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music.For information on types of music see such articles as absolute musicabsolute music,
term used for music dependent on its structure alone for comprehension. It is the antithesis of program music. It is not associated with extramusical ideas or with a pictorial or narrative scheme of emotions, nor does it attempt to reproduce sounds in nature.
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[Lat. alea=dice game], music in which elements traditionally determined by the composer are determined either by a process of random selection chosen by the composer or by the exercise of choice by the performer(s).
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ensemble music for small groups of instruments, with only one player to each part. Its essence is individual treatment of parts and the exclusion of virtuosic elements.
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1 Music intended for performance as part of services of worship. With few exceptions, music is essential to the ritual of every religion; the singing of prayers and portions of Scripture is part of Judaeo-Christian tradition, and a large number of melodies
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term used to describe music composed or performed with the aid of a computer. The first substantial piece of music composed on a computer was the Illiac Suite (1956) by the avant-garde composer Lejaren Hiller (1925–94).
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or electro-acoustic music,
term for compositions that utilize the capacities of electronic media for creating and altering sounds.
Initially, a distinction must be made between the technological development of electronic instruments and the
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the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz
Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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Instrumental music of the 19th and 20th cent. that endeavors to arouse mental pictures or ideas in the thoughts of the listener—to tell a story, depict a scene, or impel a mood.
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type of music originating in the United States in the mid-1950s and increasingly popular throughout much of the world. Origins of Rock
Essentially hybrid in origin, rock music includes elements of several black and white American music styles: black
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the body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a particular ordering (called series or row) of the twelve pitch classes—C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B—that constitute the equal-tempered scale.
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a religious folk song of American origin, particularly associated with African-American Protestants of the southern United States. The African-American spiritual, characterized by syncopation, polyrhythmic structure, and the pentatonic scale of five whole tones, is,
..... Click the link for more information. . In addition, see entries on the music of various nations and peoples, including African musicAfrican music,
the music of the indigenous peoples of Africa. Sub-Saharan African music has as its distinguishing feature a rhythmic complexity common to no other region.
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classical musical tradition of the Islamic peoples of Arabia, the Fertile Crescent, and North Africa. Characteristics, Forms, and Instruments
The chief characteristics of Arabian music are modal homophony, florid ornamentation, and modal rhythm.
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represents, to a large extent, a survival of the pre-Islamic music of Java. It was taken to Bali by Hindu Javanese in the 15th cent. and uses the tonal systems of Javanese music, of which pelog is by far the more important in Bali.
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the classical music forms of China. Origins and Characteristics
Chinese music can be traced back as far as the third millennium B.C. Manuscripts and instruments from the early periods of its history are not extant, however, because in 212 B.C.
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the music of the ancient and modern inhabitants of Greece. Ancient Greek Music
The music of ancient Greece was inseparable from poetry and dancing. It was entirely monodic, there being no harmony as the term is commonly understood.
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The music of India is entirely monodic. To Westerners it is the most accessible of all Asian musical cultures. Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called srutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to one quarter of a whole tone of Western music.
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the highly eclectic musical culture of the Japanese islands. Over the years, Japan has borrowed musical instruments, scales, and styles from many neighboring areas.
The indigenous music present before A.D.
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one of the richest and most distinctive of Asian musical cultures. It was and is of enormous importance in religious, political, and entertainment functions.
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the music used in the religious services of the Jews.
The Bible and the Talmud record that spontaneous music making was common among the ancient Jews on all important occasions, religious and secular. Hebrew music was both instrumental and vocal.
..... Click the link for more information. . The technical aspects of music, such as theory, notation, and tone, are treated in such general articles as theorytheory,
in music, discipline involving the construction of cognitive systems to be used as a tool for comprehending musical compositions. The discipline is subdivided into what can be called speculative and analytic theory.
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symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.
Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
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in music, the art of combining melodies each of which is independent though forming part of a homogeneous texture. The term derives from the Latin for "point against point," meaning note against note in referring to the notation of plainsong.
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1 Physical term describing the vibration in segments of a sound-producing body (see sound). A string vibrates simultaneously in its whole length and in segments of halves, thirds, fourths, etc.
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in music, simultaneous sounding of two or more tones and, especially, the study of chords and their relations. Harmony was the last in the development of what may be considered the basic elements of modern music—harmony, melody, rhythm, and tone quality or timbre.
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1 In music, term used to indicate the scale from which the tonal material of a given composition is derived. To say, for example, that a composition is in the key of C major means that it uses as its basic tonal material the tones of that scale which is associated
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in music, a metrical unit having a given number of beats, the first of which normally is accented, although the accent may be displaced by syncopation. Measures are separated on the staff by vertical lines called bars.
