that they must be brought into a productive collision
rather than merely leading a life of mutual indifference.
To return to my opening gambit about the aging of the new musicology:
it is not that the new musicology is obsolete, but that any method or school of
thought risks atrophy by becoming institutionalized; so perhaps we need to de-
velop institutions that resist their own authority.
By insisting on the paradoxical status of his own work vis-a-vis institu-
tions, Derrida might provide a model for musicologists to negotiate with the
structures that simultaneously enable and constrain their work: Deconstruction
is an institutional practice for which the concept of institution remains a prob-
lem2 (Derrida 2002, 53.) For me, this formulation recalls Heideggers state-
ment that Dasein exists as an entity for which, in its Being, that being is itself
an issue3 (Heidegger 1962, 458). Institutions, whether we consider the family,
Emphasis original.
Emphasis original.

the state, the university, law, religion, literature, or whatever, are our collective
modes of being in the world, our collaborative ways of being human, and Der-
rida seeks to problematize them rather than destroy them, so their authority re-
mains permanently in question. Musicology has a rich legacy of institutions, in-
cluding not only the basic infrastructure of academic departments, professional
organizations, and publishers that support scholarship, but also a sophisticated
network of investigative methods and genres of writing that exert an institu-
tional force. Since there can be no organized study of music or of anything
else, for that matter without institutions, it would be absurd simply to jettison
them and start over. What we can do, however, is to foster institutions that resist
their own authority.
Here it is urgent not only to examine the various institutional spaces
within which musicology has historically functioned, but also to identify poten-
tial conflicts among those spaces, since these can produce contradictory de-
mands on disciplines. One source of conflicting values in musical scholarship
may be the sometimes awkward perch it occupies between the university and
the conservatory the one committed to the pursuit of knowledge, the other to
the cultivation of music as an art, craft, or practical activity. The slow and be-
grudging acceptance of musicology as an academic discipline, epitomized by
the remark attributed to the president of Harvard, who said that theres no such
thing as musicology, one might as well speak of grandmotherology, continues
to produce effects. Many in the field, for example, will wonder if musicology
will always be a belated discipline, and such anxieties can create all sorts of
imaginary rivalries and identifications as musicologists try to establish their
academic legitimacy. Yet, the discipline also remains vulnerable to the charge
that it is irrelevant to the activity of practical musicianship. These conflicting
demands can produce a see-saw effect, as musicologists alternately try to satisfy
the demands for academic rigor and musical spontaneity. The contrast that
Carolyn Abbate has recently drawn between gnostic versus drastic ap-
proaches to music would seem to mirror these conflicting institutional demands
(Abbate 2004); the university holds up knowledge as an ideal, while the conser-
vatory celebrates performance, immediacy, immersion in the moment. The dif-
ficulty that Abbate has in satisfying these two masters by writing an academic
discourse that would somehow capture the spontaneity of a unique performance
suggests the paradoxical institutional position from which she writes.
This double institutional location of musicology recalls the special posi-
tion of philosophy that Derrida finds in Kants plan for the university, in which
philosophy is both one discipline among others, but also the discipline that in-
terrogates the grounds of all the others. Although contained within the larger
whole of the university, philosophy is also the part that exceeds the whole.
(Derrida 2003, 106.) In similar fashion, as an academic department with ties to
musical practice, musicology is both inside and outside the university. This sort

of conflict can produce both positive and negative effects, and I believe that
musicologists should embrace their marginality and exploit it.

Abbate, Carolyn. 2004. Music Drastic or Gnostic?, Critical Inquiry 30/3 (Spring): 505-
Adorno, Theodor W. 1955. The Aging of the New Music, Essays on Music, ed. by Richard
Leppert, trans. by Susan H. Gillespie. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
__________. 1973. Negative Dialectics, trans. by E. B. Ashton. New York: Continuum.
Attinello, Paul. 2004. Passion / Mirrors (A Passion for the Violent Ineffable: Modernist Mu-
sic and the Angel / In the Hall of Mirrors), Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern
Modes of Hearing, ed. Andrew DellAntonio. Berkeley, CA: University of California
Press, 2004. pp. 154-172.
Benjamin, Walter. 1968. Theses on the Philosophy of History, Illuminations: Essays and
Reflections, ed. by Hannah Arendt, trans. by Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken
Biddle, Ian, and Richard Middleton. 2007. About this Journal, Radical Musicology, (accessed on November 17, 2007).
Bukofzer, Manfred. 1957. The Place of Musicology in American Institutions of Higher
Learning. New York: Liberal Arts Press.
Derrida, Jacques. 2002. Whos Afraid of Philosophy? The Right to Philosophy I. Stanford,
CA: Stanford University Press.
__________. 2003. Eyes of the University: The Right to Philosophy 2. Stanford: Stanford
University Press.
Elkins, James. 1999. Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? On the Modern Origins of Pictorial
Complexity. New York, NY: Routledge.
Freud, Sigmund. 1961. Civilization and Its Discontents, ed. and trans. by James Strachey.
New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and Time, trans. by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson.
New York, NY: Harper and Rowe.
Jameson, Fredric. 1994. The Seeds of Time. New York: Columbia University Press.
Johnson, Mark. 1987. The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination and
Reason. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kerman, Joseph. 1965. A Profile for American Musicology, Journal of the American Mu-
sicological Society 18 (Spring): 61-69.
__________. 1985. Contemplating Music: Challenges to Musicology. Cambridge, MA: Har-
vard University Press.
Korsyn, Kevin. 2003. Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research.
New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe. 1985. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a
Radical Democratic Politics. London: Routledge.
Lefort, Claude. 1988. Democracy and Political Theory. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, in As-
sociation with Basil Blackwell, Oxford.
Lash, Scott, and John Urry, Economies of Signs and Space. London: Sage, 1994.
Ngai, Sianne. 2005. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Marcuse, Herbert. 1965. Repressive Tolerance, A Critique of Pure Tolerance, by Robert
Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Herbert Marcuse. Boston, MA: Beacon.
Morris, Mitchell. Musical Virtues, Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern Modes of
Hearing, ed. Andrew DellAntonio. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
2004. pp. 44-69.
Readings, Bill. 1996. The University in Ruins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Sisman, Elaine. 2005. Presidents Message to the AMS, AMS Newsletter (August): 2.
Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. 1998. Let Jasmine Rain Down: Song and Remembrance Among
Syrian Jews. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Spaeth, Sigmund. 1949. Great Symphonies: How to Recognize and Remember Them. New
York: Perma Giants.
Subotnik, Rose Rosengard. 2004. Afterword: Toward the Next Paradigm in Musical Schol-
arship, Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern Modes of Hearing, ed. Andrew
DellAntonio. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004. pp. 279-302.
Wilder, Thornton. 1986. Introduction to Four in America, Gertrude Stein, ed. by Harold
Bloom. New York: Chelsea House. ???-???.
Zizek, Slavoj. 1989. The Sublime Object of Ideology. London: Verso.
__________. 2000. Holding the Place, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contempo-
rary Dialogues on the Left, by Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Zizek. Lon-
don: Verso. pp. 308-329.

Marie-Agnes Dittrich (Universitt fr Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien)

Reply to Kevin Korsyn, Including Remarks on Musicology and

Musiktheorie in Germany and Austria in Times of the Bologna
Process and of Knowledge Evaluation

In his essay The Aging of the New Musicology1 Kevin Korsyn calls for a
transformation of the musicological discourse and of the organisation of
academic research, as does his book Decentering Music: A Critique of
Contemporary Musical Research2. Since the book has been so extensively
reviewed as to even produce a meta-review,3 I want to comment on some of
Korsyns observations from my own perspective: that of a German
Musicologist teaching Analysis at a Music Academy4 in Austria.

1st Aspect: Heated Debates:

Korsyn, observing the discourse music research produces, addresses the heated
debates in musicology, conflicting modes of thought that should be into a
productive collision rather than merely leading a life of mutual indifference.
I happened to read Korsyns book at the same time as Barack Obamas The
Audacity of Hope and was struck by a similarity. Both Obama and Korsyn
propose to address conflicts within a community not only as conflicts among
factions but also as conflicts within individuals.5 The way Korsyn proposes to
address issues like the formations of identity and the antagonisms in music
research is similar to Barack Obamas approach to issues like race. Both Korsyn
and Obama see externalization as part of a conflict and propose to acknowledge
our internal fragmentation as a necessary step towards a solution. Also, the
voices dissonating in the music of musicology remind me of the cultural wars
within the US: such as evolution versus Intelligent Design, pro life/pro
choice, the death penalty, the right to bear arms, and so on.
From an outsiders perspective it seems strange enough that some of the
topics dominating the cultural debate in the US are being discussed at all (e.g.
death penalty, Intelligent Design). Even stranger is the fact that they are
Unless otherwise stated, all the following quotations are taken from this essay. (Since it was
transmitted to me electronically, I cannot supply page numbers).
Kevin, Korsyn. Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research. New
York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Jonathan, Pieslak. Review of Kevon Korsyn, Decentering Music: A Critique of
Contemporary Music research. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, MTO 14/1, 2008.
[online, thus no page numbers].
Universitt fr Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Kevin, Korsyn. Decentering Music, 49. See also, 33.

fought over not only between two parties (which are in many other respects so
close as to seem nearly indistinguishable), but also within them. Nevertheless,
these topics are debated heatedly and persistently, presumably in order to
deflect attention from more important global issues left unaddressed. When
Korsyn refers to the sheer obstinacy of the debates in music research which
refuse to go away I wonder if they reflect a culture of debates, be it in academia
or in politics, that is, at least to some degree, particularly American? But
another of Korsyns concerns is ours, too:

2nd Aspect: Erosion of Shared Values

In The Aging of the New Musicology, Korsyn mentions that we inhabit a
time of conflicting [] values and sources of identity, in which there seems to
be no authoritative language or value system through which to represent music,
its meaning, or its history. This situation is different from earlier debates
which were still based on an underlying deeper agreement.
In both Germany and Austria the school system is very class oriented,
due to the lingering of a conservative tradition which was fortified by the
National Socialists. This system suits the so-called Bildungsbrgertum, which
is to say, citizens striving for a good education especially in the humanities, a
common cultural heritage and shared system of values, willing to pay rather
high taxes in exchange for free education and subsidized museums, opera
houses, concert halls, radio programs and scholarship (thereby supporting, for
example, complete editions in music or literature). Many schools close at
midday, based on the idea that a parent (namely the mother) will sacrifice a
professional career in order to supervise the students study assignments in the
afternoons and evenings. Parents are made responsible for and given great
control of their childrens education, thus protecting the privileges of the higher
classes, who can not only provide supervision of homework but also private
lessons, for example in music. (Public music schools that supply inexpensive
music education in afternoon classes do exist, but are understaffed in Germany
and at least in some parts of Austria, including, ironically, in Vienna, the self-
styled world capital of music). In times of globalization, the system of
Bildung and its values are under pressure. Countries are competing
internationally with lower taxes, thus cutting back on subsidies, fewer parents
can afford or are willing to stay at home, while schools are encouraged to teach
immediately marketable skills, so that the idea of a shared national cultural
heritage is eroding. Universities, concert managers and book publishers have
noticed that a shared basic knowledge in cultural matters can no longer be taken
for granted. Significantly, at the same time Knowledge Assessment or History
of Memory emerge as new trends, and the merits of a canon of masterworks,
while under attack because of nationalist, eurocentric or sexist tendencies, are
re-evaluated and newly appreciated, because some common basic knowledge,

even if it conveys a distorted view of our culture and its global significance,
might be better than none at all.

3rd Aspect: We Are Not Alone:

Korsyn remarks that we may have a hundred or a thousand absolutes, each
sealed off from the others in stubborn isolation. This, as Korsyn of course says
himself, reflects a cultural condition rather than a problem restricted to music
research; and appropriate examples I would like to include are Ankersmits
thoughts about the Postmodern Privatization of the Past, Ron Rosenbaum
on the Shakespeare Wars, or James Elkins on the multitude of conflicting
interpretations of paintings -- all of which describe a fascinating wealth of
information and questions at the same time as lot of confusion.6 Moreover,
according to neurophysiology, our perception of our surroundings is highly
privatized, because we construct and reconstruct our personal identities
according to our daily changing needs.7 And while we believe to act upon
reflection, we rather use reflection to justify our previous actions, prompting
neurophysiological research to question even our responsibility for such
actions. Thus, any methodological debates on the correct perception and
interpretation of music8 may seem conceited. I believe that the current state of
neurophysiology presents us with methodological problems we have not yet
begun to consider.

4th Aspect: Music Reasearch in Austria and Germany

If debates in music research seem to be less heated in Germany and Austria
than in the US, the completely different standing of our Music Theory may be
one of the reasons. As a discipline, it is much less clearly defined than in the
US. In fact, at the moment some of us are not even sure it exits. Since National
Socialism discouraged any critical thinking in music, it virtually abolished
Music Theory by reducing it to Tonsatz or the teaching of basic practical
crafts and techniques, such as harmony or counterpoint.9 Usually this basic
musicianship misleadingly called Musiktheorie was, and still is, taught by
Ankersmit, F.R.. The Postmodernist Privatization of the Past.Historical Representation.
Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2001. Ron, Rosenbaum. The Shakespeare Wars. Clashing
Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups. New York: Random House, 2008. James, Elkins.
Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles? On the Modern Origins of Pictorial Complexity. New York:
Routledge, 1999.
Harald, Welzer. Das kommunikative Gedchtnis. Eine Theorie der Erinnerung, Mnchen
2005; Eric Kandel, Auf der Suche nach dem Gedchtnis. Die Entstehung einer neuen
Wissenschaft des Geistes, transl. by Hainer Kober. Mnchen: Siedler, 2(2006).
Manfred, Spitzer. Musik im Kopf. Hren, Musizieren, Verstehen und Erleben im neuronalen
Netzwerk. Stuttgart: Schattauer, 2004.
Ludwig, Holtmeier. Von der Musiktheorie zum Tonsatz. Zur Geschichte eines
geschichtslosen Faches. in:

composers, and its place is not at universities but at conservatories. Until quite
recently it was often done without foundation in historical research.10 Theory of
music more worthy of that name was and is generally undertaken by
musicologists: Journals and publications that have the word Musiktheorie in
their names are edited mostly by musicologists, and at the moment there is a
debate in Germany and Austria whether there could actually be any music
theory that would be substantially so different from musicology as not to be a
part of it.11
In Austria, academies of music are nowadays called Universitten fr
Musik. They ape real universities in many respects, for example with Ph.D.
programs, but having an adequate infrastructure or allowing scholarly research
the necessary impact on the teaching curriculum, and consequently some of the
resulting dissertations are nothing to boast about. Even worse, there is a so-
called knstlerische Habilitation - a contradiction in itself, since a
Habilitation is by definition a scholarly qualification higher than a Ph.D. and
traditionally restricted to real universities. Not surprisingly, a knstlerische
Habilitation has never been defined with sufficient precision. This has
devastating effects for the so-called Musiktheorie in Austria, because the
committees are dominated by composers and their idea of Musiktheorie as a
deficient kind of composition. There has been at least one instance where a
knstlerische Habilitation in Musiktheorie was approved by such a
committee, although the candidate had not submitted a single scholarly
I would like to add a remark regarding my own field, Analysis, within
German musicology. Some methodological debates disappeared before or with
the Iron Curtain, maybe as much because of the Cultural Turn or the
restructuring of the universities and music research organisations as for
ideological reasons; I am thinking here of discussions about the respective
progressiveness of a composer or his/her attachment to Social Progress versus
conservative Christianity (e.g. regarding Johann Sebastian Bach). Looking
back, it seems to me that in both East and West Germany material-based
analyses prevailed, and semantic approaches, which challenged or presented an
alternative to them were marginalized rather than openly attacked. Maybe a
broad consensus, an ideology rather than an idea of absolute music, advocated
an approach uncontaminated by extramusical associations which had earlier
been or still were abused by National Socialism or Socialist Realism. I think it
is significant that for decades literature, theater productions and even paintings
Diether de la Motte was one of the composers teaching Musiktheorie who, by pointing
this out (in Harmonielehre, Mnchen, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1976), started a
discussion regarding the aims and methods within the field that is still going on.
The issue will be debated at the next conference of the Gesellschaft fr Musiktheorie in
Graz (Musiktheorie als interdisziplinres Fach), Graz, 9th -12th October, 2008.

were dominated at least in West Germany by a simililar aversion to narratives
or stories in the broadest sense.
The lack of heated debates in Austria and Germany may well have given
even more power to those who already held key positions and may be one of the
reasons why gender studies, for example, is a field in which we lag behind the
US by some 20 years.

5th Aspect: The Bologna Process.

All the problems Korsyn mentions, such as Universities of excellence, or the
situation of the humanities in general and of music theory and musicology at
universites and conservatories, are very familiar to us.
At the moment, our universities (real and so-called), are in the middle of
the Bologna Process. (That is to say, most of them. In my own school a
prevailing attitude, at least in some departments, seems to reflect the hope that it
will go away if we continue to ignore it). Certainly, the Bologna Process is well
meant, since it aims to unify the different national university systems within the
EU, in order to facilitate academic mobility. Right now, the implementation is
moving at different speeds, making mobility in fact more difficult than before.
At the same time, the process tranforms universities into student processing
factories, 12 and it is not yet clear what will happen to those students who, after
having got their Bachelors degree, will not be admitted to a Masters program.
Maybe universities with different standards will emerge. A German critic,
Jochen Hrisch13, thinks that the result will be a re-introduction of real
universities worthy of the name, but only for an elite of 3% to 5% per year. This
would mean a return to exactly the same situation as 100 years ago. Only, one
hopes, with better financial help for those who need it.

What to do?
Korsyns proposals to re-think the politics of musicological research, to find
new methods of teaching that will prepare students for the changing challenges,
and transforming the standards of the academic discourse, will, one hopes, be
implemented. A critique of Decentering Music in the Journal of the
Gesellschaft fr Musiktheorie (GMTH) by Wolfgang Fuhrmann is not too
optimistic: Wo die Ressourcen knapp sind - bei der Vergabe von Lehrsthlen
wie von lvorrten - kann sich die Differenz nicht mehr im freien Spiel

Recently, the German magazine DER SPIEGEL dedicated an article to the Bologna
process and the problems regarding its implementation: Die Studenten-Fabrik. In: Der
Spiegel 18/2008, 28.04.2008 (online:
Jochen, Hrisch. Die ungeliebte Universitt. Rettet die Alma mater! Mnchen. Wien:
Hanser, 2006.

entfalten. [] Real existierende Antagonismen lassen sich nicht diskursiv
reformieren (When ressources are in short supply - regarding tenured
professorships or oil reserves - differences cannot unfold freely. [] Actually
existing antagonisms cannot be reformed through discourse.)14
Nevertheless I think there are several things we might be able to do. I
would like to point out three.
1. Undermine Unilateral Points of View. We might use the privatization
of history in order to question unilateral points of view by adapting the idea of
bilateral history books like those being written by German and French and
German and Polish historians for the use in schools. We should discuss the
option of multi-lateral introductions to music theory and musicology. Maybe
such introductions could even help with one of the problems that hamper
discussions on an international level at the moment: that so much discourse
depends on translations. To mention but one example: in America, positions of
Carl Dahlhaus dating from the 1960s or 1970s are now being as eagerly
discussed and rejected as if they were new, because translations have become
available only recently.
2. Focus on the Beginners. I believe that I am more optimistic than
Korsyn in hoping that any scholarly discourse worthy of that name will already
strive to do what Korsyn calls for, namely take different points of view into
consideration. This is no more than hermeneutics in the more modern sense,
which sees both the object of research and the observer in constant motion, thus
resisting, as Korsyn requests, their own authority. I think the greater problem,
at least in Germany and Austria, is how to deal with beginners: already now, or
in the near future, a complex field like musicology is supposed to be studied
within the newly introduced BA programs - an oxymoron unless we somehow
find a way to teach students not only how to amass but also how to evaluate
information. Whereas text books are generally accepted in the US, they have
been traditionally scorned by scholars in the German speaking lands, causing
many such books to be written by music educators rather than musicologists,
and therefore many of them perpetuate views that have long been criticized by
scholars. I think we need to take matters in hand.
3. Accept and Exploit Different Options for Scholars. Not only musical
scholarship is sometimes awkwardly perched, as Korsyn says, between the
university and the conservatory, the one committed to the pursuit of knowledge,
the other to the cultivation of music as an art, craft, or practical activity.
Professors in most fields are torn between the three conflicting demands of
research, teaching and administration. If the universities within the EU will be

Fuhrmann ,Wolfgang. (Rezension von K. Korsyn). In: ZGMTH 1.2., Jg. 2003/05, Band 2:
2/2-3 (2005): Nordamerikanische Musiktheorie, 279-287, p. 285.

split into different levels by recent developments, maybe we should campaign
for a better status of those professors who are able to teach effectively, and
especially beginners.
I also think we need to engage in projects outside the university,
including knowledge evaluation procedures, in order to emphasize that the
ability of listening to and making music in an informed way requires
knowledge, and also that this knowledge is an endangered cultural heritage that
needs to be appreciated and funded in order to be preserved.


Christian Bielefeldt (Atelier School of Zurich, Switzerland)

A Reply to Kevin Korsyns The Aging of New Musicology

My reply to Kevin Korsyn tries to pick up a crucial thought of his lecture, as I

read it, and use it as a methodological starting point for investigating a problem
of the research on popular music. For that purpose, I will commentate some
rather new writings, which are concerned with significant approaches to pop
music, among them a number of articles I edited in an anthology called popmu-
sicology, trying to adopt the idea of and perhaps rudimentarily practice what
Korsyns lecture calls a second order musicology.
Two convincing elements in Korsyns text I want to discuss in this article
are (1) his insistence on opposition as an attitude of musicological research after
the exhaustion of new musicology and (2) (connected with the first) his aware-
ness for open or hidden feelings and moods in musicological writings.
When Korsyn writes about the antagonisms preventing the existence of a com-
mon language not only for the different branches of musicology, but also for the
social worlds with contradictory norms and incommensurable ideologies exist-
ing today, he stresses the importance of emotions surrounding and coming up to
the surfaces of discourses and concepts inside and outside the university. Fol-
lowing his text, these once bad and then even too euphoric tempers can be un-
derstood as hints for inconsistencies, which are contained in our studied objects,
but anyhow denied to get a cohesive result fitting in our ideas of academic re-
search. Although he is referring mainly to the Benjaminian Janus face barba-
rism-civilization and Zizeks sociological concept of meta-differences, I think
this is not least a Freudian notion; especially when one thinks about Das Unbe-
hagen in der Kultur (a formula not sufficiently translated with discontent in
civilization; Korsyn mentions this book [Freud 1994] in another context). Be-
cause I cannot discuss this theoretical network in an adequate manner at this
stage, my reply will take that interest for emotions, as Korsyn does, as an inter-
est for unconscious but operative antagonisms lying on the ground of many (or
all) musicological studies, but also for their opposite, fantasies that cover men-
acing conflicts and antinomies with slightly too convincing closures.
Nevertheless, my starting point is not a musicological writing, but an oral
report given by a colleague of mine some months ago. It was about the highly
regarded Bob Dylan Congress, hosted in Frankfurt/Main in 2006; my fellow
expressed his discontent and deep anger about the opening lecture, which he re-
viewed as at least very strange, without giving a critique or comment to its sub-
stance. The lecturer was one of the hosts, Richard Klein, a German philosopher
and musicologist who in the same year published a monograph entitled My
name It Is Nothing. Bob Dylan: Nicht Pop Nicht Kunst (Klein 2006) a book,

to position myself, I recently studied and appreciated very much due to the per-
suasive analysis of Dylans music. But what then could be the reason for the
quite impressive irritation of my colleague? Reminding the enraged emotions
that attended his statements, I would say it was the fact that what Klein offered
was something hugely different from anything he expected. And having read
Kleins book, I assume his lecture was different namely in three aspects: first,
in its refusal to engage in the sloppy insider-tone of common monographic pop
writings, practicing an ambitious hermeneutical discourse with complex phi-
losophical pretensions instead Im sure most Dylan fans will lay aside Kleins
book with a sigh only for this reason; second, that he spoke about Dylan as if he
belongs to the sphere of serious art, taking his music worthy enough for earnest
aesthetic considerations; and third, that his annotations were not based on cul-
tural or sociological observations about Dylan, his reception and the historical
circumstances of his career, but from the musical phenomenon itself, that is
from the songs, albums, and numerous live-recordings of the American song-
writer, folk-hero, traitor with the electric guitar and, in Kleins view, Pop-
Avant-Gardist (ibid., 219). In other words: My colleague was that resentful,
because he participated in an openly non-cultural lecture about popular music
and, worse, a lecture centered on the musical work. Or, polemically spoken: He
was so emotional, because Klein was giving a lecture engaged in the serious
aesthetic evaluation of pop as music.
I told this little story, because above all the deep discomfort of my col-
league mirrored an attitude many popular music scholars cultivate. We can call
it the discomfort in taking pop music as art, which means, as a kind of music
worthy of aesthetic investigation; a general distrust versus every approach that
only smells the atmosphere of Western-art-orientated musicology and the asso-
ciated aesthetic norms: The central position of the masterwork (Korsyn points
out the role Kerman played in this game), structural complexity and innovation
(by the way some of the common criteria of avant-garde), and the correlative
instruments of analysis. This distrust in norms almost every musicologist fol-
lowed only few decades ago is as old as popmusicology itself. And it is still
very lively, as my first example underlines: an article by Peter Wicke (2008).
This article not only discusses and amplifies the distrust-position, but, going
along with Simon Friths now 18 years old formula of pop music as an empty
signifier, argues that today every serious theorist of pop music has adverted to
the impossibility of operating with a concept of popular music that is centered
on structure and the musical work as a meaningful text.1 Following this, the
Auf die Unmglichkeit mit einem werk- und strukturzentrierten Musikbegriff gegenber
der Popmusik zu operieren, haben bislang noch alle Theoretiker der Popmusik hingewiesen
bis hin zu der zugespitzten Formulierung des britischen Soziologen Simon Frith von Musik
als leerem Zeichen, mit der er dieses Charakteristikum der Popmusik begrifflich zu fassen
suchte (Frith 1990, S. 96). (Wicke 2008, 66.) The supposed article is: Frith, Simon. What

tone and smell and the whole approach of Kleins lecture and book indeed
can nothing but rouse suspicion and denial, and testify Wickes biting remark
that this insight has been startingly resultless for most of the scholars engaged in
writing pop history.
To be sure, Wicke evidently is correct, at any rate, in the sense that the
decline of work-centered musical analysis is indeed common sense throughout
the majority of popular music scholars today, as in the last decades. Even most
musicologists who anyhow offered approaches to the musical analysis of pop
did that in a critical manner, refusing to simply overtake traditional tools of
analysis and developing additional or competing tools instead.2 Anyway, no
other proof for Wickes assumption is necessary than the cultural turn popmusi-
cology stands out for since the early 1980s (which is, to a certain amount, a so-
ciological turn). As Anne Danielsen (2008, 27) writes, this turn to take pop mu-
sic as a medium for social or cultural processes, and to more or less disregard its
quality as sounding music, had an important impact on the academic study of
music, where it arranged a ceasefire between the scholars of art music and those
of pop.3
On the other hand, this quite comfortable turn raised what can be called
the problem of pop & aesthetics. Being committed to cultural approaches, the
field of academic music research refused to value pop music aesthetically and
investigate it as a sounding object. It was again Simon Frith, soon followed by
Richard Middleton and others, who noticed that theoretical gap, or, speaking
with Korsyn, that will-to-ignorance, quite early. But, as Danielsen points out,
with noticing it, the problem was not solved at all.4 We still have a vast accor-
dance that any approach to pop as a musical work we should interpret is obso-
lete. So, if we follow this, there are still troubles with the cultural turn, and in
this respect, and Korsyns thoughts in mind, statements like Wickes cited

Is Good Music. In: Alternative Musicologies/Les Musicologies Alternatives by John Shep-

herd. Toronto: Canadian University Music Society, 1990, 96-102.
See the writings of David Brackett, Richard Middleton, and Stan Hawkins, to mention a
Contrary to the situation within the study of Western art music, cultural approaches have
been dominating the study of popular music. In fact it seems that this trend has been nurtured,
both from the side of cultural studies, with its skepticism towards aesthetics, and from the
side of musicologists in art music, who seem to have had less trouble to include popular mu-
sic in the music institutions when presented in the form of music sociology or subculture
studies. (Danielsen 2008, 27.)
Cultural approaches, engaged in cultural significance and the communication acts in which
social groups are involved, normally deny deeper correlations between aesthetic judgments
and the sound characteristics of a pop song. To say it in Danielsens words, thats why they
cannot fully explain the processes that lead to the experience of music as good music: a pre-
argumental and nonverbal experience of aesthetic pleasure that is not reducible to the impact
of social forces.

above could sound just a little bit too convinced. And isnt that a hint for a hid-
den fantasy in the Zizek-sense?5
The question remains, why the cultural turn then proves such an insis-
tency. It certainly is not the place here to summarize all the effects caused by
the cultural studies critic Adorno; as known, Adornos topos of the Regression
des Hrens (Adorno 1956), devalues popular music as a mere instrument for
creating that condemnable circle named Verblendungszusammenhang, in which
the industry of culture satisfies needs that are produced by the industry itself
and, worse, in doing so conceal the real needs of the people. By contrast, the
culturalists demonstrated that pop, where used as the music of minorities and
youth (or subcultures), is able to deeply threaten the hegemony of bourgeois
culture. And it is not necessary to borrow the pathetic definition of popmusicol-
ogy as an anti-elitist research,6 studying peoples music and its function within
the processes of producing cultural identities, to see that a more pragmatic ap-
proach still should demand on the investigation of pop music as a medium of
cultural and social processes (Wicke 2008, 72): to insist on the incomparability
of popular and art music (and even of different streams of pop itself). Only the
concept of pop and art as different social systems with different norms and val-
ues enables us to locate the value of pop not in the music itself, taking that as a
strategy of legitimating art music, but in the social processes it activates and
I am far from rejecting these arguments; they have many good reasons on
their side and are widely confirmed by musicological and sociological studies.
However, my addition, practicing second-order musicology, would be that the
harsh insistence they display argues for the existence of hidden phantasmagoric
aspects of these arguments aspects, which, as I see it, amongst others help to
cover problems the separation of pop and art arouses.8 Of course, challenging

Notice also figures like every / alle, not for instance most / die meisten; and impossib-
lity / Unmglichkeit, not problem / difficulty.
See a notion by Thomas Phleps; he postulates that high-quality research of popular music
should be a research that abandons the idea of the artist, creators, and genius: It should be
ein Qualittsbeweis, wenn die Popularmusikforschung frei bleibt von kunstproduzierenden
Knstlern, ganz abgesehen von mythischen Reinstallierungen wie Schpfer oder gar Genies.
(Phleps 2002, 57).
Expanding that on more than just popular music, Christian Rolle proposes to distinguish
between different forms of what he calls aesthetic practices, which means accesses to using
music and absorbing it into everyday life. The aesthetic approach of old and new musicology
then would represent only one aspect of aesthetic practice amongst several others. But an as-
pect, which presumably is practiced only as an exception while hearing popular music and
exactly for this reason criticized by Pierre Bourdieu and others, as Rolle shows; see Rolle
2008, 54-55.
Those Problems range from to whatever extent it seems to be useful to take both pop mu-
sic and art music as plain entities to why and how the categories are produced as players on

the difference between pop and art has its own history, even though what was
discussed was mostly the battle of high and low as Bourdieu (1982) described
it; the search of low for becoming appreciated, being high. And this means
nothing but to maintain the idea that only high or appreciated music is wor-
thy enough for being a subject for aesthetical analysis.
My assumption, therefore, is that the separation between cultural (pop)
and musical (art) research fulfills its social function not only in the sense popu-
lar music scholars pretend to act for. And more, that this divide even enforces
the controversial authority the musicologists engaged with art music have occu-
pied since the 19th century and are still executing inside the departments of mu-
sicology. Then, as the dichotomy cultural / aesthetic approach, remember Dan-
ielsen, is not least a product of the scholars of popular music themselves, help-
ing to get disciplinary distinctions and also consolidating their position as oppo-
sitional, being scholars if not for the people or the counterculture, then for
the music of the young, cool and hip (to be contrary to the old music of old
fusty bourgeoisie), I am entrapped to suggest at least two directions (of possibly
many) in which an approach engaged with the musical work and the structure of
popular music could be legitimate and legitimate perhaps even as an opposi-
tional threat to the actual, institutionalized popmusicology.
With my first example, I follow Rolf Grossmann, the co-editor of
Popmusicology. According to Grossmann, we do not understand sufficiently
what effects the evolution the technologies of phonography had on the produc-
tion of pop. And without a better comprehension of media technology, we
wont get more than a vague impression of what might be the aesthetic material
of todays popular music. As media technology provides the instruments to cre-
ate and determine pop music, we have to understand them if we want to grasp
what Grossmann (2008) calls the scripturality of sound, die Klang-
schriftlichkeit. We have to understand how the sounds of pop emerge, and to
what extent the recording-, memory-, and reproduction-technology is responsi-
ble for what in this process. For Grossmann, then, avant-garde and its condition,
a drive of artistic development, if not conceivable as a single progressing
stream, then as a plurality of different streams and fractures, avant-garde in this
precise understanding exist as an effect of the progress of media technology,
and he gives the example of end-of-1970s disco music of Giorgio Moroder (b.
1940), whose never-before-heard machine-created drum beats were the result of
new production hardware and processes. So, avant-garde in this perspective is
not a strategy only of art music, but a concept of innovation that affects the rela-
tion of technique and its use.

the global music market place or, taken in a wider sense, as elements of the reproduction of
our culture, and what we should to with them in this respect not to mention the discussion
around the term popular music, or, in Germany, Popularmusik, populre Musik,
Populrmusik, and so on.

With my second example, I return to Klein. What is convincing in
Kleins hermeneutical approach to the musical work of the former folk hero is
that he is really engaged in what we hear when we listen to a Dylan Song. For
me, this is the too often overlooked side of the Janus face pop music: To clear
the musical and verbal means applied in a song and the relation the lyrical fig-
ures maintain to musical processes, to analyze the inter-textual and other refer-
ences, to check the artistic strategies of production technology and so on, in
other words: playing the match of interpretation. And I think this is not a ques-
tion of disregarding the distinction between high and low and pop and art, or
doing something irrelevant for the majority of pop fans. Or, it should not be if
we ourselves do not forget the other side of the Janus head: the communicative
circumstances of this song, its reception, the function it had and has for whom,
and the aesthetic practices in which it is involved. I am interested in understand-
ing and valuing pop if not as art, then as music even if such a return to aes-
thetics could mean to occupy an oppositional edge of musicological research for
some time.

Adorno, Theodor W. 1956. ber den Fetischcharakter in der Musik und die Regression des
Hrens, Dissonanzen: Musik in der verwalteten Welt by Theodor W. Adorno. Gt-
tingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 9-24.
Bielefeldt, Christian, Udo Dahmen, Rolf Grossmann. Eds. 2008. PopMusicology: Perspek-
tiven der Popmusikwissenschaft. Bielefeld: Transcript.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1982. Die feinen Unterschiede: Kritik der gesellschaftlichen Urteilskraft.
Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Danielsen, Anne. 2008. Aesthetic Value, Cultural Significance, and Canon Formation in
Popular Music, PopMusicology: Perspektiven der Popmusikwissenschaft by Chris-
tian Bielefeldt, Udo Dahmen, and Rolf Grossmann. Bielefeld: Transcript. pp. 17-37.
Freud. Sigmund. 1994. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur und andere kulturtheoretische Schrif-
ten. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.
Freud. Sigmund. 1930. Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. Wien: Internationaler psychoanaly-
tischer Verlag.
Frith, Simon. 1990. What Is Good Music, Alternative Musicologies / Les Musicologies Al-
ternatives, ed. by John Shepherd. Toronto: Canadian University Music Society. pp.
Grossmann, Rolf. 2008. Die Geburt des Pop aus dem Geist der phonographischen Repro-
duktion, PopMusicology: Perspektiven der Popmusikwissenschaft by Christian
Bielefeldt, Udo Dahmen, and Rolf Grossmann. Bielefeld: Transcript. pp. 119-134.
Klein, Richard. 2006. My name It Is Nothing. Bob Dylan: Nicht Pop Nicht Kunst. Berlin: Lu-
Phleps, Thomas. 2002. Hell Hound On My Trail. Robert Johnson. Mythos und Musik,
Festschrift Ekkehard Jost zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. by Bernd Hoffmann, Franz
Kerschbaumer, and Franz Krieger. Graz: Akademische Verlagsanstalt. pp. 57-75.
Rolle, Christian. 2008. Warum wir populre Musik mgen und warum wir sie manchmal
nicht mgen: ber musikalische Prferenzen, ihre Geltung und Bedeutung in sthe-

tischen Praxen, PopMusicology: Perspektiven der Popmusikwissenschaft, ed. by
Christian Bielefeldt, Udo Dahmen, and Rolf Grossmann. Bielefeld: Transcript. pp.
Wicke, Peter. 2008. Pop(Musik)Geschichte(n). Geschichte als Pop Pop als Geschichte,
Popmusicology: Perspektiven der Popmusikwissenschaft, ed. by by Christian Biele-
feldt, Udo Dahmen, and Rolf Grossmann. Bielefeld: Transcript. 61-74.


Kordula Knaus (Karl Franzens University Graz, Austria)

A Reply to Kevin Korsyns The Aging of New Musicology

When I was asked to participate in this conference and first read Kevin Kor-
syns text in the tramway J in Vienna on my way to the music collection of the
Austrian National Library, I spontaneously found one question most compelling
in reflecting on: the question of institutions and how institutions form our way
of thinking about music, how they influence the questions we ask about music.
Korsyn suggests at the end of his paper to examine the various institutional
spaces within which musicology has historically functioned and to identify
potential conflicts among those spaces, since these can produce contradictory
demands on disciplines. Following this suggestion, I want to examine some of
these institutional spaces and investigate how they influence our epistemologi-
cal interests and our body of knowledge. In particular, I want to give my per-
spective as a young scholar, speaking from my own subject position, but also
being a voice for other young scholars, as my discussions with them at various
conference dinners, lunch meetings, or coffee breaks became part of my own
thoughts about musicological institutions.
Additionally, my perspective is a result of my scope and my experiences
as a scholar at the department of musicology at the University of Graz, which
means that I am an Austrian, working at an Austrian institution. I emphasize
this National perspective, because it is widely in contrast to the perspective of a
global and international scientific community. In this sense, I would be part of
various layers of community (German speaking, European, international). Part
of my experience was also being a Visiting Professor at New York City College
during the spring term 2007 and consequently getting insight into an American
institution. I gained additional teaching experiences in Bern and in Ljubljana.
Talking about and reflecting on my perspective and its limited scope is
actually very new musicology, or rather very old Greek philosophy depend-
ing on how to put it. Keeping with Donna Haraways privilege of partial per-
spective (Haraway 1988) would be the optimistic feminist way of an attitude
towards the perspective problem. Rather than getting my first depression on the
What do we know? Do we know anything? questions, I will follow Haraway
as a faithful feminist disciple and finally start my observations.
Despite all reflections on the limitations we are confronted with, which
Korsyn identifies as a crisis of legitimation, on a personal level as a scholar
one has to have the idealism to go on with ones work; on an institutional level
and I would formulate this as a thesis everybody makes as much effort as
possible to hide the legitimation problem. Who has the privilege to talk about
it and when and where? I will give some examples:

(1) We would certainly never talk about it in a funding application. We would
rather emphasize the new, the innovative, the quantum leap in new insights
the new project promises. Funding is in its essence very modern.
(2) We would certainly never talk about it when we want to convince somebody
of the importance of the work, and we would never talk about it when we
have to legitimize the position, the institution, etc.
(3) We would talk about it at a conference to demonstrate that we know all the
postmodern writings. And we would probably now realize that Ive done
that right now at the beginning of this paper.
(4) We would write about it in the foreword of a book to get the wind out of the
critics sails, because they would probably disapprove the limitations of the
(5) We would talk or write about it from a relatively secure position, if we do
not have to constantly legitimize our work. Consequently, we would never
talk or write about it as a young scholar, except for reason (3).
Postmodernity is finally something that most of us use as a word and a
volume of thoughts for pragmatic reasons. What we do and what we have to do
to legitimize that we are allowed to do it and get paid for it is essentially mod-
ern. There lies a certain hypocrisy in this phenomenon. I would say the post-
modernity of New Musicology is dead, which probably is an aspect of Kor-
syns title The Aging of New Musicology. Though the question remains: Was
it ever alive, despite being a concept of proving again modern values like pro-
gress, innovation, knowledge? We might recognize a certain vicious circle here.
But I want to come back to institutions again. The legitimization problem today
is in a state where a peaceful next to each other or passivity and indifference
does exist on the level of scholarly discussion (I would agree here with Korsyn),
but not on the level of institutional support. When it comes to money, there is
no peaceful next to each other. As a scholar in the field of historical musicol-
ogy, it is no exception to find oneself talking with other colleagues about an-
other post being advertised for an ethnomusicologist or a popular music special-
ist. And I guess it is similar in these other fields, but vice versa. Existential fear
obviously determines our thinking, caused by a growing variability of institu-
tional frames. Departments are closed, are forced to develop certain profiles
where one either fits or not, posts are not many, and there is no tenure system or
anything similar in Austria. Universities are starting to count everything: how
many publications does one have, how many functions does one have, how
many conferences does one attend, etc. And still we know, when really scraping
the barrel, we just have to know the right people and we have to have the luck
to know the right people at the right time.
Am I complaining? Probably I am. But the question that arises and that I
want to look closer at is how theses institutional conditions influence our re-
search. And who decides what is worth being investigated? How do young

scholars react to those institutional demands? I want to look closer at two insti-
tutional frames: (1) musicology departments at universities and (2) external
funding organizations, especially the Austrian FWF (Fonds zur Frderung der
wissenschaftlichen Forschung Fonds for Supporting Scientific Research) and
the AW (sterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften Austrian Academy
of Sciences).

(1) Musicology Departments at Universities

Both, institutional frameworks and academic programs, have changed drasti-
cally in the last years, the later mainly because of the introduction of the Bache-
lor and Master system in the German speaking countries. The recipe for success
in institutions as well as programs seems to be the search for synergetic effects.
Departments called Department for Musicology and programs named Musi-
cology start to vanish. Quite often, musicology joins terms like media, theater,
art, or dance. I want give you some examples for new Bachelor programs in
Germany:1 the B.A. Music and Media at Berlin Humboldt University, the
B.A. / M.A. Popular Music and Media in Paderborn, the B.A. Art, Music
and Media in Marburg, the B.A. Theater and Media and Musictheaterre-
search and the M.A. Music and Performance in Bayreuth.
These developments at the moment basically reflect university politics,
and the synergies often provide only an institutional framework, meaning that
the media specialists still do the media and the musicologists do the music.
However, it also reflects the increasing amount of interdisciplinary work and
thinking in musicology. To investigate music within a wider frame of its cul-
tural context; to deal with media, technology, or popular culture certainly were
the achievements of the last decades. Young scholars do have to jump onto cer-
tain trains. No research topic without some of the magic words, for example
performance, audience, public, society, body, sexuality, space, identity, cultural
transfer, Europe, digital media, or many others that we have to find and drop at
the right moment. Old wine in new bottles? Partially, I guess. The Aging of
New Musicology probably has to do with the inflational use of magic words
that undermine their sense.

(2) External Funding Organizations

The two main institutions for funding in Austria are the already mentioned FWF
and AW. Checking the FWF database for funded musicological projects, I
found about 50 of them between 1992 and 2008. And here is what they deal

All translations from the German are by the author.
All data are taken from the Project Database of the FWF, URL: (last accessed February
18, 2009). Projects with interdisciplinary background that do involve music, but only to a very low degree, were
not considered.

- Archival research and editing of sources: 15 projects
- Ethnomusicology, mostly in the sense of Austrian Volksmusikforschung: 6
- Computer science, acoustics, and technology: 6 projects (3 of them not being
situated at departments for musicology, but at departments for artificial intel-
ligence or computational perception)
- Musical instruments or music iconography: 4 projects
- Music aesthetics: 3 projects
- Popular music: 2 projects
- Music theory: 1 project
- 3 projects deal in a wider sense with music, politics and identity.
The FWF obviously did not follow the paradigms mentioned above, which
means that young scholars who want to be funded by the FWF better do not ap-
ply for any such project if they want to get the scholarship. The observable
trends are: (a) preservation of the national heritage and funding of topics that
mostly deal with Austrian music or music history and (b) an interest in compu-
tational music research. Interestingly, both directions have in common that they
collect either musical sources or data. They are worth to be funded, because
they do not scratch at the paradigms of modern epistemology.
The AW is both a research institution and also provides a variety of
scholarships. As a research institution, it deals also mainly with the preservation
of a national cultural heritage, for example producing editions of works; in the
last years, it widened its scope in the direction of cultural musicology with the
project Musik Identitt Raum (Music Identity Space) that includes
the concepts of cultural transfer, special turn, etc., and also integrates the coun-
tries of the former Habsburg monarchy. As an institution that provides scholar-
ships, the AW funded the following musicological research projects in the
time between 1999 and 2008:3
- Music history: 4 projects
- Ethnomusicology: 3 projects
- Ethnomusicology / music psychology: 1 project
- Music sociology: 2 projects
- Rome stipend for archival research: 2 projects
None of these projects deals with the edition of musical works, and only the
Rome stipend explicitly contains archival research. Only two of the 12 projects
provide a topic that is related to Austria, hence to a national musical heritage.
These are: The composer and his audience, exemplified by the case of Arnold
Schnberg and The music culture of immigrants in Vienna. Musical identity
and acculturation. Clearly, both projects do not collect data for a national mu-
Similar to the FWF, the AW provides funding for individual scholars who want to write their dissertation or
Habilitation and for projects submitted by an institution or an advanced scholar. All data from the Project Da-
tabase of the AW are taken from (last accessed February 18, 2009).

sic history, but investigate music in its wider cultural framework, as do the other
The comparison between the FWF and the AW shows that both institu-
tions have a quite clear profile in what they support and do not support. If a
young scholar wants to apply for funding and if that person is not nave, one
will certainly take a look at these profiles and will adapt the project and inte-
grate those factors that increase the chance of a success. Consequently, central
to our epistemological interest is not necessarily the gaining of new insights, but
to adapt our questions to the parameters demanded. Those in powerful positions
provide the parameters that form our research projects. They have the authority.

I guess what I just described is another facet of a self-referentiality Korsyn de-

scribes in his paper. What do we have to do to be successful? Is it even possible
to do something else? How do expectations form our way of thinking? Are we
able to break out of the pragmatism and formalism we are surrounded with? We
are stewing in our own juice when research paradigms are only a reaction to in-
stitutional demands. Korsyn suggests to foster institutions that resist their own
authority. I have to admit that I am pessimistic on that account.
Despite being pessimistic, I have a list of wishes: I wish there was more
space for creativity, more space for thinking, more money for positions for
young scholars, more security, more quality than quantity, more time for devel-
oping ones work. I guess, everybody else in this room wishes the same. How-
ever, musicology is institutionalized, because that is why it exists. Conse-
quently, our knowledge is institutionalized. And consequently my knowledge is
institutionalized. And here I can come back to my limited perspective. Should I
embrace my marginality, like Korsyn suggests? I have to think about it, pro-
vided that I have the time and space for thinking about it. I guess I have to ask
my institution first.

Haraway, Donna. 1988. Situated Knowledge: The Science Question in Femi-
nism as a Site of Discourse on the Privilege of Partial Perspective,
Feminist Studies 14/3: 575-599.


Leon Stefanija (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Outside of Musicology

Amid the opulence of ideas from Kevin Korsyns paper, I would like to
comment on the final substantiation of his thought, on a pragmatic and fairly
common positioning of musicology both inside and outside the university.
The positioning of musicology in a drafty space where differences meet
between gnostic versus drastic approaches, as the quoted Caroline
Abbates opposition reads, leads me toward somewhat different perspective on
the field of music research. The reason for emphasizing this is, of course, a
pragmatic one as well. To formulate the point I will do that in a form of a
question at the end I am offering two comments, starting with Korsyns
suggestion that, at the moment, perhaps we need to develop institutions that
resist their own authority.

First Comment
Differences in reflecting relations between the past and the present state of
affairs in Korsyns perspective lucidly go well beyond the past approximately
thirty years. Although focused on this period, his main concern is a recurrent
academic issue much broader one, pointing to sustaining or recovering some
sort of oppositional edge in scholarship.
Korsyn suggestion that what is needed is not something really new, but
rather a way of negotiating among existing paradigms seems to be in a line
with Guido Adlers famous commonsensical introduction to musicology:
Musicology began simultaneously with music. [] All peoples who can be
said to have music have a system of musical thought, even if this is not always a
fully developed musicological system.1 There is, however, an important
difference between Korsyns quest for oppositional edge in scholarship and
Adlers notion of musicology. If Korsyn discusses the current quandaries within
musicology as an relatively autonomous discipline, the very term musicology
was in Adlers foundational text listed as a sub-discipline of much less clear-cut
defined music research (Musikwissenschaft), aiming at the Untersuchung
und Vergleichung zu ethnographischen Zwecken. In the European institutions
today, musicology encompasses (with less clear-cut differentiations) all of that
which is in the USA usually delineated as music theory, music analysis, music
history, music education, and ethnomusicology.

Guido Adler, Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft, in: Vierteljahrschrift fr
Musikwissenschaft No 1 (1885), p. 1 [pp. 5-20]. English translation by Erica Mugglestone in
Yearbook for Traditional Music 13 (1981), pp.1-21.

Adlers foundations of musicology tried to gather up, as it were, the
discipline in-between systematic and historic methodologies. No exclusive or
specific methodology is given there. Actually, Adlers introduction echoes
strikingly in Nicholas Cooks claim in What is Musicology? (1999): you dont
need to know about music to understand it. Cooks claim is but a radical
derivative of Adlers concept of musicology. Both quoted authors would be
hardly worth mentioning here, if the same reason that led Adler to sketch a
system of music research would not have something in common with the (self-
)reflections in and about music scholarship today. More than a century ago,
Adlers binary scheme of musicology was trying to encompass all aspects of
music as a human activity regardless of their epistemological status the
objects of music research, embedded in historical and systematic musicology,
are richly supplemented by an open list of already established subsidiary
disciplines. Today, questions regarding the epistemological status of
musicology seem to be of central importance for defining the scope, and
position, of musicology within the humanities, but the list of subsidiary
disciplines is faint.
Adlers view of music research has offered a valuable epistemological
compass to music scholars. Yet, one may well ask, did the pointers of (t)his
compass pointing to their goal directions from within or from outside the then
new field of knowledge. Moreover: did musicology ever reach the goals
directed by those pointers with clear knowledge about the epistemological
values in terms of inside / outside relations in a discipline?
I could give no answer to this question. If, however, Korsyn addresses it
in terms of a Mbius strip on which the Tower of Babel and the Ministry of
Truth and there are many voices supporting this perspective emphasizing the
need to find ways of talking about music and about its social or ideological
meaning [as well as values] at the same time2 today prevailing clear-cut
oppositions in music research (such as, for instance, pluralism / absolutism,
formalism / criticism, semiotics / hermeneutics, musicology / ethnomusicology)
seem to add but a little to the politics of scholarly interpretation in music
research, if compared to Adlers constitutive formulations at the end of the 19th
century. They have emerged out of an ideal of integrative thinking (Engel 2006:
226)3 in which paradoxical institutional position of music research would
preferably strive toward one goal: Above all, however, the science itself must

Nicholas Cook, What is musicology?, in: BBC Music Magazine 7/9, May 1999, pp. 31-3.
Quoted from (accessed on: 28.4.2008):
Gerhard Engel. Musiksoziologie im Konzert der Wissenschaften. In: Christian Kaden /
Karsten Mackensen, Soziale Horizonte von Musik. Ein kommentiertes Lesebuch zur
Musiksoziologie. Kassel et al.: Brenreiter (Brenreiter Studienbcher Musik, Hrsg. Von
Silke Leopold und Jutta Schmoll-Barthel, Band 15) 2006, 225-245.

grow stronger, it must correctly asses and confine itself to its nearest tasks and
gain therewith a level of mastery.4
In other words, the ongoing differentiation of music scholarship raises not
only valuable self-reflections with ambivalent, paradoxical, or antinomian
positions, but it opens up the mainstream disciplinary borders toward more
pragmatic evaluations. An example thereof is Ian Cross demarcation of three
positions in music research: 1) Physicalistic or paradigmatically scientific
position, in which music takes a form of a material phenomenon. 2)
Immanentist or deconstructive position, in which music is seen per se as a
phenomenon pertaining to the scholarly traditions of the humanities and the
social studies. And 3) cognitivist position, pace which [m]usic is itself a
product of cultural convention and of the facts of embodiment, being
instantiated in the cognitions of the members of a culture.5 Although one may
disagree with Cross Schichtenlehre, his (and similar) calibration of music
research, pace David Huron, argues against the idea that the sciences and
humanities are necessarily distinguished by their methodological habits. To the
contrary, they unfold a kind of epistemological platform on which otherwise
self-evident banalities can claim to be taken seriously as for instance David
Hurons taunt that humanities scholars ought to learn the basics of statistical
inference, and scientists ought to be exposed to phenomenological and
deconstructionist approaches.6 The quandaries regarding values in scholarly
politics seem to be far from Hurons sting it is driven by a commonsensical,
utterly pragmatic economy of information exchange, bluntly demanding
answers about hierarchy of knowledge values within and outside of the

Second Comment
It takes as its starting point Korsyns illustration of the slow acceptance of
musicology in the university through the parallel of musicology with
grandmotherology, as attributed to the president of Harvard. This is a place
outside of musicology, yet still within the university. One might be tempted
to compare similar views with the concept of absolute music. Both issues can
be proved as historical facts; there can be little doubt about their existence

Originally: Vor allem aber mu die Wissenschaft selbst erstarken, sie mu in richtiger
Wrdigung ihrer nchstliegenden Aufgaben sich selbst beschrnken und so zur Meisterschaft
gelangen. Guido Adler, Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft, op. cit., p. 19.
Ian Cross. Music & science: three views. Revue Belge de Musicologie, Vol LII (1998a),
David Huron, Empiricism and Post-Modernism The 1999 Ernest Bloch Lectures Music
and Mind: Foundations of Cognitive Musicology, delivered on Friday, October 8, 1999.
Accessed on 24.4.2008:

and still they both lack logical substantiation that would legitimate both
phenomena as historical truths.
A truth is that (not addressed as musicology, but broadly understood as
music research,) music scholarship has survived within the university claiming
a common function pertaining to humanities their function seems to be in line
with the function of music per se, with the concept of pure or absolute
music that was recently described by Mladen Dolar with (an Adornian as much
as Bourdiesque) thought: the function of music presents itself precisely as a
break with any conventional notion of the function, the notion that is tacitly
based on utility and the economics of survival.7
It seems that the ongoing self-reflection about the values (= functions)
with which musicology participates in the humanities and this self-reflection
emphasizes the potentials of the discipline almost with comparable ambitions as
Guido Adlers Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft constantly
raises concerns in terms of a survival economy. Undisputable differentiation
within the field of music scholarship accompanied by academic autism and
banal pluralism seem to be a fairly reasonable symptom to claim that to
address the current state of affairs we would have to answer the question:
whether we have a clear concept of a survival for a discipline or a vague one
Far from even trying to cope with this question here, the very condition
for asking this and similar questions presupposes more or less trivial yet
important commonalities: apart from its epistemological acceptability (usually
belatedness), the main pointer of a survival of musicology is its everyday
employability, often pragmatically understood. Which segments of music
research can demonstrate the employability of a discipline that according to
its cultural capital seems to fit probably best somewhere between the study of
classical languages, botany, and translation, may sound as a naively mocking
comment, yet it can be reformulated with more serious phrasing. For instance,
on the server of TU in Berlin, the residential institution of Carl Dahlhaus - one
of the most influential German musicologists of the second half of the 20th
century his work is epitomized as a work of a man who earned high esteem
for his rather esoteric field of expertise (bold by L.S.). Originally, the phrase
esoteric field is a translation of the term Orchideenfach, a metaphor for a
rare discipline.8 Even if the difference is a translational slip, it seems
suggestive enough to think of it as of a commonplace for a professional activity
for which one of its prominent spokesmen N. Cook supports the
Mladen Dolar, Function beyond function? Reflections on the functionality of the
autonomous, in: De musica disserenda II/2 (2006), 11 [11-19].
The whole phrase reads: Dahlhaus verschaffte nicht nur als unermdlicher Lehrer und
geistvoller Diskutant seinem Orchideenfach eine ungewhnliche Geltung., accessed on 28.4.2008)

personalistic value-giving claim that you dont need to know about music to
understand it.
The translation-issue of musicology as esoteric field of expertise and
Cooks claim that no knowledge is needed to understand music are but
droplets in the bucket in which musicology may have only ambivalent feelings
about itself. However, to return to Korsyns talk, precisely this ambivalent
feeling is the institution that resists its own authority.
The problem of the aging of new musicology, I believe, should not be
approached only from a perspective dealing with within / outside of
musicology. One of the main issues should include a perspective of musicology
outside of university.
After all, as a relatively young discipline, musicology certainly has
difficulties with its public appearance. It is the case probably not only due to its
double institutional location between the university discipline and practical
musicianship. It is probably also because of its somewhat vague theory and
practice, to paraphrase Adlers quotation, mentioned above, of assessing,
confining to and also developing mechanisms of interception of more
substantially employable tasks (not necessarily applicable in a banal
utilitarian sense and also not necessarily nearest) as well as promoting them
outside of university, neutralizing the ground for analogies between musicology
with grandmotherology.

