DepositMusical De-Composition

I begin by disclaiming any intention of implying, as the title of this essay may suggest, the same prognosis for music that Baudelaire made for love when, in “La Charogne,” he likened the future of his beloved to a dog’s decaying carcass. It is true, however, that what I have to say about music will perhaps appear quite as shocking to the traditional lore of aesthetics as the poet’s song did to that of love. But it is my intention to carry the comparison no further and to offer, not a romantic apostasy of love but what might rather be regarded as a romantic affirmation of art. In any event, my interest here is not in biological degeneration but in artistic generation, and I hope to suggest that in the case of music and, (mutatis mutandis), the other arts, some common ways of regarding the creative process are as misleading as they are misapprehended. More positively, I shall offer an alternative that may grasp more successfully something of the nature of the creative factor in musical composition.

DepositPortuguese text insertions in early-eighteenth-century Latin musical works of Évora Cathedral

Évora Cathedral is mostly known as one of the most important Portuguese music schools, and as the centre where the finest Portuguese polyphony composers of the first half of the seventeenth century learned their trades. When compared with the seventeenth century, almost nothing is known of the musical activity in the Cathedral in the first decades of the eighteenth century. This was a period that corresponded to the activity of Pedro Vaz Rego and Ignácio António Celestino as chapel masters in the Cathedral. It was also a period of transition between a stile antico-orientated compositional style to a more modern concertato way of writing music. Among the various transformations in music composition one finds several works with Latin text in which were inserted sections with Portuguese text. These works were intended not for Mass or the Office Hours but instead for other religious celebrations such as litanies, the rosary among other para-liturgical occasions. This study addresses a group of Latin-text repertory used in Évora Cathedral in the first half of the eighteenth century. Among these works one can find brief sections of Portuguese-text music that seems to express an increasing proximity towards a popular religious cult. Using several sources, mostly intended for feasts of the Sanctoral cycle, the study focuses on the relation between the commemoration of these saints and popular devotion in the city and their impact in the music composition in the Cathedral.

MemberM Selim Yavuz

I earned a PhD degree in Musicology/Sociology from Leeds Beckett University. I taught “Composition Techniques in 20th century”, “Critical Perspectives in Musical Composition”, “Introduction to Sociology”, and “Social Thought in Movies” at various institutions and departments. I come from a computer science and engineering and historical musicology background. My PhD thesis focused on the genealogy of death/doom metal music networks in northern England. I have previously worked on John Dowland’s religious oeuvre and Elizabethan social structures in 17th century; and I have also written a dissertation on the ideas of death and suicide in depressive suicidal black metal music. My research interests include extreme metal cultures, gaming cultures, and sociology of scientific knowledge among others.

DepositSchoenberg, Unfolding, and ‘Composing With Twelve Tones’: A Case Study (Op. 25/I)

For Arnold Schoenberg, presentation (Darstellung) is an act of conscien- tious composition by which the formal/functional properties of motives and Gestalten, along with any possible development or variation, are real- ized in the creation of a coherent musical artwork. Presentation, then, is the manner by which a musical idea (Gedanke) is made comprehensible. Like the “musical idea,” the concept of presentation assumes a variety of forms and functions in Schoenberg’s theories. In its most general sense, presentation describes abstract musico-compositional practices deduced from a wide range of composers and works from a variety of musical styles and historical periods. Schoenberg distinguishes three forms of presenta- tion in his theoretical writings: “stringing-together” or “juxtaposition” in popular musical forms, developing variation in homophonic music gen- erally associated with the “Viennese Classicist” period, and “unfolding” or “envelopment” (Abwicklung), a form used to describe the polyphon- ic/contrapuntal practices of the Baroque as exemplified by the music of J.S. Bach. In the present essay, I will focus on unfolding by examining this particular method of presentation within the context of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone compositional practices using the Prelude from the Suite for Piano, Op. 25 as a case study. As I hope to show, principles associated with unfolding can, with some slight modifications, serve as a viable method of presenting musical ideas in a twelve-tone context.