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in music. 1 A grouping or arrangement of notes in a scale with respect to a most important note (in the pretonal modes of Western music, this note is called the final or finalis
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systematized study of music and musical style, particularly in the realm of historical research. The scholarly study of music of different historical periods was not practiced until the 18th cent., and few published efforts were rigorously researched.
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in musical notation, symbol placed on or between the lines of a staff to indicate the pitch and the relative duration of the tone to be produced by voice or instrument. The largest note value in common use in the United States is the whole note, an elliptical outline.
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in music, the position of a tone in the musical scale, today designated by a letter name and determined by the frequency of vibration of the source of the tone. Pitch is an attribute of every musical tone; the fundamental, or first harmonic, of any tone is perceived as
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, music whose texture is formed by the interweaving of several melodic lines. The lines are independent but sound together harmonically. Contrasting terms are homophony, wherein one part dominates while the others form a basically chordal accompaniment, and monophony,
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the basic temporal element of music, concerned with duration and with stresses or accents whether irregular or organized into regular patternings. The formulation in the late 12th cent.
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in music, any series of tones arranged in a step-by-step rising or falling order of pitch. A scale defines the interval relationship of each tone to the others upon which the composition depends.
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[New Gr.,=cut off ], in music, the accentuation of a beat that normally would be weak according to the rhythmic division of the measure. Although the normally strong beat is not usually effaced by the process, there are occasions (e.g.
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, in music, a generic system of musical notation indicating actions that the player must take, rather than "representing" the music itself that will result from those actions. Tablatures have been in use in the West since the early 14th cent.
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in music, the altering of certain intervals from their acoustically correct values to provide a system of tuning whereby music can move from key to key without unacceptably impure sonorities.
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, in music, quality by which all tones of a composition are heard in relation to a central tone called the keynote or tonic. In music that has harmony the terms key and tonality
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In music, a tone is distinguished from noise by its definite pitch, caused by the regularity of the vibrations which produce it. Any tone possesses the attributes of pitch, intensity, and quality.
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a musical instrument whose part in a score is written at a different pitch than that actually sounded. Such an instrument is usually referred to by the keynote of its natural scale—the clarinet in A, for example—in which case A is sounded when
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methods for assigning pitches to the twelve Western pitch names that constitute the octave. The term usually refers to this procedure in the tuning of keyboard instruments.
..... Click the link for more information. . There are numerous articles on various musical forms, including cantatacantata
[Ital.,=sung], composite musical form similar to a short unacted opera or brief oratorio, developed in Italy in the baroque period. The term was first used in 1620 to refer to strophic variations in the voice part over a recurrent melody in the bass accompaniment.
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, musical composition usually for an orchestra and a soloist or a group of soloists. In the 16th cent. concertare and concertato implied an ensemble, either vocal or instrumental.
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in music, composition intended to accompany marching. The only constant characteristics of a march are duple meter and a fairly simple rhythmic design. In mood, marches range from the moving death march in Wagner's Götterdämmerung
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[Fr.,=night piece], in music, romantic instrumental piece, free in form and usually reflective or languid in character. John Field wrote the first nocturnes, influencing Chopin in the writing of his 19 nocturnes for piano.
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drama set to music. Characteristics
The libretto may be serious or comic, although neither form necessarily excludes elements of the other. Opera differs from operetta in its musical complexity and usually in its subject matter.
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, musical composition employing chorus, orchestra, and soloists and usually, but not necessarily, a setting of a sacred libretto without stage action or scenery.
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, Polish national dance, in moderate 3–4 time and of slow, stately movements. It evolved from peasant and court processions and ceremonies of the late 16th cent. and was later used by J. S. and W. F. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt.
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, in music, type of instrumental composition that arose in Italy in the 17th cent.
At first the term merely distinguished an instrumental piece from a piece with voice, which was called a cantata.
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relatively brief, simple vocal composition, usually a setting of a poetic text, often strophic, for accompanied solo voice. The song literature of Western music embodies two broad classifications—folk song and art song.
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[Gr.,=sounding together], a sonata for orchestra.
The Italian operatic overture, called sinfonia, was standardized by Alessandro Scarlatti at the end of the 17th cent. into three sections, the first and last being fast and the middle one slower in tempo.
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in music, public performance of a group of musical compositions. Originally the word referred simply to a group of musicians playing together; concerts by a solo performer are properly called recitals.
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in music, the art of unifying the efforts of a number of musicians simultaneously engaged in musical performance. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance the conductor was primarily a time beater, maintaining the measure or tactus
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are classified in various ways, but the system devised in 1914 by Kurt Sachs and E. M. von Hornbostel has been accorded recognition by both anthropologists and musicologists because it is applicable not only to modern Western instruments but to primitive and
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series of performances separate from the normal concert season and often, but not always, organized around an idea or theme. Music festivals usually are held annually in the summer, sometimes in the open air.