The Question
The offered view of the importance of the outside of our discipline may
sound as a quest for a practical musicology regardless of its academic
position. That, however, is an utmost wrong impression. Questioning the
perspective inside / outside musicology as one of the academic disciplines is
here intended as an impulse to rethink the levers of adoption and integration
into the mainstream musicology of the seemingly marginal, borrowed,
obscure, or any suspect fields of music research. Have those levers not been
concentrated in the work of the fathers of musicology, the discipline could
not have gathered its academic position today. Thus, my question reads: what
has musicology done within its banal pluralism to foster its own institutions
as much as they might be incongruous between each other for an obviously
rather grumpy everyday economics of survival among other disciplines?


Nico Schler (Texas State University, USA)

From Interdisciplinarity to Perspectivism in Music Research*

1. Thoughts on Trans-, Inter-, Inner-, Intra-, Cross-, Multi-, and Non-

Disciplinary Approaches to Music Research

The term transdisciplinarity is used for approaches that transcend or dis-

solve the boundaries of a traditional discipline. More commonly known is the
term interdisciplinarity, which refers to the integration of the knowledge and
methods from two or more disciplines to achieve a specific goal or complete a
specific task. Interdisciplinarity is used to understand the bigger picture of
complex problems. Intradisciplinarity is similar to interdisciplinarity, but refers
to the integration of the knowledge and methods from two or more SUB-
disciplines of one specific discipline. Other common terms are multi-
disciplinarity, cross-disciplinarity, and non-disciplinarity. Some scholars define
multi-disciplinarity as an approach to study several subjects from different dis-
ciplines by using the methods of only one discipline. Cross-disciplinarity, on the
other hand, can be defined as a research approach for studying a subject with a
method that is foreign to the discipline of the subject. Finally, non-disciplinarity
is the intentional disregard of the boundaries of a discipline in terms of their
subjects and methodology; such approach is necessary to answer larger ques-
tions (such as global warming, for example). Some scholars, however, use the
terms multi-disciplinarity and cross-disciplinarity as synonymous with both
inter- and trans-disciplinarity.
Trans-, inter-, intra-, cross-, multi-, and non-disciplinary approaches point
out the limitation of one specific discipline, or better: its over-specialization.
One may find the million-and-twenty-third book about Mozart redundant, be-
cause there is not any significant gain in the knowledge about Mozart. Or one
may not find hearing or reading lengthy analyses of a few measures of music
useful, because they often omit any relevant conclusions about the applicability
of such analyses to a more general / broader context. Especially the split be-
tween musicology (meaning mainly: historical musicology) and music theory in
the United States is a clear sign of overspecialization. Approaches beyond dis-
ciplinary boundaries help overcome such excessive overspecialization.
Despite the problem of defining the various terms, the concept of inter-,
trans-, cross-, multi-, or non-disciplinarity is not new. In fact, many disciplines
grew out of philosophy during the 19th century. Before their separation, all of
them were part of a broader philosophical discourse.

This paper is based on earlier versions of this research, specifically on Schler 2002 and
Schler 2007.

But back to transdisciplinarity. The term was originally introduced by
the Swiss philosopher and developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980).
The German philosopher Jrgen Mittelstra, specializing in the philosophy of
science, understands interdisciplinarity as transdisciplinarity: [W]hether one
understands interdisciplinarity in the sense of re-establishing a larger discipli-
nary orientation, or as a factual increase of cognitive interest within or beyond
given fields or disciplines, one thing stands out: interdisciplinarity properly un-
derstood does not commute between fields and disciplines, and it does not hover
above them like an absolute spirit. Instead, it removes disciplinary impasses
where these block the development of problems and the corresponding re-
sponses of research. Interdisciplinarity is in fact transdisciplinarity. (Mittel-
stra 2001, 497.)

So, what does transdisciplinarity mean for us in music?1 A search in RILM with
transdisciplinarity as a keyword only yielded one results mentioned in the
abstract of a dissertation by Sven Sterken (2004). A search with the adjective
transdisciplinary, however, provided 20 search results such as articles by
Gunnar Johannsen on Human supervision and control in engineering and mu-
sic: Foundations and transdisciplinary views, but mainly articles published in
the journal Critical Musicology: A Transdisciplinary Online Journal. On the
other hand, a search in RILM with interdisciplinarity resulted in a list of 89
entries (compared to the one with transdisciplinarity), and another search with
interdisciplinary yielded 2,301 entries in RILM (compared to the 20 with
transdisciplinary). A similar search with the same terms in the International
Index to Music Periodicals led to the following results:
- transdisciplinarity as a keyword: zero records,
- transdisciplinary as a keyword: 20 records,
- interdisciplinarity as a keyword: 58 records, and
- interdisciplinary as a keyword: 1,597 records.
Among books and journals (excluding specific articles), there is only one that
contains the word transdisciplinary in its title the journal mentioned earlier:
Critical Musicology: A Transdisciplinary Online Journal. And that journal, un-
fortunately, has only published articles between 1997 and 1998. (There is also a
non-music-specific book that contains the transdiciplinarity in its title: Trans-
disciplinarity: Recreating Integrated Knowledge [Somerville and Rapport
2003].) Similarly, there is only one book (and no journal) that has interdiscipli-
narity in its title a dissertation by Roseane Yampolschi on Standing and
Conflating: A Dialogic Model for Interdisciplinarity in Composition. But there
are numerous books and journals that have the term interdisciplinary in its ti-

The results of searches in RILM and in the International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP)
are verified as of March 29, 2009.

tle, such as Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Shofar: An Inter-
disciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdiscipli-
nary Study of Literature, Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on
Folklore and Popular Culture, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Heras
Peacock: An International Thematic Interdisciplinary Journal. There are many
books with interdisciplinary in its title, such as Interdisciplinary Studies in
Musicology, but most of them are not in English, and many of those that are in
English, are not published in the US.
What does this tell us? First of all, in music the term interdisciplinary is
much more used than transdisciplinary and, second, only relatively few US-
American scholars have shown interested in it so that they would publish books
or articles on interdisciplinary music research. This problem might root in the
fact that there are few scholars interested in methodological reflections on mu-
sic research, since all trans-, inter-, intra-, cross-, multi-, and non-disciplinary
approaches ultimately need to reflect on the use of research methods. But this
might also point to another problem: that of the distinction between inter-
disciplinarity and intra-disciplinarity.
Intra-disciplinarity refers to connections between the various sub-
disciplines. In music, we can at least distinguish:
Music Theory
New Musicology
Music Sociology
Music Psychology / Perception
Music Semiotics
Music Pedagogy / Education
Popular Music / Jazz
Music Aesthetics / Philosophy
Music Therapy
Music Performance / Performance Practice
Music Gender Studies / Gay & Lesbian Studies
Music Business
Music Entrepreneurship
Approaches that draw from at least two of these areas are intra-disciplinary in
nature. But isnt Music Education inter-disciplinary by itself, integrating sub-
jects and methods of music as well as of education? And Music Semiotics in-
tegrating subjects and methods of music as well as of semiotics? Etc. Thus, I am
back to where I started out: pointing out the problem of differentiating between
trans-, inter-, intra-, cross-, multi-, and non-disciplinary approaches.
If we consider interdisciplinarity to its fullest extend, we will eventually

come across ethnology, or, in our case, ethnomusicology. As a result, we will
have to consider cross-cultural approaches to music. While the emergence of
musicology during the late 19th century was the emergence of a global musi-
cology, historical musicology with the focus on Western music soon divorced
itself from some of the early global ideas of music research. Throughout the
20th century, the separation between musicology and ethnomusicology wors-
ened, and the separation of music theory and musicology and the specializa-
tion of music theory over the second half of the 20th century certainly did not
contribute to a global worldview in music. Ethnomusicologists had to remind
musicologists and music theorists that even Western music developed in
specific cultural contexts, and that these cultural contexts change constantly and
are influenced by what we generally refer to as non-Western music. Only re-
cently, some Western musicologists spoke up and called for a globalization of
musicology. I specifically refer to the international congress of the Musicologi-
cal Society of Japan in 2002, at which music scholars such as Nicholas Cook
especially with his lecture on We Are All Ethnomusicologists Now openly ques-
tioned the separation of musicology and ethnomusicology: For if musicology
is as much about performance as about works, as much about events as about
texts, then its methods become as much ethnomusicological as musicological
(and notice, by the way, how odd the word musicological sounds when you
say it straight after ethnomusicological). (Cook 2004, 54-55.)
Cooks call for a globalization in music research goes far beyond musi-
cology and ethnomusicology globalization of music research means, in fact,
interdisciplinary (or transdisciplinary, for the lack of a better defined term) and
cross-cultural music research.

2. Toward Perspectivism in Music Research

Traditional music research is usually conducted from a single perspective: ei-

ther from a historical perspective or from a theoretical perspective or from an
aesthetic perspective, etc. Furthermore, traditional music research is seldom in-
tra- or inter-disciplinary, nor is it usually cross-cultural. However, observing
and researching a topic from different perspectives, thus creating a network of
intra- and interdisciplinary perspectives an approach which may be called
perspectivism is more fruitful, since one perspective, one way, one method-
ology results only in one answer an answer predetermined by the methodol-
ogy applied. Shifting perspectives can mean a different answer, at least a
slightly different answer. Most often, it means an epistemological enrichment
(epistemology being the study of the methods and grounds of knowledge, espe-
cially with regard to its limits and validity).
I would like to exemplify perspectivism by applying it to a research

topic that has spurred my interest for many years: the development of twelve-
tone music. Of course, there is a plurality of developments in twelve-tone mu-
sic. However, what usually comes to mind when talking about twelve-tone mu-
sic is Arnold Schnberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern. Weberns twelve-
tone music is usually seen as the basis for the development of total serial music.
We hear rarely about the etymology of the terms twelve-tone music, twelve-
tone technique, and of related terms; we sometimes hear about Ernst Krenek;
but we rarely hear the names Joseph Matthias Hauer, Efim Golyshev, Nikolaj
Roslavec, Arthur Louri, Nikolas Obuchov, and Hanning Schrder; we some-
times hear about the aesthetic background of the development of twelve-tone
music; but we rarely hear how its aesthetic counterpart, i.e. the aesthetics of
New Objectivity, spurred the development of twelve-tone music; we rarely hear
about the sociological developments surrounding the twelve-tone technique. So
what can we expect by viewing the topic of the development of twelve-tone
music from a network of different perspectives? By this I mean the perspective
of music theory, since we are eventually talking about a theory of music, but
also the perspectives of etymology, musicology, sociology, and aesthetics.
I will now try to view very briefly certain aspects of the development of
twelve-tone music and of twelve-tone technique from all these perspectives,
thus conducting an intra- and interdisciplinary discussion with the goal of creat-
ing a network of perspectives. It is not my intention to cover the topic of the de-
velopment of twelve-tone music exhaustively, but rather to show what perspec-
tivism might spell for in music research and what advantages this methodology
might have to offer. Thus, some of the perspectives considered will be dis-
cussed in more detail, others only very briefly.
This journey to, or from, different perspectives, will be divided into seven
parts: I will start with some historical and terminological problems, thus focus-
ing on the etymology of the terms, whereupon I will talk about theoretical as-
pects of (early) Western twelve-tone music, followed by a brief discussion of
some cultural aspects of these developments. After another, rather traditional,
perspective on Schnberg, I will shift perspectives again and focus on the aes-
thetic and sociological basis of twelve-tone music and of its counterpart, New
Objectivity. The next part will present a resolution of this contradiction between
Expressionism and New Objectivity, and finally, I will talk shortly about other
possible perspectives of research to enrich our view of the development of
twelve-tone music.

A Terminological Perspective
Trying to determine the beginning of the development of twelve-tone technique
is difficult, since different composers have layed claim to its invention and
different terms were used to describe the phenomenon of twelve-tone music.
Here, twelve-tone music is used as a more general term, even though it is

used synonymously with the term composition with twelve tones. However,
Schnberg himself fought against labelling his composing with twelve tones
as a technique or system, due to the methodical aspect of his composition-
theoretical innovations: But, at the same time [1923], already I did not call it
[the composition with twelve tones] a system but a method, and considered
it as a tool of composition, but not as a theory. (Schnberg 1984, 213.) Termi-
nologically, Arnold Schnberg seems to be the creator of the term Komposi-
tion mit zwlf Tnen. It was mentioned first in an un-sent letter to Josef Mat-
thias Hauer on July 25, 1922 (Beiche 1985, 4). This term was certainly also
mentioned in a meeting between Arnold Schnberg and Josef Matthias Hauer in
February 1923. Since that meeting, Hauer claimed to be the creator of twelve-
tone technique. Yet before that meeting with Schnberg, Hauer had only re-
ferred to his own music as atonal.
Besides trying to determine the terms of origin, other usages of the term,
or of related terms, also need to be considered: those discussed by Beiche (ibid.;
see also Beiche 1984) as well as those terms in other languages that he did not
discuss. The question remains as to what is new in the methodology here pro-
posed as compared to what, for instance, Beiche did (however complete or in-
complete it may have been). As I will show more effectively at the end of this
paper, perspectivism is not just about different perspectives, but also and es-
pecially about combining perspectives with each other to create a network of
perspectives. Beiches approach, for instance, was a Westernoriented, historical
approach. An approach making use of perspectivism includes a consideration
of how terminology, sociology, and culture relate to each other in the history of
twelvetone music, etc.

A Western Music-Theoretical Perspective

We can see that the development of twelve-tone music was an answer to prob-
lems of two musical dimensions: harmony and counterpoint. The solutions were
dependent on structural necessities of composition, i. e. on preferences by their
composers. The preference of the vertical could be defined as a Zwlftonfeld,
in which the order of the twelve tones did not have to be regulated, while the
preference of the horizontal could be defined as a Grundgestalt, whereby the
order of the twelve tones needed to be set. Certainly, more than one principle
would have to be applied in composition, since polyphonic music only exists
through the interaction between the horizontal and the vertical. (Danuser 1984,
130.) The research perspective proposed here would focus on theoretical aspects
of different approaches to twelve-tone music without over-emphasizing any par-
ticular one. Thus, Hauers system needs to be given the same attention as
Schnbergs or others, etc.

A Cultural-Historical Perspective
While Schnbergs row technique developed out of a specific German tradi-
tion of motivic-thematic logic, the development of (vertical) twelve-tone
fields was pioneered by several Russian composers. Roslavecs attempts with
his synthesis chord, for instance, were based on atonal, transposable funda-
mental chords, which allowed for the development of vertical and horizontal
six- to eight-tone fields. Around 1914, Obuchov, coming from Skriabin, devel-
oped a technique of harmony of twelve tones without repetitions with its own
musical notation (Eberle 1980, 139foll.). Golyshev, who had been living in Ber-
lin since 1908, claimed that he had made his first twelve-tone attempts in 1914
with his five-movement string trio Zwlftondauer-Musik; while he did indeed
explore the possibilities of twelve-tone composition, he also, and more impor-
tantly, used twelve different tone durations, which he combined with each
twelve-tone field. He therefore marked the beginning of total serialism, where
more than one musical parameter is the basis of row techniques. (Danuser
1984, 130-131.) There were several other composers in other countries and un-
der different cultural circumstances, who composed with a kind of twelve-tone
technique. Research from this perspective would not only include the descrip-
tion of their specific twelve-tone techniques, but also look for cultural reasons
for their development, for theoretical differences between different composi-
tional techniques, for their relationships to scales, modes, etc., that were domi-
nant in their respective cultures, and certainly for Western and other cultural in-

Another Historical Perspective: Schnbergs Twelve-Tone Method

Historically, Schnbergs twelve-tone technique gained more importance than
the twelve-tone techniques of his Western or non-Western contemporaries.
From this research perspective we would therefore focus on developments of
serial and total serial music that were based on Schnbergs twelve-tone tech-
nique. Since much research has exclusively concentrated on this perspective, I
feel justified in mentioning it only very briefly.

An Aesthetic and Sociological Perspective: Expressionism and New Objectiv-

Every compositional technique is connected with specific aesthetics. Certainly,
each aesthetics has a sociological basis, so both areas, aesthetics and sociology,
are at least as far as my example is concerned connected. Every twelve-tone
composers specific aesthetics ought to be considered, which I will try to do in
more detail only with regard to Schnbergs twelve-tone music. The discussion
on the aesthetic and sociological basis of the developments of Schnbergs
twelve-tone method, Expressionism, can be best approached by comparing ex-
pressionism with the basis of another, supposedly opposite, current of develop-

ments which took place in the 1920s: New Objectivity. (Thus, I am making use
of the methodological approach of explaining something in contrast to its oppo-
The 1920s were generally characterized by these two main currents:
twelve-tone-technique/Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit, in English
New Objectivity. The term Neue Sachlichkeit originated from the Fine Arts
and was the title of a 1923 exhibition in Mannheim. The term was coined by
Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, who mentioned two characteristics: neo-classic and
left-wing. New Objectivity differed from Impressionism as well as from Ex-
pressionism in that it emphasized reality. In 1926, the music critic Heinrich
Strobel wrote an article on New Objectivity in Music, in which he compared the
latest developments in Fine Arts with those in music. (Strobel 1926.) A source
of New Objectivity was seen in the music of Max Reger (1873-1916). The mu-
sic of New Objectivity is not supposed to be academic, but rather to emphasize
the artistic and technical aspects of making music. In this respect, New Objec-
tivity is part of the same phenomenon as neoclassicism and Gebrauchsmusik.
Part of this musical phenomenon is the re-structuring of social life and art in so-
ciety. In music, the concept of New Objectivity for instance applies to music by
Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, and Ernst Krenek. With New Objectivity, we find
a movement away from subjective expression which had been characteristic of
Romanticism; music is seen as objective and not supposed to express intense,
subjective emotion. New Objectivity is usually not used to denote a style, but a
worldview, a philosophy of life. Part of this philosophy is a political responsi-
bility, which, during the 1920s, was based on a left-wing movement in Europe.
Part of this development is the concept of the Zeitoper, which is a term used
for German operas of the late 1920s and early 1930s that dealt with contempo-
rary society. This genre was based on the same desire for social relevance that
motivated Gebrauchsmusik.
Twelve-tone music, on the other hand, developed from Expressionism.
Expressionism was a movement in German and Austrian visual arts, literature,
and music of the early 20th century. Expressionists believed that music should
reflect the inner consciousness of the composer. Expressionist composers would
express their innermost feelings, which means that the music became a distor-
tion and exaggeration of the external reality. The focus on inner feelings led to
elitism and lack of concern for the audience. In Schnbergs case, it resulted in
the foundation of a private society, in which the latest compositions were per-
formed for members only.
Interestingly, the contrast between New Objectivity and Expressionism
became the subject of the first example of the genre Zeitoper: Ernst Kreneks
opera Jonny Strikes Up from 1926. But the music of the opera itself is actually
an example of New Objectivity. Jonny Strikes Up dealt with contemporary so-
ciety, but it was also the first opera that used popular musical elements, specifi-

cally musical elements of Jazz music. In 1927, Ernst Krenek published an arti-
cle containing his views on New Objectivity that he had developed from his op-
position to Expressionism, criticizing that the expressionist composer was an
isolated individual, isolated from the influence on a wider public. (Krenek
1927.) For Krenek, New Objectivity was the composers search for a broader
audience. The music was characterized by the absence of complexity and by a
certain degree of familiarity with musical expressions. In Jonny Strikes Up,
Krenek achieved this by incorporating the idioms of jazz music. The concept of
a self-contained work of art, like Schnbergs twelve-tone music, was thus
largely rejected in favor of communication with the audience; references to ex-
ternal subjects and events became very important. In Jonny Strikes Up, Krenek
emphasized social and cultural issues and used a wide variety of musical styles.
The story of the opera Jonny Strikes Up revolves around the escapades of a
black jazz violinist and bandleader from America, Jonny. Jonny, the hero, or
rather: the anti-hero, represents a model in which artist and society are in har-
mony, and the artists role is to serve the public. Jonny, the free man, represents
Kreneks ideal as a composer. Jonny has neither sexual nor musical inhibitions.
Ultimately, Jonny acts as a figure of salvation. (Cook 1988, 84.) But part of the
story is also Max, who is Jonnys antithesis. Max represents the central Euro-
pean studio composer, a composer like Schnberg. He embodies elitism and
lack of concern for his audience. Max wants as little to do with humanity as
possible, preferring isolation instead. Interestingly, Max symbolizes members of
Arnold Schnbergs circle. Max opening hymn clearly defines his view of the
artists role and includes a pun on beautiful mountain, in German schner
Berg. It certainly refers to the composer Arnold Schnberg. The play on words
continues in Scene Four, entitled Max in Erwartung. This is a play on Arnold
Schnbergs mono-opera Erwartung from 1924, not itself a twelve-tone compo-
sition, yet composed at a time when Schnberg had already developed his
twelve-tone method. According to Arnold Schnberg, artists ought to renounce
earthly happiness and popular success. In Kreneks opera, Max wants to be
separated from society. (Ibid., 84-85.) The musicologist Susan C. Cook com-

Related to the Max-Jonny contrast is the nature of their respective musics. Jonny is
the true entertainer whose music is appreciated by the general public, whereas Maxs
music is appreciated by a limited audience and reflects his isolated character. Max
[] cannot create music which is useful or understandable to a larger community.
Krenek emphasizes this musical dichotomy when in scene 7 the hotel guests react
harshly to [ a] performance of Maxs modern opera aria, but cheer wildly when
Jonny starts to play. Ultimately, Max [] is forced to return to his society. His
change of heart takes place in the penultimate scene when he decides to accompany
[ an opera singer] on her tour of the United States: Now, the moment has come! I
must catch the train Which heads for life. (Ibid., 86.)

While Ernst Krenek himself did indeed head towards life in music, Schnberg
did not. Schnbergs twelve-tone method is indeed the result of his reflection on
society, function of musicians in society, and the technical aspects that were
connected with these sociological and aesthetic developments.

An Unconventional Historical Perspective: The Resolution of the Aesthetic

and Sociological Contrast
A resolution of the aesthetic and sociological contrast described above was pro-
vided by two composers, but in different ways. Only a few years after his Jonny
Strikes Up, Ernst Krenek himself started to use Schnbergs twelve-tone
method. When Krenek received a commission from the Wiener Staatsoper in
1929, he decided to write an opera based on the life of Emperor Charles V.,
which reflected the disintegration of society, praised Austrian nationalism and
employed the twelve-tone technique developed by Arnold Schnberg and taken
up by his pupils Alban Berg and Anton Webern. One might think that Krenek
changed his mind changing back from a desired Jonny-aesthetics to the Max-
aesthetics. However, in Kreneks case, applying the twelve-tone technique did
not mean opposition to New Objectivity and its aim of mass reception. In
Kreneks unique case, it meant keeping his aesthetics based on New Objectivity
with its orientation towards musicality and reception by a large audience and
yet freely applying the twelve-tone technique. In this respect, even Krenek is an
inventor in the history of twelve-tone music. More interestingly, Charles V
even was the first twelve-tone opera in the history of music.
Yet, there is another important figure in this history: the (relatively un-
known) German composer Hanning Schrder (1896-1987). Hanning Schrder
was stylistically close to New Objectivity. Thus, his music should also be seen
as standing in opposition to the Second Viennese School and other twelve-tone
composers. However, since about 1950, Schrder brought these two contradic-
tory compositional currents of the 1920s New Objectivity and the twelvetone
technique together in a unique way: In almost all of his compositions after
1950, he used twelve-tone rows as a basis for his compositional developments
without giving up his aesthetics and his sound ideal. Emphasizing certain inter-
val qualities, he derived other row forms through rotations (as Krenek did, start-
ing the early 1940s). Rhythmic and dynamic components were stressed within
his strict counterpoint, but without using serial techniques for rhythm and dy-
namics. (Schler 1996 and 2001.)
What holds together both Kreneks and Schrders twelve-tone composi-
tions is their aesthetics, which was oriented towards the musician and the lis-
tener and towards an artistic expression that will preserve the fun in music and
in making music.

Other Perspectives
Other perspectives of researching the topic of the development of twelve-tone
music are the perspective of gender studies (focusing on gender differences in
developments of twelve-tone music), the perspective of semiotics (focusing on
signs and symbols in twelve-tone music and the relationships between seman-
tics, syntactics, and pragmatics in twelve-tone music), the perspective of media
(focusing on the importance of media for the dissemination and further devel-
opment of twelve-tone music), the perspective of politics (focusing on political
circumstances that, for instance, led twelve-tone composers to migrate to other
countries), the perspective of computer science and technology (focusing on the
importance of technology for further developments of twelve-tone music and
for the development of analytical tools), the perspective of psychology (focus-
ing on problems of psychology and perception of twelve-tone music at different
times in history etc.), and even the perspective of musicological and music-
theoretical thinking itself (focusing on musicological and music-theoretical re-
flections on twelve-tone music, and how this new knowledge in turn influ-
enced developments of twelve-tone music).

* * *

The methodology I chose to research the topic of the development of twelve-

tone music was to approach it from different perspectives. The main idea of
perspectivism, however, is the netlike combination of different research per-
spectives. In my example, the aesthetic and sociological perspective were pur-
sued in more detail to show the intra- and inter-disciplinary nature of perspec-
tivism and to illustrate how research based on such a methodology might lead
to interesting discoveries. (In fact, the only discovery I can claim here with re-
gard to my discussion of the development of twelve-tone music is the integra-
tion of both New Objectivity and twelve-tone technique in the music of Han-
ning Schrder.) Generally, enrichment of research results from using and com-
bining various methodologies provided by different disciplines, or sub-
disciplines. To give another example of a net-like connection of perspectives: a
psychological perspective on twelve-tone music ought to be considered for each
culture in which twelve-tone music developed, and ought to be connected to
specific music-theoretical aspects of each development, which in turn have
to be considered within a historical perspective, under specific social, economic,
and political circumstances, etc.
I believe that my approach of research showed (and can show even more
if pursued in more detail) a much more diverse picture of the developments of
twelve-tone music than that we usually find in theory and history books. One of
the goals of perspectivism is a methodological one: how each method used for
each single perspective influences the outcome of the research. If pursued in

more detail, perspectives can even change by combining them with other per-
spectives. The goal is to create a multi-dimensional dynamic network of per-
spectives, thus never allowing the research to be complete. The possibilities
are infinite and the results hardly imaginable.

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Matja Barbo (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Music as a Metaphor?

It is hard to set borderlines to a composer, and yet he should write for us. In
this way I think we might gradually understand each other. You are pulling
me unmercifully upwards, and I have to pull you a little bit downwards; and we
have to meet somewhere in the attained middle. (Kuret 1995, 72.) These are
the words written by the Slovene composer Hugolin Sattner to his friend Emil
Hochreiter. From this note, we can detect the magnificent character of a humble
Franciscan monk, who considers his former student as his counselor.
Because we know that these words were written at the beginning of the
20 century, we can be quite sure about the meaning of Sattners idea of
pulling upwards. In the context of the aesthetics of the time in question, it can
be understood in the sense of the ever more elaborated musical language
which, in Sattners case, referred to his insufficient mastering of the rules of
instrumentation and to a certain degree also of harmony. It could be connected
even with the idea, later realized by Adorno, about the progress of the musical
material, servilely followed by a composer in keeping with the principles of
historical progress.
What could then be the meaning of pulling the composer downwards in
Sattners thought just quoted? In the context of the aesthetic-normative system
in which the accomplished compositional craft undeniably meant an affirmative
aesthetical category (and not just at the time it was written, but also a century
before, and even today irrespective of the looseness of its definition), it cannot
be linked with craftsmanship. It can only be understood when connected with
the demand for us from the very first sentence of the quoted Sattner thought.
In this, Sattner expressed his belief that the composer has to pay due attention to
the audience, which apperceives music, although not skilled in the music craft
itself. The normative demand, exposed by this thought, is not so self-evident,
being clearly exposed to criticism for its narrowness, uncertainty, and temporal
determination. An aesthetics it seems to represent is the dangerous germ of
promoting the judgment of the audience, unencumbered by the demands of the
craft and / or the necessity of historical progress.
A similar difficulty can be noticed in Guido Adlers discussion of
musicology and its division in his famous article Umfang, Methode und Ziel
der Musikwissenschaft (Adler 1885). In the table of the division of
musicology, we can indirectly find Sattners idea of composing for us in the
only mention of the subjects perception as a possible object of research when
determining the aesthetics, characterized by Adler as a Vergleichung und
Werthschtzung der Gesetze und deren Relation mit den appercipierenden

Subjecten (ibid., 16-17). Although this is emphasized as the path towards the
Feststellung der Kriterien des musikalisch Schnen (ibid.), its importance
remains doubtful. We can understand that the speculative vagueness of some of
the aesthetic philosophy represents, in Adlers concept of the sciences, a much
less appropriate method in comparison with that of the historians, who tried to
assume the methods of natural sciences. Therefore, the unquestioned primacy in
this scheme goes, of course, to historical musicology, which postulates the
zuhchst stehenden Gesetze of musical art. Methods of empirical verification
of the historical part of musicology offer the formulation of these rules
(Gesetze), later accepted by systematic musicology, to present them
(Aufstellung), arrange them, and offer them for pedagogical purposes. Historical
musicology in Adlers sense seems to assure the right connection with
scientific modes of proceedings, i.e. with sciences musicology strives to be an
Of course, this kind of formulating science demands a firm object of its
research. The vagueness and indefinableness of music, its permanent
modification in the passing of time does not assure this kind of objectness.
Well known is the judgment on the transitoriness of arts, written by St. Basil in
the 4th century: Of useless [or destructive] arts there is harp playing, dancing,
flute playing, of which, when the operation ceases, the result disappears with
it. (Quoted in Goehr 1994, 150.) This useless, destructive art demands a firm
object of its determination. The objectification of music, condensed in
Listenius concept of opus perfectum et absolutum (Listenius 1549, Chapter
1), is but one of the most basic demands for the objectification of our
comprehension of the world. This demand developed the concept of the musical
work, which was later incorporated in the imaginary museum of musical
works and the institution of art that is connected with it.
Objectification is one of the special demands of organizing our ways of
thought foremost within the Western (European) culture. Of course, this has
been most clearly connected with the system of notation. In the latter case, it
seems that the objectification of music has achieved its climax. In this way, the
notion of space in the score defines also our musical reception from the
imagination of high and low notes to the falling, rising, symmetry, etc. In fact,
the tone objectification within the staff system is connected with the
comprehension of music as a closed form, within which each and every
individual element apparently produces objectified space, characterized by
Scruton as a space of imagination: we are not part of the world of sound, as
we are part of the visual world. I see things before me, spatially related to me.
But I do not stand in the world of sound as I stand in the world of sight. Nor is
this surprising, given that the world of sound contains events and processes only
. . . The sound world . . . is metaphysically apart from us. (Scruton 1997, 13.)

Although this world does not really exist, it is formed in the space of our
imagination, within which it can be complexly organized and controlled. As
such, it offers the only convincing link with scientific methods, foreign to
metaphysical speculation.
The modernist structuring of tone material among the clearest examples
are the compositions in which Slovene composer Igor tuhec in the 1960s first
used the strict 12-tone method (see Barbo 2001, 164) is, in its core, most
narrowly bound to the concept of the objective musical work that can be
contemplated, observed, defined, analyzed, and thereupon aesthetically
valuated. This is, of course, especially true under the conditions of normative
aesthetics, proceeding from the premise determined with this very art concept.
Perhaps it is not necessary to mention that in spite of the difficulties,
confronting the analyst by decoding such a complex tone structure, it is on the
other side very grateful material that makes it possible to achieve most
persuasive and most reliable scientifically grounded evidence.
Such a concept of music was, of course, possible only in the context of
the trenchant autonomy of the musical language, which could not be bound to
any system of musical functionality or extra-musical contents. It occurred only
under the condition of the emancipation of the musical language, emphasized
by Dahlhaus as one of the most important moments in the development of
European music. In fact, this is the turning point in the interpretation of music
as a genre with an independent narrative, released from any reference outside
itself. The meaning and the impact of these ideas can be seen in the fact that
almost all the key aesthetic issues from the 19th century onwards are embedded
in them. The most characteristic example of such thinking is the praise of the
romanticism of absolute music by E. T. A. Hoffmann: The instrumental
compositions of these three masters breathe a similar romantic spirit this is
due to their similar intimate understanding of the specific nature of the art.
(Quoted in Strunk and Treitler 1998, 1194.) The true essence of the art is its
romanticism, which is by Hoffmann, of course, equated with musicality as
an emphasized aesthetic quality.
The paradigm of the exposed meaning of the inner-musical game is
Eduard Hanslicks definition of musical contents as tnend bewegte Formen
(Hanslick 1854, 59). Despite apparently opposite positions, the very same
features can be found in Liszts apology of Berliozs programmatic music and
even in Wagners acclamation of Liszts idea of the symphonic poem. These are
characteristic texts in which the preferences for linking music with other arts are
emphasized. However, in both examples one can find a clear exposition of the
value of musical autonomy and the specificity to which the profundity can be
spread, inaccessible to other arts. Wagner writes explicitly: Never, in any
relation, in which music occurs, does it cease to be the highest, the most
redemptive art. (Wagner 1871, 191). Berlioz stresses that even in tone

painting, music should never loose some of its elevation and efficiency: If
we want to rank tone painting as one of the expressive forms of music, without
loosing some of its elevation and efficiency, the very first condition would be
that this were never the aim, but only the way; that (with rare exceptions) we
never understand it as a musical idea in itself, but only as a completion of an
idea that logically and self-evidently arises. (Hector Berlioz, quoted in
Dahlhaus and Zimmermann 1984, 315-316.)
Modernist concepts of music in the 20th century are to the high degree
directly deduced from such understanding of music. It is quite significant that
analytical and poetical utterances on vocal music emphasize the idiomatic
specificity of musical language, even in examples of clear correlation between
music and text, such as in Beethovens Missa Solemnis or Schuberts solo
songs. In such cases, the analysis of apparently autonomous musical happening
neglects any other dimension. Schnberg writes: Ich war vor ein paar Jahren
tief beschmt, als ich entdeckte, da ich bei einigen mir wohlbekannten
Schubert-Liedern gar keine Ahnung davon hatte, was in dem zugrunde
liegenden Gedicht eigentlich vorgehe. Als ich aber dann die Gedichte gelesen
hatte, stellte sich fr mich heraus, da ich dadurch fr das Verstndnis dieser
Lieder gar nichts gewonnen hatte, da ich nicht im geringsten durch sie gentigt
war, meine Auffassung des musikalischen Vortrags zu ndern. Im Gegenteil: es
zeigte sich mir, da ich, ohne das Gedicht zu kennen, den Inhalt, den wirklichen
Inhalt, sogar vielleicht tiefer erfat hatte, als wenn ich an der Oberflche der
eigentlichen Wortgedanken haften geblieben wre. (Schnberg 1912, 31-32.)
It seems that the autonomy of the musical language is clearly connected
with the modernist concept of musical understanding. As a matter of fact, one of
the most obvious aesthetic taboos in music of the 20th century was perhaps
just the connection with anything extra-musical. Even when the composer
applies extra-musical features in the musical contents, the independence of
music is not questioned.
Borut Loparnik wrote about the cantata Briinski spomeniki (The Freising
Manuscript), written by Slovene composer Jakob Je, as follows: For Je a
word always represents sound (the sound of its diction, syllables, phonic
elements) that can be developed into the idea and structure of a musical work.
(Loparnik [no year].) Similar words on Jes solo songs can be found by
Mirjam gavec: the poetic word evokes sound in its pure, elemental form.
Even a syllable suffices. He hearkens and senses until he attains its inner
weight. (gavec [no year].) Self-reference of music is a dogmatic postulate
that is not to be questioned. (Stefanija 2001, 32.) It expresses the belief in the
specifically musical, which is after Hanslick: beauty, independent of any
extra-brought contents, and is inherent in the tones and their artistic connection
(Hanslick 1854, 58). Beauty, emancipated in tones, does not need any
contextual determination, as some contemporary analytical methods try to

convince us. Music itself is independent of the recipient and even the composer.
In this context, music gains a mystical character. It is just in moments of
deliverance from practical interests and thoughts about music as a creative
procedure that it is understood as a rein poetische Welt (Wackenroder).
Berlinger, Wackenroders hero, listens to a concert even so religiously, as if
being in church. (Wackenroder 1968, 91.) That is why Tieck ascribes a
religious meaning to music and characterizes it with eschatological metaphors:
at the same time, new Light, new Sun, new Earth (ibid., 188). Therefore,
music remains a metaphor, but this metaphor refers only to itself it is a
metaphor of itself. Within that, the concept of artistic religion (Helmut Loos)
is established. Musicians celebrate in the same way as priests celebrate the
liturgical ceremony together with the community of believers. The latter
attend the event in deep silence and religious concentration, as demanded by
aesthetic contemplation, and musicologically founded as theological
dogmatics, which canonizes the community of saints and Gods as well. The
rites take place in art temples or houses of culture, which are obviously, as
regards their architecture and iconography, not far from some religious edifices.
So, in all features, the former metaphysical character of music remains
valid in such emancipated music, becoming now, however, the object and the
aim of its exceeding qualities. With that, its self-reference annihilates the real
possibility of its self-exceeding. When music becomes a metaphor of itself, it
hollows out its metaphysical character.
This becomes even more obvious in the case of seeing the concept of the
musical work and the institution of art in relative terms, i.e. the very basis of the
objectivization of the music and its institutionalization. Evaporated
objectivization leads also to an abolishment of self-reference of music. Music
does not refer to anything else, not even to itself; it stops being also a metaphor.
In such space, postmodernist disbanding of any kind of referentiality is possible,
as well as arbitrary crosswise linking, propelled by the abolishment of the great
This might still perhaps be just a kind of illusion one of the great stories
anticipating its own collapse. A reduction of musical referentiality seems
namely to impoverish its very essence. It can be detected in the search of
reference-confirmation in different epistemological approaches in musicology.
In jumping over from the phenomenological debate on musical essence, via
semiotic questioning of its language and structure, to analytic discussions on its
immanent originality, or hermeneutic examination of its contextualization, one
can become aware of the deficiency of isolated research and the necessity of
their interacting collaboration. Or could that, on the other side, be seen as a sign
of the search for some deeper meaning, some extra-musical reference and its
metaphorical character?

A keen critic of the contemporary seeming looseness, otherwise one of
the most important Slovene composers, Lojze Lebi (Pompe 2007), declares:
Those, who really take their work seriously, are an unavoidable critical mirror
to the looseness of the neo-liberal comprehension of the world. (Quoted in
Kralj Bervar 2005, 23.) Lebis critic is pointed towards the dizziness of
freedom, as formulated by him. Although his compositions could be denoted as
a paradigm of a deeply reflected musical language within the rigor of
supervised structure, we can, at the same time, perceive incomprehensible
deviations from the prescribed rules, which can find their only excuse in kind of
intuition, supplemented by certain, considerably symbolic, dim mottos at the
beginning of his scores and some secret notes at their end. (See Barbo 2007.)
Lebi says: I think that music as an aesthetic art would be over at the very
moment, when we stopped asking questions, believing, and doubting in the
divine. (Quoted in Kralj Bervar 2005, 23.) Although we must reconcile
ourselves in advance with the total indefinableness of heavenly music-making
in the same way as then, today or whenever, in the whole history this
represents an irritating challenge. In its open space lays namely full intellectual
freedom. It enables unlimited freedom of speculation that can, in times of
applicably oriented scientific research, legitimate included, be felt as fresh wind
coming from an open window.

Adler, Guido. 1885. Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft,
Vierteljahresschrift fr Musikwissenschaft 1: 5-20.
Barbo, Matja. Pro musica viva. Prispevek k slovenski moderni po II. svetovni vojni.
Ljubljana: Znanstveni intitut Filozofske fakultete, 2001.
__________. 2007. Glasba kot globalizacijski jezik? Metajezikovni kontekst Lebieve
glasbe, Muzikoloki zbornik Musicological Annual 43/1: 187-192.
Loparnik, Borut. Jakob Je: Tri skladbe. CD Liner Notes. RTVS DD 0058.
Dahlhaus, Carl, and Michael Zimmermann. Eds. 1984. Musik zur Sprache gebracht:
Musiksthetische Texte aus drei Jahrhunderten. Mnchen: Deutscher
Goehr, Lydia. 1994. The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: And Essay in the Philosophy
of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hanslick, Eduard. 1854. Vom Musikalisch-Schnen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Aesthetik
der Tonkunst. Leipzig: R. Weigel, 1854. Reprint Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Hrtel,
Kralj Bervar, Sonja. 2005. Umetnika svoboda je v omejitvah: Pogovor z akademikom
Lojzetom Lebiem, Ampak 11: 22-27.
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smrti, ed. by Edo kulj. Ljubljana: Druina. pp. 67-77.
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Scruton, Roger. 1997. The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Strunk, W. Oliver, and Leo Treitler. Eds. 1998. Source Readings in Music History, revised
edition. New York: W. W. Norton.
Pompe, Gregor. 2007. Lebieva metafizina dialektika Analiza skladateljeve eksplicitne
poetike, Muzikoloki zbornik Musicological Annual 43/1: 173-186.
Schnberg, Arnold. 1912. Das Verhltnis zum Text, Der Blaue Reiter, ed. by [Wassily]
Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Mnchen: R. Piper. 27-33.
gavec, Mirjam. Jakob Je: Samospevi. CD Liner Notes. Ed.DSS 999018.
Stefanija, Leon. 2001. O glasbeno novem: ob slovenski instrumentalni glasbi zadnje etrtine
20. stoletja. Ljubljana: OU-KODA.
Wackenroder, Heinrich Wilhelm. 1991. Das merkwrdige musikalische Leben des
Tonknstlers Joseph Berlinger. In zwey Hauptstcken, Wilhelm Heinrich
Wakkenroder: Smtliche Werke und Briefe. Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe, ed. by
Silvio Vietta and Richard Littlejohns, vol. 1. Heidelberg: Carl Winter. pp. 130-147.
Wagner, Richard. [1871]. ber Franz Liszts symphonische Dichtungen, Gesammelte
Schriften und Dichtungen by Richard Wagner, volume 5. Leipzig: E. W. Fritzsch,
1871-1883. pp. 182-198.


Peter Wicke (Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany)

From Schizophonia to Paraphonia: On the Epistemological and

Cultural Matrix of Digitally Generated Pop-Sounds

Samples, loops, and streams, the indicators of digitally produced pop sound, are
the signatures of a musical world that not only functions in accordance with
rules different from those that underlay the playing of music until now. Even
much more fundamentally, they have changed the cultural and epistemological
matrix in which tone functions as music. To take up an expression of the
Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, who diagnosed a similarly fundamental
change after the introduction of phonographic technology at the turn of the 19th
to the 20th century as schizophonia the technological split between the
production and the perception of tones the binary simulation of tone events
marks the transition to paraphonia, the coexistence of a primary sound event
and its restoration (or better: simulation) in the process of analog-digital-analog
transformation. This casts a glance on the culturally produced characteristics of
tone that, still below the level of musics communicative claims to validity,
make it a medium of playing music.
The way a tone is organized as music and transformed into music is
always connected with the dominant modes of its production, i.e., the
predominating technologies of producing sound. Percussing the body and vocal
forms of tone production, which are found as the basis of playing music in
almost all primitive peoples, form the basis of a musical universe different from
that of the complex mechanical tone machines that we call musical
instruments. This applies all the more to digitally generated sequences of tones,
which, as calculated real-time simulations of tone events, differ in principle
from conventional forms of playing music. The difference is not at all limited to
the respective patterns of interaction that are embedded in the technologies of
tone production and that create a framework for playing music as rules of
interplay. The interaction in an African percussion ensemble, both among the
players and between them and their listeners, is organized differently from the
interaction in a European string quartet or a hip-hip performance.
Much more important is another aspect: the cultural molding that tone
must go through to be receptive for the attributions and inscribings upon which
playing music in the framework of a given culture are respectively based, i.e.,
the particular way that human societies turn tone into a medium of playing
music. Underlying this is the basic distinction between sound, as the physical-
acoustic bearer of tone, and tone, as the material medium of music. The rules
according to which sound is produced and perceived as tone and tone as music
are crucially subject to a shaping determined by the technologies of tone
production. It is, so to speak, the level of the cultural formatting of tone an

analogy that goes beyond metaphor. Just as digital storage media require
formatting to be inscribable, so too tone is culturally formatted to take on and
store that special form of human interaction that we call music. What thereby
comes into play are the operators, the technologies of articulation, and their
discursive parameters, i.e., those that are tied to conceptual and processing
patterns of perception. Phonograph technology, which makes auditory sensory
perception storable and transferable, has already intervened deeply in the
process of the cultural formatting of tone by separating tone production from
the act of its perception as music precisely the circumstance that Schafer
sought to characterize with the term schizophonia. This is all the more true if
the prevailing mode of tone production is one of the binary calculation of
auditory perceptual realities from arbitrarily generated streams of data. The
level of cultural molding of tone and its formatting as a medium of the music in
question here can be surveyed if one turns ones focus to a singular element
found in a prominent position in all musically organized worlds of tone: the
production of tone by the human voice. From the songs of primitive peoples in
the tropical rainforest to the vocal manipulations of techno avant-garde, from
opera to hip-hop, from folk music to pop music, from classical modernism to
rock the voice is always present as the most universal instrument of tone
production. As the most natural form of this process, it has experienced its
probably most incisive changes through coupling with the machines of tone
storage and tone manipulation to the point where it mostly disappears in the
techno tracks of the current dance and club culture. Thus, it is the most direct in
its display of the aforementioned modes of cultural formatting. Phonographic
and microphone technology have thereby left the deepest traces, placing the
tone of the human voice, independent of and prior to any sung realization,
within a novel cultural frame of reference, which henceforth became the
precondition for using the voice in music.
The microphone and the electric amplification technology associated with
it made it possible to render the softest vocal sounds audible, quite apart from
any particular singing technique. Initially this meant the intimacy of the voices
of the American crooners (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra), but it didnt take long
before Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and all the other heroes of American
rocknroll in the 1950s brought the entire spectrum of guttural noises into
music. These are voices that sound recording has separated from their bearers
and disrobed them of all their visibility, reducing them to their purely acoustic
presence in the context of radio and record music, giving them shape as pure
tone. More lies behind this than a mere shift in spatio-temporal coordinates, as
the American pop star Buddy Holly spectacularly revealed in 1957 when, while
recording his Words of Love, he sang a duet with himself by accompanying
an earlier tape recording. Musical interaction with the technical reproduction of
ones own voice not only allows the singer to be doubly audible. In addition, the

doubled voice becomes a demonstration of the technological ability to separate
voices from their bearers and to have them interact with each other in purity, as
mere tone tracks.
The voice has thereby become a technologically produced construct, a
result of the synthesis of human sound production and machine mutations. The
natural voice of Elvis Presley, as of every other pop star, may be capable of
unusual sound formation, but the technologically unamplified and unprocessed
use of voice does not sound good in the media context. Only technology can
give sensual presence to such voice tone images. Without a microphone and
amplification technology, such voices do not exist; as technical products, they
have no bearer anymore; they separate from their singing producers and, with
their particular tone characteristics, begin to settle somewhere between the
human and the machine. The singing stars only provide raw material for it. The
microphone becomes an instrument for the now bodiless tone of the media age.
It wasnt long before the voice and the body separated in reality, and not
only technologically / virtually. In 1975, when the German music producer
Frank Farian landed a surprise hit with Baby Do You Wanna Dance, he not
only had a commercial success, but also a big problem. The recording was the
result of a studio experiment in which he himself had taken the singing part. But
because of his extreme stage fright, he did not feel able to adhere to the customs
of the pop industry and present his song live to an audience. So, for the
indispensable live performance, it seemed only natural to hire a session singer:
Bobby Farrell, who quite literally embodied Farians singing voice by lip-
synching on stage. The performance was so convincing that to this day hardly
anyone knows who actually was the singer of this recording sold under the
name Boney M.
It was also Farian who, in 1988, took a decisive step further by tying
together the vocal recordings of the three studio musicians Charles Shaw, John
Davis, and Brad Howe with the bodies of the two dancers Robert Pilatus and
Fabrice Morvan under the name Milli Vanilli. The process became a scandal in
1989, when Milli Vanilli, i.e., Pilatus and Morvan, received one of the coveted
Grammies from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and
Sciences for their supposed vocal achievement. They had to return it, of course,
when the background story leaked. This is one of the curiosities of pop music
history, but the technological synthesis of voice and body here turned into
reality for the first time and concealed on stage with corresponding technical
means marks a turning point: even in the most primal field of music, singing,
something reached perfection that had long characterized instrumental playing
in the studio, namely the drifting apart of tone and tone production, tone and
body. Since the 1960s, in the studio, the musician with his or her instrument has
provided nothing more than a triggering impulse that steers a chain of apparatus
kept in motion by sound engineers, sound technicians, and music producers.

Whether the result captured on tape sounds as natural as possible, i.e., as close
to the unprocessed sound of instruments, or is notably synthetic is a purely
aesthetic and arbitrary decision a decision often not even made by the
musician, but by the recording technician at the sound board in collaboration
with the producer.
What has happened here is the gradual dissolution of connection between
tone and the human subject who creates it, which was not only valid for
centuries in the occidental musical tradition, but also and above all a visible
connection that had its starting point in the singing voice, i.e., in the nature-
constrained unity of the person playing music and the producer of tone. Tone
turned into music encodes for us an interior that becomes an exterior
through the musically expressing subjective individual and that takes a shape
and is thereby communicable in a unique way. The dissolution of this
connection is a process whose implications can hardly be overestimated. On the
level of the tone signal, the difference between the human vocal apparatus as a
biological-mechanical producer of vibrations, on the one hand, and a tone
generator providing sinus waves, on the other, shrinks to insignificance. As tone
signals, both are inscribed with the same parameters.
The digitalization of the medium of tone was another decisive step in this
process. In binary representation, tone has completely cut its connection with
the modalities of its production. It has become the calculated, real-time
simulation of itself, whereby the process of simulation, i.e., the process of
making the digitally-acquired numerical values audible again by means of
digital / analog converters, has not only made the difference between corporeal,
mechanical, and signal-based, electrical forms of tone production meaningless;
it has eliminated that difference. The rhythm patterns and tone streams of
techno tracks, for example, can be machine-generated or hand-played, using a
MIDI keyboard or a mixture of both, for example a technically created endless
loop of a played or sampled musical figure. Today, not even experts can
accurately use the aural result of the instruments and technological effect
devices to identify the modalities of sound processing and transformation or the
methods used to technically synthesize tone. And this has consequences.
Tone has thereby experienced a far-reaching de-referentialization. Once it
was the symbolic medium par excellence every audible tone, as a kind of
vector of meaning, always pointed more or less unambiguously to its production
and producer and was thus inextricably tied to a dimension of meaning. But in
digitalized form, it stands suspended in space, completely free, unattached,
without origin, traceless, and thereby also initially meaningless. The digitalized
tone, made audible, then represents nothing more than binary numbers, even if
its values are extracted from the sampling of a natural sound. Here, tone has
become a pure inherent state of perception; the unity of material, medium, and
perception has broken apart forever.