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an orchestra is a musical ensemble of mixed instruments based on strings and winds, under the direction of a conductor, employing four classes of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
..... Click the link for more information. , there are separate articles on musical instruments, treated singly, e.g., clarinetclarinet,
musical wind instrument of cylindrical bore employing a single reed. The clarinet family comprises all single-reed instruments, including the saxophone. The predecessor of the modern clarinet was the simpler chalumeau, which J. C. Denner of Nuremberg improved (c.
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stringed musical instrument of ancient origin, the strings of which are plucked with the fingers. Harps were found in paintings from the 13th cent. B.C. at Thebes. In different forms it was played by peoples of nearly all lands throughout the ages.
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brass wind musical instrument of part cylindrical, part conical bore, in the shape of a flattened loop and having three piston valves to regulate the pitch. Its origin is ancient; records of a type of simple valveless trumpet are found in China from as early as 2000 B.C.
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in music, an instrument whose sound-producing agent is a thin strip of cane, wood, plastic, or metal that vibrates as air is passed over it. The predecessor of these instruments is the Chinese sheng.
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any musical instrument whose tone is produced by vibrating strings. Those whose strings are plucked with the finger or a plectrum include the balalaika, banjo, guitar, harp, lute, mandolin, zither, the sitar of India and Pakistan, the koto of Japan, and
..... Click the link for more information. . In addition to the entry on voicevoice,
sound produced by living beings. The source of the sound in human speaking and singing is the vibration of the vocal cords, which are inside the larynx, and the production of the sounds is called phonation.
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singing voice the range of which is lower than the soprano by the interval of a fifth. More generally, the term refers to the register in which this voice sings, i.e., the second highest part in a four-part musical texture, and to instruments utilizing this register.
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, male voice, in a lighter and higher range than a bass but lower than a tenor. The term also designates a bass stringed instrument, fretted, with six or seven bowed strings, and up to 20 sympathetic (i.e., unplayed but freely vibrating) strings.
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a male singing voice in the alto range. Singing in this range requires either a special vocal technique called falsetto, or a high extension of the tenor range.
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[Ital.,=above], female voice of highest pitch. The three basic types of solo soprano are coloratura, lyric, and dramatic. The coloratura has a great range and impressive vocal agility; the lyric soprano has a light, pretty voice; and the dramatic soprano has a sustained
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highest natural male voice. In medieval polyphony, tenor was the name given to the voice that had the cantus firmus, a preexisting melody, often a fragment of plainsong, to which other voices in counterpoint were added.
..... Click the link for more information. . Information on individual composers and performers can be found in biographical entries on composers, e.g. MonteverdiMonteverdi, Claudio
, 1567–1643, Italian composer; first great figure in the history of opera. His earliest published works, a set of three motifs, appeared when he was only 15.
..... Click the link for more information. , Claudio; PucciniPuccini, Giacomo
, 1858–1924, Italian composer of operas. He wrote some of the most popular works in the opera repertory. A descendant of a long line of musicians, he studied piano and organ at his Tuscan birthplace, Lucca, and in 1880 entered the Milan Conservatory.
..... Click the link for more information. , Giacomo; and SchubertSchubert, Franz Peter
, 1797–1828, Austrian composer, one of the most gifted musicians of the 19th cent. His symphonic works represent the best legacy of the classical tradition, while his songs exemplify the height of romantic lyricism.
..... Click the link for more information. , Franz Peter; musicians, e.g., Beiderbecke, BixBeiderbecke, Bix
(Leon Bismarck Beiderbecke) , 1903–31, American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer, b. Davenport, Iowa. Mainly self-taught, he was influenced by recordings of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and by the music of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Jimmie
..... Click the link for more information. ; Gieseking, WalterGieseking, Walter
, 1895–1956, German pianist, b. Lyons, France, grad. Hanover Municipal Conservatory, 1916. He began touring Europe in 1920 and made his American debut in 1926.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Richter, SviatoslavRichter, Sviatoslav
, 1915–97, Russian pianist, b. Ukraine. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory under Heinrich Neuhaus. After earning an impressive critical reputation, he was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1945. In 1960 he made the first of many international concert tours.
..... Click the link for more information. ; and singers, e.g., Deller, AlfredDeller, Alfred,
1912–79, English countertenor. He began his career as a chorister in his parish church. From 1940–47 he was a lay clerk at Canterbury Cathedral, and in 1947 he was appointed to the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Merrill, RobertMerrill, Robert,
1917–2004, American baritone, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Moishe Miller. In 1945 he won the Metropolitan Opera's Auditions of the Air and in the same year made his debut as Germont in Verdi's La Traviata.