The self-evidence with which tone could be heard as a sign of
emotionality, expression, subjectivity, interiority, and symbolic representation
of narratively constructed patterns of meaning corresponds with the self-
evidence with which sound can be taken as a medium whose origin whether
played, technologically manipulated, or technologically generated is
unimportant, because sense and meaning result from the connections and
transformations that can be literally docked onto sound shapes. Access to a
universe understood in accordance with the principle of the databank and thus
as relational and abstractly addressable and the linking of elements to create
networks without even slightly affecting the identities of the elements are the
key technologies of a form of making music that avoids even the term music
and that emblematically carries the technical quality of the production of sound
techno in its designation. Central to this is the concept of repetition, not in
the sense of repeated action, but in the form of technologically generated chains
of events: loops or synthesizer sequences that replace the former narratively
composed structure of sound sequences in music.
This means that the singing voice has lost its privileged position in the
universe of music. Here it is nothing more, not more significant, no more
meaningful, no more emotion-laden, and certainly not more natural than any
technologically generated noise welling up from the sound canons of the media
age: loudspeakers at home or used collectively. Behind this stands a machine-
generated code of rules of combination, a network structure turned into sound
for mobile (dancing) bodies to log on to a term whose frequent use in this
connection is telling. To make this development clear, let us take up a
symptomatic case: the productions of the Icelandic singer Bjrk
Gumundsdttir, known as Bjrk. The mere fact of her career as a pop star is
already deeply owed to the aforementioned changes. The singer, who was born
in 1965 in Reykjavik and still lives there, comes from a place that is as un-pop
as possible. It is no coincidence that, into the 1990s, artists were mostly
excluded from access to the global pop market if they could not present the pop-
specific authenticity of the site of their origin, which had to be either urban,
hip, and in one way or another far out, or else had to fit the ideas of the
exotic as propagated by the tourism industry. For the latter, the supermarket of
sounds offered and still offers the genre of World Music.
But Bjrk corresponds to none of that, or to all of it at once, which in turn
is possible only if the authenticity of the site no longer plays any role in playing
music. Like many music-obsessed people of her generation all over the world,
she began making music in a punk band. The pleasure in experimenting took
her from punk rock to post punk, which had turned commercial marginalization
into the seal of quality of a street avant-garde. But she did not gain the status of
an international pop star until she collaborated with the meanwhile legendary
techno artist Mark Bell, who from 1988 on joined Gez Varley in the immensely

influential Sheffield techno duo Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO). Here, in the
dance and techno area, the consequences of the digitalization of music, not least
in the consistent anonymization of the productions and their connection to
frequently changing, identity-free fantasy names, had long since been felt. Now
Bjrk was to become one of the first pop stars outside of the narrower techno
field whose productions audibly exhibited the aesthetic consequences of the
comprehensive digitalization of sound.
Against the backdrop of his techno-club experience with an audience
shaped by the high-tech media world, Bell transformed Bjrks singing voice
into a diversely-processed digitally generated or digitally reprocessed world of
sound. What was produced in what way is neither relevant nor retraceable here,
even if the singer surrounds herself in the studio with a select circle of
musicians from the most various parts of the world to recording freestyle
sessions (i.e., without any score or directives at all), in order to find the
spirituality that enables her to generate suitable sound material. On the
computer, producer Mark Bell and the singer, who shares responsibility with
him for the production, use software synthesizers, sequencer programs, sound-
morphing, and sound editing to create sound architectures that have caused a
sensation since the mid-1990s, because they let the reformatted medium of
making music develop into an aesthetic re-dimensionalization of music itself.
Instead of using digital real-time simulations of sound to mimic supposedly
genuine sound, i.e., instead of structuring the musical action as if the sound
world it clings to had been produced in the conventional way and unfolded
within the traditional spatio-temporal parameters, the productions of Bjrk and
Mark Bell relinquish this illusion.
A very characteristic example of this is the album Homogenic, released in
1997, whose cover design already points to such technological synthesis forms,
a computer-generated artificial figure of multiple cultural identities in which at
most the facial features encode a recollection of the singer. The albums music
peculiarly fulfills the paradox of sensual abstraction. The voice, for example,
Bjrks trademark, is not really technologically distorted, but the exhibited
character of digital simulation processes makes it not really human, either. It is
a unique sound form of icy beauty, but nonetheless it has not been made alien
as an unambiguously technological product and thereby placed at a distance to
the listener. This ambiguity is what manifests the digital reformatting of sound
as a medium of making music. In digitalized form, the sequentially processing
sound form becomes a link in the mediatized world.
The development sketched here points to an overarching aspect that has
fundamental importance: the epistemological parameters with which music is
theoretically to be viewed are always already given in the respective culturally
formed epistemological matrix underlying sound as the material medium of
playing music.

Lubomr Spurn, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Semiology in Music and Art: Czech Music Semiology

To say music semiology already means a certain classification. With its help,
it is possible to interpret the syntax of music and the process of structuring a
musical work; semiology, thus, becomes part of music theory. Semiology (at
least as a music-oriented pragmatic system) can be an inspiration to music
sociology, historiography, ethnomusicology. Not even the emancipatory
tendencies of the last few decades have deprived semiology of its links to
aesthetics. It is still true that questions of signs and meanings in music is one of
the key problems of music aesthetics. Its study offers three possible approaches
with, of course, a range of varieties and cross-currents. The most radical
approach denies that music carries any sign, or even a communicative status. A
second approach, lets call it non-semiotic formalism, connects the meaning of
a work with the way it is structured and modeled at all levels. The third
approach acknowledges that music is a sign structure of its own kind and that
musical signs have specific meanings.
Speaking about signs and meanings does not necessarily make us music
semiologists. The whole intricate issue can be usefully described from a view
outside the actual music-semiotic discourse, as has been done so for instance by
Carl Dahlhaus, Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht, or Peter Faltin. On the other hand
there were authors like Zofia Lissa, Vladimr Karbusick, Christian Kaden, or
Ji Fuka, who essentially recognized the need of musical semiology (or
specifically the semantics of music), who were aware of the fact that the results
of semiotic interpretation do not always sound convincing enough. This may be
why these authors, with their own emphatic style, drew attention to some
difficulties and possible mistakes arising from the application of this method.
When Jaroslav Volek (1981) in his study Hudebn struktura jako znak a
hudba jako znakov systm [Musical Structure as Sign and Music as a System of
Signs], described a possible methodology for Czech music semiology, he
expressed in it not only his wishes and expectations, but at the same time a
conviction that the application of principles of the general theory of signs and
linguistic theories would lead to the solution of the question of the conditions
under which music is able to contain specific meanings or refer to something
beyond itself. All this was nurtured by the experience of a musicologist who
showed an ambition to understand the meaning of things and fully grasp the
phenomenon in question, hand in hand with a skepticism that warns against
premature interpretations.
In his study, Volek compares semiotic discourse to the noise of a big
bazaar, which means the inflationary invasion of several methodologies and

interpretations. Despite Voleks evaluation being a criticism of the situation
current at the time, it is still true that there is no unique leading conception of
semiology. In this field, there is a range of scholarly approaches and schools.
The statement that semiology today presents a methodologically non-
homogeneous subject, fragmented into a range of fields, certainly does not
sound too surprising. And this is completely accurate, also if one refers to
Czech research on the subject. (Czech is in many cases synonymous to
So what is Czech semiology like? If the credibility and legitimacy of a
subject depends on the number of its users, then it will certainly count as a
marginal conception. This type of theory was developed in Czechoslovakia
from the end of the 1950s. Since the 1970s, it has been connected with the
activities of the Mezioborov tm pro vyjadovac a sdlovac systmy umn
(Interdisciplinary Team for Systems of Expression and Communication in Art).
In the 1970s and 1980s, a group of musicologists worked in this team, which
was later called the Prague Team for Music Semiology. The core of this
group were Jaroslav Volek, Jaroslav Jirnek, Ji Fuka, and Ivan Poledk. The
initial wave of enthusiasm and a broader interest in this kind of research was
replaced by a gradual cooling off during the 1990s. It seems now that music
semiology stands at the periphery of musicologists interest, while having the
advantage of an insiders fellowship. Such a statement may sound
exaggerated, but still the absence of references in scholarly writings or the
frequency of papers in conferences rather support such pessimistic statements.
Though the semiotic orientation of the Prague team gradually dissipated and the
team itself fell apart through the successive deaths of its members, these
succeeded during more than 12 years in creating an individual conception of
musical semiotics. The members of the team described it in a range of studies in
periodicals, books, and dictionary entries. Ji Fuka and Jaroslav Jirnek
frequently reported on it at foreign conferences. Ji Fuka attempted to explain
the issue of music communication in his study Pojmoslovie hudobnej
komunikcie [Nomenclature of Music Communication] (Fuka 1986). Jaroslav
Jirnek presented his individual approach to semiology especially in his book
Tajemstv hudebnho vznamu [Mystery of Musical Meaning] (Jirnek 1979).
The summarizing study Musical Semiotics: A Report from Prague (1990) by
Ivan Poledk (1990) presented information in a form accessible for an English-
speaking public. The three-volume publication Zklady hudebn smiotiky
[Foundations of Musical Semiology] (Fuka et al. 1992) became a canonic
writing of Czech semiology. A huge list of authors and publications could
follow and would certainly confirm the statement about the variety of the
subject. But all the various interpretations are subject to a rule the tradition
they all follow and refer to. This tradition is very clear. One of the authors most
frequently cited in these texts is Otakar Zich (1879-1934), a pupil of Otakar

Hostinsk (1847-1910) and one of Jan Mukaovsks teachers. Another source
of inspiration is presented by the texts of the Prague Linguistic Circle, which
since 1929 have kept on formulating the semiotics of works of art. Their theory
followed the conception of language as a semiotic system, elaborated by
Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). Semiology, as presented by the Prague
structuralists, was intended to become a new science a general methodological
basis for the theory of the arts, which would offer important arguments as
polemics against aesthetic theories that attempted to interpret a musical work in
terms of direct (causal) relations with the authors individuality, with
biographical facts (biographical method, the interpretation of a work by its
author), with ideological trends of the time, or with sociological methods. This
new science would study its subject as a structure of signs and values. The
substance of art is no longer made up by subjective impressions, but by words,
tones, surface, line, color. Also, in post-war history the general semiology and
theory of communication played the role of an arbiter in solving some
controversial questions in musicology, and especially in the aesthetics of music.
In relation to the unprecedented expansion of interest in structuralist
methodology in the social and natural sciences in the 1960s, the word
structure became one of the most frequently used terms. In accordance with
the interwar tradition I mentioned a moment ago, music is interpreted as a sign
in which the communicative function is dispersed or vague, rather as in, lets
say, abstract art.
Let the following superficial characteristics be a confirmation of this
assertion. Many non-semantic conceptions result from experience, according to
which music draws attention to itself. Listening to it, we distinguish structurally
more important parts that draw our attention. The Czech tradition to some
extent conforms to this conception by introducing the binary pair of terms
presentation representation. If something should function as a sign, then it
must draw attention to itself, as a figure does in relation to its background.
These can, for instance, be motifs or themes from traditional music; these parts
are thematized by their repetition. Presentation becomes a secondary function of
a sign, in contrast to representation, which is a proper function of a sign, that is,
to mean something other than itself. In Czech semiology, besides the attempt to
classify the signs and types of representation, we also find such terms as
interpretation, typified sign, subsign, metasign, paradigm, syntagm (these
correspond to the terms langue, parole), content, and meaning. Music signs are
created to circulate, to be communicated. But to be communicable, it is
necessary to solve the problem of their transfer and comprehensibility. If we
take a further step and connect the problems of sign and structure with the
process of signal exchange, we find ourselves in the field of music
communication, as it was defined in the course of the 1970s, for instance by Ji
Fuka: Music, typologically, genetically . . . belongs to the family of types of

sound communication. . . . Music is simply, by rule and by its essence, a
communicatum, it acts as a message and contains information. (Fuka 1989,
215-216.) Thus, Fuka confirmed the sign and communication character of
In the 1960s, music analysis influenced by the intonation theory of Boris
Asafiev became popular, as he formulated it for instance in his work
[Musical Form as a Process] (
1947). In Czech musicology, this type of analysis was developed by Antonn
Sychra (1959), and Jaroslav Jirnek (1967) attempted to develop it into a
comprehensive system. The goal of this method was to bridge the perceived
disjunction between the content of a heard musical work as subjectivity and its
structure as objectivity. This kind of analysis then attempts to interpret a work
as a so-called content form. Also another point is indispensable for a semantic
interpretation: it must be preceded by a syntactic (or material) study, that is, a
description of the hierarchical structure of the musical work. In the Czech
(Czechoslovak) variant of this kind of analysis, especially the modified
Riemann Funktionstheorie, motivic-thematic analysis was used (this was used
and developed in the Czech scene from the 1920s onward). The use of these
methods then predetermined the results of these analyses.
We can recapitulate by saying that music cannot function as a semantic
system a priori. So Czech semiology attempted to construct a critique and
correction of music reception as an analogy to natural language and of
musicology as a philology of music. Despite a certain resemblance to
language, music functions differently. What is understood as clear and
comprehensible while a music work is being heard, resists a notional
interpretation on account of its unclear or, on the contrary, ambiguous
signification. Generally, it can be said that the semantic situation of a musical
work greatly accentuates precisely those problems that underlie the process of
communication of natural language. The discussion is not only about the
specific cultural nature of musical material, but first of all about the dependency
of meaning on the individual message conveyed by specific musical forms,
conventions, and traditions: Oriental music has no meaning for a European, and,
moreover, music has no meaning for an inexperienced ear. Similarly, the
question of denotation in music refers to the field of emotional and value
relationships, hardly comprehensible in terms of notions. Ambiguity, vagueness
of meaning at various levels, and especially the dependence of meaning on a
concrete realization of the work are crucial in the case of music. Despite
indisputable successes, musical semiology provokes many objections. We can,
for instance, ask if the fact that musical structure possibly functions as a sign
has any deeper significance for understanding the essence and function of
music. And also the introduction of new terminology or use of excessive
statistical and logical apparatus often leads to trivial, banal, or expected results.

(Such interpretations may even lead to the disappearance of the work as an
Ordinary interpretations of Asafievs theory for instance have often
forgotten its psychological aspect, according to which a work should create
causal relations, which in the process of listening can be perceived as a logical
form, penetrable according to the abilities of the listener. Musical analysis then
functions as a graphic representation of the way we perceive the work. The
understanding of a musical work as a comprehensible unity leads from sections
small enough to be registrable by musical memory, towards a compound unity.
The quality of the hidden relations is the business of the listener who seeks the
original orientation of the work and determines its value.
What is Czech / Czechoslovak music semiology then like? This question
must evidently remain unanswered. It would be daring to voice a verdict in the
end, especially while it has not yet become merely a matter of the past, and
while its future remains uncertain. None of us, who have been students under
the above-mentioned pioneers of this subject, have yet found enough courage or
motivation to develop this tradition, which is without question rich in
inspiration. But musical semiology will evidently survive as one of the methods
that have determined the character of Czechoslovak musicology.

. . 1947. . : .
. .
Fuka, Ji. 1986. Pojmoslovie hudobnej komunikcie, O interpretcii umeleckho textu 9:
Fuka, Ji. 1989. Mtus a skutenost hudby: traktt o dobrodrustv a oklikch poznn.
Prague: Panton.
Fuka, Ji, Jaroslav Jirnek, Ivan Poledk, and Jaroslav Volek. 1992. Zklady hudebn
smiotiky. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 1992.
Jirnek, Jaroslav. 1967. Asafjevova teorie intonace, jej geneze a vznam. Prague: Academia,
Jirnek, Jaroslav. 1979. Tajemstv hudebnho vznamu. Prague: Academia.
Karbusick, Vladimr. 1986. Grundri der musikalischen Semantik. Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
Mukaovsk, Jan. 1967. Kapitel aus der Poetik, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.
Poledk, Ivan. 1990. Musical Semiotics: A Report from Prague, In Theory Only 11/6
(September): 1-13.
Sychra, Antonn. 1959. Estetika Dvokovy symfonick tvorby. Prague: Sttn nakl. krsn
literatury, hudby a umn.
Volek, Jaroslav. 1981. Hudebn struktura jako znak a hudba jako znakov system, Opus
Musicum XIII/5, 6, 10: 129-142, 161-174, 289-295.


Dalibor Davidovi


During the last few years, I have frequently been confronted with the gesture of
surprise or even pity when I said I was currently living and working in Zagreb,
after having spent some time abroad as if life in Zagreb was not worth for a
musicologist. Inhabitants of Croatia usually find the circumstance of living here
to be some sort of handicap, even bad luck. It would be better to live some-
where else; life would be easier. In a way, they are right. To do musicology in
Zagreb is not easy, especially if one is accustomed to intense Western life, in-
cluding the usual offer of books, concerts, and other sound events. Changing the
place one lives in leaves one without things that one was once familiar with, a
smell or a particular sound of the location. In Zagreb, I could not practice my
little ritual of searching for a certain cheap and bizzare CD in a local shop when
returning home from the university, a recording which should become the
soundtrack of my evening. In the best case, CD shops in Zagreb offer only the
new releases of major labels; the choice is not so great, the possibility of finding
a cheap second-hand CD is almost impossible. Libraries in Zagreb are even
worse equipped. In the early 1990s, they were eagerly cleaned of the books on
the supposedly wrong alphabet, but that cleansing was indeed only one case in
the series. Namely, libraries in Croatia are mostly considered not as a service in
the name of public interest, but as a source of filling ones own private library.
A Croatian intellectual is not accustomed to using public libraries on a daily ba-
sis. Their financial resources are very limited, therefore they do not have many
possibilities to buy new books, editions in foreign languages even less, and the
best books have already been stolen. (Some years ago, I even heard an argument
that university teachers in Croatia steal books from the shelves of public librar-
ies, not only because of financial reasons, but in the first place to prevent stu-
dents from finding the sources of ingenious ideas, which they present at their
courses as their own.) In public libraries in Zagreb, it is almost impossible to
find a musicological book one may need for the job especially a new one. If
one does not want to buy or steal it, one could eventually order it from abroad
via the library, but one has to wait for it for a long time.
What kind of musicology can be practiced under such circumstances? For
example, a musicologist can start her / his own private system for data storage, a
private library or an archive, in order to compensate the poor condition of public
services. But the private archive has seldom everything one needs for musi-
cological work, old and new books, journals and encyclopedias, not to mention
expensive critical editions. This may be the reason why such a musicologist, re-
lying merely on a private archive, is obsessed with the newest books and para-

digms; where memory is not externalized in the public archive, where it is not
accessible for all, but only for the musicologist her- / himself, this musicologist
can only hope that with each new book she / he will find access to the big sci-
ence, that she / he will speak the same language with the distant world, which
could finally hear what she / he has to say. But the up-to-date publication will
soon become outdated, and the critical editions will be too expensive for a pri-
vate person to buy. The musicologist will soon understand that she or he has no
chance to become a part of the musicological world she or he wants to belong
to. Her or his resources are too weak for more than occasional flashes of hope
that this musicologist finally reached the position of those living under the con-
dition marked by no handicap. Since for this person true life is somewhere else,
she / he feels his own life to be only a shadow of it a shadow that is necessar-
ily deficient in relation to the fullness of life in the distant world. Yet, it is ex-
actly this reference to the true life that brings her / him a feeling that she / he
might somehow participate in it. Separated from the true life, which seems to be
possible only in the distant world, such melancholic musicologist can only hope
to come as close as possible to it through the repeated attempts to reach it, al-
though this musicologist knows that this undertaking cannot succeed.
Another Croatian musicologist would find such an approach to scientific
practice suitable only for losers. Since this person would not want to be one of
them, her / his own musicology should take a rather different path. Instead of
searching for new books, she / he should simply insist upon the local musical
practices, which are supposedly not known in the distant world of big science.
For her or him, music is necessarily a part of the general culture, indicator of the
civilized condition of those people whose expression it is supposed to be. Ac-
cording to her / him, the task of a musicologist in Croatia is simply to expose
this civilized condition, to show that Croatian culture is a part of European
culture, that it has indeed always been a part of it. This musicologist has no
need for expensive critical editions or encyclopedias, since the research objects
can be found at home, in the local archives.
Why to study Schubert? There are already so many publications dealing
with him, the possibility that you will discover something new is almost impos-
sible. Let others occupy themselves with him. Here you have Livadi no one
but you will work on him! Take him! This was the advice I got during my
studies in Zagreb. But my impression has always been that this kind of musi-
cology was interested in music only so far as music could serve other purposes
than to be simply music: if the musicologist is concerned about exposing the
civilized condition of Croatia, her / his point of reference does not seem to be
the music itself, the music as it is, but first and foremost the national interest,
this mystical ground of the musicologists decision to occupy himself with
Livadi rather than Schubert. (The musicologist would deal with Schubert only
to show that the composer is somehow related to the Croatian nation or even

that she / he belongs to it.) In the times when the existence of the Croatian na-
tion was seen as endangered, because there was no autonomous nation-state to
care for the nations security, wealth, and power, the musicologists task was to
take part in the empowerment of the national culture dealing exclusively with
music of Croatian composers, showing how ancient this music indeed is, as if
this occasion suggests the eternity of the nation itself, its eternal right to materi-
alize itself into the nation-state. When finally the nation finds its state form, the
new battlefields emerge: transformed into the national heritage, music could be
exposed as a tourist offer, in order to bring revenues to the government budget.
Although the starting points and the tasks of both musicologists are in-
deed different, they are not unrelated to each other. For both of them, true life is
namely separated from the field where life substance seems to weaken. In both
cases, it is a question of space: whereas the melancholic musicologist finds true
life to be somewhere else, maybe in Europe, maybe in America, the other one
does not really seem to be interested in others. What interests her / him is rather
how to preserve the national culture, how to save it from pollution through for-
eign influences, how to present its beauty to others, expecting that they will ad-
mire it and recognize how civilized Croatians really are. Yet, her / his hyperac-
tivity in presenting the national music heritage at musicological conferences
around the world, in order to be recognized as a part of the civilized world,
speaks rather for her / his dependence on the other. The real separation is not
only the source of the feeling of being important, being a part of the big science
in the distant world, but also the source of her / his greatest fear: the fear that
someone could understand the reason for presenting this music differently than
she / he does. Is it really so far from the melancholic musicologists notion that
life in Croatia is actually marked by handicap, a damaged life that is worth liv-
ing only through the relation to the true one?
I can imagine that none of both musicologists like the work of the other.
The melancholic one finds the work of his colleague being not only nationalist,
finding the reasons for occupying herself / himself with poor Croatian music
rather than the great European one, but also weak in the sense of superficial ar-
gumentation. Another musicologist, the paranoid one, cannot excuse her / his
colleague for wasting energy on the subjects that in her / his opinion cannot
bring the wealth to the national culture. But in finding the work of the other
problematic, they confirm their own dependency on the division of space. Not
only the space is divided, but also the music. For both of them, music is not
simply a sound phenomenon, but always more: it is either a light coming from
the marvelous place over the rainbow, showing that the independence is possi-
ble and thus bringing consolation to ones own sad and empty life, marked by
the irreparable loss of the true life substance; or it is the expression of the na-
tional spirit searching for the recognition by others. To control this something
more, this true center of music, science is necessary. Both musicologists meet

indeed at this point, whereas it seems not so important whether they try to
elaborate the rules for the production of new pieces or simply try to describe
some music that is already there.
But science cannot think. If it could, it would not be science anymore. It
can collect some sort of objects, describe and analyze, compare and classify
them, measure them and use the achieved data for the production of similar ob-
jects. The better, more effective method will replace the old one. Science is a
competition under strict conditions, which cannot be controlled by science it-
self. Since the rules are given, the winner will be the one who has the greatest
archives and the best methods at her / his own disposal. Of course, for both mu-
sicologists this competition is always lost. The melancholic one will not be lis-
tened to: although she / he could even have something interesting to say to the
broader musicological circles, in the world of big science there are already
many other musicologists working on the same subject and having a possibility
to consult many more sources. The other musicologist, concerned with the na-
tional interest, will be listened to carefully, but probably not in order to be rec-
ognized by foreign musicologists as one of us. Instead, this person will be
treated as a messenger, bringing information about some distant, exotic places.
True science, just as true life, seems to be always elsewhere, at some unattain-
able places where the colleagues can fully develop their possibilities without be-
ing handicapped by the poor working conditions. Finding the musicologists
abroad, in Europe and America, to be fully developed, unmarked by the handi-
cap, both Croatian musicologists can only become disappointed by their own
life. The more they are concerned with the wholeness of the other, the more
they will find themselves being disabled.
But ones own disability does not necessarily seem to lead to the scien-
tific treatment of music. Also Joseph Jacotot, a French teacher whose biography
was written by Jacques Rancire, was afflicted by change that made him dis-
abled. After studying rhetorics, he had a short military career and was engaged
politically on the side of the Republic. The return of the Bourbons to power
forced him to escape to the Netherlands. But what can you do when you find
yourself working as a teacher of French at the university in a foreign land whose
language you dont speak? Incidentally the bilingual, French-Dutch edition of
Fnelons novel The Adventures of Telemachus was published in Brussels just
at the moment. The book used by Jacotot for teaching French was therefore
chosen by chance. If another book was published in a bilingual edition, it would
be used instead of Fnelons novel, although it is interesting to notice that the
French original of The Adventures of Telemachus was itself a kind of translation
of the ancient Greek writings. The bilingual edition made it possible for Jacotot
to teach French in the foreign land whose language he did not speak. However,
this teaching was rather unusual, since it was not based on the division between
those who possess the knowledge and those who do not. With the help of a bi-

lingual book, Jacotot could teach without possessing the knowledge. The pupils
learned French comparing words of Dutch translation with the related words of
French original without knowing the French grammar first, just as they learned
the mother tongue once. It is not the teacher who possesses the truth that should
be learned by pupils; the truth can not be possessed at all, even not as something
common, something that can be shared by people and get them together, like
paradigm or consensus. The truth exists only for itself wrote Jacotot in one of
his writings. The truth is what exists, not what is said. The speech depends on
men, but the truth doesnt. (Rancire 1987, 99.) It is the truth of the thing it-
self, of the book, revealing itself to the eye of those willing to read. Therefore,
the principle of credibility lies at the heart of this experience. It is not the key
to any science, but the privileged relation of everyone to the truth, the relation
which directs him to his path, to his orbit. (Ibid., 98.)
The exile opened Jacotots eyes to the insight that the usual pedagogy
presupposes the division between those who possess the truth and those who do
not, whereas the teacher is not only a person who possesses the truth, but also
determines what the truth is. In other words, the usual pedagogy is only con-
cerned with legal procedures, leaving outside its horizon the problem of truth
itself. It should not astonish that usual pedagogy is scientific, since the science
is exactly such procedural discourse. The sense of Jacotots teaching, on the
contrary, was to do justice to the things themselves and through it to give the
pupils a possibility to emancipate themselves from the usual pedagogical sys-
tem. Since the truth retreated into the things themselves, leaving the teacher, the
only thing the teacher should do is to organize the situation in which pupils
could occupy themselves with the things, instead of insisting upon the reproduc-
tion of prepared truths.
What would Jacotot do if he were not a teacher of French, but a musi-
cologist? It seems that his handicap would lead him neither to melancholic nor
to paranoid science, neither to this or that strategy of controlling the space dis-
tance; the space distance between France and the Netherlands was interesting to
him only in the sense that he unconditionally accepted new living conditions in
the second land, although they were much less favorable than the conditions he
had in France. Exactly this acceptance of the new conditions opened the possi-
bility to put aside the strategies of controlling the space distance, since Jacotots
interest was not to reach the conditions of the distant world, but to concentrate
upon the things themselves. In other words: if he concentrated upon music,
upon its pure existence, he would leave aside its scientific treatment, character-
ized by the desire to control this something more than music, which is for both
musicologists its true center. To do justice to music would for Jacotot mean to
leave musicology, since the sphere of legality, the scientific and procedural
definition of truth could only treat music as the object suited for musicologys
own purpose: control of space. If Jacotot were a musicologist, he would leave

musicology organizing the sessions in which other things would be taught than
those taught in usual schools, and in another way. I can imagine that his pupils
would not only (???not or not only???) be pure recipients of prefabricated
truths, little machines for reproduction, but would practice something that could
be named interception a learning from the things themselves, maybe in order
to produce such things. Jacotot would only laugh at the melancholic musicolo-
gists attempts to reach the newest book and at the paranoid musicologists fear
of misperception, since for him their problem lies exactly in their belief in the
legal sphere, in the legal archives. He would say: Why should we close our-
selves into the legal sphere? There are so many things out of public archives and
CD shops. To restrict yourself to the legal sphere would mean to restrict music,
to be deaf for it. Instead of using public archives or even establish the private
one, use the internet, there you will find much more music than elsewhere! I
must say I can easily identify myself with his words. What I have always been
interested in was music, not musicology, and I think that I would not cry if mu-
sicology did not exist one day. However, could the trouble with musicology be
solved through simple skipping into something else? Does this something else
exist in its own right?
The final chapter of Rancires book describes how even Jacotots teach-
ing turned into something else. The way of teaching, which Jacotot refused even
to name, was taken up by military and philanthropic institutions. Becoming Ja-
cotots method, it was transformed into a plan that could be applied and taught
at the usual pedagogical institutions. Instead of doing justice to things them-
selves and affirm the equal chances of all pupils, it became the sign of ones
own value or enlightened condition. However, Rancire did not present Jaco-
tots teaching as a complete failure, since he identified its subsequent turn to
method to be the beginning of a downfall. But the description itself did not miss
the moment of Jacotots teaching sessions, which indeed seems to be repetitive
or methodic: on one hand the teacher did not possess the truth about objects, but
on the other he knew how to organize such learning situation. As if the attempt
to leave completely the legal sphere, the sphere of science and procedure, ends
in reference to it, if not in the very sphere. Therefore, it seems that the only way
to escape musicology is just the opposite to practice it.

Rancire, Jacques. 1987. Le matre ignorant: Cinq leons sur l'mancipation intellectuelle.
Paris: Fayard.

Katarina Habe (University of Maribor, Slovenia)

Current Issues and Trends in the Psychology of Music in Slovenia

The aim of the following paper is to explore some of the main characteristics of
the psychology of music in Slovenia. Before preceeding, it is necessary to
present the psychology of music and its position through time and space. The
paper will pursue the following questions: Where does the psychology of music
stand as a science in Slovenia? What is the position of this interdiciplinary field
among the other scholarly fields that use musicopsychological knowledge? Are
the professions that need musicopsychological knowledge aware of the
resources, that are usefull in their work, and do they seek to improve their work
by keeping abreast of the results of current musicopsychological studies? How
could the position of the psychology of music as a scientific field be improved
in the near future?
Music is an essential component of human functioning. Its a kind of
mystery that calls for answers, but at the same time it is the most transparent
and direct tool of communication. Percieving, creating, comprehending and
interpreting music are among the oldest evolved human abilities. Music is
supposed to be genetically written into the human genome and represents the
most ancient language of human kind. Music affects peopless lives in
innumerable ways (e.g., interms of human values, human identity, human nature
and quality of life).
It is important to begin with a systematic overview of the development of
psychology of music as a science worldwide before preceeding to the current
position of the psychology of music in Slovenia.
If we follow the history of the psychology of music, it will take us as far
back as the rise of ancient civilisations. The ancient Chinese and Egyptians
considered music as a basic element reflecting the main principles of the
universe. They believed that music had the power of uplifting or destroying the
human soul.
The ancient Greeks used music as a healing tool. Their appreciation of
and knowledge about musical effects can be observed in the philosophical
works of Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato. Plato considered music as the most
important element within education, because it creates a feeling of wholeness in
human beings. Music had an important role in education: it was one of the four
branches of the quadrivium.
Trends in the development of the psychology of music begin in
philosophy, before moving to a totally naturalistic, empirical approach and then
again towards the social science (see Figure 1). We could say that the social and
natural sciences go hand in hand in explaining musicopsychological

phenomena. However it is also true, at any particular period of time, one of
these predominates. At the current moment the natural sciences lead in
explaining music-psychological phenomena.


Figure 1: Trends of the Development of the Psychology of Music

The psychology of music as an empirical science was born in the second

half of the nineteenth century. Gustav Fechner (1801-1887) (aesthetics -
critical reflection on art, culture and nature) and Hermann von Helmholtz
(1821-1894) (the sensation of tone, perception of sound) are considered as
predecessors or pioneers in the field of musicopsychological science. The first
important studies of human hearing, musicality and basic musical abilities in
connection with external criteria of musical success have been conducted in the
Psychological laboratory at the University of Yale since 1890. The founders of
musicopsychological studies are Carl Stumpf (1848-1936) (1883 - tests for
measuring musical abilities) and Geza Revesz (1878-1955) (1925 - musical
talent and musicality). Nevertheless, the father of the psychology of music is
considered to be Carl Seashore (1866-1949), who wrote a book The Psychology
of Music in 1938. He devoted his work mainly to studying a musical talent.
From the psychological point of view, the main psychological streams
that influenced development in the psychology of music are the behavioral
approach, the cognitive approach and the humanistic approach. The behavioral
approach was crucial in studying music perception and measuring musical
abilites, the cognitive approach is used in exploring the development of musical

abilites, musical intelligence and creativity, musical taste and preferences. The
humanistic approach influenced studies of musical motivation, optimal
performance, musical talent and music therapy.




Figure 2: The Main Psychological Approaches That Influenced the

Development of the Psychology of Music

The psychology of music is, on the one hand, science about art and, on
the other hand, arts in science. Its a combination of an analytical and a holistic
approach or a fusion of left and right hemispheric functioning. Exploring music-
psychological phenomena requires the merging of the art and science of music.
Professionals who work in this particular scholarly field must be either
musicians with an analytical mind or scientists from various research areas with
an artistic soul. For this reason this approach is so interesting but also
challenging. We could define the psychology of music as a bridge between
science and the arts.
The psychology of music involves the scientific exploration of (1) the
influence of music on human behavior and (2) behavioral responses to music.
Its an academic discipline, regarded either as a branch of psychology or as a
branch of musicology. It is an interdisciplinary academic field that has come
into its own in the past three decades, combining mainly music arts,
psychology, musicology and pedagogy, but in current studies even
neuroscience, computer science, physics, etc.

The psychology of music demands an interdisciplinary approach. If we
want to study music-psychological phenomena, we have to combine the
knowledge of different branches of science in order to provide an overview of a
specific phenomenon. On the other hand, we must not neglect the
multidisciplinary approach where different sciences try to give an explanation
of one phenomenon from different angles. Since musical behavior itself is not
functionally coherent, the psychology of music will always remain an
interdisciplinary area.
We could divide the psychology of music into theoretical and applied
branches. The fist one includes three main sub branches: developmental, social
and cognitive psychology of music; the applied branch includes two sub
branches: musical therapy and psychology of musical performance.
Sloboda (1986) postulated a paradigm for the psychology of music within
the 5 characteristics: (1) an agreed set of central problems, (2) agreed methods
for working on these problems, (3) an agreed theoretical framework in which to
discuss them, (4) techniques and theories specific to the paradigm and (5)
research which is appropriate to the whole range of phenomena in the domain
being studied.
The main areas of music-psychological studies are as follows:
cognitive aspects of hearing, performing and creating music)
MUSICAL ABILITIES; their development and measurement
APPLIED AREAS (clinical interventions with music therapy, music and
consumer behavior, education)

The importance of the psychology of music could be viewed from two

perspectives. First, it helps us to take advantage of the positive effects of music
on human behavior (mood, cognitive functioning - memory, mental abilities -,
self-esteem, sociability, etc.), and second, it helps musicians to optimize their
Now that we have made a foundation by explaining basic concepts in the
psychology of music worldwide, let us introduce the current position of the
psychology of music in Slovenia.
From a historical point of view, the two most important researchers who
influenced the development of the psychology of music in Slovenia were Anton
Trstenjak (1906-1996) (Psihologija ustvarjalnosti (Psychology of creativity)
(1953) and Dragotin Cvetko (1911-1993). It is very interesting that Dragotin

Cvetko, who was the founder of the Department of Musicology at the Faculty of
Arts in Ljubljana (1961/62), was a psychologist in his basic profession, and who
specialied in musical pedagogy and psychology at the Institute for Musical
Education in Prague in 1938. Despite of his basic psychological profession, he
devoted his work mainly to musical history.
I personally consider a turning point in the psychology of music in
Slovenia to be the date of publication of the translation of Helga de la Motte-
Habers book, Psihologija glasbe (Psychology of music) in 1990.
If we begin with the formal position of the psychology of music in
Slovenia, we face a great gap and deficiency in the systematization of the
psychology of music as a science. At the moment there is no systematic study of
psychology of music in Slovenia. In postgraduate study of musicology at the
Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, the psychology of music exists as a subject, but
that is the extent of its presence. I and some of my colleagues include some
concepts of the psychology of music in teaching educational psychology at the
Academy of Music and at the Faculty of Education but this is more or less
done on our own initiative.
The best formal position in Slovenia is held by music therapy, because
there is a systematic program of study at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana,
and there are numerous institutions where music therapy is conducted.
It is necessary that we systematize the psychology of music at the
university level. There is also a great need for funding an Institute for music-
psychological studies, which would provide the formal foundation for team
work of different professional profiles.
In Slovenia we face the problem that the main approach in psychology of
music is multidisciplinary and that there is a lack of team work among different
academic fields. We could say that the interdisciplinary approach in Slovenia is
mainly neglected. Much qualitative research work is done in music arts,
psychology, musicology, neuroscience and computer science, but there is
almost no cooperation between these fields.
The other important goal would be to gain recognition for the Slovenian
music-psychological research work abroad. Our studies should move in the
direction of qualitative studies. There is also a huge need for systematic
psychological work on achieving optimal musical performance.
If we go through the main subject headings from the bibliographic base
(COBIB) in Slovenia there are only 25 articles with the keyword psychology
of music. The most commonly researched topics are musical abilities (83
articles), then musical development (70 articles); 51 articles have the keyword
music therapy, 43 musical creativity, 31 musical motivation, 16 musical talent,
and 14 have the keyword performance anxiety.






Figure 3: The Main Subject Headings from the COBIB

There is another problem that can be observed from studies conducted in the
musicopsychological field in Slovenia. The majority of studies are at the
correlation level, and only a few are experimental studies. So we can draw
conclusions only about connections between variables and not about causes.
This means that we move mainly on the surface of phenomena without delving
more deeply.
To sum up a vision for the optimal development of the psychology of
music in the near future in Slovenia, one must imagine the following changes:

available to musicians at all educational levels)

Motte-Haber, H. 1990. Psihologija glasbe. Ljubljana: Dravna zaloba Slovenije.
Seashore, C. 1938. Psychology of Music. New York, London: McGraw-Hill.
Sloboda, J. 1986. Cognition and Real Music: The Psychology of Music Comes of Age,
Psychologica Belgica 26: 199-219.
Trstenjak, A. 1981. Psihologija ustvarjalnosti. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica.


Jasmina Talam and Tamara Karaa-Beljak (Sarajevo Academy of Music,
Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Ethnomusicological Research and Fieldwork Methodology:

Experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ethnomusicology of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H) started to develop in the

1940s. The establishment of the Institute of Folklore Research in May 1947
marked the beginning of the first systematic field research organized by
academician Cvjetko Rihtman. The first field research was conducted in the
region of Glasinac and Zvijezda near Vare. Melogrammes mainly included
examples of older, rural vocal music traditions, since there were no tape
recorders to record them. In the period between 1949 and 1964, systematic
research was conducted in the region of Jajce, Neum, Imnjan, and epa. The
collected material was published in the Bulletins of the Institute of Folklore
Research, in publications by the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, by the Union of Folklorists Associations of Yugoslavia, and in
various publications abroad.
Parallel to research projects by Cvjetko Rihtman, ethnomusicological
research was conducted in Bosanska Krajina by academician Vlado Miloevi.
Since 1954, he was publishing his papers in the publications of the Peoples
Museum in Banja Luka and its Department of Folk Music, in Collections of
Krajina Museums, and in various journals. It is interesting to note that the multi-
year-long field research by the two most prominent ethnomusicologists, Cvjetko
Rihtman and Vlado Miloevi, produced significant results, which were the
starting point for various other studies. In the period between 1940 and 1974,
numerous papers emerged that presented data, mainly on rural music practice.
The analysis of papers by Rihtman and Miloevi as well as by their somewhat
younger contemporaries leads to the conclusion that they focused on collecting
forms of old and somewhat more recent traditional music-making, description,
analysis, and classification. The papers were mostly based on the music material
itself and specifically on formal music structures. It can be observed that there
was no major interest in the role and function of music in peoples lives. Until
that time, B-H folk music was almost conventionally studied, within
ethnomusicological studies, from the perspective of its primary, rural context.
Fixity, authenticity, and homogeneity were the only ethnomusicological values,
and, thus, research of forms of music in rural environments with everything it
implies: change, acculturation, heterogeneity could not be fitted into the
existing framework. The main goal of fieldwork was the collection of old,
traditional untouched, and therefore locally colored music forms. Thus, the
concept of authentic was for a long time dominant in collecting folk music,

and when associated with old it connoted well. This one-sided approach had
to be overcome, since fixity and insensitivity to modern processes were a threat
to the development of B-H ethnomusicological thought. Naturally, by saying so,
we do not intend to deny the usefulness and validity of the efforts by the first
ethnomusicologists to study the distant past, as did ethnologists and
anthropologists, to collect the disappearing music forms and to preserve and
record traditions that are being extinguished. Still, one cannot ignore the fact
that each culture, including that of B-H, is characterized by its own dynamics
and that it should be studied in this context. After 1950, studies of cultural
changes became norms rather than exceptions in anthropology. However, even
now the fact that the term cultural changes is used to such a great extent
indicated the degree of the establishment of the culture of something steady.
(Blacking 1977, 7-8). It was this change in focus of anthropological studies that
spurred, at least partly, research in the field of ethnomusicology a couple of
decades later.
The establishment of the Academy of Music in Sarajevo in May 1955
was accompanied by the formation of the Department of Musicology, within
which the first local professionals in this field were educated. Since 1963, a
total of 37 students have graduated from the Department of Musicology,
majoring in ethnomusicology, ten obtained a M.A. degree and only one student
acquired a Ph.D. degree. Some of them were involved only in the educational
work with elementary and secondary schools of music, mainly teaching
theoretical subjects, while others continued to work as ethnomusicologists in
broadcasting, museums, and in the Academy of Music. Out of the first
ethnomusicologists that graduated from the Academy of Music in Sarajevo and
that left a significant trace in B-H ethnomusicology, we will mention Miroslava
Fulanovi-oi (M.A.), Jasna Spaji-Hadisalihovi (M.A.), Dunja Rihtman-
otri (M.A.), and Ankica Petrovi (Ph.D.). Varied spheres of interests among
the listed ethnomusicologists contributed to more systematic research of B-H
folk music. Substantial sound archives were generated both at the Academy of
Music in Sarajevo and in the National Museum and RTV Sarajevo (although
without scientific intentions and incentives but today precious for new
ethnomusicological research), which served as a basis for numerous papers. It
should be noted that the listed ethnomusicologists actively participated in the
activities of the Union of Folklorists Associations of Yugoslavia, and presented
papers on B-H folk music.
The 1970s witnessed a new era in ethnomusicology in B-H, primarily
owing to Ankica Petrovi. Since that time, the subject of ethnomusicology in B-
H has expanded to research on the context and function of music and, thus,
acquired new dimensions that bring ethnomusicology closer to other scientific
disciplines, such as sociology of music, ethnology, anthropology, etc. As a
result, the subject of ethnomusicology was no more only the structural analysis

of given music forms, but also their functional and cultural analysis. The
functional analysis established the function of given forms in the social
community they existed in. The cultural analysis implies the identification of
music features in a cultural context and causes of their appearance. Thus,
answers should be provided to questions as to what gives rise to a given music
phenomenon in a certain environment, how it exists, and what its relation to
other cultural factors in a broader sense of the word is. Essentially, the starting
point of ethnomusicological research had to be based on views and knowledge
of musical culture that exists in the people who interpret it. Our
ethnomusicological practice had not fully met these requirements. The focus
was still on vocal music, while instrumental music was frequently and wrongly
neglected. However, more and more frequently, ethnomusicological enquiries
have been provoked by, and occupied with, the process of change in certain
music traditions, which implies the extension of the field of activity to new
areas and issues. Thus, research in urban environments does not mean the mere
change of the research site. Due to its complexity and distinctiveness, an urban
environment presents the researcher with issues of which the articulation and
solution reach far beyond the framework of an ethnomusicological paper and
deserve special attention, complex research, and new methodological
approaches. Consequently, papers dealing with these issues were based on
ethnomusicological as well as, necessarily, sociological and anthropological
approaches. Due to completely different conditions for ethnomusicologists
when conducting field research in an urban environment, new problems
appeared related to the collection of field material. The problem of finding and
selecting the informant arose at the very start. This is contrary to the village,
where people know each other, make music together in public, and are, thus,
able to learn about others music peculiarities, thanks to which a researcher can
readily obtain all the data necessary for the successful collection of field
material; he / she can learn which performers are, in the broader communitys
views, the best, which of them know the oldest repertoire and, most
importantly, when and where one can record some functional forms that are
otherwise difficult to find (since they are performed out of context and
function). In an urban environment, informants are far more difficult to find.
Quite often, ethnomusicologists would find themselves in the position of being
able to talk to a good informant only due to the lack of interpreting capabilities.
Most often, the researcher could not obtain even the dates of certain family
reunions that, in an urban environment, can serve as the only occasions for
gatherings of friends and relatives and, consequently, as rare occasions when a
certain musical practice can be recorded. In villages, on the other hand, all the
events associated with the performance of given music forms have mainly been
known and established. It was unavoidable for ethnomusicologists, in their
contacts with informants during the collection of field material, to gain insight

into many non-musical aspects of culture, which in turn enables the
interpretation of some phenomena from the viewpoint of the cultural group
being studied. Researchers were trying to follow the path of prominent
ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl by uniting the ethical and ethnic principle in
making their conclusions, and, thus, attempt to overcome their ambivalence and
avoid possible incomplete and one-sided statements. Therefore, data obtained
from some carriers of traditional culture in urban environments were processed
and systematized. They served as a basis for deriving a series of relevant
In the last decades of the 20th century, Vinko Krajtmajer started more
systematic studies of folk music instruments, primarily in North Bosnia.
Krajtmajers research contributed to shed light on a number of unknowns,
primarily pertaining to the group of chordophones and aerophones. In his
doctoral dissertation, he studied flutes, zurnas, and drums in great detail.
Unfortunately, fieldwork in B-H stopped during the war (1992-1995),
which left an unfathomable impact on the traditional music. A major population
exodus took place, which greatly changed the demographic landscape of B-H.
The disappearance of some ethnic groups from certain sites, particularly of
Bosniaks, Croats, and other minority ethnic groups from the territory of the
present Republika Srpska resulted in the disappearance of their tradition in these
regions. Unfortunately, immediately before the war, a few ethnomusicologists
notably Ankica Petrovi, Dunja Rihtman-otri, Ljerka Vidi, Mirjana
Lauevi, and Rajna Klaser left B-H, which added to the complexity of the
existing problems. The war, thus, also made the education of younger
ethnomusicologists impossible. Vinko Krajtmajer then became the head of
Cathedra of Ethnomusicology at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo, and he
deserves the most credit for the survival of ethnomusicology in our regions. In
the meantime, the Academy of Arts was founded in Banja Luka, which included
the Department of Ethnomusicology. Milorad Kenjalovi is to be primarily
credited for the newly established Academy.
Research started again as late as a few years after the war, specifically in
2000. It is a time of new discourse in ethnomusicology in B-H. On the one
hand, new studies are of comparative nature, frequently focusing on minority
ethnic communities (Roma and Sephardis), but also on Bosniaks that are
registered as a minority in the surrounding countries and on war exiles from B-
H that continued their lives in the European Union, the United States of
America, or Australia. Recent research also focuses on archival materials
sound recordings made between 1947 and 1987 aimed at registering data
significant for writing the history of music in B-H. These studies are part of a
comprehensive undertaking started by the Department of Musicology and
Ethnomusicology at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo in 1998 and aimed at
publishing the comprehensive study by the end of 2010. Recent

ethnomusicological interests also focus on the phenomenon of newly composed
music turbofolk and on the impact of electronic media (radio and TV) on the
change of traditional expressions in B-H. New requirements set for the
Academy of Music and the program in ethnomusicology initiated a change in
the curriculum, which first led to the introduction of new compulsory and
elective courses: Ethnochoreology, Ethnology, Ethnomusicological Research
and Fieldwork, as well as World Music. Ethnomusicological Research and
Fieldwork is attended by third- and fourth-year students at the first cycle of
study (Bachelor), and the fifth-year students during the second cycle (Masters).
Within the course, students are required to participate in collective field
research organized by the Academy of Music in the course of each module. In
the current academic year, field research was organized in Brko (Maoa and
Rahi), Rama (it), and Prozor. This is a way to focus the research of the
young ethnomusicologists on Southeastern Europe and broader, and spreading
ethnomusicological interest in B-H from the particular to the general. Work by
ethnomusicologists who are presently active in the region of B-H Vinko
Krajtmajer, Miroslava Fulanovi-oi, Jasna Spaji, Tamara Karaa-Beljak,
Jasmina Talam, Maja Barali-Materne, Dragica Pani, Milorad Kenjalovi,
Dunja Rihtman-otri, and Branka Vidovi is diverse and focuses on:
- applicative ethnomusicology work with cultural-artistic societies,
organization of manifestations, etc.,
- professional consultation, preparation and execution of radio and TV
programs on lore cultures, which present the musical heritage of B-H in a
scientifically popular way Signposts of Tradition (FTV production, B-H
2007); Sevdalinka, the Dearest Song: Music Heritage of B-H (Radio of
the Federation 1992-2002),
- production and preparation of various record editions Traditional Music
of B-H (published by MD FB-H, 2002); Sevdalinkas (MD FB-H, 2002);
Grains of Music from Bosnia (MD FB-H, 2003, 2005); Anthology of B-H
Sevdalinkas (Music Production of RTV B-H, 2005-2007); Folk Music
Doyens (Music Production of RTV B-H, 2007-2008),
- cooperation with other scientific institutions National Museum in
Sarajevo; Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana (Slovenia),
- new ethnomusicological research and fieldwork (organized by the
Academy of Music in Sarajevo),
- organization of workshops and meetings with instrument builders as well
as singers and experts in the field of ethnochoreology,
- organization of concerts of traditional music ensemble of the Academy
of Music in Sarajevo Etnoakademik,
- initiating projects that include minority ethnic groups Sephardis and
Roma, and

- projects of revitalization and digitalization of recordings stored on 444
tapes from Rihtmans legacy.

Our goal is to use the listed activities as a means to place ethnomusicology in B-

H in the context of a new scientific discourse, and to get in touch with
organizations, related academies and faculties, scientific institutions, and
publishers of professional periodicals outside of B-H.

Blacking, John. 1977. Some Problems of Theory and Method in the Study of Musical
Change, Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council 9: 1-26.
Nettl, Bruno. 1983. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Twenty-Nine Issues and Concepts.
Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Gregor Pompe (Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Musical Analysis and / or Interpretation The Case of Opera

Attempts to define the opera genre are notoriously unsatisfying. This must not,
however, be understood as a consequence of the different historical forms of
opera. Much more important is the notion stated by Carl Dahlhaus (1928-1989)
that the opera is a combined but by no means a total work of art (Ge-
samtkunstwerk) (Dahlhaus 1986, 91). The fact that opera is a combined work
of art causes a kind of inhomogeneity and a lot of tensions between the artistic
media that flow into opera. An opera regardless its historic form or genre
combines musical, literary, and dramatic-theatrical elements, or, in the words of
Carolyn Abbate (2008), opera mixes visual, verbal and musical language.
The largely inhomogeneous combination of these three elements in an
operatic work of art also causes all kinds of typical operatic paradoxes. It is, for
example, common practice for the authorship of an opera to be ascribed solely
to the composer (the cooperation of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht being the ex-
ception that proves the rule), while at the same time musicologists frequently
blame the weakness of the libretto for the failure of an opera, thus actually ac-
knowledging the great importance of the literary element in an operatic work of
It is the very combination of different elements or languages that defines
not only opera research, but also the history of opera itself. The whole of oper-
atic history could be reduced to the search for the perfect combination of differ-
ent elements that could grow into the total work of art. Throughout this entire
history, one single point has functioned as a reference the antique form of
mousik. It is not my purpose here to claim that mousik could be regarded as a
pre-form of opera a very common thesis, but one that is nowadays strongly
objected to by anthropologists (uek 2002) but rather only to expose
mousik as an important referential point. Only in this way can we understand
the typical Dahlhausian wordplay that each operatic revolution was actually a
restoration. (Dahlhaus 1986, 91.) Each time when the seemingly revolutionary
project of the total work of art failed, which could be compared to the great
works of the Greek masters, a new form of opera was in fact born; thus, the dis-
tance between mousik and the realized form becomes unimportant.
There are, however, even more problems linked to the fact that opera is a
combined work of art. One of them is operas complicated ontological status.
How and in which modus of being does the opera exist? Should we claim that
the opera exists only as a performance realized in the theatre? Is it enough that
we are confronted with its realization in sound (through the media of recordings
or as a concert performance)? Or should we search for its existence in the mate-

rial form of the fixed score? (If the latter were true, however, we would have no
Carmen and no Les contes dHoffmann both pieces with no definitive version
of the score). The questions concerning the ontological status of the opera are
obviously so complicated that they are mostly avoided. This also holds true for
Roman Ingardens (1893-1970) classic ontological investigation of the musical
work. In his essay (Ingarden 1980), he decisively states that he will not deal
with compositions that are actually musical works, but at the same time build an
organic totality with the literary work, such as Wagners music dramas or other
operas and Lieder (ibid., 252). Ingarden is convinced that the presence of the
literary element within the musical work leads to the formation of a completely
new artistic work that transgresses the boundaries of music. Exactly the same
thought marks the highly influential book Opera as Drama by Joseph Kerman.
Kerman is convinced that opera is an art-form with its own integrity and its
own particular limiting and liberating conventions (Kerman 1957, 6-7). But
perhaps we should understand such conceptions of operas independent position
in the world of the arts as a sign of discontent with the traditional musicological
methods of opera analysis.
The heterogeneous combination of the three operatic elements, and of
different historical forms and genres, as well as the complicated ontological
status of the operatic work should be observed as the most important factors
causing the very diverse, and sometimes even contradictory, approaches to op-
era. An investigation of the field of opera research reveals the three most com-
mon approaches:
- some scholars focus their research interest mainly on the libretto, investigating
its literary and / or dramaturgic qualities;
- the opposite approach includes a thorough study of musical forms and struc-
tures, most frequently dismissing the libretto as an unimportant pretext for
writing an exclusively musical work;
- the third approach combines both of the aforementioned antithetical methods
and concentrates on the mutual interaction of operatic elements.
The last approach clearly tries to embrace all of the aspects of an opera and is
not concerned with excluding some of the elements in an effort to define the
most important strand of the operatic work. However, this third approach also
includes different methodological aspects. The old habit of approaching the
whole universe of operatic elements was focused mainly on the relation be-
tween the text and the music, while current approaches most often stress the
importance of the theatrical dimension of an opera. As early as 1957, Joseph
Kerman understood opera primarily as a drama - more specifically a poetic
drama - in which the imaginative articulation [...] is provided by music (ibid.).
A similar approach is typical of Carl Dahlhaus, who suggested replacing the
term opera with the wider concept of music theater (Musiktheater), thus sur-
passing the old double dichotomy of prima la musica dopo le parole or prima le

parole dopo la musica. He resolved this tension by claiming that in an opera the
music and the language both serve the drama. (Dahlhaus 1983, 12.) Conse-
quently, he pleaded for a special dramaturgic analysis:

Dramaturgic analysis, which includes the term of musical theater, there-

fore could mean: to find and to stress in musical as well as in verbal text
of an opera those moments that are constitutive for the structure of the
work as a drama and a theatrical event. (Ibid.)1

However, the list of problems does not stop here. Carolyn Abbate warns us that
most analyses that take all three operatic elements into consideration in equal
measure tend to seek the relationships between literary, musical, and scenic
elements in terms of parallelisms or correspondences, despite the fact that
these three frequently come together in adversarial meetings (Abbate 2008).
Dahlhaus was also aware of such obstacles when he asked himself how it was
possible to establish the relationship between musical-linguistic elements and
scenic action in every moment of an opera (Dahlhaus 1983, 11). In his reflec-
tions on some recent writings on opera, published in the Cambridge Opera
Journal and Reading Opera in 1990, Arnold Whittall found a variety of meth-
ods, ranging from formalistic music analysis through simple interpretations of
the libretto that do not take into account the musical dimension, and psycho-
logical analysis (in Richard Strauss Elektra) or historical approaches (in Mod-
est Musorgskijs Boris Godunov), to Abbates seemingly provocative belief that
in an opera music tends to subjugate the drama. (Whittall 1990.)
However, it seems that opera, as a combined art, also allows non-
musicological approaches. Although anthropologist Vlado Kotnik (2005) claims
that opera research is underdeveloped in Slovenia (ibid., 201-253), we find two
philosophers who have devoted a significant amount of their time to opera:
Mladen Dolar is mainly interested in Mozarts operas, while Slavoj iek
chiefly interprets Wagners music dramas. The historical and stylistic difference
between Mozart and Wagner indicates that the philosophical point of view can
be applied to very disparate opera genres and forms, but what do Dolars and
ieks insights into opera really give us?
The libretto remains the focus of Dolars opera discussion, as he inter-
prets its dramaturgic and philosophical dimensions. Dolar clearly distinguishes
between opera seria and opera buffa, establishing that in opera seria the in-
stance of the Other is decisive, showing its elevated status through the act of
mercy, thereby allowing reconciliation (Dolar 2005, 19), whereas in opera buffa

The original German reads: Unter einer dramaturgischen Analyse, die den Begriff des Musiktheaters beim
Wort nimmt, wre demnach der Versuch zu verstehen, sowohl in musikalischen als auch im sprachlichen Text
einer Oper die Momente zu entdecken und zu akzentuieren, die fr die Struktur des Werkes als Drama und
Theaterereignis konstitutiv sind.

a typical plot prevails, which can be described as troubles on the way to mar-
riage (ibid., 23). Dolar links five Mozart operas (Die Entfhrung aus dem Se-
rail, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cos fan tutte, and Die Zauberflte) in a
kind of developmental arc of the Enlightenment movement. In Le nozze di Fi-
garo, Enlightenment prevails: the master (the count) has to reduce himself to
human size, and reconciliation cannot be attained through mercy, but only
through forgiveness. In Don Giovanni and Cos fan tutte, Enlightenment ideals
are questioned: Don Giovanni simultaneously embodies the older privileged
master and the autonomous subject who wants to be his own legislator, while
Cos fan tutte questions the untouchable values of love, virtue, and fidelity. Fi-
nally, in Die Zauberflte, Mozart (or perhaps Emanuel Schikaneder?) presents
the postulates of the Enlightenment in mythical form: it seems that through mu-
sic the old logic of the mercy of the Other is reconciled with the new idea of the
bourgeois world in the non-totalitarian community.
On the dramaturgical level, Dolar exposes the typical constellation of op-
eratic figures: in practically all operas, we deal with two couples (in the course
of the opera, they are often socially uneven, but at the end, in the true manner of
the Enlightenment, the right couples are established), framed by two other fig-
ures, usually the master and his servant (such as Bassa Selim and Osmin in Die
Entfhrung aus dem Serail). Although Dolars insight into the dramaturgic con-
ception of Mozarts operas brings important conclusions, one cannot overlook
the fact that he is actually analyzing Da Pontes libretto and not Mozarts musi-
cal setting, which is precisely the point Abbate (2008) stresses with her notion
of Ivan Nagels controversial book Autonomie und Gnade, one of Dolars main
Nevertheless, Dolar does offer some important remarks about music. He
correctly stresses the importance of the ensemble, which becomes the agent of
the community and abolishes the dichotomy between recitatives and arias.
Later, Dolar gives us an intelligent interpretation of Figaros nonchalant cavat-
ina Se vuol ballare, signor Contino, which he describes as a disparaging par-
ody of the minuet as an aristocratic dance par excellence (Dolar 2005, 39). He
also points out the lack of Don Giovannis musical identity and the lack of en-
sembles in Die Zauberflte. He makes his best interpretative turn, however, in
describing the subsequent arias of the Queen of the Night Der Hlle Rache
kocht in meinem Herzen and Sarastros In diesen heilgen Hallen as mani-
festo and counter-manifesto, arguing that they are placed in a position of maxi-
mum opposition in terms of both the text and the music:

The first aria is placed in d minor; the second, in the harmonically distant
E major. The tempo of the first is a stormy and nervous allegro assai, that
of the second a slow and dignified larghetto. As far as form is concerned,
the first aria is a coloratura aria, presenting glittering technical brilliance,

a dramatic aria typical of opera seria, whereas the second is a simple
strophic song typical of Singspiel; the first reaches up to the highest tone
sung in the opera, and the second plunges down to the lowest. (Ibid., 80.)

Similar to Dolars insights are ieks penetrations into the field of opera.
In fact, he continues Dolars philosophical diction, which is now attested on the
examples of Wagners operas and music dramas. In the manner of J. Lacan, he
reveals the typical Wagnerian matrix: the male hero (Parsifal being an interest-
ing exception) who is a suffering sinner wandering between two deaths (the
physical death and the second death, which is in fact a peaceful death in a
state of reconciliation Tristan . . . is not desperate because of his fear of dy-
ing but because without Isolde he cannot die and is condemned to eternal long-
ing (iek 2005, 107), and Wotan yearns for peaceful death, although the ring
was returned to Rhine) and must be redeemed through the willful self-sacrifice
of a woman who often acquires the symptoms of hysteria. Such a matrix estab-
lishes a clear separation from Christianity: life beyond death is in fact suffering
(iek 1993, 125). iek later elevates this matrix to the level of social con-
tracts, claiming that the conflicts that lay at the centre of Wagners music dra-
mas arise from the opposition of three elements: an unstable relationship be-
tween the ethical universe of social-symbolic obligations (the contract), an
irrepressible sexual drive that threatens social bonds (the aesthetic), and the
spiritualized self-denial of the will (the religious). (iek 1996, 10.)
In addition to such psychoanalytical insights, iek also gives us some
valuable dramaturgic comments on the staging of Wagners works, which cor-
respond to his own philosophical interpretation of Wagner. He enthusiastically
defends Jean-Pierre Ponelles staging of Tristan, where the last act is staged as
Tristans phantasm about the return of Isolde. iek interprets Tristans dream
as his second death it is a delirious construction that enables him to die in
peace. (iek 2005, 126.) Similarly, iek praises Harry Kupfers staging of
Der fliegende Hollnder, where the Dutchmans arrival must be understood as
Sentas phantasmal dream, as a progression of her own hysteria, and he also
commends Gtz Friedrichs decision to have Elisabeth and Venus in Tann-
huser sung by the same opera singer, arguing that both characters are actually
only two sides of another Wagner heroine, namely Kundry.
The real revelation, however, comes from the other side: not only did
iek work some very well-known Wagner stagings into his own interpretation
of the Bayreuth master, but observing the more recent Wagner staging by Niko-
laus Lehnhoff, it is clear that the celebrated director had been reading iek;
thus ieks interpretative texts are becoming retroactive. Lehnhoff understands
the Grails domain and knights as a degenerate, fallen, closed society per-
haps even as a kind of strange sect whose rituals are becoming empty. Such
an interpretation comes very close to ieks view of the perverse knights of the

Grail, Titurel being the worst of all a kind of personification of super-ego.
Lehnhoff also borrows one of ieks ideas in his staging of Lohengrin. In the
third act of the opera, Lohengrin is portrayed as an artist he sings Das se
Lied verhallt; wir sind allein while he is sitting at the piano and composing
and thus Lehnhoff confirms ieks observation that Lohengrin is in fact an art-
ist longing to live like a common mortal with a faithful woman who trusts him
absolutely. (iek 2005, 104.)
Finally, we also find in ieks texts some discussion of music, ranging
from almost ridiculous claims to ideas that come very close to the boundaries of
popular culture, and also to deeper musical insights. Of course, it is difficult to
agree with iek when he claims that Beethovens Great Fugue and the Third
Act of Tristan both share the same repetitive structure of the double failed at-
tempt to elevate oneself, as well as a similar chromaticism [!]. His claim that
the overtures to Lohengrin and Tristan show an orgasmic structure that is male-
oriented (it is strange that iek does not note that the structure of the female
orgasm, in the form of two steps, could be found in Isoldes Liebestod) may
be attractive, but it is not really far-reaching and documented. However, our
doubts about ieks ability for musical insight are silenced by his assumption
that the elemental musical cell of Wagners music dramas is lamentation
(Klage), as it is found in Hollnders and two of Amfortas monologues. Simi-
larly, enlightening is ieks excursus in discussing Arnold Schnbergs (1874-
1951) atonal music, as he cleverly claims that [t]he melodic line has to take
upon itself the burden of harmony. (iek 2005, 216.)
As we have seen, in their exploration of Mozarts and Wagners operas,
Dolar and iek rarely touch upon exclusively musical problems, but when mu-
sic becomes central to their philosophic renderings they do give us (besides
some awkwardly formulated statements) some genuinely interesting and reveal-
ing insights. Most of the time, however, they are concerned with the libretto
with its dramatic constellation and its literary implications. It almost seems that
rather than investigating the opera, their main goal is attempting to apply La-
canian psychoanalytical methodology to a seemingly unusual subject, namely to
opera. In this point, they come very close to Siegmund Freuds (1856-1939)
psychoanalytical excursions into literature, which really have more in common
with psychoanalysis than with literary science. However, in line with Michael
Tanner, iek is also convinced that opera is not simply a work of art, but an
ontological statement about the last things and about the meaning of life (iek
2005, 114) of course, such a conception of opera justifies the philosophical
penetrations into its problems.
Nevertheless, it is very important not to overlook the fact that Dolar and
iek are not analyzing the opera, but interpreting its musical, dramaturgic, and
literary elements. Very often, they refer to findings of esteemed musicologists
D. Cooke, C. Dahlhaus, E. Dent, A. Einstein, P. Glke, J. Kerman, F. Noske, R.

Riehn, C. Rosen, R. Taruskin which they interpret according to their own phi-
losophical methods. In the case of Dolar and iek, we are dealing with inter-
pretation therefore, with a procedure that is seen with suspicion within the
borders of traditional musicological methodology: firstly, because it is used to
denominate the communicative role of the musician and, secondly, due to the
bad reputation of musical hermeneutics as formulated and executed by
Hermann Kretzschmar (1848-1924) at the end of the 19th century and the begin-
ning of the 20th century. It is interesting that literary science more often uses the
term interpretation, which simply means that we interpret rather than analyze
a poem, novel, or drama. Perhaps it is the use of a text, and the consequently
more explicit kinship of an opera to philosophical and social ideas, that enables
interpretations similar to those of Dolar and iek, but I am convinced that the
musical work, as a result of the mental power of a composer, also bears content
that can be both analyzed and interpreted.
Therefore, the concluding part of my contribution is conceived as a kind
of plea for the musicological interpretation of all musical works, not only operas
or compositions that include spoken or sung texts. Such an interpretation is
simply a second step of an analysis it brings a new light, a new perspective
and, most importantly, a new mental content to the facts gained through the ob-
jective procedures of analysis. An interpretation is not an arbitrary, exclusively
subjective activity it must follow the postulations of logical argumentation
and theoretical verification. Thereby it can offer wider social and philosophical
insights into music.
It is not my goal here to make an exemplary interpretation, but I can give
some loosely connected interpretative sketches that could easily grow into the
aforementioned wider interpretation of a musical work. I take as an example the
Sinfonia Domestica by Richard Strauss (1864-1949), knowing that this half
tone-poem / half symphony represents only the first step from opera and Lieder
towards so-called absolute music. However, it is interesting to compare Strauss
second theme from this symphony, which we should understand as a portrayal
of the wife or woman, with Kundrys motive from Wagners Parsifal (Example
1). Both motives are characterized by a falling tendency and chromaticism, but
more important than these loose substantial connections is the same feeling of
hysteria as if female hysteria had migrated from Wagners matrix to Strauss
symphonic poem. On first sight, this claim may sound somewhat forced, but in
fact hysteria is typical of many of Strauss heroines. iek has already pointed
out that Salome is Kundry gone wild, having Parsifal killed and fondling his
head after he rejected her seduction (iek 2005, 201), so it becomes even
more interesting to discover that Salomes short melisma, where she stubbornly
demands Jokanaans head (Den Kopf des Jochanaan), is in fact an inversion
of the first, male or husbands theme from Sinfonia domestica (Example 2; note
also that both examples share the same tonality of E major). In this way,

Salomes wish could be interpreted as a wish for the decapitation not only of
Jochanaan, but symbolically as the decapitation / castration of the male (pre-
cisely this kind of interpretation was used by the famous director John Alden in
his staging of Salome at the Lithuanian National Opera). More important, how-
ever, are questions regarding the relationship between male and female themes
in Sinfonia Domestica. Why is the male theme derived from the broken major
chord and oriented upwards, while the female theme shows signs of chromati-
cism and is directed downwards? Why is the male theme marked feurig, but
is in fact very elegant, while the second half of the female theme is marked
grazioso, despite introducing hysterical impulses?

Example 1: Wifes Theme from Sinfonia Domestica and Kundrys theme from

Example 2: Husbands Theme from Sinfonia Domestica and Salomes De-

mand from Salome

I do not want to give answers to these questions; I pose them only in order to
awaken the imagination and to show the possible way of the proposed musi-
cological interpretation. Although such interpretation may seem somewhat wild,
apparently not corresponding to high scientific demands, I must clearly state
that even the seemingly most obscure interpretation must be led by the stan-
dards of logical argumentation and theoretical verification. Moreover, it must be
based to a large degree in fact, to a much higher degree than is evident in Do-
lars and ieks attempts upon the findings of musical analysis. Musicolo-
gists should not be ashamed of defining the objects of their investigations, in the
manner of iek, as ontological statements about the meaning of life. The type
of musical or perhaps even better musicological interpretation that I am
proposing could equalize the status of musicology among the other humanities.

Abbate, Carolyn. 2008. Analysis, Grove Music Online ed. by Laura Macy, (accessed on April 26th, 2008).
Dahlhaus, Carl. 1983. Vom Musikdrama zur Literaturoper. Mnchen: Piper.
Dahlhaus, Carl. 1986. Estetika glasbe, transl. by Andrej Rijavec. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva
Dolar, Mladen. 1993. If Music Be the Food of Love, Filozofija v operi, by Mladen Dolar
and Slavoj iek. Ljubljana: Drutvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo. pp. 7-102.
__________. 2005. If Music Be the Food of Love, Operas Second Death, by Slavoj iek
and Mladen Dolar. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-102.
Ingarden, Roman. 1980. Eseji iz estetike, transl. by Frane Jerman. Ljubljana: Slovenska
Kerman, Joseph. 1957. Opera as Drama. London: Oxford University Press.
Konold, Wulf. 1986. Methodenprobleme der Opernforschung, Jahrbuch fr Opernfor-
schung 2: 7-26.
Kotnik, Vlado. 2005. Antropologija opere. Pomen idej o operi za razumevanje opernega
fenomena in imaginarija. Koper: Zaloba Annales.
De Natale, Marco. 1999. Analysis of Opera: An Incumbent Problem, Sonus 20/1: 51-68.
Whittall, Arnold. 1990. Forceful Muting or Phatic Dithering? Some Recent Writing on
Opera, Music & Letters 71/1: 65-71.
iek, Slavoj. 1993. Appendix: Rojstvo totalitarnega subjekta iz duha wagnerjanske per-
verzije, Filozofija v operi, by Mladen Dolar and Slavoj iek. Ljubljana: Drutvo za
teoretsko psihoanalizo. pp. 103-131.
iek, Slavoj. 1996. Ni spolnega razmerja: Wagner kot Lacanovec, Filozofija v operi 2.
Simptom Wagner, ed. by Slavoj iek. Ljubljana: Drutvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo.
pp. 7-42.
iek, Slavoj. 2005. I Do Not Order My Dreams, Operas Second Death, by Slavoj iek
and Mladen Dolar. New York: Routledge. pp. 103-226.
iek, Slavoj, and Mladen Dolar. 2005. Operas Second Death. New York: Routledge.
uek, Martin. 2002. Razpad mousik vzroki in posledice glasbenega pojava, analizirani v
kontekstu drubenih sprememb antine polis na prehodu iz V. v Vi. stoletje pr. n. t.
Ljubljana: ISH.


Audra Verseknait (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre)

Between Borrowing and Intertextuality:

The Dies Irae in Twentieth Century Music

In the 20th century, the world of music was a field of amazing discoveries,
strong influences, and interactions. Its landscape was formed by new techniques
of radical music as well as by the dotted line of ostinato traditions. If the thread
of the tradition is accentuated, or rather if we try to prove the continuous char-
acter of the musical culture of the 20th century, we will have to witness its rep-
resentative signs, which are repeated in different periods. One of such sign-
manifestations would be research on the implication of the techniques of bor-
rowed material in new compositions. Permeated with many reflections from the
past and defined, for example, as a communicative super-system (Mark Ara-
novskij; 1998) or as multi-dimensional space of non-original
texts (Roland Barthes; see Elliott 2003), the culture of the artistic texts of the
last centuries determined new integration strategies of pre-existing texts. There-
fore, one of the main objectives of this paper would be to demonstrate different
techniques of the implication of borrowed material in musical compositions of
the 20th century as well as to introduce various methods of research to the forms
of the functioning of intext in new compositions.
The sequence Dies Irae, the masterpiece of poetry and music of the late
Middle Ages1, could be considered one of the forms of paradigmatic music dia-
logue. It can also be treated as a concrete meta-cultural sign, which figures in
musical works of various periods. Therefore, it was not by chance that the se-
quence was chosen. Different crisscrossing of analytical aspects concentrate in
the Dies Irae a small-scale but a very influential cultural phenomenon func-
tioning in 20th century music. A variety of approaches to the tradition, to the at-
The sequence Dies Irae should be considered the standard piece of the sequence genre, a
memorable example of the interaction of music and poetry, which is traditionally attributed to
Thomas of Celano (born ca. 1185; died ca. 1260). This sequence spread to other countries
very slowly and appeared quite late in the manuscripts of many dioceses. Having entrenched
itself in the hymnals of the Franciscan friars, this sequence has been included in Italian, Ger-
man, and ultimately French missals since the 14th century. Although the Council of Trident
has officially embedded the sequence Dies Irae into the liturgy it was, nevertheless, not yet
used in the ecclesiastical rites of many countries. Only in 1570 did the bull Missale Romanum
by Pope Pius V canonize the structure of the Requiem as a ritual of nine parts, the obligatory
(ordinarium) part of which became the sequence Dies Irae. Its sense of fatality is permeated
by the dramatic imagery of the Last Judgement and especially by the human fear of the ap-
proaching confrontation with the Almighty. Thus the verbal fabula of the sequence Dies Irae,
pregnant with wrath, contradicts the basic Christian idea mercy. This contradiction condi-
tioned the decision of the Second Vatican Council to eliminate the sequence Dies Irae from
the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church.

titude to borrowed text as well as the application of compositional techniques
are disclosed through the variety of implications of the sequence in composi-
According to radical inter-textual ideas, not a single 20th century text (we
can also add: a musical piece) is original. It is a new fabric of old quotations
(Roland Barthes), which is created on the principle of a mosaic from already
known elements created a long time ago.
In the musicological tradition, which has taken its methods from literary
specialists, several established traditions of the interpretation of a new musical
work and of borrowed material can be distinguished:
Roland Barthes tradition which is based on the dialectical unity (the as-
pect of inter-text) of the work of art as my and not my); the strategies of
text interaction of Mark Aranovskij ( 1998), Mieczyslav
Tomaszewki (1994a and 1994b), Leonard B. Meyer (1967), Dziun Tiba
( 2004), and Marina Raku ( 1999) can be attributed to it;
Harold Blooms tradition which follows the road of influences, associa-
tions, and interactions that have to be proved; the aspect of the phenomenon
of influences and the decoding of the latter is emphasized (research by Jo-
seph N. Straus [1990] and by Martha Hyde [1996]);
Barthes and Blooms synthesis of traditions when researchers look
upon the work analyzed from the aspect of concrete implications and of
more generalized influences (research by Robert Hatten [1985] and by Li-
udmila Djakova [ 1994]).

Barthes method related to the intertextual dialogue in musical works was

expanded by the authorities on East European musicologists: the Russian
scholar Aranovskij (1977) and Tomaszewski (1994a and 1994b) from Poland.
The research by Meyer (1967) can also be attributed to this tradition. All of
them have a different approach to the practice of the regularity of quotation.
The study of their works has revealed certain common things, which allows us
to divide the ways of the use of intext in four forms, which correspond to a cer-
tain degree to the same phenomenon. In this case the quotation functions as the
Dissimilated intext perceived by the hearing (quotation);
Dispersion of intonational / harmonic / rhythmic formations of
cited material;
Borrowed text: a stimulus for new composition;
Implication of several different sources in the fabric of music.

The concept of quotation is attributed to the first form (Meyer defines a
similar phenomenon as a borrowing), which can be perceived in the wide mean-
ing of this word, i.e. as the introduction of any borrowed text or style irrespec-
tive of the way the text is implicated, and in the narrow meaning in case of the
recreation of the borrowed text in the context of a new text. Tomaszewski uses
the concept of music in music to define the phenomenon of the existence of
borrowed music in other music. He claims that there are two kinds of such mu-
(1) Reminiscence music. It reflects ephemeral echoes, which the composer uses
intuitively and which render the motive, rhythm, genre or style that we have
heard before. One of the most obvious works of this character may be
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1961) by Krzystof Penderecki (born
in 1933). The well-known history of composing of this work excludes all
possibilities of quotation. The title of the work (given also almost by
chance), however, gives Tomaszewski (1994a, 25) and the audience the
chance to look for (and discover) allusions to the motive of the sequence
Dies Irae.

(2) Allusion music. It is a kind of inclusive music, in which real or allusive quo-
tations are used consciously2.
Umberto Eco differentiates intertext dialogue according to the ways in
which borrowed material has been used, paying attention to the way of how the
implications from earlier periods are introduced:
Unexpected is a contrasting element, which is completely dissociated from
the usual flow of the narrative. A striking example of such integration of
quotation is the symphonic poem Impressione brasiliane (1928) by Ottorino
Respighi (1879-1936). There, in the coda of the middle movement, (II) the
initial motive of the sequence Dies Irae unexpectedly appears, creating, in
this way, an unusual impression in the musical surrounding the quasi rumba.
An organically implicated quotation is like a logical sequence of the history
of a narrative. In this respect, several different intentions of composers stand
out. Quotations are used as the confirmation of a certain idea, the semantics
of the work, which essentially makes the interpretation of the composition
easier. For example, George Crumb (b. 1929) confronts the compositional
poles vox dei and vox diaboli in his Black Angels (1970). In order to make
the latter (devilish) pole meaningful, the composer introduces the diabolus in
musica (tritone interval) or devilish tremolo intonations, which are con-
tributed to the inclusive allusion, as well as the quotation of the Dies Irae
that has been established in the consciousness of the European culture as a
symbol of death. In this way, in the fourth movement of his Black Angels
(Devil music), which represents the devilish sphere, and in the fifth move-
ment (Danse macabre), Crumb consciously exploits the Danse macabre mu-
sical image used by Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Camille Saint-Sans (1835-
1921), Modest Musorgskij (1839-1881), and other composers and creates it
using a quotation from the Dies Irae.
The term of simulation (used by Meyer) is attributed here to the second
peculiarity of the integration of borrowed material. This is a method with which
only small details from the text of a work of art that is adapted and distinct di-
verse representational elements of historical styles are taken: melodic-rhythmic
idioms, harmonic processes, and the structure. In Tomaszewskis system, it is
The intention of the usage of borrowed material is relevant and often seen in the work of
20th century artists is connected with the functioning of quote-homage (Braun 1974) or, ac-
cording to Clemens Khn (1972), quote-reverence. The wish to honor past composers also
urges contemporary composers to write such scores that organically unite into the whole not
only a certain number of real quotes, but also the stylistics of the music quoted; it is obvious
in Igor Stravinskyjs ballet The Fairys Kiss, Paul Hindemiths Symphonic Metamorphoses of
Themes by Carl Maria von Weber2, as well as in Mindaugas Urbaitis re-compositions Album
Leaves (Five dedications to Philip Glass), Bachvariationen I, Bachvariationen II, Bruckner-
Gemlde, in Onut Narbutaits Winterserenade, Mozartsommer, in Linas Rima and Linas
Paulauskis Sutartins Party, and others.

called retroverse music. Although it looks back, it stays individual, original,
and natural, without any stylization. Similarly, Aranovskij defines the method
of amalgam, which he distinguishes. He speaks about the method, which has no
clear quotation, or the interpretation of the source, where only the combination
of the text and intext created by the composer is heard. It is a dispersive method
of small elements of borrowed text (motifs, small melodic or harmonic slides,
textual or intonational turns) in the new text. Thus, an amalgam of texts is cre-
ated when the new and borrowed material of the work (which is being inte-
grated) creates an indivisible whole.
The fusion of intext allusions and intonational amalgam, which cannot be
audibly identified, is best illustrated with the Miserere (1989, 2nd ed. 1992) by
Arvo Prt (b. 1935). The verbal text of this work is formed by the words of a
hymn of humiliation (Psalm 51). Besides the canonized verbal text, however,
Prt pays special attention to expanding the melody of the Gregorian sequence
Dies Irae. It is obvious that the choice of this text has a special intention of im-
parting an additional semantic impulse to the composition of Miserere: it is in-
terpreted as the hymn of the one who bows to death.
If we look for intonational equivalents of the fragment of the Dies Irae in
Miserere, comparing it with the original, we will discover only the initial
monodic intonation, which Prt presents in an original transposition. The sec-
tion of the Dies Irae, breaking the minimalist asceticism of other parts of Mis-
erere (if all Miserere parts are based on a plastic, non-accentuated melody with
a changing meter, then the Dies Irae part is rhythmically organized in a per-
fect proportion), becomes the moment of culmination (both in respect of se-
mantics and dramaturgy) of the work. Thus, it can be assumed that in this work
Prt gave an exceptional priority not only to the semantics of the Gregorian
monody, but also to the dispersion of the smallest intonational parts.

Example 1: Arvo Prts Miserere and the Sequence Dies Irae

Prt does not integrate the melodic structure of the borrowed text, which
is easily identified audibly, but inserts and further transforms concentrated
structures of three to five sounds, which are chosen from various fragments of
the musical text of the sequence. It may seem that Prt has accumulated a cata-
logue of the ways of how to mask certain sources, which he uses to hide a mo-
tive that can be audibly recognized by the repetition of a single sound, unex-
pected pauses, or by the way of the inversion of the motive.
The third form of the use of borrowed material in the figure is the most
generalized and is not directly linked to the research on the methods of melody
implications in Dies Irae. Therefore, this form will be introduced in a short
way. This form encompasses such works in which borrowed material, the music
of the past, serves composers as a foothold for further search of their own style.
Aranovskij defined this form as derivation (according to Tomaszewski, styl-
ized music, and to Meyer, paraphrases). In such music, the individual style of
a composer stands in opposition to the style exposed (i.e., stylized). It strength-
ens the expressiveness of music, and at the same time discloses the intention of
the recognition of borrowed material desired by the composer.
Meyer considers Pulcinella (1920) by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) the
most distinguished example of this phenomenon (according to him, para-
phrases) after Pergolesi. Here, artificial accentuation of melodic-rhythmic
stresses, harmonic idioms, instrumentation, etc., transforms the past into the
present. Moreover, piquant paraphrases are much more vital and moving than
the original. (Meyer 1967, 196.) Therefore, Meyer perceives the paraphrase as
the integration of the essential features, material, themes, structures, and stylis-
tic process of the existing work into the new work or its part when the meaning
and sense of the composition are clearly contemporary. A distinct feature of a
paraphrase, compared to other forms of imitation (e.g., transcriptions and ar-
rangements) is that in the latter the adapted work must be represented invariant
of the original, which is as exact as possible. In other words, the quality of tran-
scriptions and arrangements is measured by how exactly they convey the origi-
nals character. Meanwhile, a paraphrase is valued not by the accuracy of the
model, but by how valuable the new work is.
The collage technique can be called the fourth classification principle of
the use of borrowed material proposed by me. The wide use of this technique in
music was strongly determined by the respective phenomena in literature and
especially in the visual arts. Collage, first widely used in the music of Charles
Ives (1874-1954), later in the works of George Rochberg (1918-2005), Luciano
Berio (1925-2003), Lukas Foss (b. 1922) and other composers, is called by dif-
ferent names by various musicologists. For instance, Aranovskij uses the term
contamination, Meyer uses the word borrowing and Braun employs the term

renewal. Meanwhile, Tomaszewski divides this way of quoting into two kinds
of music above music:
1. Synthetic music, in which heterogenic material becomes the foothold for
composers. However, here the general idea, which is more or less declared,
unites the idioms into the whole for instance in Berios Sinfonia (1968-
1969) or Alfred Schnittkes (1934-1998) First Symphony (1972),
Pendereckis Die schwarze Maske (1984-1986), and others.
2. Eclectic music, which is written with various materials and surprises with
unexpected inclusions (it reminds of the old quadlibet). Here, the quotation
no longer functions in the direct meaning of the term (when pre-existing
music creates an additional semantic field of the work: a certain meaningful
musical element perceived by the listener), but is represented as the new
works material or model. Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970) also
favored this relationship with borrowed material. For instance, in his opera
The Soldiers (1958-1960) the three stanzas of Dies Irae, quasi toccata, have
various rhythms (rhythmic groups of triplets and quintuplets) and appear
many times in the three organ voices played at the same time. In this way,
the sequence also becomes a quotation (a visually obvious intonational link
with the Gregorian monody), and a basis of the composition, which cannot
be audibly identified, linked with the exact quote from the final chorale
Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden from Bachs St. Matthew Passion in a
complementary way.
It should be emphasized that in the diversity of the 20th century works
that implicate the Dies Irae melodic structures, composers do not tend to limit
themselves to only one method of implicating borrowed material. For instance,
Arthur Honegger (1892-1955) in his Le Danse Morts (1938), Luigi Dallapiccola
(1904-1975) in Canti di Prigonia (1941) and Zimmermann in his Concerto for
violin and orchestra (1950) do not limit themselves to episodes with the se-
quence integrated in an obvious cantus planus image. The intonational forma-
tions in the latter are dispersed by simulation over the fabric of the whole cycle,
creating a strong effect of compositional homogeneity. In the mentioned works,
dramaturgical centers of the compositions coincide with the most obvious forms
of the sequence Dies Irae in the second movements of the cycles (in case of
Dallapiccola, it is the greatest intonational concentration of the Gregorian se-
quence). A closer analysis of the second movement (Fantasie) of Zimmer-
manns Concerto for violin reveals that, like in works by Dallapiccola or
Honegger, audio space is formed by two opposing intonational poles: the mel-
ody of the first stanza of the Dies Irae (I a, I b) and the freely treated material of
the twelve-tone series. In this movement, the quotation of the sequence Dies
Irae, dissimilated by the cantus planus, is played three times as if it is a refrain.
It should be noted that Zimmermann, too (like Dallapiccola in his Canti di
Prigonia), followed the swan song by Alban Berg (1885-1935), the tradition

of the Violin Concerto, inscribing the words of the sequence in the score. The
stimulus may have been twofold: respect for Bergs work and the doubt of the
suggestiveness of the quoted material. That way, the verbal text integrates an
additional symbolic-semantic load, which adequately influences the informed

Example 2: Excerpt from Bernd Alois Zimmermanns The Soldiers

The specific harmonization of every sound of the sequence, their tim-

bre, rhythmic, and dynamic distinction from the general musical context proves
how important the sequence Dies Irae is for this work. Obviously, Zimmermann
(like Honegger and Dallapiccola) inserted the motives of the Gregorian monody
into the first and the third movements of the work. For example, in the initial
episode of the Violin Concerto, the emblematic motive of the Dies Irae is en-
coded in the formation of a repetitive nature representing it in an inverse form.
Later, the composer gives a modified version of this motive, too. In the third

movement (Rondo) of the Concerto, the intonations of the Dies Irae permeate
the refrain: given as a remote hint at the beginning, the motive of the sequence
is exactly intoned in the third movement.
Thus, it is obvious that almost all the main musical fabric of the work is
composed exceptionally of the melody of the first stanza of the Dies Irae, which
is used in the Concerto in different ways:
- Dissimilative (Movement II), when the sequence is in opposition to other
textural layers (analogue to the Choralbearbeitung of the Baroque period);
- Simulation (Movements I and III), when the Dies Irae is used inconspicu-
ously in the intonational fabric of the composition, interpreting its micro-
structures as associative pars pro toto elements.
Thus, in the mentioned scores, two contrasting ways of the implication of
inclusive i.e., consciously integrated by the composer of borrowed material
are synthesized.

The work of the literary theorist Harold Bloom has been applied to music by
various music scholars, including Joseph N. Straus (1990), Kevin Korsyn
(1991), Richard Taruskin (1993), Martha Hyde (1996), and others. In this paper,
I am going to present only some influences and the ways of decoding them, dis-
tinguished by Straus and Hyde, which can be linked to the intonational interac-
tion between the sequence Dies Irae and 20th century composition.
Applying Blooms concept of the anxiety of influence, Straus, in his
monograph Remaking the Past, studied compositions of the first half of the 20th
century (Bla Bartk, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schnberg, Alban Berg, and
Anton Webern) and the manifestation of past music in them (works by Johann
Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Hndel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig
van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and
others). On their basis, Straus formulated eight responses to the influence of the
music of the past: motivization, generalization, marginalization, centralization,
compression, fragmentation, neutralization, symmetrization. (Straus 1990, 17.)
It is obvious that they are not universal recipes for the analysis of bor-
rowed material for all times. Straus distinguishes generalization as an essential
revisionist musical proportion. In Blooms theory of influences, it would cor-
respond to the definition of kenosis. The principle of the method of generaliza-
tion is seen in Composition No. 2 Dies Irae (1972-1973) by Galina Ustvol-
skaja (b. 1919), in which the intonations of the Dies Irae sequence become an
original work, the genome of the vertical and horizontal structures. In its score,
we will not find any obvious segment of the melody that can be unmistakably
audibly identified and that could be associated with the intonational formations
of the sequence. Research has proven that Ustvolskaja, like Prt in his Miserere,
inserts in the compositional fabric and further transforms (e.g., using inversion)
the concentrated motives of three to four sounds from the Dies Irae, chosen se-

lectively from different places of the sequence. Thus, the accepted melodic for-
mations of the easily recognized monody are thoroughly disguised, employing
generalization (or intonation amalgam, according to Aranovskij) and merge to
make a completely new modern (20th century) instrumental composition of the
Dies Irae.

Example 3: Excerpt from Galina Ustvolskajas Composition No. 2 Dies Irae

Example 4: Inversion in Ustvolskajas Composition No. 2 Dies Irae

Motivisation, i.e. the radical method of intensification of the motives of

the Dies Irae is illustrated by Stravinskys The Rite of Spring (1913), Dmitry
Shostakovichs Symphony No. 14 (1969), and particularly by Sergej Rachman-
inoffs works, in which the emblematic motive of the sequence permeates the
compositions. For instance, in Rachmaninoffs early symphonic poem The Isle
of the Dead (1909), the initial four-note Dies Irae motive is, like a migrant can-
tus firmus, constantly heard in the first and final episodes of the poem by way of
motivation in the parts of various instruments (the vocabulary of the middle
contrasting episode is based on the intonations of chromatic slides and more ac-
tive development of music, implicating the Dies Irae motive immediately be-
fore the reprise part). Rachmaninoff exposes in various ways the initial intona-
tion of the Gregorian monody of The Isle of the Dead: intonational precision is
diversified with rhythmic modifications (Example 5a), the transformation of the
final interval (5b), in a homophonic texture (5c), or imitational structure (5d) of
the placement of the motive, and so on.

Example 5. Excerpts from Sergej Rachmaninoffs The Isle of the Dead

The method of compression named by Straus cannot be directly used to

analyze 20th century musical compositions based on the sequence Dies Irae.
Straus applies this method (and other methods, too) to search for very detailed
elements (which cannot be distinguished by the ear) of pre-existing music (in-
tervals, triads, etc.). In a new composition, they do not sound diachronically (as
exposed in the original), but synchronically. This method can be used to de-
scribe the synchronic sounds of intonations and phrases. Therefore, it should be
called intonational compression. Intonational compressions of the sequence
Dies Irae are numerous in Luigi Dallapiccolas Canti di prigonia (1938-1941),
the fantasy Dies Irae (1968) by Walter Kraft (1905-1977), and the Dies Irae
part of Requiem a cappella (1999) by Olivier Greif (1950-2000), in which the
motives of the sequence are heard not only diachronically, but also in a syn-
chronic form, i.e. there are many formations based on stretto or the technique of
the mensural canon. Those formations are usually exposed in the focal points of
the works mentioned.

Example 6. Walter Krafts Fantasy Dies Irae

The American musicologist Martha Hyde synthesizes the reactions of

contemporary composers to past works in an original way. She suggests four
aspects of imitating music of the past: reverential, eclectic, heuristic, and dialec-
tic. I will mention two:
Reverential. This imitation type can be found, for example, in Tombeau de
Couperin (1919) by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). There are also many ex-
amples of referential intertextuality in the compositions implicating the se-
quence Dies Irae. I would attribute to this category the compositions that
represent the time of the creation of the sequence and originally archaize a
new musical text. For instance, in the fifth movement of Crumbs Black An-
gels, in the Dies Irae parts of Requiems by Jouko Linjama (b. 1934) and
Vladimir Martynov (b. 1946), and elsewhere can we hear characteristics of
the parallel organum, and so on.
Dialectic. This is the highest form of intertextual links, as the precursor and
the follower become equal in the text. Hyde attributes some works by
Schnberg to this type. In our opinion, it corresponds to Straus generaliz-
ing and Aranovskijs derivation strategies.

The various categories of intertextuality, which stress the influences of
pretext postulated by scholars of various schools, encompass the main terms
needed to analyze a musical work. It is obvious that the scholars mentioned
above have their own opinions about the issue of the implication of borrowed
material in 20th century music, and they apply different terms adapted from
other sciences (literary science) or created by them. Some scholars classify the
mechanisms of functioning of old texts in new texts based on the phenom-
ena of the spectrum of influences (Straus, Klein), while the classification of
others is based on the level of recognizability and perceptibility of a borrowed
text (Lissa, Gruber, Aranovskij, and others), or on the relationship of compos-
ers to other composers texts that undergo integration (Tomaszewski, Meyer,
and others), or on the intentions of using alien material (Kneif, Braun, Khn,
and others). The phenomena, which different researchers define by different
terms, correspond to the same principle of the introduction of intext into a new
composition. The tradition of using different terms for the same phenomenon
causes difficulties in the perception of the analysis of the work. On the other
hand, it gives the chance for the analyst to choose a more accurate definition of
the method of the implication of borrowed material.
This is especially important in cases when the pre-text, which is being
incorporated, is exposed in the form of a de-concentrated quotation, i.e. intona-
tionally dispersed. If one looks at the compositions of the 20th century from the
perspective of the integrated borrowed material, in this case from the perspec-
tive of the spread of the semantic and compositional ideas of the sequence Dies
Irae, the undertaken analyses have crystallized five different strategies of the
composers attitude towards the melody of the medieval sequence. Only in two
ways, which I have distinguished, is the material implicated clearly stressed
and heard. Thus, the Dies Irae functions in new compositional texts as the fol-
(1) an integral element, clearly perceived by the listener (Crumbs Black Angels,
Rachmaninoffs tudes-Tableaux op. 39, No. 2, Shostakovichs The Dance
of Death from the piano cycle Aphorisms, Shostakovichs Wisdom from
the vocal cycle Five Romances on the Texts from the journal Krokodil, Juo-
zas Gruodis Bells, Aleksandr Vustins Music for Ten, Bruce Simonds
Dorian Prelude on the Theme of Dies Irae, Krafts fantasia Dies Irae, and
(2) a variable structure (Rachmaninovs Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini,
Schnittkes First Symphony);
(3) a quote which exerts a significant influence on the semantic and intonational
content of other sections of the piece (Honeggers Dance of the Dead, Dal-
lapiccolas Canti di Prigonia, Zimmermanns Violin Concerto);
(4) a non-contrastive, but still audibly identifiable melodic formation that de-
termines the vocabulary of the works intonations (Rachmaninoffs Isle of

the Dead and Symphonic Dances, Stravinskys The Rite of Spring, Shostak-
ovichs 14th Symphony);
(5) a material presupposition of the composition (Prts Miserere, Ustvolskajas
Composition No. 2 Dies Irae).

It is obvious that, in analyzing 20th century musical pieces, it is necessary to

disclose representative significant elements of the musical text, which are of
great importance for the perception of the style quoted and the genre of the
works when identifying a definite text. According to Aranovskij, the method
of citation appeared from the aim to impart the main feature of the sign on a
musical image: the exact meaning, which is predetermined by the text from
which the quotation is taken ( 1998, 93). Thus, in 20th century
culture, a communicative super-system the quotation as a sign gains a
foothold, i.e. an equivalent of a verbal concept. It becomes a signal of certain
codes or their groups (genres, trends, types, a plot), which already exists in the
perceivers consciousness. Thanks to the expressions of the intertextual princi-
ple, not only synchronous phenomena, but also the present and the past, can
communicate. That way, a detailed intertext pre-existing intonational analysis
of music can present an objective proof of semantic codes in 20th century com-
positions. It is especially important in cases of amalgam, stylization, and col-
lage. Only a close synthesis of the interpretation of meaningful signs and ana-
lytical insight can disclose the profound layers of a piece.

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Ivana Perkovi Radak (University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia)

Approaches to Serbian Orthodox Music: A Case Study of Stevan

Stojanovi Mokranjacs Complete Works*

Church music is the genre with the longest documented history among Serbian
people. Owing to preserved medieval manuscripts from the 14th century as well
as even older testimonies on the Christianization of Serbs, it has almost
unbroken continuity (although with some historical gaps) until modern times.
Following historical changes of the church, culture, and society, religious music
had changed, and today the syntagma church music indicates medieval chant
in Byzantine and Postbyzantine tradition as well as monophonic Serbian chant
(also known as Serbian folk church chant or Karlovci chant) and
polyphonic choral music. The last two Serbian chant and polyphonic music
are most widely used in the current practice of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
However, there are many different approaches to these two musical practices. In
this paper, I will focus on Serbian chant and polyphonic singing based on
approaches to creative output of Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac (1856-1914), as
found in the Complete Works published in Belgrade and Knjaevac between
1992 and 1999.
There are several answers to the possible question about the choice of
Mokranjac. The first lies in the broadness of his creative output in the realm of
sacred music. It is well known that Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac had worked
both as melographer and composer. A glimpse at his Complete Works will
prove that five (six, actually, since vol. 8 has two books) of nine score volumes
are devoted to this genre, whether monophonic or polyphonic music.
Complete Works vol. 4 Sacred Music I: Liturgy
Complete Works vol. 5 Sacred Music II: Choral Music (apart from
Liturgy and Feast hymns)
Complete Works vol. 6 Sacred Music III: Festal Chant (harmonized)
Complete Works vol. 7 Sacred Music IV: Octoechos
Complete Works vol. 8a & 8b Sacred Music V: General and Special
Chants (8a); Festal Chant (8b)
The second reason is connected to the variety of Mokranjacs engagements in
this field: together with melographic and compositional activities, he was active
both as teacher at the theological school / Seminary of Saint Sava in Belgrade,
and as conductor of a Belgrade Choral Society, which sang in church regularly.
Besides, his writings in the foreword of the Octoechos display his interests in
theoretical and analytical aspects of Serbian chant. (See Perkovi Radak 2004.)

The research for this article was carried out as part of the project World Chronotopes of Serbian Music, No.
147045D (2006-2010), supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science and Environment.

Another reason lies in Mokranjacs wide recognition in different areas:
from official church circles to personal artistic / musical responses. His
Octoechos was, and has remained, the basic textbook for church chant in all the
seminaries of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His musical setting of Liturgy of St.
John Chrysostom was awarded a prize by the Holy Council of the Serbian
Orthodox Church, as well as his Octoechos. On the other side, musical qualities
of his work became reference points for later generations of Serbian composers
interested in this genre composers such as Petar Konjovi, Stevan Hristi,
Ljubica Mari and others.
We should not forget the current religious, artistic, and cultural status of
Mokranjacs oeuvre. In all these domains, his religious music has almost
symbolic status. There is no church choir without Mokranjacs Liturgy on the
regular repertory, and members of the religious community often sing some
hymns from this cycle by heart.
All this means that Mokranjacs melographic experience provided
sources, and this gave him the basic knowledge to perceive some important
principles of the Serbian chant. As a famous conductor, he had the opportunity
to check his pieces in vivo and to correct possible mistakes (the same was the
case with other composers in this period, although many them did not use this
opportunity). His pedagogical experience provided a systematic approach, while
talent, professional education, and dedication to composing were the right basis
for his rich and original creative output.
The second question is: why did I choose Complete Works? Up to the
present, there is no edition of complete works by other Serbian composers
(although some of them are being prepared). Besides that, this publications
contain many pieces that were not published at all. As representative
publication, the Complete Works by Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac are provided
with a short biography (in each volume), forewords, comments, and other
explanatory texts, suggestions for interpretation, translations of the Church-
Slavonic texts (in Serbian and in English), and indices. They are organized as
Vol. 4: Foreword (Vojislav Ili); Suggestions for interpretation (Vojislav Ili)
Vol. 5: Foreword (Vojislav Ili); Sacred music (Vojislav Ili and Vlastimir
Perii); Suggestions for interpretation (Vojislav Ili)
Vol. 6: Foreword (Vojislav Ili)
Vol. 7: The Octoechos in Serbian chant and in the melographic works of Stevan
St. Mokranjac (Danica Petrovi); Critical Commentaries Editorial principles,
Order of hymns in each mode, Glossary (Danica Petrovi)
Vol. 8: The general, special and festal chants of Stevan St. Mokranjac (Danica
Differences are obvious: Volumes 4 through 6 have each a foreword, while the
last two begin with musicological studies; vol. 5 has two introductory texts a

foreword and an essay on sacred music, etc. This is probably a result of the
different educational backgrounds of these authors: Vojislav Ili was a
conductor with a theological education; Vlastimir Perii was a composer with
a rich theoretical and musicological output, while Danica Petrovi is a
musicologist. Apart from obvious difference between two areas of Mokranjacs
work melographic and creative which certainly dictates certain divergences
in the analytical approach, these authors consider their objects from various
standpoints, using diverse languages and methods. Even if they do not deal
with the same pieces or group of pieces / hymns, descriptive procedures are
dissimilar. The following quotations will serve as illustrative examples.

Vojislav Ili: Mokranjac composed the Liturgy for Orthodox services. It

is an expression of the hearty, broad and also warm feelings of our pious,
God-fearing Serbian folk. There is joy and light, darkness, sorrow, and
pain. It is firmly connected with the tradition of Serbian chant. It is
composed tailored either from beginning, middle or final portions of
the Octoechos and Veliko pojanje (Great chant) or from the whole chant
in individual modes... Mokranjacs Liturgy is thus not only based on the
first mode, but also on parts of the melodies of the Veliko pojanje or one
particular melody from the Octoechos... Mokranjac enriched these lovely
melodies with solemn harmonies of astonishing beauty, producing a
magnificent fresco of sound ... one of the most beautiful pieces of
Orthodox church music. (Ili 1994, xix.)

Vlastimir Perii: Depending on the V mode melody structure in which

some individual phrases are repeated in cycles, the contours of the piece
as a whole are gaining certain features of a rondo. The recognizable
presence of a deep pain in both, the verses and the melody, has found the
appropriate expression in harmonic, chromatic colored language, imbued
with polyphonic moments, as also in the sound conception, a very
demanding one for the deepest male voices... Tragical scenes are
intensified with sporadical tone-painting (chromatic appoggiaturas of the
altos at the word ridaja lamenting, or the dramatic bass figure against
the verses i zemlja strahom kolebaesja and the earth quaked with
fear), as if Stevan Mokranjac, the former Leipzig student, has been
inspired by a similar manner and procedure in the Passions of J. S. Bach.
(Ili and Perii 1995, xxii.)

Danica Petrovi: The transcription into notation of melodies from the

Octoechos was more the work of an educated musician and teacher ... than
just a work of a professional melographer... In his transcriptions of these
melodies he ... omitted many added ornaments that he considered

unnecessary and even ugly, and only included a few alternatives in
footnotes... By such a melographic approach, Mokranjac brought about a
melodic purification, and melodies that were probably more logical and
more of a whole. Unfortunately, the regular beat of the melody that would
naturally follow the priests and deacons rhythm and the movement of the
church services, was lost... It appears that Mokranjac often had artistic
church music in mind that must include Serbian chant, and not just singing
as part of regular liturgical practice. (Petrovi 1996, xxi.)

In systematizing these approaches, I will use Jean-Jacques Nattiez views on

musical analysis, as presented in his book Music and Discourse (Nattiez 1990).
Besides certain deficiencies, such as the omission of social and cultural
conditions of musical activities, as Don Keefer (1993, 92) puts it, I find it useful
in several ways: first, this book offers tools for both ethnomusicological and
musicological analytical models, functional in dealing with anonymous chant
and composed pieces; second, it provides a systematic basis for an
epistemology of analysis and provides a useful device for reading various
musicological approaches.
It is well known that Nattiez view on analysis was a form of a discourse,
which is a product of an action that leaves a trace and gives rise to readings,
interpretations, and criticism. In his opinion, the analytical model contains three
elements: the object, defined by the observer, the metalanguage, which has its
own poietics and is itself the object of readings, and the methodology of
analysis, based on implicit or explicit procedures that control the transition from
the work to the analysis. (Nattiez 1990, 133-134.) Even if he does not make a
clear distinction between the metalanguage and the methodology of analysis (Is
the methodology possible without metalanguage? Isnt that transition in the
analytical process affected by the language?), he gives a sketch that might be
called (in Nattiez own words) geography of analysis one that allows us to
define the real importance of a given analysis, or a potential analysis, among
with the totality of musical processes (ibid., 142-143). Another important
element is the proposition of various aspects of analytical situations, from the
physical dimension of the corpus being examined, its stylistic relevance and
tripartition i.e., the consideration of poietic, immanent, and esthesic levels
(ibid., 135-138). Having this as a basis, Nattiez recognizes several analytical
situations, depending on the orientation toward the immanent level of the work
(immanent analysis), poietic processes (inductive and external poietics),
esthesic processes (inductive and external esthesics), or the communication
between the three levels.
If we turn to these texts devoted to Mokranjacs sacred music, we will
notice the following matters. Vojislav Ilis foreword in the fourth volume
begins with an explanation of the Orthodox liturgy, its history and religious

importance; it continues with a general overview of Mokranjacs output in the
field of Orthodox music, focusing on the elements of different modes in several
liturgical hymns. This analytical contribution is very important, and it sheds
new light in the field of musicological research on Mokranjacs Liturgy. Before
it was published, one could read in the relevant sources that Liturgy was
based mostly on mode one; that is not correct, since this mode is used only in
several movements of the liturgical cycle. (See Manojlovi 1923, 179, Konjovi
1984, 127, and Perii 1969, 321.) More precisely, liturgical melodies are
present in so-called short (syllabic) and long (melismatic) manners. Certain
texts of this office are always sang on the same melodies in the Serbian practice,
without differences in modes, and Mokranjac used these tunes, while others
exist in various modes: in that case, Mokranjac chose tunes in different modes.
Thus, we may notice that Ilis object is the combination of Serbian chant
and Mokranjacs composed work. His type of analysis belongs to what Nattiez
defines as formalized analysis, which proceeds to a complete analytic sweep of
an entire corpus vis a vis that variable. (Nattiez 1990, 163.) In Ilis case that
variable is affiliation to a certain mode of Serbian Octoechos, that is, Nattiezs
global model of analysis by traits. Ilis language, however, steps out this
model: it is highly subjective and emotionally colored, which echoes a
Romantic approach when dealing with national religious music.
The foreword to the fifth volume shares certain passages with the
previous volume. There are no analytical comments in this text, and it ends with
an examination of sources. The following volume has a similar although more
biographically oriented introduction, with commentaries on the harmony:
Mokranjacs way of harmonizing these ... troparia, kontakia, and prokimena is
classical but also highly individual. They have skillfully added secondary
harmonies, which lend an archaic tone to the whole... Even in these short hymns
Mokranjac has introduced his soul. (Ili 1996, xii.) Beside these comments,
Vojislav Ili offers a short explanation of terms closely connected to Orthodox
church music, such as Irmology, Octoechos, troparion, kontakion, etc.
On the other side, the analysis in vol. 5, signed by Vojislav Ili and
Vlastimir Perii, bears a different mark. The most significant among
Mokranjacs compositions, such as Opelo [Funeral service], Akathistos, or Two
Stichera on Good Friday, have short descriptive summaries, in which basic
historical data are followed by comments on tonality, harmony, musical form,
texture, stylistic relevance, dramaturgy, psychological readings of the text,
etc. Again, in Nattiezs terms, this analysis belongs to the nonformalyzed types,
more specifically to the hermeneutic reading of the text, based on description
... but adds to it a hermeneutic and phenomenological depth that, in the hands of
talented writer, can result in genuine interpretative masterworks. (Nattiez
1990, 162.) However, since the object is restricted to Mokranjacs
compositions, without consideration of the chant, certain conclusions speak

more about the author than about music (the contours of the piece as a whole
are gaining certain features of a rondo; all works based on Serbian chant have
a similar structure, since formal principles are the same for all modes).
Suggestions for interpretations in volume 4 and 5 insist on emotional
qualities of the performance, contain advices for dynamics, articulation,
accentuation of certain words, tempo and agogic, based on Vojislav Ilis rich
conducting experience. On the other side, introductory texts in volumes 7 and 8
are more historically determined. As indicated by the title, the object of Danica
Petrovis research in vol. 7 is not music in Nattiezs immanent sense, but
Octoechos as a special type of Orthodox service books discussed in
diachronic manner and Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjacs work on this collection
of hymns seen in a synchronic manner. However, unlike other authors, she is
dealing with the question of reception of Octoechos, in the scholarly literature
as well as in musical and creative responses to this book. In the other volume,
the author uses a similar approach: after a detailed biographical survey in
connection to the general, special, and festal chant, the study of sources follows
explanations of the principles of the edition, elaborated with a description of
rites in which these hymns are used (Great Compline, Small Compline, Matins,
etc). Although some analytical remarks might have been expected in the
following chapter, entitled Melodies, the author offers a brief systematization
to syllabic, moderately melismatic and strongly melismatic melodies, paying
special attention to the text, without further specifications in the sense of mode,
melody structure, or other parameters. Her approach seems to be consistently
non-analytical, since the immanent level is out of focus.
In conclusion, one might add one more aspect to contextualize these
approaches. Vojislav Ili and Danica Petrovi pay lot of their attention to the
liturgical dimension of the subject, they tend to elaborate, depict from
religious, theological, liturgical, and heortological aspects types of church
services in which context this music is used. More than once, one can read
definitions of church poetic genres, such as troparion, stichera, or kontakion,
either in footnotes or in glossaries. This need might be interpreted in the context
of a newly awaken interest in Orthodoxy and religious matters within Serbian
society during the 1990s.
Different approaches discussed in this paper are the inevitable result of
the symbolic nature of musical and analytical facts. (Nattiez 1990, 134-135.)
All of them contribute, each in its own sense, to our knowledge on Serbian
church music, not only in Mokranjacs output. In my personal opinion, further
approaches should follow and widen this multitude of choices, in the direction
of interdisciplinarity, but not in order to give one definite and complete (as one
might tend, following Nattiezs principles) picture.

Ili, Vojislav. 1994. Foreword, Complete Works by Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac, vol. 4.
Beograd Knjaevac: Zavod za udbenike i nastavna sredstva Muziko-izdavako
preduzee Nota. pp. xv-xxi.
Ili, Vojislav, and Vlastimir Perii. 1995. Sacred Music, Complete Works by Stevan
Stojanovi Mokranjac, vol. 5. Beograd Knjaevac: Zavod za udbenike i nastavna
sredstva Muziko-izdavako preduzee Nota. pp. xix-xxiv.
Ili, Vojislav. 1996. Foreword, Complete Works by Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac, vol. 6.
Beograd Knjaevac: Zavod za udbenike i nastavna sredstva Muziko-izdavako
preduzee Nota. pp. xi-xix.
Keefer, Don. 1993. Review, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51/1: 91-92.
Konjovi, Petar. 1984. Stevan St. Mokranjac. Novi Sad: Matica srpska, 1984.
Manojlovi, Kosta. 1923. Spomenica Stevanu St. Mokranjcu. Beograd: Dravna tamparija
Kraljevine Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca.
Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. 1990. Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music, transl. by
Carolyn Abbate. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Perii, Vlastimir. 1969. Muziki stvaraoci u Srbiji. Beograd: Prosveta, 1969.
Perkovi Radak, Ivana. 2004. Muzika srpskog Osmoglasnika izmeu 1850. i 1914. godine.
Beograd: Fakultet muzike umetnosti.
Petrovi, Danica. 1996. The Octoechos in Serbian Chant and in the Melographic Works of
Stevan St. Mokranjac, Complete works by Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac, vol. 7.
Beograd Knjaevac: Zavod za udbenike i nastavna sredstva Muziko-izdavako
preduzee Nota. pp. xv-xxxiv.


Tijana Popovi Mladjenovi (University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia)1

The Possibility and Purpose of Disciplinary Intersections and

Permeations: The Case Study of Regers Variationen und Fuge
ber ein Thema von Joh. Seb. Bach for Piano, Op. 81

Starting from the viewpoint of contextual musicology and advocating interdis-

ciplinary synergy (as opposed to multidisciplinary accumulation) in music re-
search, this paper, based on the case study of Regers Variationen und Fuge
ber ein Thema von Joh. Seb. Bach (fr das Pianoforte zu 2 Hnden), Op. 81,
just deals with the relationship of different epistemological positions towards
music itself and emphasizes the practice of disciplinary intersections. In other
words, it demonstrates the practical possibility of the mutual creative inter-
reaction of musicology and culturological, cognitivistic and psychoanalitical
approach to music. In so doing, music analysis is not regarded as a specialized
scientific tool which excludes all other tools, but as a pragmatic and, one might
even say, eclectic selection of contextual analytical tools and methods ena-
bling the analyst to emphasize the specific elements of a work. This means that
every theory, which attempts to impose itself as a dogma, is refuted in favour of
an analysis that supports individual musicological work, and is created to-
gether with the music to which it refers and which, by that very fact, already is,
or is becoming, a specific pattern of thinking and understanding music from the
perspective of individual musicological-theoretic conceptions, that is, special
interdisciplinary musicological methods and contingent analytical interpretative
In that sense, Max Regers music (Max Reger was born in 1873 and died
in 1916)2 or, more precisely, his Variationen und Fuge ber ein Thema von Joh.
Seb. Bach, which were composed in 1904, is studied as a paradigmatic fin de
sicle work:

The research for this article was carried out as part of the project "World Chronotopes of
Serbian Music", No. 147045D (20062010), supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science
and Environment.
It must be noted that the interest of musicologists and music theorists in Regers work (apart
from the Max Reger Institut /formerly in Bonn, now in Karlsruhe/, Internationale Max-
Reger-Gesellschaft, and The Max Reger Foundation of America /New York/, which have
been continuously dealing with Regers creative personality) has especially increased over
the past ten or so years. Among other things, it has been manifested by the session devoted to
Regers music, which took place within the joint meeting of the American Musicological
Society and Society of Music Theory in Columbus, Ohio, in November 2002. On that
occasion, two music theorists, Daniel Harrison and Andrew Mead, and two musicologists,
Walter Frisch and Antonius Bittmann, presented their papers on Regers music. The session
was chaired by Reinhold Brinkmann, a musicologist with a long-held interest in Reger.

in the context of a specific way of reflecting the very moment of paradigmatic
shift at the global level in the designated period that is, a characteristic change
(or turn) from the dominant rational paradigm and positivistically formulated
objectivism to the world of pure experience, the matrix of subjective exis-
tence and individual subjective experience or, in other words, from the objectiv-
istic view of the world, that is, the objectivity as the locus and source of total
reality and overall real knowledge to the general subjectivization and conse-
quent destabilization of knowledge;
in the context of the perception and reception relative to change to that quite
specific experience of radical subjectivization with respect to the time-related
organization of music; and
in the context of the new experience of time, that emergent characteristic of
the music of the mentioned period in whose domain through the notions of
identity and order (or the temporalized versions of the logical distinction be-
tween term/expression and relation in the opinion of Elisheva Rigby-Shafrir3),
as well as through the notion of musical self/other polaron (or the theme-
aggregate and its contingent stylistically specific transformations and relations
in variations) the shaping of a concrete musical flow is followed and meta-
phorically interpreted.
Consequently, a contingent analytical-interpretative approach to the men-
tioned Regers work implies:
1) Historical and theoretical positioning of Regers music from the view-
point of:
Different interpretations of the phenomenon of the music of the fin de sicle,
the period which is also called die Moderne in German literature, and refers
primarily to the last decade of the nineteenth and the first two decades of the
twentieth century4 (i.e. it covers, at that time, the current creative work of
Claude Debussy /18621918/ in France, Alexander Scriabin /18721915/ and
Igor Stravinsky /18821971/ in Russia, or Gustav Mahler /18601911/ and
Arnold Schoenberg /18741951/ in the Habsburg Monarchy, for example);

See: Elisheva RigbyShafrir, Radical subjectivisation of time in the music of the fin-de-
sicle: An example by Max Reger, in: Perception and Cognition of Music by Irne Delige
and John Sloboda (Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press, 1997), 4768.
See, for example: Carl Dahlhaus, Between Romanticism and Modernism. Four Studies in
the Music of the Later Nineteenth Century, transl. by Mary Whittall (Berkeley, Los Angeles,
London: University of California Press, 1980); Carl Dahlhaus, 18891914, in: Nineteenth-
Century Music, by Carl Dahlhaus (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
1989), 330389; Leo Treitler, Music and the Historical Imagination (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1989); Robert P. Morgan, Secret Languages: The Roots of
Musical Modernism, Critical Inquiry, X/3 (1984), 442461; William R. Everdell, The First
Moderns: Profiles in the Origin of Twentieth-Century Thought (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1997);

Stratified reflection on the context of Austro-German music or, more broadly,
on the Austro-German Geist in the years around 1900, that is, the task of defin-
ing and framing the fin de sicle conceit of German cultural superiority in mu-
sic5 during the first decade of the 20th century when, among others, Richard
Strauss (18641949), Hans Pfitzner (18691949), Max von Schillings (1868
1933), as well as Alexander von Zemlinsky (18711942), Ferruccio Busoni
(18661924), the already mentioned composers Gustav Mahler and Arnold
Schoenberg, and others were also involved in this creative effort;6
Polemics about the origin, characteristics and meaning of early modernism,
that is, reconsiderations of the correctness of regarding Reger as one of the
leading figures of German modernism during the first two decades of the
twentieth century,7 as well as the perception of his position along romanticism
modernism lines8 and/or on the reactionaryprogressive axis;
Consequential reference to the appropriateness of the current syntagm his-
toricist modernism on the basis of which Walter Frisch defines Regers mu-
sic,9 as opposed to Pfitzners regressive modernism, Mahlers ironic mod-
ernism and Schoenbergs integral modernism;
Consistent reference, on one side to Regers attitude toward the past,10 to his
urgent and elemental connection with music of the past that goes far beyond

See: Daniel Beller-McKenna, Brahms and the German Spirit (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 2004).
See: Leon Botstein, History and Max Reger, The Musical Quarterly, LXXXVII/4 (Winter
2004), 617627.
See: Walter Frisch, German Modernism: Music and the Arts (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 2005).
As Brinkmann observes, Reger really is a Janus-faced figure, looking in both directions.
See: Reinhold Brinkmann, A Last Giant in Music: Thoughts on Max Reger in the
Twentieth Century, The Musical Quarterly, LXXXVII/4 (Winter 2004), 631659.
See: Walter Frisch, Regers Bach and Historicist Modernism, 19th Century Music,
XXV/2-3 (2001), 296312. In this article, Frisch began to explore what he called historicist
modernism in music, which should be distinguished from neoclassicism. Exemplary
neoclassical works tend to distance the musical past through a cosmopolitan lens. Works of
historicist modernism have a more urgent, elemental, and intense connection with the past, as
in those of Max Reger that probe his psychic and musical relationships to Bach. Also, see:
Walter Frisch, Regers Historicist Modernism, The Musical Quarterly, LXXXVII/4
(Winter 2004), 732748.
See: Antonius Bittmann, Negotiating Past and Present: Max Reger and Fin-de-sicle
Modernisms, Ph.D. diss., University of Rochester, 2000; Antonius Bittmann, Of Swollen,
Myopic Beetles, Giant Frogs, and Other Creatures: Epigonism and Its Modernist
Metamorphoses in Critical Evaluations of Max Reger III, Journal of Musicological
Research, XX/1 (2000), 7191, and XX/2 (2001), 135159; Antonius Bittmann,
Reconciling God and Satan: Max Regers Phantasie und Fuge ber den Namen B-A-C-H,
Op. 46, Journal of Musicology, XVIII/3 (Summer 2001), 490515.

modelling or borrowing11, primarily to the complex relationships towards the
music of Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750)12, and to the use of the forms of
the alte Stil (old style)13; on the other side to Regers radical musical lan-
guage and extreme extension of the tonal pattern of thinking, to the composers
problematization of the traditional understanding of tonality14 and dissonance,
to his theory of modulation15, to the world of his chromatized musical matter,
the music that exists in an equal-tempered universe of a total chromatic, in
which certain functions associated with diatonicism, including the aspects of
harmonic progression and phrase structure, are still operative16, occasionally
even like an idiolect (an intense, darkly expressionistic and intentionally ugly
language), which has the elements of traditional tonality virtually subsumed by
an atonal technique17; on the third side to the characteristic features of Re-
gers music, such as the complexity of thematic growth, the lack of diversity in

See: Walter Frisch, The Music of Max Reger, The Musical Quarterly, LXXXVII/4
(Winter 2004), 628630.
Already in 1894, Reger claimed: Strictly speaking, we are all epigones of Bach (from a
letter to Adalbert Lindner of 6 April 1894). Some ten or so years later, in connection with the
German fin de sicle constructs of Bach and veritable Bach-Kult in Wilhelmine Germany,
as this music was called by Wolfgang Rathert, a 1905/1906 issue of the journal Die Musik
published a large number of responses to the questionnaire entitled What does Johann
Sebastian Bach mean to me personally, and what meaning does he have for our time? Also
responding to Die Musik, Reger provided his famous and often-cited hommage to Bach:
Seb. Bach, to me, is the Alpha and Omega of all music; any true progress is based on him!
(Die Musik, V/1 /19051906/, 74). Quoted from: Antonius Bittmann, Max Reger and
Historicist Modernisms, (Baden-Baden: Verlag Valentin Koerner, 2004), 55, 58.
For example, Reger composed: chorale fantasias, chorale preludes, passacaglias, prelude-
and-fugue pairings for organ, chorale cantatas, and works for solo strings..., as well as the
works entitled Suite im alten Stil (Suite in the Old Style) for violin and piano in F-major, op.
93 (1906), Konzert im den alten Stil (Concerto in the Old Style for Orchestra) in F-major, op.
123 (1912) (while some other works, such as Symphonietta /Sinfonietta for Orchestra/ in A-
major, op. 90 (1904/05), the Serenade /Serenade for Orchestra/ in G-major, op. 95 (1905/06),
or the Romantic Suite /A Romantic Suite for Orchestra/ op. 125 (1912), point to a different
kind of inspiration). He was particularly attracted to the variation form and especially to fugal
form throughout his life, once remarking: Other people write fugues I live inside them.
Reger expressed his attitude as follows: I say: Tonality as Ftis defined it fifty years ago
is too limited for 1902. I consistently act in accordance with Liszts statement: Any chord can
be followed by any other chord. Quoted from: Hans Khner (ed.), Neues Max Reger-Brevier
(Basel: Amerbach-Verlag, 1948), 76.
Max Reger, On the Theory of Modulation (New York: Edwin F. Kalmus, 1948). (This
Regers own little pedagogical volume, Modulationslehre, first published in 1903, went into
at least fifteen printings.)
See: Andrew Mead, Listening to Reger, The Musical Quarterly, LXXXVII/4 (Winter
2004), 681707.
See: Daniel Harrison, Max Reger Introduces Atonal Expressionism, The Musical
Quarterly, LXXXVII/4 (Winter 2004), 660680.

the thematic materials and the absence of contrast, continuous development, or
developing variation18, asymmetry and the like;
2) Culturological analysis of the context in which Reger composes his
works, including:
Intellectual interest of the fin de sicle, the new world in which nothing was
given from the outside, where everything (lesser than the infinite) must be con-
stituted inside (within it), in which there are no objects except those being ob-
jectivized by the subject, that is, in which objectivism (in the sense of its posi-
tivist formulation) does not represent the common basic assumption and the
ideal of overall cultural practice any more, as was the case during the greater
part of the nineteenth century, as well as in romanticism which did not chal-
lenge it (or began with Sren Kierkegaard /18131855/ and Friedrich
Nietzsche /18441900/ to challenge it explicitly on an increasing scale, but
the implications of this challenge were still not realized at that time; moreover,
they could not penetrate the public domain), because it represented a change in
understanding the observed world rather than the need or wish for its
Philosophical attempts of the fin de sicle, such as the neo-Kantian attempts,
Edmund Husserls (18591938) phenomenological method and the life-world,
Wilhelm Diltheys (18331911) life-philosophy (Lebensphilosophie) and the
hermeneutical model Geisteswissenschaften, Benedetto Croces (18661952)
philosophy of spirit, radical empiricism, pragmatism and pluralism of William
James (18421910), as well as Henri Bergsons (18591941) philosophy of
pure time and intuition, that is, reflections of which the main content is the rec-
ognition that overall objectivity is irreversibly permeated with subjectivity;
Cultural products of this period, ranging from Gestalt psychology to sym-
bolistic poetry, or from cubist art to quantum physics and the theory of relativ-
ity, through which the recognized essence of the new aesthetic model of
knowledge is ascertained;
The difficulty of distinguishing perception from conception in a cognitive
sense, as well as the destruction of the belief that identity takes precedence over
order and that it is independent of it, which is inherent to the belief in the given,
in the cognitively untouched and untouchable objectivity as the locus and
source of overall reality;
Interpenetration of subject and object, substance and function, thing and
thought or emotions about things, identitety (both abstract and concrete) and or-
der (system), which are accepted as being interdependent, as the functions
Schoenberg mentions the idea of developing variation as a means of liberating modern
music from simplistic, exact repetitions and, in his opinion, Reger, Mahler and he himself
had worked hard to become free of the monotony of exact repetitions of the same material. In
this context, Schoenberg stresses Johannes Brahmss (18331897) contribution to innovation
in musical language.

that constitute each other, which are also involved when the other has not yet
been established, because not one part is possible without the other (existing
only in the function, they can be positioned vis--vis each other, without estab-
lishing the order of priorities); consequently, they do not permit any predeter-
mination, persistence, stability, possession, completeness of knowledge or cog-
nition, but recognize knowledge as an act of creation, as a process rather than as
a product;
Manifestions of general neurosis, restlessness, some kind of all-pervasive fric-
tion as a specific state of mind and disbalanced nervous system of that period,
caused by the general subjectivization and consequent destabilization of knowl-
edge, whose direct outcome is, above all, the emergence of psychoanalysis, as
well as the intensified psychological-theoretical and practical treatment of neu-
roses, degenerative and regressive changes in society, culture and art, that is, of
the psychopathology of the fin de sicle.
In this way, the tools of culturological analysis assimilate (and, to a de-
gree, substitute) the empirical tools of the relevant cognitive research, and re-
quire those cognition models which cannot perceive the fin de sicle and Re-
gers music (considering a paradigmatic shift that is combined, in the field of
music, with an extreme heterogeneity of the repertoire and plurality of musico-
analytical19 and musico-psychological theories20 that emerged in those years) in
Here reference is made primarily to the studies of Hugo Riemann (18491919; Regers
professor) relating, inter alia, to musical logic (1874), musical syntax (1877), counterpoint
(1888), theory of harmony, acoustics, elements of musical aesthetics (1900), degeneration
and regeneration in music (1907), his musical lexicon and the like, as well as to the studies of
his opponent Heinrich Schenker (18681935; Regers critic, for whom Reger simply was not
good enough to be called the heir to Brahms or Bach, and his overt debts to traditions in form
and polyphonic writing were the masks that sought to cover a failure to understand the
essence of phrase structure in tonality, mediocrity if not arrogance. See Schenkers essays on
Regers Op. 81, Variationen und Fuge ber ein Thema von Joh. Seb. Bach, entitled Ein
Gegenbeispiel /A Negative Example/, in: Das Meisterwerk in der Musik II by Heinrich
Schenker /Munich: Drei Masken Verlag, 1926/, 171192), inter alia, about harmony (1906)
and counterpoint (in two volumes, 1910 and 1922).
See: Arthur Seidl, Moderner Geist in der deutschen Tonkunst: Gedanken eines
Kulturpsychologen um des Jahrhunderts Wende 1899/1900 (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse
Verlag, 1920); Richard Mller-Freienfels, Psychologie der Kunst (Leipzig: Verlag von B. G.
Teubner, 1922); Theodor Lipps, sthetik: Psychologie des Schnen und der Kunst (Leipzig:
Verlag von Leopold Voss, 2 vols., 1914/1920); Otto Veraguth, Kultur und Nervensystem
(Zurich: Schulthesa, 1904); August Cramer, Die Nervositt, ihre Ursachen, Erscheinungen
und Behandlung. Fr Studierende und rtze (Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer, 1906); Willy
Hellpach, Soziale Ursachen und Wirkungen der Nervositt, Politisch-anthropologische
Revue, 4353 (1902), 126134; Max Simon Nordau, Entartung (Berlin: Carl Duncker, 1893;
English translation: Degeneration, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895); Richard
von Krafft-Ebing, ber gesunde und kranke Nerven (Tbingen: Verlag der H. Lauppschen
Buchhandlung, 1885); as well as, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Nervositt und neurastenische
Zustnde (Vienna: Alfred Hlder, 1895), etc.

a computable and holistic way, cognivistically speaking. Instead, this is done
through their substantive mutual constitution and inseparable interconnection at
the most fundamental and non-reducible level.21 Consequently, the musicologi-
cal use of the results of culturological analysis, which have been formulated by
using epistemological terms as the musico-analytical tools, restricts musical-
theoretical terminology and confines it to the most basic technical vocabulary
that is common for the divergent analytical views during the fin de sicle, hold-
ing that the articulation of the musical identity and order of the mentioned Re-
gers work, as the representative of the specific characteristics of the whole pe-
riod except or, better said, rather than in the conventional terms of musical
theory can be sought in aesthetic and, even more so, in psychoanalitical terms.
Thus, the discourse about quite a specific experience of time as the emergent
characteristic of the music of the mentioned period, is based on the psycho-
analysis of shaping the musical flux of Regers Variationen. However, it is not a
first-degree discourse, but a metaphor, a musicological metadiscourse relative to
psychoanalysis or, better said, a metalinguistic debate about the possible psy-
choanalitical model and interpretation of its datum. The position of the musi-
cologist as an interpreter, a psychointerpreter of the very musical flux and the
process of musical thinking (both generic, panstylistic and stylistically specific
processes) represents musicological reference relative to psychoanalysis and in-
troduces the psychoanalitical viewpoint into the context of a specific musi-
cological-theoretical conception, that is, the development of an interdisciplinary
musicological method and individual analytical interpretative model for explor-
ing, above all else, the primary process of the musical unconscious and, possi-
bly, the path that emblematizes the unconscious of the being itself.22

I have proceeded from the view of Elisheva Rigby-Shafrir who regards the very
theme in B minor in Regers Variationen Op. 81 (which was completely
/verbatim/ taken over from Bachs Cantata No. 128 Auf Christi Himmelfahrt
allein) as pre-existing objective musical reality (see the Theme of Regers
op. 81) and fourteen variations that follow as the true representatives of the
spirit of the times in the sense of rejecting objectivity through the destabiliza-

Rolf Inge Gody linked certain fin-de-sicle philosophical currents, such as,
phenomenology and, indirectly, hermeneutics to connectionism and more recent research on
categorial perception in an interesting way (his main area of research is phenomenological
and cognitive approaches to music theory, presently with a focus on the links between images
of human movement and the experience of musical sound; see, for example: Rolf Inge
Gody, Knowledge in Music Theory by Shapes of Musical Objects and Sound-Producing
Actions, Music, Gestalt, and Computing Studies in Cognitive and Systematic Musicology
by Marc Leman /Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1997/, 89102).
See: Tijana Popovi Mladjenovi, Procesi panstilistikog muzikog miljenja, Ph.D. diss.,
Belgrade, University of Arts, Faculty of Music, Department of Musicology, 2007; in press.

tion and mutual relativization of identity and order and, thus, requesting a much
greater role of the listener, as well as from Heinrich Schenkers view that the
mentioned Regers Variationen represent everything that a genuine musical
work is not or, to be more exact, is not due to the absence of organic unity.
For the very theme for Reger is not organic unity any more23 but, as stated by
Elisheva Rigby-Shafrir, the composer regards it as the aggregate of images24.
In other words, as an aggregate, the theme through variations is not led by
some unique, necessary relation which means that all relations become con-
tingent, that is, dependent on permanent rearrangement and dissolution. Reger
applies this view to the same extent to all relations logical or chronological,
horizontal or vertical. The most prominent among them are the logical rela-
tions of the essential and contingent, entity and its parts, abstract and concrete.
The theme-aggregate has no central or essential image. Reger divides it into
different partial or constituent images, both abstract and concrete, which he
treats, whether individually or in combination, as the equal and full representa-
tives (exponents) of the theme.
Consequently, the process of abstraction reallocation by which one as-
pect of a musical event (theme) is relocated or taken separately from its original
context (whereby the concrete relations between the theme-aggregate and its
fragmented images or particles disappear and cannot be identified at the con-
scious level, but at the intuitive one), coupled with the process of substantive
transformation25 (which causes the simultaneous changes in a number of differ-
ent musical components up to the point when everything changes, when the new
musical material is actually emerging, but a certain structural relationship and

For more detail about the term organic unity as the concretization of the rationalist idea
of the system, see: Ernst Cassirer, The Problem of Knowledge: Phylosophy, Science and
History since Hegel, transl. by William H. Woglom, and Charles W. Hendel (New Haven and
London: Yale University Press, 1950), especially the second chapter of this book (The Ideal
of Knowledge and Its Transformation in Biology).
She uses the term aggregate image, which was coined eight years before Reger
composed his Variationen und Fuge... Op. 81, by Bergson in his work Matter and Memory
(Henri Bergson, Matire et mmoire: essai sur la relation du corps lesprit [1896] /Paris:
Presses Universitaires de France, 1959/) in whose first chapter (see: Henri Bergson, Of the
Selection of Images for Conscious Presentation. What our Body Means and Does, in: Matter
and Memory, transl. by Nancy Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer /London: George Allen
and Unwin, 1911/, 185) he used this syntagm in order to define matter that is used as a
synonym for the world as a whole. Really separated or different parts are treated as
fiction and as absurdity.
About the process of abstraction reallocation and the process of substantive
transformation, see: Mary Louise Serafine, Music as Cognition. The Development of Thought
in Sound (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), especially the third chapter of this
book Some Processes, 6993; and also, Berislav Popovi, Music Form or Meaning in
Music, transl. Milo Zatkalik (Belgrade: Clio and Belgrade Culture Center, 1998), 3839,
5356, 85, 89, 118119, 272291, 347.

dynamics as well as agogics are not changed in terms of the specific, self-
similar method of breathing music), results in a significant enhancement of
the energy potential of the musical flow of these variations. In other words,
Reger engages all musical components, especially those which determine the
stylistically specific musical processes and exposes them to almost permanently
favoured transformational processes and disproportions in order to thin the rela-
tions between the theme and its abstracted parts in the variations in the most ef-
ficient way, on one side, and to explore those elements and relations that can
successfully substitute the mentioned components, already occupied with an-
other task, in maintaining tensions between the far-reachingly distorted initial
states of the theme and its original context of pre-existing objective musical
reality. In this way, the listener and his musical-cognitive sensitiveness are
placed in the foreground of the musical event, that is, the state of high-level
readiness, which is raised to an even higher level when the abstracted and
transformed representative or exponent of the theme begins functioning like the
local theme-aggregate for specified variations. Such a dynamization of the mu-
sical flow also designates a high level of its emotional colours.26
A dynamogeneous impulse in Regers variations directs the motion at a
global level in the waves between progression and regression. Thus, the varia-
tions also group themselves into smaller entities. The first wave (completely in
slow tempos, the same or slower than the theme itself) is comprised of the first
three variations, of which the first and the second are based on the ornamental
way of varying the theme (the melody of the theme is almost unchanged, while
the accompanying sounds are gradually becoming increasingly richer and so is
the harmonic content which is once incited to rotate moving at an increas-
ingly faster pace in order to tunnel the theme back and forth, through the mu-
sical space-time, from Bachs to Regers /harmonic/ style and back; in addition,
the momentuous activation of the dynamic plan which is generally lower than
the theme by one step, with very carefully dosaged and discrete pianissimo
microintensifications and abrupt fortissimo breakthroughs points to its essen-
tial role as one of the agents of expression, that is, to its significance in assum-
ing the function of structural focus in the crucial moments of the musical flow
of the variation cycle), while the third one, which is linked attacca to the second
variation, represents the transformation of the musical material of the theme,
that is, its first character varying (which is significantly contributed by extreme
chromatism or, more precisely, a short citation of the theme, which retains the
original baroque harmonic style, and is impressed and fitted very fast into the
pronounced chromatic context).
The second wave (completely in fast tempos) continues in progression
and is comprised of the fourth (raised to the fortissimo level of increasing and

See: Tijana Popovi Mladjenovi, Procesi panstilistikog muzikog miljenja..., 362364.

maintaining tension), the fifth (based on the character varying of the initial mo-
tive of the theme, that is, the characteristic signal of its beginning, and on the
activation and intensification of change on an agogic plane) and the sixth varia-
tion (the characteristic initial motive of the theme that is not given at the begin-
ning but, like in the third variation, moves approaching something that is at a
distance in the theme, the theme in retrogradation, a dynamic plan like the
fourth variation...), which also brings the first local climax. The fourth variation
(the first fast one in the whole cycle, in which the piano is treated in a concer-
tanto way, like in all other fast parts of the variation cycle), with which this sec-
ond wave begins, is also based on the ornamental varying of the theme like the
first and second variation.
The central part of the variation cycle is comprised of the seventh (a dy-
namic plan like in the first variation) and the eighth variation (a dynamic plan
like in the fourth variation), like some kind of positive and negative (or
synthesis) of the identity of the theme. The seventh variation, which relative
to the previous flow brings a more significant memory of (or return to) the
theme, represents the main anticlimax in the entire variation form, abrupt easing
of tension, ebb tide in the musical flow, regression of the fluid, weakened,
abbreviated identity of the theme. The eighth variation is a great contrast rela-
tive to the seventh one, an abrupt break, the first main climax, an abrupt in-
crease in tension (in the sense of one of the significant, multiply symbolic indi-
cators of the paradigmatic change of the spirit of the times) and the moment
when the basic B minor tonality is changed into C major for the first time (in
addition, like in the third variation, the essential moment is the alternation of
harmonic styles or, in other words, the flow of the variation continues in an in-
tensively chromatized way after the initial beats in the quasimodal style), when
the initial motive and cadencial (the signal of the end) material of the theme
(cadence in F sharp minor within the variation in C major represents the har-
mony of the theme only through the structure of the tonal pitches; in other
words, it is isolated both from the original context and from other contexts
within the variation, as well as from the whole cycle), as its representatives, are
simultaneously exposed to far-reachingly transformed material from the third
variation which after becoming the local theme aggregate in this way begins
at this point in the musical flow one new, inner cycle of unfolding and varying
the doubly mediated identity of the theme. Thus, the seventh and eighth varia-
tion seem to emanate the theme polaron self / other, which is included in a dy-
namic process at this place. As if this is, metaphorically speaking, that inter-
space of the awake (pre-existing objectively real, Bachs) and dreaming (any
possible, future) world of the theme, the transitional state between reality and
sleep of the theme, when the already fluid, dreaming self of the theme in
dreaming creates its other and unites with it, thus becoming the self/other unit,
singularity, an unbalanced, asymetric polaron, which intensively establishes the

border, dinstinction, difference. From that intersection of the theme dreaming
self of the seventh variation and its eruptive, penetrating other of the eighth
variation, which is not primary in itself, but is significant due to its dynamic po-
larity with the self, there evolves a dynamic musical entirety which can exist
only in that way.27 (See the Seventh and Eighth Variations of Regers op. 81.)
The further musical flow just allows and upholds the participation of self
and other in the developing whole. The next wave covers the ninth (another
ornamental variation, a new anticlimax, but not so deeply positioned like
the previous dynamic plan being absolutely identical to that from the theme), an
abrupt increase in tension in the tenth (the variation in which radical changes
occur at all levels thematic, dynamic, structural... for the first time, the fastest
variation, the second climax, but less intensive than the previous one) and the
further progression in the eleventh variation (which reaches the same climax as
the eighth one, so that the tenth and eleventh variation actually constitute the
same eruptive tensional plateau of the other), in whose central section the po-
laron self/other, in a small space, is most closely united, while building one
completely different functional context.28 The deconstruction and destabiliza-
tion of the concrete constituent images of the theme refers, apart from the har-
monic ones, to the melodic, rhythmic, textural, motive/thematic, structural im-
ages of the theme and its segments, which are associatively dissolved in their
interval contents, rhythmic groupings, melodic and/or rhythmic patterns, which
are sequentially repeated, sketching the contours of the theme of a shorter or
longer duration, singling out the leading sound, or its inner impression, hiding
and fitting between the external sounds allusively mark the motive content
and point to the motive motion of the segments making an allusion to the
theme, but being uncertain as to its parts... All these separate or partially com-
See: Ibidem, 364369.
Namely, in the observed variations, Reger alternates between the styles, thus alternatingly
changing the clear functional late Baroque style of the theme, by which he announces the
universal context, and extreme chromatism of his time, by which he announces the selection
of limited contexts. This alternation takes place not only between the variations, but also
within individual variations (the example for this are the already mentioned places in the
third and eighth variation).
It can be said that the harmony of the theme itself destabilizes the essence of the notion of
harmony in this part through its re-categorization as a concrete phenomenon, rather than as
an abstract or conceptual one. Apart from the mentioned, recognizable cadencial material of
the theme, which is symptomatically thrown into the eighth variation, we also encounter
such a case in the eleventh variation, where the composition of the tonal pitches of the
isolated chords of the theme is partially reproduced, but in a completely different functional
context, as well as in the twelvth variation in which the cadencial characteristic D major
chord (cadencial arpeggio) from the theme is literally reproduced, but is isolated from any
context of the possible harmonic explanation within the variation.
In other words, the constituent images of the theme-aggregate are also the aggregates
prepared for further dissolutions or separations according to the same principle.

bined determinants (whose vertical order in the original can be horizontally re-
organized and vice versa) are again perceived like the exclusive representatives
of the theme, like different definitions of the identity of the theme. It must be
noted that this group of variations somehow corresponds to the wave of the
fourth, fifth and sixth variation.
The last, the fifth wave begins with a new anticlimax, but now with the
cryptodepression of the identity of the theme in the twelfth variation, which is
not of ornamental origin, like the first / second, fourth and ninth, that is, the
initial variations of the first, second and fourth wave, but is of an allusive nature
(analogously to the seventh variation, which generates the third wave or cou-
pled polaron self / other of the theme; after all, the dynamic plans of the seventh
and twelfth variation are the most similar) being the quasi steps of the theme
everything is here, but nothing is just like this, it is not at its place, it moves and
changes its position... It combines, contracts, expands through different associa-
tive or allusive sets of images of its images (referring to the theme on the basis
of the relations which are alien to the internal context of the twelfth variation, in
other words, associations are redetermined by the external context and are real-
ized in a retrospective; that is, reffering to the theme by quasicadencial arpeg-
gios of which the one of the mentioned D major chord is unprepared and alien
to the local harmonic context of the variation which allusively point to the
structure of the theme, while at the same time expanding it from within). In fact,
it results in the exchangeability of the internal and external relations, that is,
identity and order. It results in changes, which occur in that occasionally whirl-
pool-like between, involving the representatives of the theme, its varying form,
quasi-improvizing moments and absolutely new elements. What is very unusual
is the behaviour of dynamics that seems to be serialized in some way and is
linked to the parts of the form of the theme itself, which move together with
their specific dynamics, regardless of the dynamic context of the variation itself.
The thirteenth variation represents a new tension increase and the pene-
tration of the other, thus definitely establishing a correspondence with the third
wave (that is, with the seventh and eighth variation). In its central part there
continues the separation, fragmentation, as well as the internal expansion of the
structure of the theme itself, with the help of the cadencial blocks which be-
ginning with the eighth variation and especially in the eleventh and twelfth one
are gradually gaining in importance and are, metaphorically speaking, attracting
the unique quasi-improvizing oases, thus becoming part of their gravitational
fields. Together with the fourteenth variation which is an extension of the
previous flow in progression it represents the last and major climax of the
whole variation cycle. In other words, it represents the tensional plateau of the
other, which is somewhat raised once again to a higher level relative to the
analogous culminational, tensional plateau of the tenth and eleventh variation.
This time, however, the musical polaron self/other is still dynamically estab-

lished, albeit in an extatic and furioso way, like a specific, balanced and symet-
ric unit, singularity (of the whole wave as well as of the whole cycle), since the
fourteenth variation is that ornamental variation which is or, better said,
whose dense texture on the bass line, is permeated by the whole thread of the
Bachian-Regerian thematic material.29

On the basis of the offered analytical interpretation of the variational flow of

Regers Op. 81, it can be said that only after destabilizing the centuries-long
building of tonal/thematic identity, that is, stylistically specific to-
nal/thematic/formal relations from the outside, on the front planes of the mu-
sical flow, was it possible to begin revealing those underneath or inside rela-
tions of the musical flow and the method of its processing, which have always
been there, unusually active yet well hidden or, occasionally, probably insuffi-
ciently activated, or frozen and substituted by external automatism... Conse-
quently, it was necessary that like in Regers variations, for example a
maximum chromatic extension of the functional tonal system is adopted and
that the musical flow is made of the continuous stylistic changes, which
raised consciousness and mobilized perceptive attention, focusing it inten-
sively on that momentous, on the present of music unfolding in order to ob-
serve that music even the simplest one and the least perceptively demanding
has never been, nor can it be just the multidimensionally divided, linearly ex-
panded structure from the completely determined past to the projected, planned
future which was emphasized, in general, by tonal (led and directed by the
rules of functional relations) music of the repeat procedure (in the most general
sense of this notion) for a long time (for the duration of a rational paradigm),
imposing it on a musical event as its almost exlusive and only possible solution.
Instead, it has always been and will be a non-linear dynamic circulus of the pos-
sibilities (both the past and future ones), which is constantly fluctuating and dy-
namically adjusting from moment to moment, functioning both as a part and as
an entity, which are not separated, but are constantly interacting as the result of
interpenetration of all previous and forthcoming events. In other words, the lis-
teners perceptive constant present and processing activity itself are not
something new. On the contrary, they are as old as man and music, or it can be
probably said (referring to Martin Heidegger /18891976/) as thinking and sing-
ing. They have only now been activated in a striking way (possibly in a similar
way as it happened with some other works, opuses or periods, before and after
that moment, whereby one must bear in mind that in their interpretation or
while listening to them we can consciously enhance them even if the music
itself does not require it to such a degree), because the characteristics of the ex-
ternal reality of the objective musical facts have become such that they have

Ibidem, 370377.

aggravated or prevented the perceptive constitution of music as a (musically)
thoughtful, intelligable event, a constant, structural and functional flux. In other
words, they pushed the external reality into the background, while the inner
reality of cognitive processes, that is, the processing activity itself had to aban-
don its position and well preserved, latent spaces of seeming otherness, and to
become that primarily reality so understood. Namely, the listeners permanent
present (the possibility of projecting the past events to the same extent as the
future ones) is an extremely expanded subjective time base (analogous to the
dilatation of the boundaries of the information processing capacity in the
changed states of consciousness) when it comes to the mixing of the conscious
and unconscious music contents; when the listeners consciously or uncon-
sciously must keep adjusting and harmonizing the principles on the basis of
which they process musical material and which keeps adjusting to the inter-
preters and authors subjective time base. Consequently, they become
prominent not only as the primary reality in the musical flow, instead of the re-
ality of stylistically specific processes, by adjusting or harmonizing generic,
panstylistic musico-cognitive processes which, spontaneously and mostly un-
consciously, keep dissolving/disintegrating and reformulating/reintegrating mu-
sical events. Instead, like the processing musical activity, they are moving
openly, not latently any more, in order to emblematize psychodynamics, that is,
to emanate, in the externality of the momentous, current inner mental and
brain processes, or the processing activity itself, the essence of the experi-
ence and the subjective feeling about oneself. So, Regers music, like the
music of the entire fin de sicle, begins openly to manifest itself as the presence
of a dream in action, as an externalized dream in which generic musico-
cognitive processes act similarly like events in a dream, registering seiz-
mographically even the most subtle (albeit not without the potential destructive
action) events, stresses and changes in the changed states of mind of that pe-
The morphosis of experiencing time, that is, a specific projection of mu-
sical events both past and present, on the horizon of the event of the percep-
tive present of Regers variations, unfolds, as already emphasized, thanks to the
dynamization of transformational processes in the distortion of the initial state,
as well as in the intensification of disproportions, in the inner reality of cogni-
tive processes, which are most directly freed by continuously regrouping and
reintegrating the formally given relations, that is, by continously changing the
distribution of the elements with different roles and energy accumulations, thus
reinforcing vice versa, dynamogeneous emotional power of the musical flow up
to the unusually high and very distinctive degree. Otherwise, this occurred most
evidently and most freely thus far in the field of musical fantasy. Indeed, Re-
gers variations seem according to their characteristics to be placed in the
realm of musical fantasy, or to emerge from it after being reformulated and

freed from the restraints of routine practice. Thus, in the last variation, the
theme polaron self/other seems to progress and achieve its fin de sicle po-
sition in the world that emerges in dreaming in a morpheusian way at some
other level, in another context, or the surroundings, in the dense texture and
chromatic motion. In the world which is not the world of the past remaining
from the state of awakeness but, on the contrary, it is just the position, life
dynamism of the musical flow of the theme, with all unembraced unknowns,
something that remains in dreams, and the world resulting in them. Neverthe-
less, the dynamic process of crystallization comes to an end, distinction disap-
pears and so does the boundary with the other. The autopoetic existence of the
theme ends and it flows into the fugue or, as some might metaphorically say, it
returns to the higher level of existence (supraindividual level)..., flows into a
higher another reality... of formless brilliance and formless realization
(transindividual level)..., it becomes spaceless and timeless, eternal and indefi-
nite, tranquil and without the stream of consciousness, the ultimate union in
which all things and events, while remaining perfectly separate and discrete, are
one (at the universal level)...30.
In any case, it is evident that the musical flow of the theme was prepared
for extremely subtle transformations. The change was enabled by the weakening
of the old periodic strong structure and by enhancing the weak potentials.
These inner processes of the theme are, above all, unconscious, while the re-
sponse to, or feedback about their subjective experience, inner imaginative form
of their cognitive processing, is the base for controlling or changing the dy-
namic model, which can exert influence in an intelligent, autonomous and crea-
tive way. This is how, by disrupting the initial core of identity, the distorted
structure of the theme underwent various states, whereby the characteristics of
the same group of transformations were still preserved despite constant changes.
Namely, between the two extreme distortions there is a number of the transi-
tional states of the same group of transformations. The musical flow so trans-
formed is intuitively recognized in the sense of invariantness of one much
broader class of transformations (relative to the theory that aspires to continu-
ously narrow the field of invariantness).

The metaphor was used quite freely, bearing in mind the major levels or zones of
consciousness in the hierarchic and integrative model of consciousness which was proposed
by Gordana Stanojevi Vitaliano (Mindwaves Institute, Boston). See: Gordana Stanojevi
Vitaliano, Neurolingvistiko programiranje: integrativni model stanja svesti, in: Svest,
nauni izazov 21. veka by Dejan Rakovi and Djuro Koruga (Beograd: Evropski centar za
mir i razvoj Univerziteta za mir Ujedinjenih nacija, 1996), 141162; Gordana Stanojevi
Vitaliano, Spectrum of Psychotherapies, in: Proc. Shenandoah Healing Exploration
Meeting (Rappahanock, Virginia, 1993), 16.

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Morag Josephine Grant (Georg-August-Universitt Gttingen)

Whatever Happened to Crazy Jane?

The original title of this paper, as presented at the conference behind these
proceedings, was The Day The Music Died. As I explained then, the topic
was neither the famous song by Don McLean, American Pie, from which that
line was taken, nor the equally famous musician - Buddy Holly - whose death
was the songs subject. Rather, the original title - which I have now changed in
favour of the song that will be my topic here - was a piece of wishful thinking
on my part, informed by research into popular songs of a much earlier era, but
also reflecting what seems to me to be a fundamental and unsolved dilemma in
current musicology, in research but also in our work as university teachers.
For despite the many innovations in music research over the last quarter
century, and the many debates about what the focus and purpose of this research
should be, we still too often fall into the trap of making generalized statements
about music which turn out, on closer inspection, to be reflections on only
very limited and specific aspects of musical behaviour.1 So what if we were to
ban the word music? What would happen if we were to take out an injunction
forbidding academics of any description from using the word music, or at
least using it without reasonable qualification as to what music they are
talking about? It neednt be a permanent ban; it could be reviewed regularly,
until such times as we have thought enough about the presumptions we so often
make. We could regard it as a sort of positive discrimination whose actual goal
is to force us to discriminate more closely between different forms of music,
and that would thus help us all from discriminating against those musical forms
and activities - the majority - that are not really meant when we use that phrase
music. Thus, as Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God, and Barthes the death
of the author, I propose we proclaim the death of music, dig it a very deep
grave, and, while digging, bring back to the surface those aspects of human
cultural and social life that previous generations of music researchers and music
critics quite effectively and sometimes intentionally buried.

This criticism extends to, but is not limited to, the new musicology, and is discussed in
this context in Sophie Bertone, Wolfgang Fuhrmann & M. J. Grant, Was ist neu an New
Musicology? in: Rebekka Habermas & Rebekka v. Mallinckrodt (eds.), Interkultureller
Transfer und nationaler Eigensinn: Europische und anglo-amerikanische Positionen der
Kulturwissenschaften (Gttingen: Wallstein, 2004), 107-122. Ian Cross has also argued for
the necessity of a broader definition of music, deriving from ethnomusicological studies, in
the field of music psychology and the cognitive science of music. See for example Ian Cross,
"Music as a communicative medium", in: Rudie Botha & Chris Knight (eds.), The Prehistory
of Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press).

Contrary to what my opening remarks may suggest, this paper will not be about
the terminology we use as music researchers. In fact, my main point - hinted at
in the last sentence of the previous paragraph - is that we could currently do
with a lot less talk about music (and musicology) and a lot more getting our
hands dirty in archives and other such wordly places, carrying out basic
research into a number of repertories, activities and contexts that until now have
received only scant attention, if any at all. My particular example will be
popular song, and specifically, the popular songs that traditional music histories
have almost erased out of existence.2
Most general surveys on the history of music, with the exception of
those specifically dedicated to marginalized forms and repertoires (of which
more below), follow a very similar pattern to that established along with the
discipline of music historiography itself in the later eighteenth century, as
Matthew Gelbart has recently discussed in detail.3 In other words, music history
begins with a discussion of ancient and oriental music (a far from self-
explanatory conflation, as Gelbart shows), proceeds through music in the
Christian church (with a few troubadours and Minnesnger thrown in) before
concentrating, from roughly the fourteenth to the late nineteenth centuries,
almost exclusively on Western art music; then, in the twentieth century, the
focus is widened again to take in jazz, rock and some other forms of popular
music. This would not necessarily be a problem were these histories more
specific in outlining their remit, but, even in the most recent publications, the
only qualification seems to be an acknowledgement that they concentrate on
Western music - and not that they cover only the smallest part of the musics
found within Western societies.4
I hesitate to use the phrase popular song at all, since it too is open to misunderstanding or
misinterpretation, but since song in many musicological disciplines is sometimes assumed
to mean art song, further precision seemed necessary. Here, therefore, I take popular
song to mean songs that are aimed at or otherwise end up being known, used and loved by a
large cross-section of the community. The definition adopted by the Deutsches
Volksliedarchiv in the renaming of their yearbook, Song and popular culture, probably
comes closer to what is meant here: a song in widespread popular use, regardless of where it
comes from or who created it.
Matthew Gelbart, The Invention of Folk Music and Art Music: Emerging Categories
from Ossian to Wagner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
A random survey of recent music histories, including those in common use in English-
speaking countries, makes for depressing reading in this regard. The latest, seventh edition of
an undergraduate classic - J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, Claude V. Palisca (eds.), A
History of Western Music (New York/London: Norton, 2006) - mentions troubadours,
minstrels and dance music in the earlier sections; there are a couple of sentences on broadside
ballads in the context of the discussion of song and church music in the eighteenth century
(themselves represented very much as marginal arts compared to the instrumental music of
the Viennese school); there is also the briefest mention of vaudeville in the discussion of

A survey of music history, particularly one aimed at an undergraduate
readership, cannot be all things to all musical peoples. Reading the standard
literature, however, we cannot hope but come to the conclusion that our
ancestors in the eighteenth and nineteenth century preferred sonatas to songs;
and that the situation probably only changed in the twentieth century because of
a combination of mass media and composers general atonal misregard for their
public (not my thoughts, it goes without saying). This view of music history
is, not to put too fine a point on it, complete and utter nonsense. Popular music -
however we want to define it - was not invented in the twentieth century, and as
far as earlier centuries go, neither can it be reduced to folk music of the kind
presumed to have been sung while shepherds watched their flocks by night. Nor
was it the music of a particular social group alone: indeed, the mutability and
transferability of the elements of, say, popular song, is one of its most important
characteristics, and what endows it with such peculiar social force. The
discipline of musicology, however, developed out of a very particular interest in
the theory and history of more complex art music on the one hand, and so-called
primitive or folk musics on the other. These objects - for example, the
classical sonata form - influenced the methodologies and approaches developed,
but this in turn meant the methodologies and approaches was suited to those

music in the nineteenth century. The section on the early twentieth century, on the other
hand, has a whole chapter on jazz and popular music between the world wars, and the section
on the recent past mixes the discussion of composition and other forms (as seems to have
become standard historiographical practice). Volume 2 of the accompanying Norton
Anthology of Western Music, edited by Burkholder and Palisca (fifth edition; New
York/London: Norton 2006), does at least include two songs from John Gays The Beggars
Opera (themselves parodies/contrafacta on popular song tunes), while the section on the
nineteenth century includes Henry Bishops ubiquitous Home! Sweet Home! and Stephen
Fosters Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair. Jeremy Yudkins Understanding Music (Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996) begins with a chapter on Music Around the World
before proceeding with a century-by-century analysis of Western composition; only when we
get to the twentieth century does this discussion separate out into distinct sections on The
Classical Style, Jazz, an American Original and Popular Music. Mark Evan Bonds A
History of Music in Western Culture, second edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Prentice Hall, 2006) fares slightly better, referring to ballad opera in England, reproducing a
1789 painting of a ballad singer, and also including a discussion on music for dancing and
marching in the section on the nineteenth century. There is also a section on The Growing
Division Between Art and Popular Music which, however, focuses on the rise of
transcendent musical aesthetics and the phenomenon of composers writing for posterity and
not merely for the public. Most striking of all, however, has to be the singular lack of serious
treatment of popular music in Richard Taruskins multi-volume Oxford History of Western
Music (Oxford etc.: Oxford University Press, 2005): the index entry on popular music
redirects the reader to the thin entry on pop music. Meanwhile, to take a German example,
a two-volume, essayistic survey edited by Sabine Ehrmann-Herfort, Ludwig Finscher &
Giselher Schubert, entitled Europische Musikgeschichte (Kassel: Brenreiter, 2002) simply
bypasses the question of popular musical forms altogether.

particular objects and not others. The real problem is that we are now faced with
something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: anyone presumed to carry the name of
musicologist must first and foremost be trained in thes methodologies, ergo
these objects, ergo this methodologies, and so on, so that it would appear to be
very difficult to break out of this mould.
This might explain why the job of looking at all the music that fell into
the gap between "art" and "folk" music is still oftentimes a solitary and
specialized occupation, pursued by researchers with a very old-fashioned love
of archives, and in some cases, an axe to grind. In countries which bore the
brunt of traditional music historys lionizing of late eighteenth-century
Viennese classicism (particularly the countries of the British Isles) there are
good reasons for wanting to reassess aspects of musical life that run counter to
the prevailing aesthetic of absolute music (in the case of Britain, the emergence
of cultural studies as an alternative discipline focussing on popular culture also
played a role). That such studies have tended to remain niche interests can be
demonstrated with reference to two books so similar in their aim, scope and
subject that it seems incredible that they were written forty years apart.
The first book is Roger Fiskes English Theatre Music In The Eighteenth
Century, published in 1973 and, at almost 700 pages long, a treasure trove for
those interested in this subject. The second is Emanuel Rubins The English
Glee in the Age of George III: Participatory Art Music for an Urban Society,
published in 2003 and, at almost 500 pages, comparable to Fiskes tome in its
scope and ambition.5 In fact, both books are so big and so unwieldy because, as
their respective authors recount, at the time of publication there was almost
nothing of any significance written on the topics in question. Additionally, both
Fiske and Rubin struggled with the fact of a repertory that, in classical terms,
did not correspond to the aesthetic standards considered appropriate to
eighteenth century music as the history books describe it. Both felt the need
to admit that some of the music they were talking about was not very good,
though other pieces, they continued, were certainly worthy of a second look.
Most importantly, perhaps, both were dealing with musical forms that had a
very different function and, often, a much broader public than most of the music
that is the more accepted face of the eighteenth century. Ballad operas and
comic operas of the type discussed by Fiske, for example, were by no means
only performed in municipal theaters: travelling theater groups performed them
in rural areas as well. Thus, these operas became one of the most important
carriers of popular song, and in turn they derived much of their attraction from
the fact that well known songs, or their tunes, were usually integrated into the
Roger Fiske, English Theatre Music in the Eighteenth Century (London etc.: Oxford
University Press, 1973); Emanuel Rubin,The English Glee in the Age of George III:
Participatory Art Music for an Urban Society (Warren, Michingan: Harmonie Park Press,

score. In many ways, a contemporary comparison would be films like Baz
Luhmanns Moulin Rouge (2001), Woody Allens Everyone Says I Love You
(1997) and Alain Resnais On Connait La Chanson (1997) - or the musical
Mamma Mia, based on songs by ABBA. Glees were for the most part more
elaborate, and also more specifically a pastime for gentlemen, yet they too were
often based on popular songs, and programmes of civic events and concerts
from the early nineteenth century confirm that the performance of a glee was
guaranteed to draw in the crowds.
Songs from operas, songs that found their way into operas, and songs that
sometimes inspired glees, crossed social and geographical boundaries and were,
then as now, probably the most prolific aspect of human music-making. Yet
despite the overwhelming evidence for this fact - the thousands upon thousands
of such songs which, in chapbooks and broadsides, or as variations for harp or
piano, wait patiently on library shelves gathering dust - they have all but
disappeared from the history books. The few exceptions to this rule are songs
which are still sung, those which became what are known as folk songs, or
those which were of interest to literary historians or social historians (almost
exclusively on the basis of their lyrics, and generally without due consideration
of what makes a song a song - the fact that it is to be sung). For a variety of
reasons, music historians, to a large extent, conveniently forgot about them,
with the result that our view of musical life in this period remains seriously lop-
sided. It is therefore not surprising that Fiske had to produce such a mammoth
book in order to try and retip the scales. What is slightly surprising is that, forty
years later, Emanuel Rubin had to do much the same thing. In the quarter
century between Fiskes apologia for English theatre music, and Rubins
apologia for the English glee, musicologists had after all been merrily exploding
canons, Joseph Kerman had been trying to get us out of analysis, and Kofi
Agawu had tried to get us back in.6 Towards the close of his study, Rubin nods
in the direction of these developments, and notes that his research into the form
and culture of the glee brings him closer to many of his younger colleagues. As
he puts it: What is new about the new musicology, is not the methodology, or
even the results of the research, but the nature of the questions being framed.
The dichotomy facing todays scholars is not - as Joseph Kerman defined it -
that of a critical versus a positivistic approach to music, but the choice between
treating music as an artifact in a vacuum and visualising it as part of a societal

Joseph Kerman, How we got into analysis, and how to get out, Critical inquiry VII
(1980-81) 311-31, reprinted in Joseph Kerman, Write all these down: Essays on music
(Berkeley: University of California, 1994); Kofi Agawu, How we got out of analysis, and
how to get back in, Music Analysis 23/2-3, 267-286.
Rubin, The English Glee, 398.

Rubin certainly means this statement to be taken positively, but to an
extent this makes it all the more damning. If neither the methodology, nor even
the results, are any different, then whats the use of the new musicology? In
fact, what makes Rubin different is not that he chose to ask different questions,
but that he was forced to ask these other questions by virtue of the object he was
dealing with. (For example: why did a country with such a rich classical concert
life as England produce so many glees and little else, music in a style which the
rest of Europe would have found increasingly old-fashioned?). Rubin also notes
that his topic, despite its focus on performativity and the closeness to popular
culture, was not always greeted with enthusiasm by colleagues otherwise keen
on musical others - glees, after all, were almost exclusively the province of dead
white middle-class males. So, to balance up, I want to introduce a female
witness for the prosecution, Miss Crazy Jane.

The image presented in Example 1 can be interpreted in one of two ways. The
first is to say that this is a poem by the English author Matthew Gregory Lewis
(1775-1818), who is chiefly remembered for his Gothic novel The Monk.8
According to one source, the poem Crazy Jane, about an encounter between a
woman of high standing and a disturbed woman who then recounts how a man
loved and left her, taking her wits with him, was based on a real incident that
took place in the grounds of Inverary Castle while Lewis was taking a turn with
the object of his affections, Lady Charlotte Campbell: Many were the summer
rambles taken by was the young poet in the woods surrounding Inverary Castle,
with her whose companionship made the picturesque scenery still more
beautiful; and it was during [one of these walks] that the encounter with a poor
maniac occurred, which gave rise to the well-known ballad of Crazy Jane.
The alarm naturally excited in the breast of the lady, at a meeting so startling--
possibly exaggerated by the imagination of Lewis--threw an air of romance over
the adventure, which, infused into the poem, gained for it a degree of popularity
scarcely yet abated.9

For more on Lewis, see Elizabeth R. Napier, "Matthew Gregory Lewis" in Martin C.
Battestin (ed.), Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 39: British Novelists, 1660-1800, part
I (Detroit: Gale Research, 1985), 313-323.
[Margaret Baron-Wilson], The Life and Correspondence of M. G. Lewis. With Many Pieces
in Prose and Verse (London: Henry Colburn, 1839), 187-188.

Example 1: Crazy Jane as it appeared on a broadside (no publisher, no
date) held by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, shelf mark Firth

Example 2a: A contrafactum and a parody on the tune of Crazy Jane:
Julia's Lamentation (London: Printed by Evans, Long-Lane no later than
1812), shelf mark Harding B17 (152b), held in the Bodleian Library,
University of Oxford. PERMISSION PENDING.

Example 2b: A contrafactum and a parody on the tune of Crazy Paul
(London: W. Holland, 1801), shelf mark Curzon b.3 (138), held in the
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. PERMISSION PENDING.

The poem may have been highly popular, but there was another reason as
well. For the second way to interpret this image is to say that this is, in fact, one
of the most successful and well-known songs in the English-speaking world in
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The British Library alone has at
least 50 individual sources for Crazy Jane or related publications in the period
from roughly 1799 to the mid-nineteenth century, and these cover only those
sources where Crazy Jane is specifically named as such in the title (and
excluding variations such as Crazy Jean, and larger collections of songs that do
not list individual songs in the title);10 these include chapbooks and broadsides
published in towns including London, Glasgow, Manchester and Boston,
Massachussetts. It is easy to fall into the trap of regarding broadsides and
chapbooks as sources of poems rather than songs, or at least conveniently
forgetting their musical element. That Crazy Jane was an incredibly popular
song is, however, testified by the existence of a number of other songs to be
sung to the tune of Crazy Jane, including one called Julias Lamentation,
which is shown in Example 2. Contrafacta and parodies of this type are one of
the surest ways of proving that a song was well-known, and in the case of Crazy
Jane there is another, wonderful example of this in the political parody Crazy
Paul, also given in Example 2, which is unusual in being handwritten and
which, unlike most sources, is specifically dated to 1801.
But what was the tune? If the song had only been enjoyed by people who
were not musically literate, we may never have been able to answer this
question. However, like so many well-known songs in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, the start of the craze for Crazy Jane can be traced to
singers and composers working in the theatre. Matthew Lewis himself had
strong ties to the London stage and also worked as a dramatist, and his fame in
this period would have been enough for musicians to have seen the potential in
setting one of his texts. According to the same source quoted previously: The
ballad has been wedded to music by several composers; but the original and
most popular melody was by the celebrated Miss Abrams, who introduced and
sung it herself at fashionable parties. After the usual complimentary tributes
from barrel-organs, and wandering damsels of every degree of vocal ability, it
crowned not only the authors brow with laurels, but also that of many a
youthful beauty, in the shape of a fashionable hat, called the Crazy Jane hat.
The circumstance is worth mention, because it shows the extraordinary
popularity which one of the merest trifles from Lewiss pen was then capable of

By means of comparison, a much more well-known song - Auld Lang Syne - provides
around eighty such sources in the BL in roughly the same time frame.
Life and Correspondence of M. G. Lewis, 189.

A mere trifle, indeed -- many, including many musicologists, would
agree. But if we dare to suggest that Crazy Janes continued success and
popularity was due to the fact that it was such a popular song with such a
popular tune, then perhaps it becomes clearer that this mere trifle is worthy of
attention after all (and that we should treat barrel-organs more seriously in
Harriet Abrams (ca. 1758-1821) composed several such pieces and also
had a not very successful career as a singer, appearing for example in one of
Thomas Arnes operas (she had studied under Arne). Her setting of Crazy Jane,
the beginning of which is reproduced as Example 3, is interesting for several
reasons. The four verses are set strophically: though there are minor changes to
the vocal line in each verse, these can be understood more as ornamentations on
the basic form, as slight variations for emphasis, in much the same way that
singers will often spontaneously introduce slight fluctuations at particular words
or phrases, or simply for vocal effect. Similarly, in this edition there are also
occasional grace-note ornamentations in the vocal line: in other song
publications of this period, such ornamentations are often intended to reflect the
way a particular singer sang. The harmony is straightforward throughout and,
again, minor alterations of the rhythm are introduced merely in line with minor
alterations of the vocal line.
We can never be entirely sure if this was the tune that people who bought
the chapbooks and broadsides would have sung, but the evidence would
certainly suggest so. And not only the evidence from other sources: Abrams
setting is simple yet memorable, with just the right mix of repetition and variety
in the basic tune to endear it - quickly - to its public; the vocal line is singable
for all but the weakest voices (the grace notes pander to young ladies who
image themselves a star of the stage, but they are not essential and would
doubtless have disappeared in other renditions). It is perfectly suited to its task,
and it should therefore come as no surprise that this combination of heart-
rending tale and attractive melody should have proved so popular.
The popularity of Crazy Jane can be gleaned not only from the number of
surviving sources for the song itself, but also from the number of other songs
that attempted to cash in on its success - not only in the form of parodies and
contrafacta, but as sequels or prequels to the song itself. Thus, consulting again
only the catalogue of the British Library, we find a number of spin-offs that all
seem to have appeared around 1799 or 1800 (some have been dated accurately
to either of these two years, in which case the date is included here). These
include The Sequel to Crazy Jane (Caroline Poole, 1800), Crazy Henry to Crazy
Jane (Thomas Welsh, 1800), Henry's Return to Crazy Jane (music John Ross,
text J. Rannie), The Birth of Crazy Jane (music J. B. Sale?, words H. J. Pye),
The Death of Crazy Jane (music Reginald Spofforth, text J. Rannie, 1799), The

Epitaph of Crazy Jane (music James Sanderson, text G, Fox, 1799), and The
Ghost of Crazy Jane (Thomas Bolton, ca. 1800).

Example 3: The opening of Harriet Abrams' setting of Crazy Jane, as

published by L. Lavenu in London around 1800. From the holdings of the
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Musikabteilung; PERMISSION PENDING.

Example 3 continued.

Though references to the song persist well into the nineteenth century, the
highpoint of interest does seem to have been limited to these few years. Only a
more thorough-going analysis of the sources could establish why it was quite so
popular at this time - a link to a particular singer (perhaps Abrams herself) or a
particular music drama cannot be ruled out, but finding information on such
sources is a laborious business even if clues are given in the titles and subtitles
of published sources. That Crazy Jane should become the subject of my
deliberations here is also more accident than design: I came across it while
researching another and much more famous song, Auld Lang Syne: Crazy Jane
just happened to appear in a few of the chapbooks and broadsides I was looking
at, enough to suggest it was at least moderately popular at the time; and the
name probably also stuck because of that poetic, repeated "a" sound in the
name. When I started working on this paper, Crazy Jane came back to mind.
What was this song? What did it sound like and why was it so popular? And
whatever happened to Crazy Jane? The song appears to have remained popular
for at least fifty years, and I strongly suspect that if we were to follow this story
through, and look at songs collected from oral tradition in the later nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries as well, we would find Crazy Jane or a variant of
it therein.12 The story of Crazy Jane certainly resonated for a long time, though
nowadays the name is more often linked to another poet, W. B. Yeats (1865-
1939). His poem sequence Words For Music Perhaps, written in 1932, contains
a number of poems concerning a protagonist called Crazy Jane; these include
Crazy Jane Talks With The Bishop, one of Yeatss best-known and most widely
commented poems. According to Yeats himself, Crazy Jane was a
pseudonym for the character he actually based his poems on, a woman known
locally as Cracked Mary.13 In Yeats poems, Crazy Jane is an old woman; her
lover had been called Jack, not Henry, and rather than him leaving her
willingly, he was banished by the local bishop, who, despite his vow of
celibacy, had taken a fancy to Jane himself. One of the poems, Crazy Jane on
God, later became the basis for a song by Van Morrison, and several composers
have set Yeats Crazy Jane poems, including Richard Rodney Bennett.
Why did Yeats choose the name Crazy Jane? Some commentators have
suggested he may have known Lewiss poem, but if there is a link to this then I
suspect it is via the song, which very probably had entered oral tradition.

It was also revived more recently and more "classically" in the context of a concert
celebrating British Jewish composers held by the Jewish Music Institute at the School of
Oriental and African Studies in London, see, accessed August 2008.
See the article on "Crazy Jane" in Lester I. Connor, A Yeats Dictionary: Persons and
Places in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press,
1998), 35-37.

Indeed, there is mention of Yeats taking down songs or ballads - though not
necessarily this one - from Cracked Mary herself.14

Songs challenge to musicology is the challenge of filling in the gaps which
traditional musicologies have silently created. And this brings further
challenges, which are quantitative, and also qualitative in nature. They are
quantitative simply because there are thousands upon thousands of sources and
only very few archives and libraries which have managed to catalogue and
cross-reference them in a way that makes it possible to trace at least some of the
many lives a song or its components may have. However, with growing
digitalisation, not only of library catalogues but of library contents, it will
become much easier to find and collate numerous sources that would otherwise
slip through the net. From this point of view, then, the future looks bright. The
qualitative challenges remain, though: even when it does become easier to trace
the various lives of a song - and at least some of the human lives touched by the
song -, dealing with these lives nevertheless continues to challenge many of the
assumptions that still influence thinking about music. The mutability and
mobility of the elements of popular song, the use of several tunes for one text or
several texts for one tune, the fact that many of the tunes and also the texts are
sometimes so formulaic - these run counter to traditional ideas that music
research should in the main concern itself with pieces of music with a
distinctive identity, be this as a piece of great art or as the expression of a
particular regional or ethnic culture.
Given these challenges, what reasons are there for wanting to rise to
them? There is a particular school of scientific thought that we could call the
because its there school, similar to the answer given by the mountaineer
George Leigh Mallory when he was asked why he wanted to climb Mount
Everest. From this point of view, popular songs, like any other kind of music,
are there and therefore there to be studied. There is nothing wrong with this,
but, in an age of decreasing resources and the increasing difficulty of justifying
the importance of a distinctively musicological approach in the humanities and
social sciences, it is perhaps not the best reason for studying something
(Mallory, incidentally, died while attempting to climb Everest). Likewise, there
is little point in criticising the researchers of an earlier generation for setting up
the aesthetic categories which continue to influence, to a disproportionate
amount, the ways we now think about and look at music as academics. It is
important to understand where these categories came from, what perspectives
and, possibly, prejudices informed them. Analysing the history of our own
discipline is only the first step, however; the next is to fill in those gaps in


existing music history that are stopping us from moving on. In other words, the
real reason for resurrecting Crazy Jane, Poor Jack, Black Eyd Susan and any
number of other forgotten or half-forgotten songs must lie in the fact that our
narrow view of music in earlier centuries is a hindrance to a broader
understanding both of those eras and, more generally, of the role of music in
society in general - modern society, early modern society, any society.
I will conclude, then, with two concrete examples of why more research
into popular song cultures through the ages should be so important and relevant.
The first, possibly surprisingly, is the relatively young sub-discipline of
evolutionary musicology. Evolutionary musicology tries to explain why music
should be so important in human culture by exploring the thesis that something
about music, or musicality, may have influenced the development and survival
of homo sapiens as a species. The suggestion is that humans are, as it were,
intrinsically musical. If this is the case, however, there must be aspects of
human musical practice that approach universality.15 Identifying and analyzing
the most widespread and recurrent aspects of human musicality is an important
pre-requisite for testing this thesis, and given the ubiquity of songs - and, in
particular, the fact the many features of song and singing in popular contexts do
not appear to change that much over the centuries - it goes without saying that
understanding this phenomenon could significantly help us understand human
musicality per se.
The second example is research into contemporary culture - more
specifically, studies into the impact of modern and new media, the culture
industry, and globalization. It is a truism that in the first years of a new
technology, people, and particularly academic people, tend to get a bit over-
excited about the possible consequences. The problem nowadays, however, is
that the persistent lack of available and widely publicized research on the
history of these phenomenon makes it difficult to understand what is truly new
about the new media and peoples use of it and reactions to it. And while a
number of recent studies and publications have begun to open up the field of
music research to look at music in everyday life, amateur music-making and so
on, there is a real need for more coordinated work on similar issues in earlier
periods as well; to a large extent, this will involve the task of reintegrating
historical and ethnomusicological approaches. Only thus can we hope to
overcome the continuing assumption that music for our forefathers and -
mothers consisted for the most part of Brandenburg concertos and polyphonic
masses. And the day that this preconception finally hits the dust will be the day
we can resurrect those other musics that give us a fuller picture of how our

Evolutionary musicology, for all its infancy, is a broad field and home to a number of
conflicting theories and ideas. For one very promising approach see again Cross, "Music as a
communicative medium", amongst other texts.

ancestors, and in many cases also our contemporaries, have used music to
enrich and enhance their lives.

Kofi Agawu, How we got out of analysis, and how to get back in, Music Analysis 23/2-3,
[Margaret Baron-Wilson], The Life and Correspondence of M. G. Lewis. With Many Pieces
in Prose and Verse (London: Henry Colburn, 1839).
Sophie Bertone, Wolfgang Fuhrmann & M. J. Grant, Was ist neu an New Musicology? in
Rebekka Habermas & Rebekka v. Mallinckrodt (eds.), Interkultureller Transfer und
nationaler Eigensinn: Europische und anglo-amerikanische Positionen der
Kulturwissenschaften (Gttingen: Wallstein, 2004), 107-122.
Mark Evan Bond, A History of Music in Western Culture, second edition (Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006).
J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, Claude V. Palisca (eds.), A History of Western Music
(New York / London: Norton, 2006).
J. Peter Burkholder & Claude V. Palisca (eds.), Norton Anthology of Western Music (fifth
edition; New York / London: Norton 2006).
Ian Cross, "Music as a communicative medium", in Rudie Boths & Chris Knight (eds.), The
Prehistory of Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press).
Sabine Ehrmann-Herfort, Ludwig Finscher & Giselher Schubert, Europische
Musikgeschichte (Kassel: Brenreiter, 2002).
Roger Fiske, English Theatre Music in the Eighteenth Century (London etc.: Oxford
University Press, 1973).
Matthew Gelbart, The Invention of Folk Music and Art Music: Emerging Categories
from Oissian to Wagner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Joseph Kerman, How we got into analysis, and how to get out, Critical inquiry VII (1980-
81) 311-31, reprinted in Joseph Kerman, Write all these down: Essays on music
(Berkeley: University of California, 1994).
Elizabeth R. Napier, "Matthew Gregory Lewis" in Martin C. Battestin (ed.), Dictionary of
Literary Biography, Vol. 39: British Novelists, 1660-1800, part I (Detroit: Gale
Research, 1985), 313-323.
Emanuel Rubin,The English Glee in the Age of George III: Participatory Art Music for an
Urban Society (Warren, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 2003).
Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music (Oxford etc.: Oxford University
Press, 2005).
Jeremy Yudkin, Understanding Music (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996).


Ira Prodanov Krajinik (University of Novi Sad, Serbia)

Free Religious Music1 in Serbia and its Social Context

In the last couple of decades the growing interest in religion worldwide has
become apparent. This phenomenon, known in sociology of religion as
desecularization, is particularly noticeable in the regions where religion had
long been prohibited, suppressed or neglected. This is the case with Serbia
where changes of societys attitude towards religion primarily have a political
background and are, in their essence, a consequence of ideological upheavals,
years of devastation brought by wars and general crisis in the country.
The massive return of Serbian population to religious values at the end of
the twentieth century was a sign that religion became an important part of our
everyday lives. In a certain sense this brought us closer to the rest of Europe in
which processes of returning to church and faith, emergence of sects and re-
strengthening of religious institutions have not generated radical changes in the
cultural and artistic milieu of society. In Serbian art, however, the wave of new
religiosity brought about a proliferation of works with religious subject matter.
Although there were examples of return to strictly canonized church works
(frescoes, church music), Serbian art was primarily marked by freer approaches
to religious themes, quotations of sacred motifs or their imitation, as well as
frequent intertwining of religious and national elements for the purpose of
portraying an out-of-church religiosity. This shows how the wave of
desecularization always retains in itself the wave of secularization. In Serbian
art, and hence in its music, this signified a rediscovered interest for religious
themes, but not necessarily their placement in the official religious arena, the
church. Desecularization in the field of art only meant the renewal of interest
for religion, but the interest remained secularized to a large extent. Therefore
the basic space of researching religious works in art in Serbia is the large field
of sociology of religion.
A complex picture of societys attitude towards religion in Serbia is a
result of violent secularization, and then desecularization occurring under
pressure after 1945. Namely, while secularization in Western Europe and
North America ran so to say naturally and in parallel with modernization and
democratization of society in the second half of the twentieth century, in the
countries of Eastern Europe the Communist regime caused the process of
secularization to become violent, unnatural and coerced. Serbia, which was at
that time part of Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia, had a nationally and
religiously highly diverse population. After 1945 it was maintained only due to

The term free religious music indicates that this music is not music ment for religious service, but spiritual
music in the widest sense of the word. In serbian language this term has a wider meaning than spiritual music.

socialism / atheism as sole religion2 that served as an integrating element in
the political arena of the multinational and multireligious community. The
introduction of the new religion of communist atheism was in fact an attempt
to erase the national and religious differences. What is puzzling, however, is
the statistical data indicating that in a country where atheism was supposedly
dominating, there was in 19533 only 12.6% of atheists (Blagojevi, 1994: 212).
In this regard, it is interesting to note that Yugoslav authorities of that time did
not officially condemn religious believers. This is illustrated by the article of the
first Yugoslav constitution from 1946 which allows religious freedoms, if they
do not endanger the country politically. It is familiar, however, that the reality
in Yugoslavia was somewhat different and that any fairly important social role
demanded moral and political suitability. In practice this amounted to
membership in the Yugoslav Communist Party and the atheist point of view
(Miloevi, 1994:103). In support of this claim goes the fact that, even in the
seventies, historical and geographical publications did not contain in their
general entries about Yugoslavia (size of territory, number of republics, size of
population, number of nations) any data on religious denominations of
Yugoslav citizens and that Muslims, for example, were sometimes mentioned as
a religious group, sometimes as a nation, etc.4
Reaserch results demonstrate that postwar secularization was expressed
most fully among the orthodox population. The reasons for this lie in the fact
that Serbian Orthodox Church was marginalized after 1945 in every social and
political role in the country and some of its rulers displayed excess loyalty to
the regime.5
The collapse of Socialism, this new religion, produced in Serbia a
torrent of changes at all levels, including the religious one. Due to war
devastations and growing national and religious divisions, the process of
secularization was slowed down and religion assumed the role of defense of
culture Wallis, Bruce, 1994: 69). At the end of the seventies this was already
happening in the regions populated with citizens of catholic denomination,

Parsons, Talcott points out in his Religion in Postindustrial America: The Problem of Secularization. In:
Povratak svetog. Ni, 1994, 114, that: Marxist secular religion and the Socialist movement in general have
assumed the eschatological orientation very similar to the one of traditional Chistianity. People of good will are
condemned to suffering humiliation and deprivations until the time is right for a revolution to happen.
Revolution will bring liberation, that leap into freedom from coercion and slavery of capitalism. In this way
the Socialist movement was not only very similar to the most important christian tradition in its pessimistic
diagnosis of the moder secular world, but was also characterized by a comparable model of eschatological
The last population census that included the questions of nation and denomination was carried out that year
(until 1991).
Example can be seen in the publication Veliki atlas sveta. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 1973, 196.
After the war, the political regime inflicted severe human and material damage to the Serbian Orthodox
Church, but later on during the sixties and seventies the church mostly displayed its loyality towards the
communist state. Cf. Milan, Vukomanovi. Sveto i mnotvo - izazovi religijskog pluralizma. Beograd, 2001,

while in the homogeneous areas of orthodox population this process, came
almost a decade later. Social and economic crisis in the federation that had
collapsed and the international economic isolation created the conditions for the
awakening of religious consciousness in Serbia (Trebjeanin, 1995).6 Taking
refuge in the church represented a sort of protection from the general secular
and spiritual misery of society (Flere, 1994: 207).7 This was accompanied by
rediscovering of tradition, traditional religion and religiosity, collective
memory, national continuity, resurrection of religious and national
figureswhich to a certain extent give religion a political relevance
(Blagojevi, 1994: 215).8
How did desecularization begin in Serbia? The leadership of the Socialist
Party of Serbia (SPS) led by Slobodan Miloevi, that ruled more than a
decade,9 realized early on the advantages of being seemingly interested in the
Serbian Orthodox Church and its congregation. Between August and December
1990, the official daily paper Politika published on average one article a day
that was dedicated to this religious institution and the threatened position of its
followers outside the borders of Serbia, and by doing so made a contribution to
the growing war sentiments and gave the upper hand to the politics of the ruling
party. The articles focusing on the renewal of churches and recovery of property
to the Serbian Orthodox Church created the impression that SPS looked after
the building and renewal of places of worship. The beginning of the nineties
opened a question of celebrating St. Sava, the most important Serbian saint. At
the open discussion held in the Cultural Union of Serbia at the end of the 1990,
the issue of whether this celebration in schools should have a civil-society
character or the meanings given to it by the tradition of the Serbian Orthodox
Church was raised (Miloevi, 1994:140). Finally it was decided that this
religious festival should be organized in a way as to remind people of the life
and work of this historical figure. The ruling party therefore substituted the
marxist view of the world with the one of secular religion (Miloevi,
1994:141). A number of paradoxical situations testify to the fact that the
governing party led the politics of secular religion, using religious symbols in
order to gain appropriate benefits, but not to finally admit the importance of

arko Trebjeanin stresses that there was not only a rapid increase in the number of orthodox followers, but
also the growth of those who sought salvation in other religions, confessions, sects and cults.
Religion becomes a natural sanctuary which is alternitive to the system, a cultural and political opposition,
in natural coalition with different opposition groups, noted by Flere, Sergej in Secularization in Eastern
Europe. In: Povratak svetog. by M. orevi. Ni, 1994, 206.
The emergence of parties whose names contain a religious conotation is not surprising. For example,
Democratic Christian Party of Serbia, whose name connects important terms like democracy and christianity.
The Socialist Party of Serbia was formed during the 8th convention of the Central Committee of the
Communist League of Yugoslavia in 1989.

faith itself.10 The process of desecularization started at that point and is still in
progress nowadays.
Vita religiosa of a person living in Serbia that has been examined so far
became more complex by the strengthening of sects. Desecularization did not
only attract new adhierents to the largest religious community, the Orthodox
church. The emergence of sects in Serbia, whose activities were especially
heightened during the war-stricken nineties, nowadays also threatens the
status of the Orthodox religion and other confessions in Serbia.
Such social and political milieu strongly reflected itself upon the attitude
of an artist towards religious themes, whether it was literature, painting or
music. The art resonated with the change secularization desecularization
serving intentionaly or not the rulling regime.
Immediately after 1945 the production in the sphere of music in
Yugoslavia was predominantly politically engaged and shaped according to
expectations of the authorities of that time. Compositions written before the 2nd
World War that touched upon religious themes were revised, or adjusted to
new circumstances. The staging of the opera Licitarsko srce (Licitar heart) by
Kreimir Baranovi (1894 1975) in Belgrade Opera before the war had, for
instance, the scene of people in front of the church, as the author himself
stressed in the score, whereas after the war that scene disappeared from the
scenography. This seemingly innocent act, which was in fact interference into
the authors work, was not an isolated case. Konjovis (Petar Konjovi, 1883
1970) opera Knez od Zete (The Prince of Zeta) in the postwar performance was
politically condemned for its choir of monks. This situation lasted for a long
time not only in terms of rearrangement of certain older pieces of music that
had religious elements, but even in the sense of location of sacred music
performances. According to composer Dejan Despi (1930), Serbian spiritual
music had not been part of concert programs until the end of the 1980s. If it
had been performed, it would never had occurred on church premises. Also, the
composer Duan Radi (1929) claims that the attempt of blotting out the
memory of everything related to religion and church, with simultaneous lack of
understanding of the notion of spirituality, has led to an absurd situation where
the performance of Mozarts Requiem was allowed, whereas one concert of
spiritual music of Stevan Stojanovi Mokranjac (1856 1914), publicly held for
the first time after the war, caused major political consequences to its
participants. Namely, it was the concert of the Musical Academy Choir, held on
23 March 1956, which was conducted by professor Vojislav Ili. According to
some testimonies, neither the program of the concert whose first part had
several spiritual compositions of Mokranjac, nor the song collections in the
second, had not provoked such a reaction as it was the case with the movement
It seems that, vice versa, the Church started using secular symbols, such as the national question, in order to
gain new adherents.

Tebe boga hvalim (I praise You, God) performed as encore. It seems that its
expressiveness was particularly unallowable, but expected considering that
those were the times when having a beard in itself evoked suspicion (Pilipovi,
The conditions were not better even in the field of education in musical
culture. According to the research carried out by musicologist Sonja
Marinkovi, in the decades after the Second World War until recently, our
educational system had been designed in a way to exclude all contents related to
orthodox spiritual tradition from the syllabus (Marinkovi, 1994:139). Very
little attention was also devoted to other religious cultures, which meant that
pupils in primary school do not have to learn anything about the existence of
spiritual music as a special musical genre... nor about the existance of various
confessional traditions within it (Marinkovi, 1994:139).
The work of Serbian composers after the 2nd World War was mainly
marked by a more moderate musical language than the modern expressionist
one that was brought from Europe by the members of the famous Prague group
of the Serbian composers educated in Prague.11 In this new (or better to say
old, pre-War, traditional) style of expression, authors were expected to adjust
their works to the affinity and level of a broader audience. Therefore it is logical
that this was achieved mostly by applying elements of folklore. Works with
religious themes could not possibly have been the subject of straightforward
interest of musical creators in this environment. Even in the case of individual
oeuvres that did draw on religious topics, they could hardly be called church
music, so the only possible compromise was the creation of religious music in
the broadest sense of the word.
Even if it is not possible to demonstrate statistically the dynamics with
which the number of such pieces was growing, it can be concluded with
certainty that from the 1980s religious subject matter was becoming less
dangerous, mostly thanks to the celebration of the six centuries from the
Battle of Kosovo (1389)12, when this historical Serbian date turned the attention
of society towards the sphere of religion. These were at the same time the first
years of Yugoslav crisis that led to its later collapse. In Serbia of that time,
parallel with discovering of orthodox religion, the above-mentioned
awakening of consciousness of different confessions as well as more
conspicuous interest in (eastern) sects caused the production of musical works
that were inspired by various religions of the world. In order to compose
religious works, the authors primarily used religious elements such as sacred

Group of composers who studied music in Prague during the 1930s and who wrote the first oeuvres of
expressionism in Serbian music. Members of the group were D. oli (1907 - 1987), M. Risti (1908 - 1982),
Lj. Mari (1909 - 2004), V. Vukovi (1910-1942) and S. Rajii (1910 - 2001).
This battle is considered to be one of the most tragic events in Serbian history, after which the Turks began
their rule in these regions and the orthodox religion got pushed out by the muslim one.

texts, they copied the styles of certain musical religious traditions or simply
quoted some authentic religious melodies. Apart from such composing
techniques that indicated most clearly their background inspiration, a number of
authors used associations to a specific religion by applying performing
techniques similar to the ones used in religious services (even if the genre was
pop music and rock-and-roll) or by engaging musicians that in a certain
environment were synonymous to a particular religious affiliation.13
The reasons why composers turned to religious themes led to the division
of oeuvres of Serbian postwar free religious music according to their
purpose.14 Some authors employed the religious subject matter as a means to
evoke religious feelings, while others used this same method to evoke national
feelings. Belonging to the first group are the oeuvres dealing with purely
religous experience such as Otkrovenje Jovanovo (Revelation of John) by
Ern Kirly (1919 - 2008), I niodkudu pomoti (And help from nowhere) by
Ivana Stefanovi (1948), Harmonija svetlosti (The Harmony of Light) by
Miroslav tatki (1951), Tibetanska knjiga mrtvih (The Tibetan Book of the
Dead) by Jugoslav Bonjak (1954), Pesma ljiljana (The Song of Lilies) by
Aleksandra Vrebalov (1970), etc. This group includes the authors who
occasionally found religious inspiration in Orthodox religion and occasionally
in Protestantism, Catholicism or non-christian religions. The second group of
authors encompasses the works in which religious elements are used to
emphasize national feelings and national identity such as Hilandarski
palimpsest Serbijo ie jesi (The Hilandarian Palimpsest) by Svetislav Boi
(1954), Pasija Sv. Kneza Lazara (The Passion of St. Prince Lazar) by Rajko
Maksimovi (1935), Suguba jektenija by Slobodan Atanackovi (1937), Poziv
iz grobova (The Call from Graves) by Mateja Marinkovi (1961).15 It is obvious
that in the pieces of these composers the elements of exclusively Orthodox
spiritual traditions, both textual and musical, were used. In this other
movement that used religious themes, however, it can be seen that there are
authors who used religious elements for the purpose of describing national
history in which religion stands as a valuable monument of tradition, but also
those composers who used religious elements only for the sake of pointing out
the current political position of the nation.16
After considering the oeuvre of free religious music, it is obvious that
Serbian music of the second half of the twentieth century (both artistic and the

Especially emphasized here is the engagament of Dragoslav Pavle Aksentijevi, who was from the first period
of desucularization until now the most famous performer of orthodox spiritual music in Serbia.
I have made this division according to many years of reaserch in this field of Serbian music within my
doctoral thesis: Religijska inspiracija u srpskoj muzici posle 1945. godine (Religious inspiration in Serbian
music after 1945), under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Mirjana Veselinovi Hofman.
All listed compositions were written for orchestra accompanied by vocal ensemble.
It is important to emphasize that in Serbia nation is alsmost identified with religious affliation, which is not
customery in other European countries.

popular one that surrounds us pop and rock music), proved to be the reflection
of our political circumstances and our religious reality, the political context - as
always - built the artistic text. Although there is an assumption that todays
man only simulates the religiosity of previous times, giving in this way his
contributuion to the global simulacrum... in which the renewal of traditional
religiosity (christian or non-christian) and related art... is barely more than a
fatal strategy of the end of the second millennium (uvakovi, 1995:15-16),
Serbian music gained with the works of religious subject matter a significant
fund of compositions in which authors intened to remind us of the cultural data
of the past in whose value there should be no doubt. Careful examination of
social changes can show the new forms of representing religious aspects in
music, because there is an abundance of sacred, only we do not recognize it
when it is not dressed in religious robes (Hemond, 1994:142).

Blagojevi, Mirko, 1994. Jugoslovenski kontekst: sekularizacija i desekularizacija
(Yugoslavian context: secularization and desecularization), in: Povratak svetog, Ni,
Gradina, 1994.
Flere, Sergej, 1994. Sekularizacija u Istonoj Evropi (Secularization in East Europe), in:
Povratak svetog, Ni, Gradina, 1994.
Hemond, Filip E, 1994.Kako razmiljati o svetom u svetovno vreme (How to think about
sacred in the secular time), in: Povratak svetog, Ni, Gradina, 1994.
Kolakovski, Leek, 1982. Religija (Religion), Beograd, BIGZ, 1982.
Marinkovi, Sonja, 1992. Muziki nacionalno u srpskoj muzici prve polovine 20. veka
(Musically National in the Serbian Music of the First Half of the 20th Century), hw,
Marinkovi, Sonja, 1994. Saznanja o muzici pravoslavne duhovne tradicije u nastavnim
programima u udbenicima osnovnih i srednjih kola u Srbiji (Knowledge About
Ortodox Music in the Books of Primary and Secondary Schools in Serbia), in:
Zbornik Matice srpske za scenske umetnosti i muziku br. 15, Novi Sad, Matica
Srpska, 1994.
Miloevi, Zoran, 1994. Politika i teologija (Politics and Theology), Ni, Gradina, 1994.
Orai-Toli, Dubravka, 1990. Teorija citatnosti (The Theory of Quotation), Zagreb, Grafiki
zavod Hrvatske, 1990.
Parsons, Talkot, 1994. Religija u postindustrijskoj Americi: problem sekularizacije
(Religion in Postindustrial America: problem of secularization), in: Povratak svetog,
Ni, Gradina, 1994.
Pilipovi, Gorica, 1994. Duhovna muzika u opusu Duana Radia: paradigma jednog
vremena (Spiritual Music of Dusan Radic: Paradigm of the Time), in: Zbornik
Matice srpske za scenske umetnosti i muziku br. 15, Novi Sad, Matica srpska, 1994.
Prodanov, Ira, 1998. Vidovi ostvarivanja nacionalnog u stvaralatvu Rajka Maksimovia
(Modus of Realization of National in the opus of Rajko Maksimovic), final article of
master studies, hw, Novi Sad, 1998.
Trebjeanin, arko, 1995. Dua i politika, Psihopatologija nesvakidanjeg ivota (The Soul
and Politics), Beograd, Vreme knjige, 1995.

uvakovi, Miko, 1995. Postmoderne reprezentacije fragmenti i skice za postmodernu
semioteologiju (Postmodern Representations Fragments for Postmodern
Semiotheology), in: Religija i likovnost, Beograd, Nolit, 1995.
Valis, Roj & Brus, Stiv, 1994. Sekularizacija: trendovi, podaci i teorija (Secularization:
Trends, Datas and Theory) , in: Povratak svetog, Ni, Gradina, 1994.
Veliki atlas sveta (The Big Atlas of the World), Ljubljana, Mladinska knjiga, 1973.
Vukomanovi, Milan, 2001. Sveto i mnotvo - izazovi religijskog pluralizma (The Sacred and
Multitude Chalenge of Religious Pluralism), Beograd, igoja, 2001.

Marija Masnikosa (Faculty of Music, Belgrade)1

Formalism and Contextualism in Contemporary Musicology:

Why Could it not be a Joint Venture? A Case Study

The paradigm of modernist study, including modernist study of music, has

come under severe criticism in the postmodern period. Influenced by the
expansion of the poststructuralist theory of art, many musicologists of the
Anglo-Saxon school advocated (and still advocate) a musicology that would
step out of the modernist paradigm of normal study2 based on the dogmas
of positivist formalism and choose an interpretative approach that deals with the
meaning of music, that is, its context.
Two clearly polarized trends figure within this musicological orientation:
one which, dealing with the context of music, consistently avoids analytical
reading of a work, thus declaratively rejecting the modernist view and the
other which is also focused on the context of music, but interprets it from the
music itself or, more precisely, from its structure which it analyzes precisely
through the process of (creative) music analysis.3
The musicological approach advocated by this case study follows the
line of reasoning of this second trend of contemporary musicology, which, as it
now seems, actually embodies the predominant scholarly paradigm of
international postmodern musicology.
Therefore, in this study, just as in my entire previous musicological work,
I advocate the concept of study that proceeds from the music artifact as its basis
and the text without which there is no context, as formulated by Lawrence
Kramer and combines positivist formalism (based on music theory and analysis)
with musicological contextualization as the interpretative strategy that
elaborates the originally conducted analysis.
Such a concept of musicology opens up a whole spectrum of potential
interdisciplinary approaches related primarily to the field of contextualization,
but also, no less effectively, applicable to the field of interdisciplinary
musicological analysis.
Guided precisely by the view that music analysis itself should be enriched
by new methods, which should be suited to the compositional-technical
procedures applied in the analyzed work, I included the methodology of music
semiotics in my research into postminimalist music, which is largely determined
by the postmodernist adoption of (music) images. This work will, therefore,
The research for this article was carried out as part of the project "World Chronotopes of Serbian Music", No.
147045D (20062010), supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science and Environment.
The syntagm is used as defined by Tomas Kun, Struktura naunih revolucija, (Beograd: Nolit, 1974), pp. 1-12.
Mirjana Veselinovi-Hofman wrote about this branching of new musicology. Cf. Mirjana Veselinovi-
Hofman: Pred muzikim delom. Beograd: Zavod za udbenike, 2007, 25.

demonstrate a private interdisciplinary musicological approach that uses, in
both the analytical and interpretative layers, the achievements of music
This focus of this mini-study is on the composition Helijum u maloj kutiji
(Helium in a Small Box), for string orchestra (1991 and 1999) by Belgrade
composer Zoran Eri (1950).

Biographical and Analytical Information About the Work

The work in question is a composition created as the third piece within Eris
cycle Slike haosa I-V (Images of Chaos I-V) (1990-1997), which consists of
works for different performing ensembles. The composition has two very
different versions. The first version of the composition, written in 1991,
contains three segments (A, B and C), that is, three different music texts. The
second version of Helijum was created eight years later (1999). This version of
the composition kept the original disposition of the parts of the form, adding a
reduced reprise of section A to its parts A, B and C. In the second version of the
work, a specific ostinato, based on a three-layer, tonally organized repetitive
model, was added within sections B and C. This ostinato created a thematic
connection between the otherwise very different texts of sections B and C.
(Since the second version of this composition is, in fact, a testimony of the
entire genesis of this work and represents its final version, it is precisely this
version that this mini-study will analyze.)
In the composers own words, Helijum is the music following The Day
After.4 Like other compositions from the cycle Slike Haosa, this one also has
interesting pseudo-programmatic subtitles of movements referring to certain
states of mind (Unawareness, Resistance, Fury, Acceptance) and a
parascholarly (in truth, fictional) explication of the theme, written in the
heading of the score.
The following text reads in the heading of the first version of the
Music is liquid helium. The analogy with A. Libchabers experiment lies
in the fact that the unified and concise form corresponds to the highly viscous
substance. We find the similarity with music in the fact that less viscous
substances do not show their (positive) characteristics in such conditions.
If this world does have high viscosity, it will fit into a matchbox and we
will carry it around with us.
It is a well-known fact that W.A. Mozart worked (calmly and with dignity)
with liquid helium.
This information is cited by Zorica Premate in her essay on Zoran Eris composition Helijum. Cf. Premate,
Zorica. Nepodnoljiva lakoa komponovanja. In: Dvanaest lakih komada. Beograd: Prosveta, 1997, 34.

Phases of the process are:
1. Unawareness
2. Acceptance
3. (Unwarranted) Fury
4. (Quasi) Resistance
Z. Eri

Musical analysis

Part A (Unawareness)
The theme-model forming the backbone of part A {a1, a2 , p1 , a3 , p2 , a4 } of
this composition is constructed as a modulating periodic structure (B flat major
F major B flat major) with an open ending (on the dominant). It
contains melody, constant contrapuntal line, harmonic layer, pedal discreet
ornamenting layer. This melody-theme functions as a model as a (fake) sample
treated in section A.
In the process of repetition of the theme-model, its music environment
changes (parallax model) through the addition of new harmonic layers that
have different tonal centers, thus producing a dissonance compared to the
original key scheme of the theme-model. The fourth appearance of this theme
brings the most significant harmonic change: the theme, transposed downward
by a second, loses its previously constant contrapuntal line, which results in the
loss of the original harmonic consistency of its nucleus. The harmonic layer that
accompanies this last appearance of the theme consists of a series of
independent chords with a primarily tertian texture, which mostly have mediant
interrelations. The melodic line itself develops in this section only in the part of
the first violin, thus becoming less prominent and losing its sense of a good
figure against a changing background.
This part of the composition also includes short transitions. They contain
the harmonic and figuration (repetitive) layer of the texture, which are
interindependent and often build a dissonant vertical.
Part B of this composition has a fragmentary structure. The music
material is motivically organized, but the motifs are not connected into larger
formal wholes. They are submitted to various procedures includes imitations,
sporadic repetition and discreet variation. Motivic cells containing tritone are
dominant. The spatial organization of the section is ramified and changeable.
The music language of this part of the composition could be described as
contemporary twelve-tone tonality, which does not imply the diatonic concept
of tonality and the tertian texture of the vertical, but does contain prominent
tones as intonation foundations.5
According to Ludmila Ulehla, contemporary tonality is based on a sequence of sounds guided by prominent
tones and supported by the increase and decrease of vertical tension. Ulehla notes that the right word has not

The great change in part B takes place (in the second version of the
work!!!) in bar 81, when the previously ramified and functionally
undifferentiated texture is given its compact, tonally organized center in the
form of a layered ostinato that affirms the tonal harmonic connection V6 / 4 V#
(cadential six-four chord chord of the dominant) in C minor. This ostinato
soon becomes the constant repetitive textural layer of this part of the
composition, which coexists with the previously present pseudo-thematic
textural layer. These two textural layers do not meet anywhere tonally until the
end of part B, affirming the characteristic postmodernist irreducibility of
textural and harmonic layers.
Part C is also fragmentarily structured. Here the articulation of the music
material is submotivic, based on the repetition of pitches. What is mainly
performed are rhythmic figures on a single tone. The phenomenon in question is
free, submodular pitch repetitiveness. The category of repetitive model is not
introduced until bar 146, but it is never dominant! Zones of local (repetitive)
homogeneity, characteristic of music postminimalism, can be observed in the
music flow. The tonal basis of this part of the composition is significantly
reduced. The music flow is static and vibrant, based on minimal and oscillatory
changes in the sound mass.
In the second segment of part C (from the bar 159), we can observe the
interpolation of a layered harmonic ostinato (from section B)6, which enlivens
the texture: what is established is the characteristic postmodernist harmonic
irreducibility of textural layers, which originates from their different music
organization and their different tonal/intonation centerings.
The music language of part C of the composition reveals itself very
gradually to the listener: at first, only elements of tonality are indicated (in E
flat, with the basis in B flat); next, its chromatic enrichments are introduced
gradually, only for the twelve-tone tonality, based on intonation foundations
and diatonic chords with tertian texture, to be finally conquered.
The reprise part A1 consists of the literal reprise of section a1, a reduced
reprise of transition p1 and a slightly altered reprise of section a3. By analogy,
the key scheme also remains unaltered.

Semiotic Analysis of the Referential Signs in Helijum u maloj kutiji

Signs connoting another, older music are evidently present in the work. Set in
the environment of an essentially modernist natural language of the work,
these referential music signs significantly influence the poetic plane of the

yet been coined for this type of tonality and that the term atonality still represents the most comfortable
formulation. Cf. Ludmila, Ulehla. Contemporary Harmony. Romanticism through the Twelve-Tone Row.
Advance Music, 1994, 488.
This ostinato is initially set in F sharp minor (bars 159-168) and then briefly in C minor (bars 178-185).

work. It is interesting to note that only two referential music signs are used in
the entire composition. The first one is revealed at the very beginning of the
composition it is the theme-model representing the backbone of the part A
(Example 1).

Example 1: Zoran Eri, Helijum u maloj kutiji section a1 (openning)

Example 1: Zoran Eri, Helijum u maloj kutiji section a1 (ending)

This is a simulacrum as a musical sign that does not have a specific musical
reference, but does refer to an entire class of specific late romantic textural
isotopies7 that imply the presence of a theme, a contrapuntal melodic line and

The notion of the musical isotopy is used here in the meaning assigned to it by Eero Tarasti in his book:
Eero, Tarasti. A Theory of Musical Semiotics. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994, 6.
According to Tarasti, isotopies in music imply the principles that articulate musical discourse into coherent

harmonic accompaniment. Besides the constitution of the theme-model, the
simulation procedure here penetrates the spatial organization of the theme and
the very orchestration. The great register distance between textural layers and
even the very broad placement of the chords, with harmonics of the high strings,
are characteristic of Mahler (Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911) orchestration. The
operational code unifying all the textural layers of this music simulacrum is
their common key, while the historical identity of this sign provides an entire
set of stylistic musical codes.
The other important referential sign in this composition appears in part B
and is then transferred into part C. It is a layered four-bar repetitive model the
nucleus of the ostinato layer of this section, in whose basis lies an unresolving
four-bar cadential harmonic formula (cadential six-four chord chord of the
dominant) V6 / 4 V# in C minor (Example 2).

sections thus representing the central concept in the analysis of musical signification. Tarasti identified several
types of isotopes, one of them is textural.

Example 2: Zoran Eri, Helijum u maloj kutiji unresolving four-bar
cadential harmonic formula

Example 2: Zoran Eri, Helijum u maloj kutiji unresolving four-bar
cadential harmonic formula (ending)

This is a harmonic indexical sign that belongs to a group of characteristic

ending gestures. The specificity of this sign lies in its ellipticalness in the
perpetual omission of the tonic as the expected resolution. The nonspecific
romantic stylistic codification classifies this sign under the group of floating
signifiers of the romantic music discourse.

In relation to the natural language of the textually different segments of
the composition in which it appears, this referential sign has the meaning of a
specific signifier in isolation.
However, it is interesting to note that both referential signs undergo their
gradual destruction and specific desemantization. It has already been mentioned
that, in the course of its repetition, the Mahlerian theme-model is constantly
given a new harmonic environment that produces a specific semiotic
dissonance8 within the textural layers of the theme. The most significant
change can be observed in the last appearance of the theme-model in section a4
in which the final destruction of this sign is realized. The theme loses its
accompanying contrapuntal line and is thus stripped down to its melodic
dimension. Its register identity and the very logic of the harmonic sequence of
its accompaniment also change, so that the referential effect of this thematic
formation, that is, the signified of this complex simulacrum weakens
considerably at the end of part A.
A very similar phenomenon marks the fate of the second referential
sign in part C. The deconstruction and progressive desemantization of this
three-layer romantically codified harmonic indexical sign also takes place in
several stages. In its final transformation, this sign, like the theme-model before
it, loses its original harmonic backbone (the cadential formula of F sharp
minor), keeping only its melodic layer. However, since its referential mission is
based precisely on the effect of the characteristic tonal progression of chords in
isolation, by losing its harmonic dimension this ending gesture as a
referential sign also loses its original signified.

The very name of this cycle Slike Haosa, alludes to the influence the theory of
chaos exerted on Eris creative poetics. This absorption with the phenomenon
of chaos had theoretical as well as quite specific political motivation for Eri,
but the political context of this cycle and the composition Helijum u maloj kutiji
is not the context I would like to discuss in this paper. For, beyond these
obvious historical determinants of this work a far stronger context emerges its
wider ideological context.
After all, the theory of chaos and the idea of the impossibility to control
society were influential on all levels of the postmodern understanding of world
and art. Each segment of postmodern culture is dominated by the rejection of
the idea of integrity, hierarchical structure, centering and harmony.9

The harmonic layers that are added to the subsequent appearances of the theme-model have different intonation
/tonal centers, thus producing a dissonance compared to the set key scheme of the theme-model.
Cf.. M.A., . . In: . :
, 2001, 613.

The loss of faith in textual integrity and the acceptance of chaos (italic
M. M.), as direct implications of the theory of chaos in contemporary art, was
discussed by Jonathan D. Kramer (1942) in the context of postmodern music,
pointing out that it was precisely the theory of chaos that served as a challenge
to reexamine the organicist myth of structural unity and reject textual integrity
in music.10
The consequence of this postmodern process of rejecting textual unity as
totalizing meta-narration shared by romanticism and modernism11 was,
according to Jonathan Kramer, the fragmentation of music structure. The first
version of Eris Helijum quite specifically confirms these views.
Textually heterogeneous and thematically incomplete, the first version of
this work literally destroys its textual integrity and transcends the organicistic
myth of the unity of a work, clearly affirming the artistic tendency that Kramer
recognizes as radical music postmodernism. The key points of reference of the
postmodern world are glaringly apparent in this version of Helijum:
Fragmentation. Discontinuity. Lack of connection. Lack of linear logic.12
Eight years later, the composer made minor interventions to significantly
change the structure, poetic center and ideological position of the work. The
interpolation of the cadential ostinato tape in sections B and C and the
addition of reprise of the section A meant a return to the concept of thematic
integration and completion of the work with a reprise. Hence the second version
of Helijum remained a characteristically postmodernist heavy entity, which,
however, thanks to the added elements of thematic continuity, revalued the
(modernist) organicist myth of structural unity of a work. Such interpretation of
the second version of Helijum sheds light on this compositions strong
foundation on Eris essentially modernist creative vocation.
The paratext, written in the heading of the first version of the work,
would also have a modernist connotation if it did not conceal elements of
postmodernist persiflage: pseudo-scholarly tone and fictionality.
This text is really a fictional framework of the composition which, among
other things, leads its prospective listener astray. The reference to Mozart
(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791) remains only on paper. Eris music
in this work is engaged in a creative dialogue with the music of romanticism.
A specific game of hide-and-seek also takes place in the order of the titles
of the movements. Instead of the usual order Unawareness Fury Resistance
Acceptance, which is common to the previously created compositions from
the cycle Slike Haosa, this work deprives of sense the causality that shapes the
logical order of these psychological states and unites them into illogical pairs

Cf. Jonathan D., Kramer. Beyond Unity: Toward an Understanding of Musical Postmodern. In: Concert
Music, Rock, and Jazz since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies. University of Rochester Press, 1995, 20.
Ibid., 33.
Ibid., 20.

of states Unawareness Acceptance and (Unwarranted) Fury (Quasi)
Resistance. Following the composers suggestion, I do not fall into the pitfall of
the construction of causality, which could interpret such a grouping of titles ... I
only go by the fact that Helijum is the music following The Day After
without making any comments.
On the other hand, the music analysis of the composition, as well as the
auditory impression of the work, bear witness to the incredibly refined
composition that toys with historically different music discourses, reexamining
them in their most subtly formulated aspects. Hence this three-faceted
composition actually does not have a dominant natural music language.
The first and last segment of the composition Mahlerian Adaggietto,
is thematically organized and traditionally structured. In section B we can
observe an almost atonal linearity, motivically organized music material and
fragmentary structure, characteristic of neo-tonal modernist discourses in 20th-
century music, while section C is submotivically and repetitively organized as a
series of futile beginnings in a desperate search for discourse, as formulated
by Belgrade musicologist Zorica Premate (1956).13 This is a postminimalist
music text which features a submodular permutational repetitiveness of a
limited series of pitches. What is at work here is the concept of progressive
postmodernist fragmentation. It is as if the composition were thus designed with
the specific intention of plastically demonstrating the disintegration of
thematic structures, from their thematically complete and integral form (in
section A) to free motivic formulation (in section B) to submotivically
articulated music debris (in section C). One cannot help feeling that the
ultimate external reference of this progressive music disintegration is in fact
the path of the subjects disintegration from Mahlers epoch (directly referred to
by the theme of section A) to our repetitive, global times.
The referential plane of the composition enhances this impression in its
own way.
Both referential signs in Helijum the Mahlerian theme in section A as
imitative simulacrum and cadential harmonic indexical sign as the basis of
ostinato in sections B and C point to romantic music tradition. The stylistic
resonance of these signs led to their networking, which in turn produced the
homogeneous romantic referential plane of the work.
In the decentered space of stylistically and linguistically heterogeneous
music discourses that form this composition, this romantic semantic plane exists
as an integral parallel musical world, as the structured poetic center of the work
and the external, fictional center of its sense.
On the other hand, the fact that both referential signs in the work undergo
music destruction and loss or at least loosening (relativization) of their

Premate, Zorica. Dvanaest lakih komada..., 38.

original signified (as discussed in the text of the analysis) clearly testifies to
relativization and disintegration being the fate of all stable categories and
meanings in postmodernism. In any case, this composition is not only music
about music, nor is it the collective signified of the network of signs in its
referential plane only a romantic music tradition. This is yet another of the
compositions that speak of instability and the inevitable, gradual destruction
of identity, sense and meaning in the contemporary decentered and fragmented
world, but also of our seemingly indestructible need to at least invoke them.
In the theoretical sense, this outstanding, semantically and musically
polyvalent composition represents a characteristically postmodernist hybrid:
it is at the same time romantic in postmodernist way and postminimalist.
Of course, the search for the context of this composition does not end
with its theoretical contextualization. Fortunately for all us who live in and of
musicology, the field of interpretation is vast and always remains open.
In the context of the topic of this conference dedicated to the relationship
between formalism and contextualism in contemporary musicology, this work
demonstrates one of the many interdisciplinary approaches that combine both
dimensions of musicological work. I must admit that, while writing this case
study, I had difficulty separating the analysis of the work from its
contextualization. In fact I think that these two dimensions of musicological
work are not and cannot be essentially separated. If the work itself is the basis
on which we search for its context, and then the idea of a possible context
steals into the analysis, just as the results of analysis always organize our
perception of the context of the work under examination.
I believe, in an entirely semiotic fashion, in accordance with the
interdisciplinary approach I have adopted, that musicological analysis and
interpretation of a work, relate as introversive and extroversive production of
signification in a musical work. As isolated systems, analysis and interpretation
bring one-dimensional insights united and interweaved in the process of
semiosis, in the analyzed work they reveal an integral, albeit always
individually discovered, network of significations.

Agawu, Kofi: Playing with signs. Semiotic interpretation of classic music, (Princeton, New
Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991).
Bernard, Jonathan W. : Theory, Analysis, and the Problem of Minimal Music, in: Concert
Music, Rock, and Jazz since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies, (University of
Rochester Press, 1995), 259-284.
Bodrijar, an: Simulakrumi i simulacija, (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1990).
Cook, Nicholas, Music Theory and the Postmodern Muse: An Afterword, in: Concert
Music, Rock and Jazz since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies, (University of
Rochester Press, 1995), 422439.

Eco, Umberto, A Theory of Semiotics, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979).
Foster, Hal, Postmodernism. A Preface, in: Postmodern Culture, ed. and introduced by Hal
Foster, (London and Sydney: Pluto Press, 1983), ixxiv.
Foster, Hal, The Return of the Real, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: An
OCTOBER Book, The MIT Press, 1996).
Gann, Kyle, American Music in the Twentieth Century, (New York: Schirmer Books, 1997).
Hatten, Robert S., Beethoven. Markedness, Correlation and Interpretation, (Bloomington &
Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994).
Hatten, Robert S., Interpreting musical Gestures, Topics and Tropes. Mozart, Beethoven,
Schubert, (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999).
Kramer, Jonathan D., Beyond Unity: Toward an Understanding of Musical Postmodern, in:
Concert Music, Rock, and Jazz since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies, (University
of Rochester Press, 1995).
Kramer, Jonathan D.: Postmodern Concepts of Musical Time, Indiana Theory Review,
vol.17, no.2, (fall 1996), 2161.
Kramer, Jonathan D.: The Nature and Origins of Musical Postmodernism, in: Postmodern
Music / Postmodern Thought, ed. by Hudy Lochhead and Joseph Arner, (New York
and London: Routledge, 2002), 1327.
Kramer, Lawrence: Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge, Berkeley, (Los Angeles,
London: University of California Press, 1995).
Kun, Tomas, Struktura naunih revolucija, Beograd, Nolit, 1974.
Mc Clary, Susan: Rap, Minimalism, and Structures of Time in Late Twentieth Century
Culture, (Lincoln: The University of Nebraska, 2000).
McClary, Susan, Conventional Wisdom: the Content of Musical Form. (Berkeley: University
of California Press, 2000).
Monelle, Raymond, Linguistics and Semiotics in Music, (Switzerland: Harwood Academic
Publishers, 1992).
Monelle, Raymond, The Sense of Music. Semiotic essays, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton
University Press, 2000.
Premate, Zorica Nepodnoljiva lakoa komponovanja, in: Dvanaest lakih komada,
(Beograd: Prosveta, 1997).
Schwarz, David: Listening Subjects: Semiotics, Psychoanalysis, and the Music of John
Adams and Steve Reich, Perspectives of New Music, vol.31, no.2, summer, (1993),
Tarasti, Eero, A Theory of Musical Semiotics, (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana
University Press, 1994).
Ulehla, Ludmila, Contemporary Harmony. Romanticism through the Twelve-Tone Row,
(Advance Music, 1994).
Veselinovi-Hofman, Mirjana, Pred muzikim delom, (Beograd: Zavod za udbenike, 2007).
, M.A., in:
, (: , 2001), 613.

Vesna Miki (Faculty of Music, Belgrade)

Romantic Notions in the Popular Music Discourses: Several Ex-

amples from Serbia1

After almost a year an a half, the project called Last Rebellion, devoted to the
different events, products, and historical documents concerning the so-called
Belgrade underground scene of the early 1980s in April 2008 came to an end
with the closing of the exhibition entitled Last Rebellion 2 visual values
1979-1984 30 years of New wave and Punk in Belgrade. This was the culmi-
nation, and a kind of specific institutionalization of actually much longer and
wider revival of the music of the 1980s that could be as well understood as one
of the up to this point unexploited marketing realms of the so-called Yu-
nostalgia.2 On the same occasion, one of the prominent Serbian rock musicians,
the leader of the Partibrejkers (Partybrakers) band, Zoran Kosti, better known
as Cane, now in his mid-40s, wrote an article in the column A View from a
Side for the oldest Serbian daily newspaper Politika as a personal memory of
this time (Kosti 2008). These two examples are more than enough to prove the
undergrounds destiny to become a mainstream, especially with the additional
nostalgic touch it attains in such a kind of tributes. Actually, it can be further
argued that these strategies were already successfully tested on so-called ex-Yu
pop and new folk music, so much despised and rejected by the participants of
the last rebellion.
Hence, we would like to address here the possible similarities that may be
perceived between discourses on different popular music genres existing in Ser-
bia, turning our attention specifically to those revealing Romantic notions of
opposition between authenticity and commercialization in the sense David
Brackett (1995, 160-163), for instance, had argued for. These kinds of dis-
course, of course, often spontaneously intertwine with notions of individualism,
naturalness, social critique, etc. all legitimately appropriated in different coun-
tercultural discourses. While it can be argued that connections of this kind were
already thoroughly discussed in the Romanticism / Modernism / Postmodernism
arts and cultural studies as well as in Western popular culture studies, it should
be stressed that these kinds of investigations are more than necessary for the
study of Serbian popular culture in general and for Serbian popular music stud-
ies in particular. For, while Serbian popular music was institutionalized during

The research for this article was carried out as part of the project World Chronotopes of
Serbian Music, No. 147045D (2006-2010), supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science
and Environment.
Yu-nostalgia turned out to be a very profitable ex-Yu popular culture trademark; its appear-
ance almost coincided with the disappearance of Yugoslavia.

the 1950s and 1960s in the domain of authorship rights discourses and legisla-
tions and later through specialized magazines that used to be published from the
1970s to the 1990s, only to move recently on-line (which is not without impor-
tance for our discussion), there are still few efforts to constitute an academic
musicological discourse in these areas. This may be one of the reasons why a
critical reception of popular music in Serbia was usually left to well-informed
enthusiastic journalists of different educational backgrounds, but almost exclu-
sively without any formal musical education. Or, to put it another way, there
was no place for musicologist, as academically trained professionals, to judge
music opposed by default to any kind of academic training3, not to mention the
fact that musicological curricula for a long time were not reflecting any interest
whatsoever for the reception problems and practice in music criticism as such.
Although critics of popular music can be accused of nourishing roman-
ticism, we should, however, be grateful to the few of them whose devotion re-
sulted in already mentioned publications as well as editions such as Illustrated
Yu Rock Encyclopedia (Janjatovi 1997) and a few books covering either Ser-
bian popular music in general or some of its phenomena. Putting this time these
letter aside, well focus on encyclopedia entries and interviews issued in the
aforementioned Encyclopedia by Petar Janjatovi as well as in the Duboks
[Jukebox] and Ritam [Rhythm] magazines, published in Belgrade between 1974
and 1985 and between 1985 and 1994, respectively. In (a necessary) narrowing
of our focus, we shall examine the discourses on three music phenomena, one of
them being the already mentioned New Wave that was preceded by the emer-
gence of the greatest Yugoslav rock band of all times Bijelo Dugme and
almost immediately followed by Partibrejkers, one of the few surviving bands
from the golden eighties.
Generally speaking, it should be noticed that the language used and actu-
ally promoted and at the same time preached by reviews and interviews of
Serbian / Yugoslav popular music magazines could be described as a mixture of
urban Belgrade youths jargon, with occasional descriptions of music, image,
and performance elements and ironic pretensions aiming at an original and
unmerciful irony, humor, and critique, and not without occasional arty preten-
sions. This language was used from generation to generation of music writers
for devising a discourse that was to be the only real guide to revelation of true
values. Usually, these were based upon oppositions that supposedly have con-
structed the issues in question. Besides the obligatory rejection of commerciali-
zation either through overt disgust or, when it was convenient, through elabo-
rating the theme into the stereotype fame has not changed us, the values
The only contribution that we have found were entries on 20th century (classical) music,
written on the last pages of Duboks in the early 1980s by the then-notorious minimalist
young composer attached professionally to the Student Cultural Center in Belgrade that was
also the main underground scene, Mia Savi.

promoted were those of originality, individualism proclaimed through clashes
with authorities, different sorts of social misbehavior, inappropriateness, and
various kinds of disobedience, immense energy, charisma, etc. Last, but not
least, magazines were conceived as carrier of information on Western popular
culture, not only music, but also film, cartoons, life styles, etc. thus, inevitably
aiming at shaping taste, and most importantly aiming at the canonization of
Yugoslav / Serbian popular music.
From Janjatovis entry on Bijelo Dugme4, for instance, we learn that Go-
ran Bregovi, the notorious front man of Bijelo Dugme and today one of the few
widely known ex-Yu musicians, was not very interested in music in his early
age and that he was expelled from a music school as untalented, only to meet
some friends later who would spur his interest in music and show him some
guitar riffs. After a number of musicians he worked with, gaining necessary per-
formance skills, he officially founded Bijelo Dugme at the beginning of 1974.
The bands history unfolds in a recapitulation of concert performances and Sin-
gle / LP editions with obligatory references to the lack of understanding of pub-
lishing houses, scandals, and moral panic, which statements, performances, and
especially album covers by Bijelo Dugme were constantly arousing with a per-
manent highlighting of bravery and commitment of band members. Thus, pub-
lishing of the album Bitanga i princeza was followed by a series of censorship
acts by Yugoton. Dragan S. Stefanovis cover design was rejected on the
grounds of vulgarity. . . . Some swear words and inappropriate verses were
changed. Few lines after this, we naturally find out that the album was pro-
claimed as the bands first really mature album. Urban, completely deprived of
folk influences, following the lead of Saint-Exuprys The Little Prince beside
the aforementioned songs . . . it offered also emotional ballads . . . in which Bi-
jelo Dugme was accompanied by a symphonic orchestra and choir. Also, the
entry abounds in circulation and concert selling data as well as detailed but we
must admit: not exaggerated accounts on band personnel changes, personal
scandals, their disputes, reconciliations, and solo careers; that is in a way under-
standable for a survey of a band with such a long and successful history. Of
course, it couldnt be written in such a way, if it was not supported by public
statements by Bregovi and the rest of the band. Bregovi as a rebel, original
and authentic, always different, wanting to change the world and, of course,
himself unchanged by fame we find, for instance, in the column Confes-
sions an interview entitled Following his own way in the January 1977 issue
of Duboks (Mari 1977), in which the new LP is announced as follows: Our
most popular rock band Bijelo Dugme published its third album entitled in a
style of Rebels without cause Eto, ba hou [just the way I want]. And when

Bijelo Dugmes unofficial website offers an excerpt from Janjatovis entry. See (accessed May 3rd, 3008).

something like this happens, it is a custom to have a chat with nobody else than
Goran Bregovi. Commenting on Maris question about the consumer society
that infiltrated also our environment and the relevance of the albums quality
in such circumstances, Bregovi says: That also has its limits . . . Weve sell as
many records as there are gramophones in Yugoslavia. Now maybe we should
sell gramophones with records. I do not think at all about those things . . . We
never do things that can guarantee us some certainty, but things that give us in-
ner pleasure. I do not believe that there is someone whos risking more than I
do. . . . Now, Im again indulging in something that somebody scared of adven-
ture would never do. And later, asked whether he resent monotonous everyday
life, he goes on: Not only do I resent it, but I resent myself living in that every-
day routine that may be all right but in which I wouldnt like to frame myself. . .
. This way, I want adventure that means something to me . . . I go somewhere
else, new things interest me. Ordinary, in Bregovis accounts, equals estab-
lished and canonized; commenting the moral panic aroused by Bijelo Dugme,
he states: That was not a chase after Bijelo Dugme, but an essay to provoke a
quite inappropriate generational quarrel on eljko Bebeks earring and high
heals expense. . . . Its a great fallacy to judge my lyrics by classical poetry aes-
thetic standards. I move in a quite different way. Its foolish to push me into
classical music as well. Otherwise, I do not have respect for things people at the
Music Academy are trained to do, and I dont feel guilty to admit that Beetho-
ven is boring. . . . For instance, critics says that in my songs there is no f-sharp
minor, and I accept that. Critique does not bother me at all, and Im stronger
than it. . . . Ive never imagined that so much prosaic things follow such a ro-
mantic thing as music. And when he describes his music development, he says:
I went abroad to become a cosmopolitan and came back as even grater Yugo-
slav. Im discovering my moms and dads folklore. Some things that Ive been
working on influenced me; some others as a rudiment were just coming out.
Thats how this synthesis of rock, blues, boogie, and my own particular melody
and lyrics came about. (Ibid.)
This kind of synthesis has been baptized by Croatian critic Draen Vrdol-
jak as shepherds rock [pastirski rok], and this pejorative qualification will
constantly serve as a platform for upcoming musicians and music writers to
construct their opposition to the mainstream that Bijelo Dugme represented. It
became a stereotype that has to be rejected and overcome by turning to contem-
porary Western models and a more overt socio-political engagement through a
critique of New wave discursive practices. We will turn our attention to only
one of many rock bands that have constituted this phenomenon and whose first
album was actually produced by shepherds rock missionary Goran Bregovi,
although that was only for commercial reasons, as members of the band
bluntly confessed in numerous occasions. Idoli have had fast and immense suc-
cess and had fairly quickly left the scene. In January 1983, Duboks issued a

usual critique selection of best bands, editions, debuts, etc., for the previous
year. (Anonymous 1983.) Eight of ten consulted critics voted the band Idoli,
their LP Odbrana i poslednji dani, and the composers Vlada Divljan and
Sran aper (from then on constantly compared with the Lennon-McCartney
duo) as the best. This could be anticipated by an unexpectedly large space de-
voted to the interview (10 pages) in Idoli in the February 1982 issue with their
photos on the cover, although the LP was not yet finished. (Neboja and Branko
1982.) Thus, Idoli became Duboks favorite, although Duboks was prone to
accuse them of being the mass medias favorite band, i.e. something like traitors
of higher cause in exchange for something superficial and of lesser value. Vlada
Divljan comments this as follows: Theyve chosen us as a mascot. We flirt
with them, sometimes giving ourselves to them. Still, if we look at that from the
other side, eventually we use them. New LP material proves that Idoli are
turning again back to themselves. . . . From five people that let us say had
their own way of having fun, we turn out to be a serious phenomenon on the na-
tional scene, and all that time weve stayed with a group of five people that was
functioning by its internal laws and mostly sticks to itself. The reasons for
which Odbrana i poslednji dani was promoted in such a pompous way alto-
gether, notwithstanding the title of the interview (Angels Theme), were relig-
ious issues which Idoli dealt with in their lyrics; thus, judging by their inter-
viewers, breaking the boundaries of the up to that date untouched realm in the
national context. But they have also done it differently, compared to Western
models. . . . Idoli does not deal with this subject in the way were used to (in
the rock domain) and that emanates from its essence, too by preaching. In-
stead, theyre giving us a complex net of association pictures, in which narra-
tors are changing achieving this poly-dimensionality not unlike cubist proc-
esses. Or, Idoli is the band that, by constantly playing on first impression and
provoking a first reaction, was cheating. Often accused to be a joke band,
theyve been working on their musical improvement and diligently developing
their concept. Odbrana i poslednji dani will be an album that refracts too many
levels to be followed one-directionally.
At first, quite a different media destiny followed the only still existing
band in our story, Partibrejkersi. In the aforementioned critics selection of
1983, only one of them put on the third the last place the Partibrejkers band
in the debut category. Yet, they were already well known to the Belgrade un-
derground scene for their explosive performances. They have been given half a
page of interview space in April 1983, but they have been interviewed by re-
nowned Belgrade musician Koja, a.k.a. Zeleni Zub, so the interview had impor-
tance (Koja 1983, 5). His introduction speaks for itself: At their concerts, until
now, Partibrejkers have offered to the vain Belgrade audience one completely
new R&B experience. Still, their approach to R&B clichs is absolutely new,
permeated with punk concert energy, to which mostly contributes Cane one of

the rare, as it seems to me, honest Belgrade punkers of 1978 . . . In a daring
crew without a bass, Partibrejkers attack directly a human organism, offering in
the same time intuitive RnR fun. . . . Besides the irrefutable fact that there is
no such band in YU, crucial is the timing of their appearance at the domestic
rock (?) scene in the moment where theres almost nothing (again?) happening .
. . There are also alternative labels, but Partibrejkers are surely above and out-
side all of this, doing cleverly their exiting stuff. And, thus, the scene is set for
a typical Partibrejkers discourse that is going to be recycled numerous times
since then, and that relies heavily upon the notions of anger, dissatisfaction, ba-
sic survival instincts, energy, hard work, and often quite provocative and direct
contempt of the audience. Asked about anger that pours out of his performance,
Cane answers: I surely have reason to do so. . . . Were young and strong, I
dont feel some sublime melodies. . . . Teenagers are interested in any kind of
rebellion, they want to be me, but they could not theyre too lazy. Theyre
amazed how anyone can behave like I do, they lack strength and self-
confidence. Still, a decade later, Canes discourse attains quite different ac-
cents, while the previously constructed discourse remains dominant. The intro-
duction to the interview, announcing the new LP in the 1994 issue of the Ritam
magazine (Gruji and Ambrozi 1994), this time with Partibrejkers on the
cover (!), states: Whatever one thinks what domestic music is, it could not be
imagined without Partibrejkers. For many, the band is a personification of what
Belgrade once was and what it wants to be. Commenting on the LPs content,
Cane explains that probably the song Molitva will be the greatest hit, their San-
jao sam noas da te nema, actually Bijelo Dugmes famous ballad. And he con-
tinues: The LP had to be different. Otherwise, it wont make sense. The only
thing that can save us is our art. The art is a kind of purgatory for releasing our
frustrations. . . . You know how life is. You must compromise. At the end, what
must remain is your attitude, your relation to society and to yourself. Its good
that the record is going to a kind of underground, and at the same time it is ac-
ceptable to a wider audience. . . . At concerts, were old ones mean and un-
And, still in 2008 maybe unaware of the institutionalization of his
statements Cane writes: I constantly digest the past. How innocent and naive
were we. So young thrown to lifes feet without any knowledge of life itself,
because the state fed us non-stop with phrases without spirit; we challenged it,
giving our best, encouraged and driven with instinct to be totally different.
Since our teenage days, we have had nothing better to do than to be what we
were or we thought we were. We were building our statement. . . . Were the
lepers of our primitive society. Our acuteness released a blood off the lies we
were battered with. . . . And, after all, I wouldnt give up the Sex Pistols for a
half of that idiotic history. . . . Let past stay where it is. I have to attend inevita-
ble jobs of my own reality. (Kosti 2008.)

For Serbian musicology, however, the past cannot stay where it is. And,
one of the inevitable jobs of its own reality is actually exploring and discuss-
ing music inhabitants of the various cultural fields, in order to achieve a fuller
understanding of the processes and mechanisms involved in the construction of
different phenomena. This time, we dealt with just a few issues concerning ro-
mantic discourse signifiers such as authenticity, originality, and individualism
represented in their various shapes in Serbian popular music discourses. Yet,
questions concerning their reception that inevitably result in various kinds of
reconstructions, one of the most intriguing being its own commercialization,
still need to be addressed. Especially if one bears in mind the differences that
once existed between modes of art production and consumption in capitalist and
(soft) socialist societies.

Anonymous. 1983. Izbor kritike, Duboks 155 (January): 16.
Brackett, David. 1995. Interpreting Popular Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gruji, Tomislav, and Dragan Ambrozi. 1994. Kiselo / Slatko, Ritam 1: 26-29.
Janjatovi, Petar. 1997. Ilustrovana Yu Rok Enciklopedija 1960-1997, 2nd edition. Belgrade:
[authors publication].
Koja. 1983. urkolomci, Duboks 162: 5.
Kosti, Zoran. 2008. Zlatne osamdesete ili nije zlato sve to sija, in Pogled sa strane,
Politika April 26th, 2008. On-line edition:
Mari, Milomir. 1977. Sledei svoj put, in: Ispovesti, Duboks 30: 9-11.
Neboja, Pajki, and Vukojevi Branko. 1982. Nebeska tema, Duboks 134: 27-37.


Manfred Heidler (Streitkrfteamt / Dezernat Militrmusik, Bonn, Germany)

Military Music in the Bundeswehr: Some Remarks Concerning

the Interdisciplinary Discourse on Manifestations of Music in

Approaches to Music Research: Between Practice and Epistemology is the gen-
eral topic of this congress, and it is a great honor for me to speak to this distin-
guished audience about the approach, the Bundeswehr tries to bridge the gap
between theory and practice in the field of military music. Actually, the German
Armed Forces have taken an entirely new approach to this subject by tasking
the Bundeswehr Military Music Service with research activities focusing on
scientific discourse, musicology, and military music.
The following quote from the Subconcept for the Bundeswehr Military
Music Service will give us a first idea of the theoretical fundamentals. It pro-
vides a definition of the range of tasks covered by the German Armed Forces
military music service:

The comprehensive expertise of the Bundeswehr Military Music Service is in-

terdisciplinary by nature. Its close cooperation with research facilities and aca-
demic institutions in the scientific reprocessing of task-relevant issues leads to
appropriate solutions, extends the range of its own capabilities, and, in addi-
tion, furthers the integration of the Bundeswehr into the political system and the
society of Germany. (TK MilMusBw 2007, 5.)1

This sounds quite theoretical, but in the course of my presentation I will present
an idea of how we handle it at the practical level. Actually, cooperation between
musicology and the Music Service of the Bundeswehr is a field of civil-military
cooperation that still is largely unknown.

Until recently, German military music did not play much of a role as an inde-
pendent field of research within musicology. However, thanks to an internal
learning process, the Bundeswehr Military Music Service is now able to act in a
scientific context and face interdisciplinary discourse.
This neglected area of research, which is extremely interesting from a so-
cio-cultural point of view, generally attracted the attention of military music
enthusiasts, military historians, and some musicologists. While the enthusiasts
TK MilMusBw 2007 provides a complete redefinition of the role of the Military Music
Service in the Bundeswehr.

would tend to glorify Prussian-German military music and to lose themselves in
retelling stories and events of a long-gone past, military historians as well as
some social scientists and musicologists started to discover this marginal area
over the past few years. Existing publications often paint a picture of (Prussian-)
German military music and its role in the National Socialist propaganda ma-
chinery that is often tendentious and inappropriate. This approach to scientific
examination is largely based on an ideological bias towards the subject of re-
search and, from todays perspective, appears strange and of little help to a neu-
tral discussion.

The Bundeswehr Military Music Service and the Questions it Raises in the
Historical Context
In 2003, the Second Air Force Band in Karlsruhe were the first ones to conduct
a music project focusing on the so-called Air Force Music Service within the
German Wehrmacht. As the Air Force Bands second music officer, I was
closely involved in this project. The focus was on Rudolf Hindemith (January 9,
1900 October 7, 1974), the younger brother of the famous composer Paul
Hindemith (1895-1963). His involvement with this model military music orga-
nization within the then newly established German Air Force in the years from
1935 onwards was closely examined. The results of this project work were pre-
sented to the public at the International Music Fair in Frankfurt and earned con-
siderable success.
One year later, the Bundeswehr Military Music Service organized its first
symposium, which was conducted in cooperation with the Musicology Depart-
ment of the Robert Schumann University in Dsseldorf. Its participants took an
interdisciplinary approach discussing Hans Felix Husadel (1897-1964), who had
organized the Air Force Music within the German Wehrmacht. The symposium
itself concentrated on his work, life, and legacy. The theoretical scientific dis-
course was complemented by a very special concert that took place in the Bee-
thovenhalle in Bonn. This event reflected the results of military music research
and analysis in the form of music performance. It was well received by the large
audience present.
This pilot project has now become the well established Military Music in
Discourse event series, which includes an annual symposium in Bonn and a
publication series under the same title. This years symposium [2008] will con-
centrate on the way musicians themselves and others experience music.
This leads to the following question: Why did todays military music
service get involved in musicology?

The Scientific Approach to Military Music: Challenges, Objectives, and Pos-
Against this backdrop, it seems to be a reasonable and necessary step to include
existing knowledge about the history and present state of the Bundeswehr Mili-
tary Music Service into the training of its own personnel. The Military Music
Service has its own training facility, namely the Bundeswehr School of Mili-
tary Music2, where new personnel is taught the requisite music skills. During
their training, the future military musicians (non-commissioned officers and
officers) attend (some semesters of) an academic course of studies on playing
an instrument. This is done in cooperation with the Robert Schumann Univer-
sity in Dsseldorf. In the curriculum of this course of studies, the history of
military music has been a relevant examination subject ever since this special
military music training has been carried out.
For a long time, lectures were given by members of the Military Music
Section, which is part of the Armed Forces Office of the Bundeswehr. However,
this service personnel did not have any particular teaching qualification in mu-
sicology. Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Bernhard Hfele was the first lecturer holding
a Ph.D. in musicology to teach this subject. In the winter semester of 2007, I
succeeded him. Since that time, I have been responsible for this particular
teaching assignment.
In order to strengthen the necessary corporate identity of the Military Mu-
sic Service, results from a lecturers own musicological research should be di-
rectly integrated into his or her lectures in parallel with a continuous updating of
the curriculum. The aim is to communicate at least 500 years of German mili-
tary music to the students and thereby contribute to raising the overall profile
of the Bundeswehr Military Music Service.
There is, however, one peculiarity that I mentioned before, namely the
fact that military but also wind music have not really been in the focus of
musicology and social sciences. On the other hand, they have been playing
quite some role in popular music by staging music in uniform, traditional cos-
tumes, or tuxedo3. Thereby, they have positioned themselves in a largely stable
music market that is a niche business between the established segments of so-
The Bundeswehr School of Military Music is the branch school and parent unit of the Mili-
tary Music Service. At all Bundeswehr branch schools, NCO [Non Commission Officers] and
officer courses include a subject called military history, which deals with aspects of military
history that are specific to the individual branch. The subject history of military music is
equivalent to that. This lecture course primarily addresses members of the Military Music
Service, but it is also open to civilian students of the Robert Schumann University who are
interested in this subject.
The term music in uniform, traditional costumes, and tuxedos (Heidler) describes the dif-
ferent music activities of military and civilian wind ensembles carried out in order to enhance
the image of wind music as a whole. However, this kind of music is often referred to as
symphonic wind, which is a rather simplistic term.

called light and serious music. For a long time, these outdated labels, which
were used to describe music making, principally prevented this kind of music
from being subject to profound scientific analysis. In addition, image simplifi-
cations such as military or wind music equals march music contributed to the
musicologists ignorant stance. For years there had been no sound scientific re-
search4 and source verification. Anyway, who should have done this job?
Bundeswehr deployments abroad5, which began in 1991 and now encom-
pass places all over the world, is another example of a stimulus for basic re-
search in the field of military music. According to its mission profile, the Bun-
deswehr Military Music Service must actively support morale, welfare and rec-
reational programs for forces on deployment. This way, a military mission en-
tails military music programs, the extent of which depends on the threat assess-
ment or the security situation on a case-by-case basis. This is why the music
entertainment offered to the task forces which are usually multinational in
terms of organization and command structure must be harmonized with the
capabilities of the military music units. Lessons learned and our self-image con-
tribute to a picture of military music as an intercultural offer, which may even
lead to intercultural dialogue. This requires knowledge that can, among other
things, be provided by musicology and social sciences as well as psychology.
The Army of Unity became an Army on Operations6, and a variable geo-
political situation has resulted in fundamental changes in the overall mission of
the Bundeswehr.7 This caused an ever-faster erosion of traditional concepts of

The International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Wind Music (IGEB, Inter-
nationale Gesellschaft zu Frderung und Erforschung der Blasmusik), founded in 1974, con-
ducts research in the field of wind music. Thanks to the untiring efforts of Professor Dr.
Wolfgang Suppan (Professor Emeritus at the University of Graz), this organization has cre-
ated a distinct image and received a lot of credit for its publications over the years. (So far, 25
volumes of the Alta Musica publication series have been released.) And this research soci-
ety has also been acting on an international stage since its foundation, so that it provides a
forum for an exchange of ideas on wind music research. This, in turn, stimulates research
activities and helps overcome existing prejudices against the subject of research.
During the first Bundeswehr deployment abroad, medical units were sent to Cambodia in
1991. In 1993, a reinforced military music combo was sent to Somalia to provide for morale,
welfare, and recreational support of the German contingent. This was the first mission abroad
of a German military music band.
Army of Unity is a term used to describe the integration work done by the Bundeswehr
when employing part of the personnel of the GDRs National Peoples Army, which had
been dissolved after the German Unification in 1990. Army on Operations refers to the
Bundeswehr as a well-established force provider for NATO- or EU-led operational contin-
gents involved in peace enforcement, peacekeeping, and peace stability measures all over the
See also Thiele 2002. With regard to this matter Thiele states, for example: The fundamen-
tal changes in society and the image of war radically change the demands on the armed forces
both in terms of the whole organization and the individual soldier. For many decades, lead-

operations. The Bundeswehr Military Music Service had to adjust to these
changes by taking appropriate measures; otherwise, there would have been the
risk of being ignored or deemed insignificant. The new operational scenarios of
the armed forces have led to global military action and, thus, call for an ex-
tended music management between tradition and (music) psychology.
In a recent interview, US general David Petraeus, commander of the coa-
lition forces in Iraq, put it like this:

First of all, there must be an increased awareness of the importance of

understanding the huge impact of cultural, religious and ethnic factors
that knowledge of the so-called cultural terrain is as important in many
cases as knowledge of the physical terrain. (Petraeus 2008, 29.)

The following statement made by the German Federal Minister of Defense,

Franz Josef Jung, in his speech at the 2008 Bundeswehr Commanders Confer-
ence in Berlin reflects a similar point of view:

Peace and freedom cannot be maintained or restored by military means

alone. The cooperation of civilian and military elements is key to a suc-
cessful crisis and conflict management. . . . (Jung 2008.)

In this process, reconstruction programs and cultural programs are equally im-
portant. In the context of cultural programs, music has a direct and immediate
effect on the lives of service personnel and civilians be it a live presentation of
military music from ones own culture or a foreign cultural sphere.

ership training of the Bundeswehr focused on (NATO) collective defense and national de-
fense in a stricter sense. . . . The enemy situation and friendly situation as well as factors con-
cerning space, time, and environment were virtually constants. . . . Future soldiers must ac-
quire professionalism in terms of military tasks; however, at the same time they must be citi-
zens committed to democracy, rather than apolitical soldiers having their own code of behav-
ior. Being European citizens, they face a particular challenge in the context of the increas-
ingly developing European security and defense policy. . . . The future image of war shows
that both state and non-state players will use forms of force that can be described as small
wars. The scientific and technological progress and the increasing vulnerability of modern
industrial nations pave the way for asymmetric warfare. . . . A changing society and image of
war bring about changes in the demands on the armed forces and, thus, the personnel to be
recruited. This is why the struggle for well-educated individuals will become more intense. . .
. Qualifications such as social competence and a high degree of intellectual flexibility and
mobility will be priorities. The image of the citizen in uniform will be of particular impor-
tance. (Thiele 2002, PAGE???.)

Tradition in the Bundeswehr
Recurring conflicts surrounding the understanding of tradition within the Bun-
deswehr constitute another reason for musicologists, and particularly Bunde-
swehr musicologists, to conduct intense scientific research in the field of mili-
tary music. Ceremonies held by the Bundeswehr and the fact that it presented
itself to the general public as a parliamentary army led to verbal attacks on the
armed forces that turned into brutal violence around 1979 / 1980.8 Subsequent
debates about the way tradition is understood in the Bundeswehr mainly fo-
cused on common ceremonies such as the Grand Tattoo. This military tradi-
tion dates back to the times of divine right. Without major changes, it has
been continued by the Bundeswehr, which is called army of democracy, until
today. This raised the general question about how such questionable traditions
and a democratic society could go together.
The Bundeswehr, as a symbol of the states monopoly of power, and its
traditions9 have recurrently been subject to scrutiny by the public and the media
ever since. And it is military music that forms part of its cultivation of tradi-
tions10 by means of symbols in sound. This is the reason why the Bundeswehr
Military Music Service is forced to deal with its own outdated traditions and
their history in previous German armies. As the soldiers are responsible citizens
in uniform, it suggests itself that they take a critical approach towards the Bun-
deswehr and also its Music Service. Our generation must be free to ask ques-
tions about recent German history, which is truly tragic especially when it
comes to the National Socialist period. It must be possible to ask these ques-
tions without ideology-based restrictions and to find ones own answers.
This effort is made difficult because of the de facto existence of two
German states over a period of 40 years. Both of these states developed in dia-
metrically different ways and claimed the sole right to interpret German history,
including the history of its military and military music. Against this backdrop,

The solemn pledge in the Weserstadion in Bremen in 1980 is a particularly inglorious ex-
ample in this context.
Recently, the Mlders case attracted significant attention, when the 74th Fighter Bomber
Wing in Neuburg an der Donau was denied the right to continue to use its traditional name
In my opinion, a new debate about the traditions of the Bundeswehr must be in line with
the statements of the former Federal Minster of Defense Volker Rhe. One of his comments
on this issue was: From the beginning, the Bundeswehr has faced up to the whole of Ger-
man history, including its highs and lows. However, it should be mentioned that tradition is
not the same as history. The system of values laid down in our Basic Law provides the requi-
site frame of reference. Such an understanding of history and tradition allows for exemplary
soldierly behavior and excellent military achievements from all periods of German military
history to be integrated into the tradition of the Bundeswehr. . . . (Rhe in Protokoll 1997,

Edgar Wolfrums book Geschichte als Waffe [History as a weapon] takes on a
new significance. In this book the author describes the issue as follows:

In 1949, two German states entered the political stage and antagonism
was moved up to the intergovernmental level. The Cold War, Germanys
division, and the competition of the political systems in the two Germanys
bred new interpretations of history in the Federal Republic of Germany
and the German Democratic Republic. (Wolfrum 2001, 8.)

This resulted in two different memories of German history. (Herf 1998.) In this
context, the following description that can be found in one of Hans Ulrich
Gumbrechts articles must be taken into account:

Back in the historical time, we believed that we could pick our future
from a horizon of possible futures. We thought that we were able to adapt
experiences gained in the past to the present in such a way that they
would help us choose the future. This way of thinking resulted in the
laws of history, which were adopted by Marxism. They include assump-
tions about recurring forms and rhythms of change in a world that seems
to be in permanent transition. . . . How has the extended present come
into being? I think it mainly happened when we stopped letting the future
be uncertain, stopped letting it be affected by our prognoses and
stopped experiencing it as a time dimension for optimistic visions or even
utopias. Our collective future is being blocked. (Gumbrecht 2005, 1.)

The Military Music Service does not solely concentrate on historicism, but de-
liberately fosters discourse: This way, an ide fixe turned into a serious debate
about our role in terms of music. The question surrounding the role of military
music within modern armed forces provided the basis for our symposium series:
1. The first symposium within this series had a political orientation and ana-
lyzed the life and work of Hans Felix Husadel and his organization, the so-
called Air Force Music. Thus, it was dedicated to examining the very roots of
the military music of the Bundeswehr and the National Peoples Army.
2. The second symposium, focusing on music and crisis, reflected the current
operations of the Bundeswehr. It dealt with the possibilities and effects of
music under operational conditions. This involves playing music for Bunde-
swehr and allied forces as well as for the civilian population living in the area
of operations.
3. Functionalization and idealization in music was the general topic of the third
event in 2007. It will be extended during the 2008 symposium, which will
concentrate on
4. The way oneself and others see music.

Although those actively involved in music, be it as instrumentalists or
conductors, permanently have to do with music and, in particular, its presently
existing or historical variables, the results of our discourse about music phe-
nomena between yesterday and today often seem to be abstract and scientific.
However, we hope that they appear to be useful and, thus, practical on closer
The demand for usefulness and practicability seems to be legitimate, and
nowadays it is more important than ever before that these two attributes com-
plement each other. Science helps define the role of military music within a
modern army, which is a necessary step. Military music forms part of the indi-
viduals own culture and also acts as a mediator between different cultures. The
following quote from the Subconcept for the Bundeswehr Military Music
Service (TK MilMusBw 2007) underlines this aspect:

Abroad and on deployment, military music acts as a cultural ambassador.

It represents a part of German culture. In doing so, it strengthens the re-
lations with other nations on the one hand and on the other it supports
the efforts of members of the Bundeswehr on site. (Ibid., 5.)

Globally, military music is mostly organized in the occidental tradition of mu-

sic. Military music bands represent their own cultural identity and are often
global players that act in foreign cultural systems, some of which question or
even reject the traditional value system of the occident. Thus, military music is
far more than just an emotional glue (Heidler) within modern armed forces. In
order to keep it up to date, scientific work is required. Scientific research helps
adding importance to the following areas:
music as a cultural power and its inherent reality,
the possibility of linking experiences of music with the processing of per-
sonal experiences focusing on the military environment, and
the possibility of using music to cope with crisis situations
Musicology and (music) psychology are key to the professionalization of
military music between theory and practice and, in turn, substantiate large parts
of its self-confidence. The Subconcept for the Bundeswehr Military Music
Service describes this issue as follows:

The permanent exchange of knowledge and experience with the civilian

cultural sector, the scientific research community, and military music
services of other nations play a decisive role in optimal mission accom-
plishment. As a result, cooperation with research facilities and academic
institutions dedicated to arts and sciences [e.g., with the relevant faculty
at the University of Ljubljana] with the aim of guaranteeing a produc-

tive transfer of knowledge and establishing contacts with military musi-
cians of other nations makes sense. [Ibid., 11.]

Considering the situation that I briefly sketched, an examination of German

military music in the past and present11 is not only worthwhile, but also con-
tributes to a permanent process of updating ones own armed-forces-specific
definition of music and the concept of music of the Bundeswehr as a whole.
Moreover, this concept takes into consideration the different operational scenar-
ios in other cultural systems and paves the way for inter-culturalism.

Degele, Ludwig. 1937. Militrmusik, ihr Werden und Wesen, ihre kulturelle und nationale
Bedeutung. Wolfenbttel: Verlag fr musikalische Kultur und Wissenschaft.
Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. 2005. Vom Nachteil der Historie fr das Leben: Wie die Erin-
nerungsobsession am Ende zur Geschichtsvergessenheit fhrt, Die literarische Welt
30 (Saturday, July 30th): ???-???.
Funk-Henning, Erika. 1999. Deutsche Militrmusik nach 1945: Aufbau und Entwicklung im
Kontext der politischen Kultur der DDR und der Bundesrepublik. Fakten, Beobach-
tungen, Gedanken. Karben: Coda.
Heidler, Manfred Franz. 2005. Musik in der Bundeswehr: Musikalische Bewhrung zwischen
Aufgabe und knstlerischem Anspruch. Essen: Die Blaue Eule.
Herf, Jeffrey. 1998. Zweierlei Erinnerungen: Die NS-Vergangenheit im geteilten Deutsch-
land. Berlin: Propylen.
Hfele, Bernhard. 1999. Die Deutsche Militrmusik: Ein Beitrag zu ihrer Geschichte. Kln:

Scientific publications about this issue are rare. The so-called basic works such Panff
1938 or Degele 1937 were written during the Nazi period. This circumstance is reflected in
ideological exaggerations that can, above all, be found in the latter book. Bernhard Hfeles
book Die Deutsche Militrmusik Ein Beitrag zu ihrer Geschichte (Hfele 1999) is of fun-
damental importance. Hfele presents corrections regarding this topic that have been long
overdue. Furthermore, he meets high scientific standards when he adds facts already known.
Erika Funk-Hennings study Deutsche Militrmusik nach 1945 (Funk-Henning 1999) or Su-
sann Witt-Stahls But his soul goes marching on: Musik zur sthetik und Inszenierung des
Krieges (Witt-Stahl 1999) do not fully meet the well-articulated demand for neutral scientific
work. In the GDR, the authors Reinhold Mller and Manfred Lachmann published a sum-
mary of the topic in their book Spielmann, Trompeter, Hoboist: Aus der Geschichte der
deutschen Militrmusik (Mller and Lachmann 1988). However, it has a strong bias to-
wards socialism. Although there are a few publications by members of the Bundeswehr
Military Music Service, there is nothing substantial apart from some articles. At best, there is
Fritz Masuhrs documentation Die Militrmusik der Bundeswehr (Masuhr 1977), which he
wrote in his function as Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Military Music Service for the
period from 1955 to 1975. It was, however, mainly intended for internal use. Finally, my
dissertation Musik in der Bundeswehr. Musikalische Bewhrung zwischen Aufgabe und kn-
stlerischem Anspruch was published in 2005 (Heidler 2005) the only dissertation about this
topic so far.

Jung, Franz Josef. 2008. Speech at the 2008 Bundeswehr Commanders Conference Bunde-
swehr 2020 gemeinsam gestalten!. Berlin, March 20th, 2008.
Masuhr, Fritz. 1977. Die Militrmusik der Bundeswehr: Militrmusik-Geschichte, 1955-
1975. [Bonn:] BMVg F S I/14.
Mller, Reinhold, and Manfred Lachmann. 1988. Spielmann, Trompeter, Hoboist: Aus der
Geschichte der deutschen Militrmusik. Berlin: Militrverlag der Deutschen Demok-
ratischen Republik.
Thiele, Ralph. 2002. Das Kriegsbild der Zukunft: Neue Bedingungen fr Soldaten, Infor-
mation fr die Truppe 46/3: 19-26.
Panff, Peter. 1938. Militrmusik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Berlin: K. Siegismund.
Petraeus, David. 2008. Siegestnze fhrt hier niemand auf [Interview Reprint], loyal 3/8:
[Protokoll 1997.] Protokoll der Bundestagssitzung zur Wehrmachtsausstellung am
13.3.97, Wehrmachtsverbrechen: Eine deutsche Kontroverse, ed. by Heribert Prantl.
Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1997. pp. ???-???.
[TK MilMusBw 2007.] Teilkonzeption Militrmusik der Bundeswehr [Subconcept for the
Bundeswehr Military Music Service], Chief of Staff, Bundeswehr, Armed Forces
Staff I 3 File No. 59-01-01, dated December, 18th, 2007.
Witt-Stahl, Susann. 1999. But his soul goes marching on: Musik zur sthetisierung und
Inszenierung des Krieges. Karben: Coda.
Wolfrum, Edgar. 2001. Geschichte als Waffe: Vom Kaiserreich bis zur Wiedervereinigung.
Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

J. Daniel Jenkins (University of South Carolina)

Erwin Steins New Formal Principles and the Analysis of

Schoenbergs Atonal Period Music

I. Introduction
One of the most important historical documents about Arnold Schoenbergs
(1874-1951) development of the twelve-tone method is Erwin Steins (1885-
1958) Neue Formenprinzipien. The article appeared in 1924, Steins
contribution to the Festschrift in honor of Schoenbergs fiftieth birthday.1 It
focuses mainly on Opp. 23-25, providing insight into Schoenbergs early serial
works from a member of his own circle, at a time when the twelve-tone method
was new.2
Stein republished Neue Formenprinzipien in 1953 in English
translation as New Formal Principles, part of a collection of his writings
called Orpheus in New Guises. He wrote an introduction to New Formal
Principles in which he clarifies that Opp. 23-25 comprise the stage
immediately before it [the twelve-tone method] finally crystallized.3 Therefore,
some observations apply only to the works mentioned in the essay, not to the
later and still stricter method based on rows consisting of all twelve notes.4
Although this statement seeks to distance Opp. 23-25 somewhat from the
compositions that followed, Stein also indicates his desire in this introduction to
show that the method grew gradually and inevitably from Schoenbergs earlier
compositions, as a practical, if personal, means of expressing his musical
thoughts.5 With such rhetoric, Stein effectively seeks to trace a thread that runs
through Schoenbergs entire oeuvre.
On the one hand, Steins introduction communicates a diachronic view of
Schoenbergs output. As is well known, not all parts of Opp. 23-25, all of which
Schoenberg completed in 1923, rely on a twelve-tone series to the degree that
Schoenberg would in his later compositions. Nor does Schoenberg exploit the

Erwin Stein, Neue Formprinzipien, Arnold Schnberg zum fnfzigsten Geburtstage, 13.
September 1924, Sonderheft der Musikbltter des Anbruch 6 (AugustSeptember 1924):
286303. The essay also appeared in H. Grues, E. Kruttge, and E. Thalheimer (eds.), Von
neuer Musik: Beitrge zur Erkenntnis der neuzeitlichen Tonkunst (Cologne: F.J. Marcan,
1925), 5977. All page number references are to the first citation.
When referring to serial twelve-tone composition, Schoenberg preferred the term method
to system. See, for example, Arnold Schoenberg, Style and Idea, ed. by Leonard Stein,
transl. by Leo Black (London: Faber and Faber, 1975), 213.
Erwin Stein, New Formal Principles, in Orpheus in New Guises, transl. by Hans Keller
(London: Rockliff, 1953), 57.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 57.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 57. Emphasis added.

possibilities of inversional hexachordal combinatoriality, which would become
a hallmark of the mature twelve-tone works. When Stein stipulates that after
1923 there emerged a later and still stricter method based on rows consisting of
all twelve notes, he reveals his sensitivity to the issue of how Schoenbergs
approach to serial composition changed over time.
On the other hand, Steins belief that the twelve-tone method was
inevitable suggests that Schoenbergs path to twelve-tone composition was
the result of some teleological development, perhaps even underlain by some
general idea or principle that did not change over time. Schoenberg himself
famously asserts this synchronic perspective in his essay, How One Becomes
Lonely, written in 1937.
My Verklrte Nacht, written before the beginning of this centuryhence a
work of my first period, has made me a kind of reputation. From it I can enjoy
(even among opponents) some appreciation which the works of my later periods
would not have procured for me so soon. This work has been heard, especially
in its version for orchestra, a great many times. But certainly nobody has heard
it as often as I have heard this complaint: If only he had continued to compose
in this style! I said: I have not discontinued composing in the same style and
in the same way as the very beginning.6
In pursuit of a synchronic view, Stein brings the term melodic motif
into the discussion. The often used expression melodic motif rightly suggests
a clear-cut shape which is exposed, and from which the subsequent music is
derived.7 The difference between serial and pre-serial compositions is that in
the later, definite method everything, including any motifs first exposition, is
derived from a basic set of twelve notes, which, however, is not a melodic
motif, but the raw material of as many motifs as the composer needs.8 But
Stein remains on the synchronic path, by reminding readers that the expression
basic shape,is applicable to either the twelve-note row or any melodic
motif.9 The derivation of all subsequent music from a basic shape serves as a
general compositional principle without regard for historical context.
Steins introduction beautifully encapsulates how analysts negotiate the
tightrope walk between diachronic and synchronic views of a composers
oeuvre. The strictest adherence to a synchronic view allows the analyst to
depend solely on formalized methodologies to demonstrate general principles
that appear to hold regardless of contextual factors. A diachronic view admits
these contextual factors, acknowledging the effects they may have on analytical
and methodological decisions. Steins prose suggests that analysts need not

Schoenberg, Style and Idea, 30.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 57.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 57.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 57.

limit their perspectives to either purely formalistic or purely contextual
By formal, I mean to evoke an approach to analysis, practiced mainly in
English-language scholarship, in which mathematical models impose certain
constraints on how the twelve-tone universe is partitioned. By contextual, I
mean historical, sociological and cultural contexts that would have had an effect
on a composer. The former viewpoint values consistency, while the latter
viewpoint values change and development.
It is not my intention in this paper to advocate strongly for either a solely
formal or a solely contextual approach to the analysis of Schoenbergs works.
Instead, I am interested in employing tools from formal methodologies to
provide insight into changing historical and compositional contexts during a
very tumultuous time in Schoenbergs personal and creative lifespecifically
the period has come to be called the atonal period. I wish to see analysis
consider both formal and contextual issues.

II. Stein on Atonal Music Lost in Translation

While Steins diachronic view explicitly distinguishes Opp. 23-25 from those
compositions that followed, he also implicitly separates these works from those
that preceded them in timethose non-tonal, non-serial compositions that have
come to be known as atonal. Of course, Schoenberg rejected the term atonal
I find above all that the expression, atonal music, is most unfortunateit is
on par with calling flying the art of not falling, or swimming the art of not
drowning. Atonal can no more exist among tones and tone-relationships than
can...aspectral or acomplementary, among colors and progressions of
Much to Schoenbergs chagrin, the term has stuck. In its broadest
definition, atonality refers to compositions that reject a tonal center, and thus
includes Schoenbergs serial works. However, most scholars today make a
distinction between serial compositions and those non-tonal works that came
before, referring to them as freely atonal or simply atonal. In regards to
Schoenbergs music, this period encompasses the non-serial, non-tonal works,
Opp. 11 and 15-22.11
Stein writes very little about this period in his essay. In fact, the only
composition from this time that he discusses at all is Nacht, song no. 8 from
Pierrot lunaire. The original German text reads:

Schoenberg, Style and Idea, 210-211.
This definition of the atonal period comes from Ethan Haimo, Atonality, Analysis, and
the Intentional Fallacy, Music Theory Spectrum 18/2 (Fall 1996): 167n. Many scholars
would include the last movement of Op. 10 as well.

Eine aus der Zwlftonreihe gewonnene Grundgestalt finden wir in der
Passacaglia des Pierrot Lunaire (Nacht). Das aus den drei Tnen e-g-es
bestehende Hauptmotiv ist der Trger des ganzen Stckes. Es kommt in dieser
aus 25 Takten bestehenden Komposition mit seinen Transpositionen und
Umbildungen weit ber hundertmal vor (ohne monoton zu werden das wei,
wer das Stck kennt). In den ersten drei Takten erscheint es gleichzeitig in der
Horizontalen und Vertikalen dargestellt, gleichsam die konzentrierte Essenz
alles Kommende. Dann wird es mit einer Forsetzung, die das restliche
motivische Material abgibt, als Kanon exponiert. Die anderen Motive sind also
als Kontrapunkt zum Hauptthema von diesem bedingt, so da die Grundgestalt
in allem Geschehen wirksam bleibt. Weiterhin wird sie in allerlei Figuren
aufgelst und zusammengeballt, durch Wendung ihrer groen Terz in eine
kleine Sext einmal in einen aufsteigenden Gang verwandelt (Takt 17), auch die
Umkehrung des Krebses wird verwendet, bis zum Schlu wieder der polyphone
Klangkomplex des Anfangs erscheint.12
The text of the 1953 English-language essay is a fairly faithful translation
of the original German, with one notable exception. The English text reads:
But in the passacaglia (Night) from Pierrot lunaire, we find an atonal
[emphasis added] basic shape; the principal, three-note motif E-G-Eb serves as
a basis for the entire piece. With its transpositions and derivative forms, it
occurs far more than a hundred times in this twenty-five bar composition
without becoming monotonous, as everyone knows who knows the piece. In the
first three bars it appears at once horizontally and verticallythe concentrated
essence, as it were, of everything that follows; whereupon it is exposed in
canon, with a continuation which supplies the rest of the motivic material. The
other motifs are therefore contrapuntally dependent upon the principal motif, so
that the basic shape remains throughout operative. In the further course of
events it is resolved and compressed into various figures, and on one occasion it
forms an ascending melody, its major third turning into a minor sixth (bar 17).
Inverted retrograde motion is used too, until at the end the openings polyphonic
texture reappears.13
The emergence of the word atonal in the English translation, which
does not appear in the original German, and to which Schoenberg may have
taken exception, is certainly worthy of further scrutiny. But even more
important for the purposes of the present discussion is the fact that Steins
mention of an atonal basic shape at the beginning of this passage in the
published English translation supplants his original analytical statement, which
might be translated into English as: In the passacaglia Nacht from Pierrot

Stein, Neue Formprinzipien, 294.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 66.

we find a basic shape obtained from the twelve-tone row.14 No reference to a
twelve-tone row remains in the English document in relation to Nacht.
The idea that Nacht is based on a twelve-tone row did receive some
traction in later studies. For example, in Changing Forms in Modern Music,
Karl Eschman writes of the passacaglia-like repetition of a twelve-note Series
in the Night of Pierrot Lunaire.15 Eschmans reading suggests that there is a
specific ordering of the total chromatic the recurs throughout Nacht. It is quite
clear, however, after reading Steins words in context, that this is not what he
meant by Zwlftonreihe.
Throughout the German essay, Stein uses Zwlftonreihe to mean all
twelve tones of the chromatic scale in no particular order. For example, he
writes, Wenn die Zwlftonreihe formbildend wirken soll, wird sie differenziert
werden mssen,16 which is translated into English as, if the twelve notes are
to have a formative effect, they will have to be differentiated.17 The
differentiation, of course, would be a specified ordering of the twelve tones.
Therefore, die reihe in this sentence is not an ordered entity. I read
Zwlftonreihe in Steins German essay to mean a use of the total chromatic
without reference to a central tonic. It could bebut does not have to bean
ordered entity; it could also be a resource from which material is drawn rather
Steins statement about a Zwlftonreihe in the relation to Nacht
serves two purposes. On the one hand, it reinforces the argument that the
twelve-tone method was inevitable, noting that Nacht is (in the most
general sense) a twelve-tone composition. On the other hand, it marks
Nacht as something new, setting it apart from the other pre-serial
compositions he mentions in the article, Opp. 7, 9 and 10examples of
Schoenbergs tonal music.18 The emergence of the word atonal in the 1953
English translation, in conjunction with the deliberate omission of any reference
to a twelve-tone row, clearly differentiates Nacht not only from the tonal
works that came earlier, but also from works based on a serial ordering of all
twelve tones. Steins choice of the word atonal in 1953 aligns with a tripartite

This English translation is from Jennifer Robin Shaw, Schoenbergs Choral Symphony,
Die Jakobsleiter, and Other Wartime Fragments (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York
at Stony Brook, 2004), 594.
Karl Eschman, Changing Forms in Modern Music (Boston: E. C. Schirmer Music
Company, 1945), 109.
Stein, Neue Formenprinzipien, 290.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 62.
Of course, many view the last movement of Op. 10 as an atonal work. Steins references
are to the third movement specifically, which is written with a key signature of seven flats
and tonal in the same sense as Opp. 7 and 9.

periodization of Schoenbergs oeuvre that has now become commonplace:
tonal, atonal, serial.
Whether reading the German or the English text, it is clear that Stein
thinks of Nacht as a twelve-tone composition, but not a serial oneat least
not one based on a series of all twelve-tones. Analysis of twelve-tone serial
compositions will likely focus, at least in part, on the order of the row upon
which the work is based. Because atonal compositions do not negotiate the total
chromatic in this way, they present other analytical challenges.
One methodological approach that has taken hold in English-language
scholarship to elucidate atonal compositions is pitch-class set theory. Like
twelve-tone theory, pitch-class set theory focuses on transpositional and
inversional relationships. The resemblance to twelve-tone theory raises
questions, which we will consider in the next section of the paper.

III. Analytical Spaces

In English-language post-tonal theory pedagogy, considerable emphasis is
placed on two analytical spaces: pitch space and pitch-class space. Two popular
textbooks in the United States, John Rahns Basic Atonal Theory and Joseph N.
Strauss Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory include discussions of the difference
between pitches and pitch classes. As Rahn writes, a pitch-class in this sense
is an equivalence class of all pitches that are exactly octaves apart.19 Straus
provides a specific example to elucidate the difference between pitch and pitch
class. When we say that the lowest note on the cello is a C, we are referring to
a specific pitch. We can notate the pitch on the second ledger line beneath the
bass staff. When we say that the tonic of Beethovens Fifth Symphony is C, we
are referring not to some particular pitch C, but to pitch-class C. Pitch-class C is
an abstraction and cannot be adequately notate on musical staves. Sometimes,
for convenience, we will represent a pitch class using musical notation. In
reality, however, a pitch class is not a single thing; it is a class of things, of
pitches one or more octaves apart.20 Teachers often have students think of
pitch space as a line that proceeds indefinitely in both directions. Pitches and
pitch-classes are often modeled as integers, with the pitch C4 = 0.21 In integer
notation in pitch-class space, all pitches that are enharmonically and octave
equivalent to C4 are modeled as pitch-class 0; all pitches that are
enharmonically and octave equivalent to C#4 are modeled as pitch-class 1; etc.

John Rahn, Basic Atonal Theory (New York: Schirmer Books, 1980), 22.
Joseph N. Straus, Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.:
Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005), 3.
I am using here the pitch designations of the Acoustical Society of America, where
C4=middle C.

Teachers often encourage students to think of pitch-class space a clockface.22
We can be sure that, if its eleven oclock now, it will be eleven oclock again
in twelve hours. Just as our lives unfold simultaneously in linear and modular
time, music unfolds simultaneously in pitch and pitch-class space.23
In both texts, the authors follow up their discussions of pitch and pitch-
class with a distinction between ordered and unordered intervals. Ordered
intervals result from the stipulation of one pitch (or pitch class) preceding or
following another. Unordered intervals do not take this into consideration. The
combination pitch and pitch-class spaces with ordered and unordered intervals
results in four types of intervals: ordered pitch intervals, unordered pitch
intervals, ordered pitch-class intervals and unordered pitch-class intervals.
Just as analysts use integers to model pitches and pitch classes, they also
use them to model the distance between pitches or pitch classes. The interval
between two pitches is given in integer notation in number of semitones. The
unordered pitch interval between C4 and E4 is simply 4, with no indication of
direction. Therefore, the unordered pitch interval is the same no matter which
pitch is first. Ordered pitch intervals are also measured in number of semitones,
but include a sign to indicate the direction of the interval. The ordered pitch
interval between C4 and E4 is +4, ascending the distance of four semitones;
the ordered pitch interval between E4 and C4 is -4, descending the distance of
four semitones. When the order of the two pitches is considered, the direction of
the interval must be qualified.
Because pitch-class space is modular (modulo 12), intervals in pitch-class
space can be more difficult to conceptualize. Returning to the ordered pitch
interval between E4 and C4 (-4), we might ask, what if E4 were followed by a
different representative of pitch-class C, such as C5? The ordered pitch
interval from E4 to C5 is +8. We note that -4 and +8 are both equivalent to 8
under mod-12 arithmetic. Thus, the ordered interval from pitch-class E to pitch-
class C is 8.24 Of course, the closer distance between pitch-class E and pitch-
class C on the clockface is 4 semitones, but ordered pitch-class intervals
stipulate that the order proceed clockwise.25 The unordered pitch-class interval
is the closest possible distance between two pitch classes. The unordered pitch-
class interval from pitch-class E to pitch-class C is 4. Since order does not

Rather than a clockface, some conceive of pitch-class space as a spiral. See the diagram in
Robert D. Morris, Composition with Pitch-Classes (New Have and London: Yale University
Press, 1987), 25.
Straus, Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory, 6.
In terms of the clockface, it is helpful to remember that ordered pitch-class intervals only
proceed clockwise around the circle.
In pitch space, we would conceive of this as ascending only. For example, we might ask
ourselves, if I am at E and I can only ascend to get to C, how many semitones will I travel?
See Straus, Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory, 8-9.

matter, the unordered pitch-class interval can be conceived of as the closest
distance on the clockface whether it is clockwise or counterclockwise.26 An
unordered pitch-class interval is also known as an interval class.
While all of this may seem straightforward and elementary today, in his
1924 essay Stein emphasizes the difference between what we know as pitch and
pitch-class spaces. He addresses the issue by discussing intervals rather than
pitches or pitch-classes. When writing about possible transformation of the
basic shape of a row, Stein asserts, among the most important is the
inversion of intervals.27 He continues, The relation between the notes C and
E, for instance, may express itself now in a major third, now in a minor sixth,
now in the leap of a tenth; an ascending fourth may turn into a descending fifth,
a major ninth into the step of a whole-tone.28
Stein recognizes that the interval from C to E can be an ascending major
third (+4), a descending minor sixth (-8), an ascending major tenth (+16), etc.
All of these ordered pitch intervals represent the ordered pitch-class interval 4,
which exists between any member of pitch-class C and any member of pitch-
class E. Similarly, an ascending [perfect] fourth (+5) and a descending [perfect]
fifth (-7) are both iterations of ordered pitch-class interval 5. The [ascending]
major ninth (+14) and the [ascending] step of a whole-tone (+2) are both
examples of ordered pitch-class interval 2.
He continues, only the relations between the notes are binding: their
direction is not.29 In the parlance of contemporary music theory, we would say
that the order of the pitch classes is binding, but the direction of the intervals
they create in pitch space is not. Therefore, to return to Steins first example, C
need not ascend 4 semitones to reach E. It can descend 8, ascend 16, descend
20, etc. However, the order does matter; C must come before E.30 After all, it is
the ordering of the pitches in a series that fundamentally distinguishes the
twelve-tone method from free atonal composition.31

The ordered and unordered pitch-class intervals between two pitch-classes are inverses of
each other in this case, 8 and 4, respectively, but this is not always the case. The ordered
pitch-class interval between C and E is 4 because the distance between C and E traveling
clockwise on the clockface is 4. The unordered pitch-class interval between C and E is also 4,
because this is the closest possible distance on the clockface.
Rahn provides definitions of the four types on intervals. See John Rahn, Basic Atonal Theory,
Stein, New Formal Principles, 65.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 65.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 65.
Of course, in the context of the twelve-tone method, the retrograde operation will allow E
to come before C, but this change is understood within the larger context of an operation on
the serial ordering of all twelve pitch classes.
In order to make the contrast as stark as possible, the discussion here does not include
partial ordering, which is a common tactic in serial twelve-tone composition.

Examples from Schoenbergs Op. 25 demonstrate how the ordering of the
total chromatic lessens the importance of the pitch-space presentation of
material in the sense that Stein means. The Gavotte opens with the pitch
sequence <E6, F5, G5, Db5, Gb5, Eb5>, creating a pitch-space interval
sequence of <-11, +2, -6, +5, -3>. The Trio of the Minuet movement begins
with the same sequence of pitch classes, but since the pitch-space representation
is <E3, F4, G3, Db4, Gb4, Eb3>, the resulting pitch-space intervals are <+13, -
10, +6, +5, -15>. These two examples share the same ordered pitch-class
content, and therefore, they have the same ordered pitch-class intervals, <1, 2,
6, 5, 9>. So even though these two passages have very different contours, a shift
in focus from pitch to pitch-class space allows analysts to demonstrate that at
some level, the two examples are equivalent.

IV. In Order to Understand

The power of pitch-class space to generalize to several analytical situations
makes it very enticing. Rahn notes the music theory communitys preference for
pitch-class space when he writes, much of music theory talks not about
pitches, but about pitch-classes.32 Although Allen Forte opens The Structure of
Atonal Music with a discussion of pitch combinations, he writes that the first
task is to formulate a more general notion to replace that of pitch
combination.33 This introduction leads to his discussion of the pitch-class set,
which, by definition, is a collection of pitch-classes, not a collection of pitches.
While Milton Babbitt originally used the term set to refer to a twelve-
tone row,34 Forte appropriates it for collections of fewer than twelve pitch
classes. According to Forte, this semantic coincidence has lead to the
misunderstanding that principles of set-theoretical analysis derive from 12-
tone theory and are therefore inappropriate when applied to non-twelve-tone
music.35 One reason for the conflation might be that pitch-class transposition
and inversion, fundamental to Schoenbergs twelve-tone method, form the basis
of pitch-class set membership as well. On the other hand, as Forte clarifies
multiple times in his article, Pitch-Class Set Analysis Today, his is a theory of
unordered pitch-class sets.
Weberns Concerto, Op. 24 provides an example of how the confusion
might emerge. The row of the concerto can be divided into discrete trichords,
each of which is a member of 3-3[014] in Fortes classification system. Since
pitch-class sets are by definition equivalent under transposition and inversion,

Rahn, Basic Atonal Theory, 22.
Allen Forte, The Structure of Atonal Music (New Haven and London: Yale University
Press, 1973), 1.
See Forte, The Structure of Atonal Music, 1.
Allen Forte, Pitch-Class Set Analysis Today, Music Analysis 4/1-2 (March 1985): 40.

any discrete trichord of any row form will be a member of set-class 3-3[014].36
Pitch-class set theory provides a framework for discussing how these smaller
sets relate to one another, as opposed to an analysis that focuses on
transformations of the entire row. Such an undertaking is in line with Steins
statement that the basic shape organizes the twelve notes, differentiating their
uniformity and arranging their order. They need not, however, be united within
a single motive, but can be distributed among several motifs.37 However, at the
end of the day, we must acknowledge that even these three-note sets, since they
are extracted from an ordering of the total chromatic, are themselves ordered
entities. A pitch-class set analysis does not focus on this order.
Certainly, the motivic saturation of Weberns Concerto invites
comparison with Nacht. Many analysts, including Stein, write that Nacht is
based on the three-note motive E-G-Eb. While these three pitches form a
member of 3-3[014], and while this trichord with its transpositions and
derivative forms occurs far more than a hundred times in this twenty-five bar
composition, there is a significant difference between these 3-3[014]s and
those in the Webern piece. Weberns 3-3[014]s, derived from a twelve-tone
row, relate in an ordered pitch-class space. The E-G-Eb motive, on the other
hand, is derived, as the German-language version of Steins text determines,
freely from the total chromatic. Thus, it would seem that unordered-pitch class
space would be an ideal context for the analysis of Nacht. However,
unordered-pitch class space obscures the fact that the ordered pitch interval
pattern of the original statement of the motive, <+3, -4>, is replicated many
times in the composition in pitch space, in a texture that draws heavily on
imitation and canon.38 Therefore, Nacht is based on a series; it is simply not a
twelve-tone series.
Not all of the 3-3[014]s in Nacht derive from the <+3, -4> motive.
Take, for example, the cello part in m. 17, which has the contour <+3, +8>. The
first interval is the same as the original motive, while the second interval is the
same in ordered pitch-class space. If we think of this motive as a transformation
of the original motive, it retains order even though it does not retain (all of) the
intervals in pitch space. The development of the motive in this instance is the
same as the treatment of material in the examples from Op. 25 mentioned

To clarify, the retrograde operation does not change the set-class categorization because
set-classes are by definition, unordered. While transposition and inversion preserve intervals,
and all member of the same set-class have the same interval-class content, that does not mean
that all pitch-class sets with the same interval-class content are members of the same set
class. Z-related set classes have the same interval-class content, but their members are not
related by either transposition or inversion.
Stein, New Formal Principles, 63. See p. 65 as well.
The application of the retrograde-inversion operation on the pitches results in the pattern <-
4, +3>, featured in mm. 19ff.

above. When considered in this light, it becomes clear why Nacht, with its
emphasis on an ordered motive, would be the atonal work that Stein cites in his
discussion of the development of the twelve-tone method.

V. Conclusion and Further Study

Nacht may be Steins only representative of atonal period music in New
Formal Principles, but we should pose the question as to just how
representative it is. No other piece from Schoenbergs atonal period relies so
heavily on an ordered motive, much less one that is consistently ordered in pitch
space. This feature is unique to Nacht.39 It is the one piece in which the order
of the pitches so clearly gives rise to a shape upon which much of the rest of
the composition is based.
Because it is difficult to find many other examples of ordered motivic
transformation in pitch space in Schoenbergs atonal period works, it is
understandable why analysts default to unordered pitch-class space. Consider,
for example, Schoenbergs Op. 11, no. 1. In his analysis of the opening of this
movement, Straus segments this passage into three-note sets, which, just as in
the case of Nacht, are members of 3-3[014].40 Unlike the 3-3[014]s in
Nacht, none of the 3-3[014]s that Straus identifies retains any pitch-space
resemblance; they are, however, equivalent in unordered pitch-class space.41
The power of unordered pitch-class space to generalize across pieces
cannot be denied. It is for this reason that the pitch-class set analytic
methodology aligns well with synchronic concerns; in reference to the specific
example given above, it can show that that in some sense the motivic
development in Op. 11, no. 1 and Nacht, both beginning with a member of 3-
3[014], might be similar. At the same time, analysts might ask how they could
capture something about the remarkable differences between the surfaces of
Nacht and Op. 11, no. 1, and what these might tell us Schoenbergs
compositional development. (After all, Op. 11, no. 1 was composed in 1908,
near the beginning of the atonal period, and Nacht was composed in 1912,
near the end of it.) The foregoing discussion suggests that shifting focus from

In his analysis of Nacht, Straus points to the canon theme in mm. 4ff, which ends with
the interval pattern <-1, +9>. Even though the interval pattern has a different contour and
different pitch intervals, and does not have any obvious relationship to the head motive, E-
G-Eb, it does form a member of the same set class, 3-3[014]. See Introduction to Post-Tonal
Theory, 30. Strauss approach reveals a concern for what he calls concealed repetition, one
of the benefits of unordered pitch-class space. See Joseph N. Straus, Remaking the Past
(Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1990), 21-22.
Straus, Remaking the Past, 24.
Straus defines a pitch-class set as a motive from which many of the identifying
characteristicsregister, rhythm, orderhave been boiled away. Pitch-class set analysis is
motivic analysis in Remaking the Past, 24.

ordered pitch space to unordered pitch-class space is one way to accomplish
this. Let us briefly consider another.
In his Formenlehre, Schoenberg defined three means of presentation of
the idea: developing variation, envelopment (contrapuntal presentation) and
juxtaposition.42 Different methods of presentation value different kinds of
motivic transformation differently. Polyphonic compositions are governed by
envelopment, which emphasizes exact repetitions (transpositions, inversions,
retrogrades, rhythmic augmentation and diminution), particularly in pitch space.
No other composition in the atonal period better exemplifies envelopmental
presentation than Nacht. Developing variation is the principle behind
homophonic compositions, such as Op. 11, no. 1. In developing variation,
motivic transformation results from elaborations such as intervallic expansion
and contraction.
Exact repetitions of a motive, such as those in Nacht, guarantee pitch-
class set equivalence. The same is not always true of intervallic expansion and
contraction. For example, consider the opening pitches in the right hand of the
piano in Op. 11, no. 1. The first three maintain the contour <-3, -1>, followed
by the contour <-4, -1>. Both contours descend, both end with a falling
semitone, and both begin with a diatonic third. They are not, however, members
of the same set class: the first forms a member of 3-3[014] and the second a
member of 3-4[015]. If we focus solely on unordered pitch-class space, we view
these motives through a lens that does not suggest that the second contour is an
elaboration of the first, even though it is arguably a textbook example of what
Schoenberg called a developed repetition.43 Therefore, unordered pitch-class
space may not be the best analytical space to model developing variation.44
Theorists continue to produce methodological alternatives to pitch-class
set theory that offer alternative models of motivic transformation.45 As more
options present themselves, it is important for analysts to choose the
methodology that can best illuminate the analytical situation at hand. In my
view, the method of presentation, not the methodology itself, is the context of

See, for example, Severine Neff, Schoenberg as Theorist: Three Forms of Presentation,
in Schoenberg and His World, ed. Walter Frisch (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1999), 55-84; and ine Heneghan, Tradition as Muse: Schoenbergs Musical Morphology
and Nascent Dodecaphony, (Ph.D. diss., The University of Dublin Trinity College, 2006).
Specifically, the textbook is Arnold Schoenberg, Fundamentals of Composition, ed. Gerald
Strang and Leonard Stein (London: Faber & Faber, 1967), in which he discusses motivic
transformation. See particularly, pp. 8-9.
Many other scholars have argued this point. See, for example, Haimo, Atonality,
Analysis, and the Intentional Fallacy.
In regards to developing variation in particular, see, for example, Jack Boss, Schoenbergs
Op. 22 Radio Talk and Developing Variation in Atonal Music, Music Theory Spectrum 14/2
(Fall 1992): 125-149 and Joseph N. Straus, Uniformity, Balance and Smoothness in Atonal
Voice Leading, Music Theory Spectrum 25/2 (Fall 2003): 305-352.

paramount importance for understanding motivic transformation in
Schoenbergs atonal period music.46 Schoenbergs writings and those of his
students make it clear that he valued the three different methods of presentation
differently at different times during the atonal period. Therefore, when we focus
on presentation, we foreground the diachronic concerns of how Schoenbergs
compositional approach changed over timeall the while allowing
Schoenbergs words to linger in our minds: I have not discontinued composing
in the same style and in the same way as the very beginning.

See J. Daniel Jenkins, Issues of Form in Schoenbergs Atonal Period Vocal Music: Three
Case Studies, (Ph.D. diss., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, 2007).


Barbara Smolej Fritz (Krsko Elementary Music School, Slovenia)

Processes of Self-Regulation in Music Learning: Between Theory

and Practice

In this article, we would like to present short answers to the following ques-
tions: what is self-regulated learning, what are the key strategies of self-
regulated learning, do self-regulated students achieve better results in school,
and can a teacher help students to regulate their own learning.
In the past few decades, the focus of education research has shifted from
relatively static factors (e.g. students abilities) toward students responsibility
for their own learning. This has been the consequence of rapid social and tech-
nological changes. It cannot be denied that life-long learning is becoming im-
portant consequently. The main educational goal has not only been to pass on
new information, but even more so to teach students how to use their knowl-
edge and skills in new situations, how to connect knowledge, set learning goals,
and become active participants in life-long learning. Students have to be able to
connect different knowledge, use knowledge in a flexible way, and develop
their capacity for critical thinking, reflection and evaluation of their own learn-
ing. It is not surprising that self-regulated learning plays an important role with
respect of such educational statements.
Most researchers of self-regulation view learning as a multidimensional
or multi-component process which contains (meta)cognitive, motivational, emo-
tional and environmental components (Boekaerts and Cascallar 2006; Pintrich
and De Groot 1990; Zimmerman 1998). The most important feature of self-
regulated learning is that the learner has control over his own learning and di-
rect cognitive and motivation processes in order to achieve the learning goal
(Boekaerts and Cascallar 2006, 200). However, it should be stressed that self-
regulation is context dependent, which means that students do not express self-
regulated behaviour in the same way in all learning situations (Boekaerts, 1996,
Different models that try to systematize strategies and knowledge neces-
sary for students to direct their own learning exist, e.g. the six-component
model of self-regulated learning by M. Boekaerts (1996). This model consists of
two parallel regulatory systems, cognition, and motivation, where different
components of the two domains are positioned on three interacting levels
(knowledge, strategy use, and goals). Another example is the three-phase self-
regulated model that was developed by Zimmerman (1998), in which the author
organizes different self-regulated processes into three phases. The forethought
phase precedes performance and refers to processes that set the stage for action.
The performance control phase involves processes that occur during learning

and affect attention and action, while self-reflection involves processes that oc-
cur after performance and include learners response to the experience (Zim-
merman, 1998, 2). Although some differences between models exist, all of them
consist of (meta)cognitive and motivational processes that are necessary for
self-regulated behaviour in the specific domain of learning.
To explain the key processes of self-regulation, we will use a four-
component model (Garcia and Pintich 1994; Hofer, Yu, and Pintrich 1998). The
authors propose two general organizing constructs: knowledge / beliefs and
strategies of self-regulation in the two domains of cognition and motivation. A
combination of domains and constructs gives us a four-component model. The
cognitive structure includes declarative knowledge, e.g., knowledge about
strategies, procedural knowledge, e.g., knowledge about how to use strategies
and conditional knowledge, e.g., knowledge about when and why to use strate-
gies (Hofer, Yu, and Pintrich 1998, 66), implicit theories of thinking and learn-
ing, as well as (meta)cognitive experience, e.g. feelings and thoughts of mo-
mentary mental activity and (meta)cognitive knowledge, e.g. understanding
which abilities one needs for solving this problem. In addition to knowledge,
students possess a more or less wide range of cognitive and meta-cognitive
strategies. In literature (Garcia and Pintrich 1994; Hofer, Yu, and Pintrich 1998;
Pintrich and Schunk 2002), the most frequently mentioned cognitive strategies
are rehearsal, e.g. reading the text, elaboration, e.g. explaining the material to a
friend and organization, e.g., extraction, while planning, e.g., setting goals,
monitoring, e.g., self-testing of understanding and regulation (e.g., reading the
text once again if one does not understand everything) are the most frequently
mentioned meta-cognitive strategies.
Affective-motivational processes play a very important part in student
self-regulated learning. Students need to self-regulate their motivation for learn-
ing; in other words, they must motivate themselves to start learning and sustain
the effort until the task is completed (Boekaerts and Cascallar 2006, 201). The
affective-motivational component refers to the knowledge that students have
about themselves, tasks and learning situations. It includes knowledge and be-
liefs about strengths and weaknesses as a learner, self-efficacy for various aca-
demic tasks (refers to judgments of capabilities to perform academic tasks),
goal orientation for learning, personal interest and value for academic tasks
(Garcia and Pintich 1994; Hofer, Yu, and Pintrich 1998, 69). Students also pos-
sess a wide range of motivational strategies which help them regulate motiva-
tion through maintenance of positive self-worth: self-affirmation (if an individ-
ual experiences a negative evaluation of himself in a particular value domain,
the individual will seek to affirm a positive global evaluation in other equally
valuated domains), self-handicapping (refers to creating obstacles to success in
order to maintain self-confidence), defensive pessimism (refers to unrealisti-
cally low expectations in order to prepare for potential failure) and attribution

style ( refers to causal explanation for outcomes, experiences and events) (Gar-
cia and Pintich, 1994, 135-138).
As has been mentioned earlier, self-regulated learning is context depend-
ent, therefore it has been studied in different learning contexts mostly in mathe-
matics and native language (Pejak and Koir, 2003; Peklaj, 2001; Peklaj and
Pejak, 2002; Pintrich and De Groot, 1990; Poklay and Blumenfeld, 1990;
Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons, 1990). In the field of music, attention has
mostly been directed to instrument learning or practicing (Gruson, 1988; Er-
icsson, Krampe and Tesch-Rmer, 1993; McPherson and McCormic, 1999;
Hallam, 1995, 2001; McCormic and McPherson, 2003; McPherson, 2005;
McPherson and Renwick, 2001; Nielsen, 1999, 2001; Smith, 2005), which is
not surprising, because successful performance depends primarily on adequate
rehearsal at home, during which students have to be able to use effective cogni-
tive, metacognitive and motivational strategies. Musical practice is multi-
faceted. Musicians have to play or sing from memory, rehearse, perform with
other musicians, etc. These elements require aural, technical, cognitive, motiva-
tional, performance and learning skills. Such complex skills cannot be acquired
and improved by simple repetitious practice (Hallam, 2006, 118).
Ericsson (Ericsson, Krampe and Tesch-Rmer, 1993, 368-369) coined the
term deliberate practice to describe goal-orientated, structured and effortful
practice in which motivation, resources and attention determine the amount and
quality of practice. Expert musicians show more effort and concentration during
practice and are more likely to monitor and control their playing than less
skilled musicians.
From a slightly different view, Sloboda and Davidson (1996, 183) distin-
guished between formal and informal practice. They found that high-achieving
musicians tend to realize significantly greater amounts of formal practice
(scaled, technical exercise) and informal practice (playing favourite songs).
Jorgensen (1995, in Hallam, 2006, 118) defined practice as self-teaching
where musicians need to take account of their goals, the content, methods, and
allocation of time.
Hallam (2006, 118) considered effective practice as that which achieves
the desired end-product in as short a time as possible, without interfering nega-
tively with long-term goals. In other words, effective practice is what works
in the short term without negative consequences on the long-term goals.
The logical question that ensues is What are effective strategies or
what works? In literature, research on self-regulation in the field of music
can be divided into two groups: the first group includes research on
(meta)cognitive and affective-motivational aspects of self-regulated learning in
musical experts (e.g. Hallam, 2001; Nielsen, 2001, 2004; Smith, 2005). In the
second group authors (e.g. Gruson, 1988; McPherson and McCormick, 1999;
McPherson and Renwick, 2001; Sloboda and Davidson, 1996) examine self-

regulated processes in music performance of children and changes in a self-
regulation according to age.
Since of self-regulation is a very complex and multi-component process,
a lot of research has focused on only one or a few of its aspects.
Hallam (2006, 122-123) made an overview of research on the way ex-
perts and novices practice: Most professional musicians acquire an overview of
music that they are to learn in the early stages of practice of a new piece. They
divide the music into sections and subsections; the division depends on the mu-
sical structure and technical problems. At the beginning of practice, the sections
may be very short and, as practice progresses, the units become longer. There is
a wide variety of strategies that are used, e.g. playing through without stopping,
playing through and stopping at difficult sections or selecting section in antici-
pation. Technical practice may depend on slow analytic work, repetition, at-
tempts to speed up, and variation (rhythm, bowing and tonguing). Many musi-
cians use warm-up exercises. When passages need to be played at speed, they
are learnt slowly and then speeded up. A combination of mental and physical
practice is most effective because mental practice allows concentration on the
cognitive aspects of music performance. Professional musicians have well-
developed metacognitive skills (self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses,
knowledge about tasks, and what would be required to complete them).
On the other hand, research on practice by novices has suggested that
they are often unaware of making errors. The reason for this might be that they
do not have the appropriate internal aural schemata. They have problems with
identifying difficult sections, they usually practice by playing music through
without stopping, rather than focusing on difficult sections, and when learning
to read music they focus first on playing correct pitch, than rhythm and finally
dynamic and interpretation (Hallam, 2006, 125-126).
Effective self-regulation in practicing novices and experts is based on the
connection between (meta-) cognitive and affective-motivational processes.
Musicians who are more cognitively engaged while practicing report higher
levels of intrinsic value of instrument learning (McPherson in McCormick,
1999) and also perceive themselves as more competent (Nielsen, 2004). In our
study (Smolej Fritz, 2006) we examined the connection between
(meta)cognitive and affective-motivational aspects of self-regulation in music
theory learning. We found similar results. Students who are more intrinsically
motivated tend to be more cognitively engaged in learning music theory. These
students also perceive the subject as more applicable and important for their
instrumental learning and feel more competent.

Self-Regulated Learning and Students Achievement in School

Self-regulated learning and achievement is one of the most studied fields of
self-regulation, but findings are not entirely consistent, particularly respect to

the relation between cognitive aspect of self-regulation and achievement. Some
studies found positive correlation (e.g. Puklek-Levpuek, 2001; Smolej Fritz,
2006), while others found no or even negative correlation (Hudoklin, 2004;
Pejak and Koir, 2003; Peklaj and Pejak, 2002; Peklaj and Vodopivec, 1998).
In other words, it is not entirely clear whether high achievers use more cogni-
tive strategies than low-achievers.
The findings concerning the affective-motivational component of self-
regulated learning and achievement are more consistent. Self-efficacy and in-
trinsic motivation are positively related to achievement (Bouffard, Marcoux,
Vezeau and Bordeleau, 2003; Borkowski and Thorpe, 1994; Peklaj and Pejak,
2002; Pintrich and DeGroot, 1990; Puklek-Levpuek, 2001, Smolej Fritz,
2006). This means that students who believe more strongly in their abilities per-
form academic tasks in a particular academic domain, students who take into
consideration the importance of doing well, and students who show personal
interest in a specific task achieve better results in school. McCormick and
McPherson (2003) found that self-efficacy is the best predictor of performance
at instrumental exams. Anxiety, on the other hand, is usually related negatively
to achievement, although very anxious students can be relatively successful at
the clearly defined tasks, the routine tasks and tasks without a time limit
(Marenti-Poarnik, 2000, 211-212).

Teachers help and students self-regulated learning

S.G. Paris and R.S. Newman (1990, in Pejak and Koir, 2002, 147) suggested
that self-regulated learning does not develop automatically, but it is a result of
the interaction between a students maturation and process of formal education.
Therefore, teachers have an important role in this process. They should equip
students with successful learning strategies and show them when, where and
why to use them. It is important to show students that using strategies is not a
recipe; strategies should be accommodated to students personal characteristics,
learning context etc. Teachers should demonstrate to students the usefulness of
particular strategies and stress that they will need to invest more effort at the
beginning, but they will achieve better results in the end. Musicians who want
to practice more effectively should identify the nature of the task and what the
most effective way to complete it will be ; they should monitor and evaluate
their progress, be engaged in mental activities (think about the task outside
practice time), invest time in analytic work and plan practice.
Affective-motivational aspects of self-regulated learning are equally im-
portant. Teachers should create a pleasant atmosphere in the class, emphasize
each students individual improvement and structure learning situations in such
way that students of different abilities can cope with them successfully. Experi-
encing success will reduce anxiety and promote internal motivation for music

learning. Students who feel that they are able to learn will invest more effort in
In the literature, different programs for developing SR can be found. E.g.,
Learning to learn by Hofer, Yu and Pintrich (1998), A self-regulated strategy
development model by Graham, Harris and Troia (1998), Socio-cognitive In-
structional Model for Mathematics Intervention by Schunk (1998). These pro-
grams are different according to three aspects: the scope of the program, the
content and the time frame of the program (Hofer, Yu in Pintrich, 1998, 58-59.).
In terms of scope, the issue concerns how many different strategies the program
will focus on. However it is important to consider not only how many different
strategies to teach, but also which ones. A program can teach general cognitive,
metacognitive or motivational strategies or more domain-specific strategies
(e.g. strategies specific for mathematics or music).
The time frame is related to the first two characteristics. A short-term
program for example cannot teach the range of different strategies important for
self-regulation. At the same time, the age of a student is also important. Ele-
mentary students who are just developing general metacognitive and cognitive
strategies need more time than college students who already have some experi-
ence and knowledge about successful learning strategies (Hofer, Yu and Pin-
trich, 1998, 58-59).
Regardless of the differences, each program should contain some essen-
tial elements (Schunk and Zimmerman, 1998, 225-236):
Learning strategies. A teacher should introduce students to different learning
strategies. He or she has to show how, when and why use these strategies,
because this is the only way that students will use them.
Practicing self-regulated strategies and feedback. A teacher or another com-
petent person should direct the practice.
Monitoring. The students should always monitor the use of strategies and
their effectiveness. They should be able to change or modify strategies if the
strategies do not lead to the desired result.
Social support. It is an important element that contains parent, peer and
teacher support that disappears gradually when a student becomes more
competent in directing his own learning.
Self-reflection. A student has to become aware of which strategies are effec-
tive and which are not in a specific learning context. This information will
be used in future learning.
Music learning encompasses a wide spectrum of activities. In order to op-
timize progress, teachers must also focus special attention on self-regulated
processes. Although the above these programs are not developed specifically for
music learning or instrument practice, these essential elements are also valued
for the development of self-regulated processes in the music domain.

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Boekaerts, Monique and Cascallar, Eduardo (2006). How Far Have We Moved Toward the
Integration of Theory and Practice in Self-Regulation? Educational Psychology Re-
view, 18(3), 199-210.
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span perspective on underachievement, in Self-regulation of Learning and Perform-
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merman. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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Classroom: The Role of Self-Schemas and Self-Regulatory Strategies, in Self-
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tion of Music, Psychology of Music, 23: 11-128.
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education, British Journal of Music Education, 18 (1): 27-39.
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Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kanlinga Dona (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Music Therapy: Sri Lankan Approaches

Even though music continues to be used as a healing force to alleviate illness

and distress throughout the human history, the specific discipline named music
therapy is a rather recent phenomenon and understandings of what constitutes
music therapy vary both within and across countries (comp. Bunt 2001:535).
The belief in musics healing power probably points to a basic anthropogenic
ability of the humans to be psychosomatically influenced by music. Wolfgang
Mastnak sees considerable potential in relating non-European practices to
modern music therapy and in accomodation of non-European methods to
western psychotherapy. In his words, the issue is to reveal the anthropogenic
core which is responsible for the music theraputic effect and appears as
transculturally invariable (Mastnak 1993: 80).
The history of music therapy reveals that new findings in dominant
philosophical or scientific thought have often been assimilated as new rationales
for the use of music in treating diseases and in maintaining health (Ruud 1998:
49). Likewise, music continues to be used as a therapeutic tool among Sinhalese
majority in Sri Lanka as an integrated art with dance, drama, masks, and other
artistic components. Even though several religions co-exist in the island,
including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and sets of beliefs practiced by the
indigenous Vedda people1, Buddhism appears to be the prevalent religion in
both spatial and temporal terms. While seeking spiritual bliss through
Buddhism, people practice rituals to fulfill psychological needs of everyday life.
Just like Christianity in Europe and elsewhere, Buddhism has not, and probably
could not eradicate deeply rooted popular beliefs in gods and demons from the
minds of the believers.

Ritual Practices
Vivid and highly elaborated ritual practices with therapeutical outcomes help
individuals and communities in Sri Lanka to deal with dangers and to reduce or
eliminate suffering due to ilnesses. Abnormal fears, continuous illnesses, or
epidemics usually make people seek help from an astrologist, a buddhist monk,
or a traditional healer. Discussing the problem with any of these three
trustworthy individuals, and often with all three of them, helps in understanding
and solving it. For instance, pregnant woman visits Buddhist temple to receive
monks blessing through his chanting of a pirit and through binding a thread
around her wrist. After delivering the child, she visits astrologists to obtain
horoscope and learn whether there is a need for a suitable ritual. Then she calls
More about Veddas rituals can be found in Pertold 1973.

for a traditional healer who conducts the ritual. As another example, Sri Lankan
farmers are known for practicing annual rituals through which they ask gods for
good harvest and to protect them from epidemics. In Mastnaks words, the
variety of music-therapeutic results ensures that the effect of music on the
psyche is based on a multifunctional process comprising physiological,
emotional, and cognitive factors as well as on anthropological, cultural and
individual conditions (1993: 78). The rituals reflect the values, beliefs, needs,
and customs of Sri Lankan predominantly agricultural society. They can be
divided into three categories in regard to their functions and aims.
1. Those performed for the well-being of the given individual
2. Those conducted annually for the welfare of the given community
3. Those performed for communitys well-being in situations of immediate
The rituals generally imply night-long performances and their initial
purpose is to propitiate gods and demons by offering oblations. They are
specific in a sence that they invoke either deities, planetary deities, or demons.
The main ritual practices of Sri Lanka are known as Bali and Tovil. Tovil is
considered the most important curative and therapeutic performance, and is
practised especially in the low-country of Sri Lanka.
Bali refers to the rites dedicated to planetary deities. Bali performance is
based on the nine planets, which can be identified as Ravi (Sun), Chandra
(Moon), Kuja (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Sukra (Venus), Sani
(Saturn), Rahu (Dragons head), and Ketu (Dragons tail) (Premakumara De
Silva 2000: 23, 24). The purpose of Bali is to bless and protect either an
individual or the community when the protection emanating from the planets is
weak and the individual or community is vulnerable to malign influences (more
in Premakumara De Silva 2000 and Wijesekera 1985).
Tovil is conducted to propitiate and exorcise demons. Various regional
variants of Tovil in Sri Lankan traditional communities have the same goal:
protection from demons. Sanni Yakuma, also known as Daha Ata Sanniya,
counts to most elaborated rituals within the Tovil category. It is generally
believed that Tovil has capacity to cure thirty-five kinds of diseases related to
vata (air), pita (bile), and kapha (phlegm), that diseases are consequences of
demons possessness. Therefore, Sri Lankans practise this ritual with 18 masks
to purge demons malefic influences and to relieve themselves from evil sights.
The masks are fashioned in such a way that each of them represents the salient
feature of a disease. The masks are believed to have the power to remove the
affects of demons. Table 1 below provides detailed evidence.

Diseases Name Literal Translation Associated Syndromes
(sanni) =
Demons Name
Amukku Vomiting bouts Vomiting and stomach diseases
Abhuta Non-spirit related Non-spirit-related insanity
Bhuta Spirit related Spirit-related insanity
Bihiri Deaf Deafness
Deva Divine Epidemic diseases
Gedi Lumps Boils and skin diseases
Gini Jala Great fire or flame Malaria and high fevers
Golu Dumb Dumbness
Gulma Worms (hookworm) Parasitic worms and stomach
Jala Water or diarrhea Cholera and chills
Kana Blind Blindness
Kora Lame Lameness and paralysis
Maru Death Delirium and death
Naga Snake (esp. cobra) Bad dreams about snakes
Pissu Insanity Temporary insanity
Pith Bilious Bilious diseases
Slesma Phlegm Phlegm and epilepsy
Vata Wind humor or Flatulence and rheumatism

Table 1: The Eighteen Essential Categories of Tovil

The ritual starts with a masked practitioner who enters the arena following drum
beat and healers rhythmicized poetic introduction. The healers role is to
explain the meaning of each mask to the gathered people (Amarasekara 2002:
36). Some of the masks are presented on pictures 1-42.

The pictured images belong to the collection of the University of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo, Sri
Lanka. They were photographed by the author in July 2007. Shapes of the masks and their names vary from one
locality to another, more details in Wijesekera 1989.

Picture 1: Gini Jala Sanniya Picture 2: Golu Sanniya
(Malaria and High Fever) (Dumbness)

Picture 3: Kana Sanniya Picture 4: Naga Sanniya

(Blindness) (Bad Dreams about Snakes)

The complex and elaborated ritual includes intense singing, drumming, and
dancing. The belief that such coordinated and joint effect of voice, drum,
movement, and mask has strong healing potential is deeply rooted. Leslie
Bunts remark that of all the elements, rhythm is often given a central position
within music therapy because of its potential to focus energy and bring structure
and order (2001: 536) is fully applicable to the Sri Lankan case. Apart from
drumming, fearful appearance and aggressive behavior of the masked
practitioner helps purge sick persons emotions and arouse excitement. At the
end of ritual, the performers are called upon to bless the audience and

consequently increase the fertility of crops and herds, ensure health, and release
people from malefic influences.

Ayurvedic Medicine
The term Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words: Ayur (ayuh)
which means life and Veda, which means science. It could therefore be
translated and understood as life science or as Wanninayaka prefers, the
science of life (Wanninayaka 1982: 1). Ayurvedic medicine, itself of Indian
origin, was for the long time the medicine for the majority of Sri Lankans
(Kariyawasam 2002: 27); while nowadays it enjoys status, equal to that of the
western medicine. In everyday life, Sri Lankans are in a position to choose
between Ayurvedic and western treatments and facilities.
According to Ayurveda, human being is a conglomerate of three humors
(thridosa). Thridosa explains the physio-chemical and physiological activities of
the body. The three humors are Vata, Pita, and Kapha.
1. Vata initiates and promotes biological activity responsible for all the
movements in the body.
2. Pita is responsible for generation of body heat and certain psychological
attributes of the individual. Pita is also responsible for digestion and
metabolism of the body.
3. Kapha is providing nutrition to bodily tissues.
These three elements exist in dynamic equilibrium and help maintaining human
body in a healthy condition. Ayurveda looks at diseases as a state of
disharmony in the body as a whole and the treatment is, therefore, aimed at the
restoration of equilibrium.
With the establishment of the colonial rule, by Portuguese, followed by
Dutch and English (1505-1948), indigenous arts and traditional knowledge,
including Ayurveda, were deprived from official support. In spite of
unfavorable conditions, Ayurveda has not been abandoned by the Sri Lankans.
Majority of the people, particularly in rural areas depended on Ayurvedic
treatment in dealing with their illnesses. The 1920s were marked by the
increased interest in Ayurveda and setting up of the Ayurvdic College and
hospital at Borella in 1929 was certainly a major landmark in the movement for
its revival (Wanninayaka 1982: 9-11).
Traditional Ayurvedic physicians, i.e. those who have received no formal
institutional training acquired proficiency by serving a teacher for a long period
of times as apprentices. The emphasis in their education was on the practical
aspects such as preparation of herbal medications and their application to the
patients. The apprentice takes the lead over from the teacher when the latter
ceased to practice, thus ensuring the transfer of accumulated therapeutic
knowledge from generation to generation. Secrets of successful healing used to
be jealously guarded as intellectual property within particular families of

Ayurvedic physicians and transmitted only to the involved members of own
families. Institutionalized university education in Ayurvedic medicine is
currently available at two Sri Lankan universities and lasts five years.
Successful traditional Ayurvedic practitioners are invited to various capacities
to share their knowledge and experiences with the students.
There is no prescribed use of music within the complex of Ayurvedic
medicine. However when the patients suffer from such psychosomatic diseases
that the Ayurveda cannot cure, Ayurvedic doctors recommend them to go for
either rituals or western medicine. Ayurvedic hospitals provide specialized
treatment for snake bites, boils and carbuncles, fractures and dislocations, eye
diseases, mental diseases and childrens diseases. Ayurveda has two lines of
treatment: Samana Karma and Sodhana Karma. Samana does not eliminate but
merely subsides the vitiated dosa (problems). Sodhana on the other hand
eliminates the vitiated dosa from the body. It is, therefore, recognized as a
better form of treatment than Samana (Wanninayaka 1982: 21).
Ayurvedic medicine recognizes the importance of ritual practices such as
Bali and Tovil, and names them Bhuta Vidya. This name refers to ritual
practices potential to remove malevolent influences of devils, deities and
planetary deities (comp. Seelaratana 2005: 2). Amarasiri Ponnamperuma points
to several Ayurvedic books that vividly explain the role of rituals in treatment
of various diseases, Ba laGraha Sha ntiya by Tambi Appu (1867) and
Kuma raoushadha Ma la wa by A. J. Perera (1980) being the most
important among them. Ba laGraha Sha ntiya refers in great detail to
planetary rituals. It provides in-depth description of childhood diseases and their
healing through ritual practices. One of the most indicative cases is related to a
month old children who are believed to be possessed by a female devil named
Puputana Sikhini and should be treated through a specific ritual practice
(comp. Ponnamperuma 1999: 35-37). Tony Wigrams opinion that after nearly
250 years of separation, medicine, health psychology and music therapy are
approaching each other again, realizing that man is not a machine, but a
complex, bio-psycho-social being (in Wigram, Nygaard Pedersen and Bonde
2002: 21) provides a useful point concerning the shared, broader understanding
of disease within the Ayurvedic and western medical domains.

Western Medicine
According to one of the leading theorists of music therapy in the western world,
the Norwegian Even Ruud, music therapy is the use of music and/ or its
musical elements (sound, rhythm, melody and harmony) by a music therapist,
and client or group, in a process designed to facilitate and promote
communication, relationship, learning, mobilization, expression and
organization (physical, emotional, mental, social and cognitive) in order to
develop potentials and develop or restore functions of the individual so that he

or she can achieve better intra- and/or interpersonal integration and,
consequently, a better quality life (Ruud 1998: 52-53). An ever increasing
number of Sri Lankans is getting access to western values, habits and medical
assistance. Consequently, indigenous ritual practices and Ayurvedic medicine,
which in most cases does not offer instant remedy and does not claim efficiency
in curing the entire spectrum of diseases, are gradually losing prominence
compared to western medicine. Nowadays rituals are practiced rather rarely,
even in villages. Sometimes they can be experienced in the urban contexts, but
more as showcases for educational, preservational, or exhibitional purposes than
as events determined by the healing function.
So far, music therapy as a scholarly practice has not been institutionalized
within the western medical system in Sri Lanka. But, rather recently T.L.S.S.
Siritunga, himself a doctor of western medicine, has completed a MD
dissertation based on research in music therapy. In this pioneer research within
the context of Sri Lanka, the scholar has tested the impact of Indian classical
music on heart patients and proved that the patients exposure to music in raga
Darbhari Kanada3 considerably improved their health condition.4
From December 2006 on, music therapy is practiced as a part of the Heart
Rehabilitation program at the Cardiology Unit of the General Hospital in
Colombo. It has been introduced by cardiologist, Dr. Ruwan Ekanayake.
Patients who suffered from heart-attacks and underwent heart operations were
required to attend all together ten sessions of the heart rehabilitation program
that included diet, medications, and music therapy. The aim of the program,
held twice a week, is to improve physical, mental, social and spiritual
conditions of the patients. Artists are invited to the sessions once a month to
perform well-known songs that use the modes from the Indian classical music.
Sessions are interactive and require patients participation in singing, clapping,
and discussing aesthetic and therapeutical values of the songs. Dr. Ekanayakes
experience with the sessions is overwhelmingly positive. Music therapy has
helped patients to modify their mental and spiritual values and to reduce their
fears related to the situations that brought them to the state of hospitalization.
The effectiveness of this therapeutic procedure however still awaits scientific
evaluation.5 So far, one can notify that it corresponds to Even Ruuds notion
that music strengthens our emotional awareness, installs a sense of agency,
fosters belongingness, and provides meaning and coherence in life (1998: 49).
Table 2 shows the comparison between three remedial systems practiced in Sri

Raga refers to a melodic mode in Indian classical music, and Darbhari Kanada is the name of a specific raga.
Dr. T.L.S.S. Siritunga was interviewed by the author of this article at the National Institute of Health Sciences,
Navinna, Kalutara on 27th August 2008
Dr. Ruwan Ekanayake was interviewed by the author of this article at the General Hospital in Colombo on
15th August 2008.

Ritual Practices Ayurvedic Western
Medicine Medicine

Involved Parties Astrologist, Ayurvedic doctor Doctor

Traditional healer,
Buddhist monk + +
+ Patient Patient
Individual patient
or community
Aim Individual well- Individual well- Individual well-
being, community being being
Therapeutic Elaborated ritual Basically herbal Western
Means practices products and pharmaceuticals
Ayurvedic and procedures
Place Indoors and out- Indoors at Indoors in
doors: at patients patients house or medical facility
house, temple, or in medical facility
village field
Time Night long Mainly long-term The shorter the
performance treatment better treatment
lasting up to one
Medication None Time consuming Readymade
hand-made herbal pharmaceutical
medicine drugs
Role of Music Core of the event None Additional

Table 2: Comparison Between Three Remedial Systems Practiced in Sri


Survey of the three remedial systems in Sri Lanka would be incomplete without
a reference to the question of their mutual relationships. In Sri Lanka, as in
several other Asian countries, there is a growing interest in the procedures and
experiences coming from integration of medical systems for the sake of
efficiency in treating the patients.

Practitioners of the three categories of healers introduced in this paper
interact in a variety of ways and their relationship is so far more flexible and
mutually appreciative than in many western contexts, where the official
medicine and alternative healing practices are often at odds with each other.
In Sri Lanka, if the practitioners of one system cannot provide effective cure,
they feel comfortable at sending their patients to the practitioners of any other
of the two branches.
For instance, practitioners of western medicine treat emergency cases of
broken arms or legs, but recommend their patients to seek assistance from
Ayurvedic doctors in cases of permanent remedies.
In cases of life-threatening acute diseases like heart cases, Ayurvedic
doctors are likely to recommend western medical assistance. This is due to the
fact that Ayurvedic medicine deals with the causes of diseases within long-run
procedures, which may not be suitable for life-threatening situations.
Rituals are generally considered effective in dealing with acute psychic
disorders, such as fears, and therefore limited to their cure. For instance,
gynecologist Dr. Upali Marasinghe from the Colombo Maternity Hospital
recommends to pregnant women who are suffering from uncontrollable fears to
listen to recorded ritual music for the sake of relief.

I find myself in agreement with scholars such as Michael Rohrbacher and
Wolfgang Mastnak, who advocate openness towards indigenous healing
methods and discuss potential benefit of non-European healing experiences for
the holistically conceptualized modern discipline of music therapy. In
Mastnaks words, the basic idea of transforming indigenous healing methods
for modern psychotherapeutic reasons is to reactivate those common human
abilities which are mainly repressed within our rational and profit-orientated
society (Mastnak 1993: 81). Just like Rohrbacher, I find particularly useful the
links between music therapy and ethnomusicology. The fact that the concept of
functions of music therapy is borrowed from the discipline of ethnomusicology
(Rohrbacher 2007: 3) is particularly important. Nevertheless, the newly
established sub-field named medical ethnomusicology provides the essential
framework for cross-cultural research and cooperation. Its carriers defined
medical ethnomusicology as a new field of integrative research and applied
practice, which explores holistically the roles of music and sound phenomena
and related praxes in any cultural and clinical context of health and healing
(Bakan et al. 2008: 168).

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