..... Click the link for more information. ; Sembrich, MarcellaSembrich, Marcella
, 1858–1935, stage name of Praxede Marcelline Kochanska, Polish coloratura soprano. She studied piano and violin at the Lemberg Conservatory. Urged by Liszt to train her voice, she studied in Vienna and Italy and made her operatic debut in Athens in 1877.
..... Click the link for more information. ; and Sinatra, FrankSinatra, Frank
(Francis Albert Sinatra), 1915–98, American singer and actor, b. Hoboken, N.J. During the late 1930s and early 40s he sang with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, causing teenage girls to shriek and swoon over his romantic, seemingly casual renditions
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musicsee SOCIOLOGY OF MUSIC AND DANCE.
an art form that reflects reality and affects man through sensible and specially organized sound sequences consisting chiefly of tones (sounds of definite pitch). Music is a specific variety of the sound made by people.
Like other varieties of human sound, such as speech and signaling with instruments or sound, music has the capacity to express human thoughts, emotions, and volition in an audible form, to serve as a means of communication between people, and to control the behavior of people. Music is very closely related to speech, or, to be more precise, to inflection, which reveals the inner state of man and his emotional attitude toward the world through changes in the pitch and other characteristics of the sound of the voice. Because of the similarity between music and speech, it is possible to refer to inflection in music.
At the same time, music is essentially different from all other varieties of human sound. Although musical sounds are, to some degree, similar to everyday sounds, in principle they are distinguished from them by strict pitch and temporal (rhythmic) organization. Musical sounds belong to historically developed systems based on tones chosen by the musical practice of a particular society. Sounds of indefinite pitch (noises) or those whose pitch is irrelevant but which play a secondary role are also used in music. In every musical work tones form a system of vertical units (harmonies) and horizontal sequences—the form of the work. Emotional states and processes, as well as volition, play a commanding role in the content of music. This is a consequence of the acoustic (inflectional) and temporal character of music, which enables it, on the one hand, to rely on the centuriesold human habit of revealing emotions and communicating them to other members of society primarily by means of sounds, and on the other hand, coincidentally to express emotional experience as movement, as a process with all its changes and nuances, dynamic growths and abatements, and harmony and conflicts.
Of the various types of emotions, music gives expression primarily to moods. Also widely reflected in musical content are the emotional aspects of the individual’s intellectual and volitional qualities, as well as the processes corresponding to them. Thus, music can reveal human character as well as emotional states. Because it is unequaled for its concrete (though not verbal), highly subtle, and “infectious” expression of emotions, music has been widely defined as the “language of the soul” (A. N. Serov).
“Artistic thoughts,” which are closely related to emotions, or “heartfelt experiences,” are also part of the content of music. However, without the help of words and other extramusical factors, music cannot express all kinds of thoughts. Limited concrete thoughts and communications that give information about a particular fact and limited abstract thoughts and communications that do not arouse emotional and visual associations are not inherent parts of the language of music. Nonetheless, music is wide open to thoughts and communications expressed in concepts related to the dynamic side of social and psychical phenomena, as well as to moral qualities, character traits, and human emotional states.
In their desire to express more philosophical and social ideas, composers often transcend the limits of absolute (instrumental nonprogrammatic) music, turning to stage action and, in particular, to the word as the bearer of concrete conceptual content (vocal and instrumental program music). Owing to the synthesis of music with words or with stage action, new types of musical images are formed, which are firmly associated in the public mind with conceptions and ideas expressed by other components of the synthesis. Subsequently, these new musical images enter absolute music as the communicators of conceptions and ideas previously expressed only by words or actions. To express ideas composers also use sound symbols—melodies or folk tunes that originated in society or existed in a specific social milieu and that have become “musical emblems” of a particular conception. They may also create new “musical symbols,” such as leitmotifs. Thus, a broad and continuously enriched circle of ideas enters the content of music.
A comparatively limited place in musical content is held by visual images of concrete phenomena, which are embodied in musical representations—that is, in sounds that reproduce the sensual marks of various phenomena. The objective reason for the small role of representation in music is that hearing, in comparison to seeing, has much less power to communicate to man the concrete material signs of objects. Nonetheless, music includes numerous sketches of nature, “portraits” of various people, and pictures or “scenes” from the life of various social strata of various countries and periods. Although the images in them are inevitably subordinated to musical logic, such works offer a representation (reproduction) of the sounds of nature (for example, the sound of wind, water, or singing birds), man (speech inflections), and society (various sounds that are a part of everyday life). They also try to re-create the concrete sensual signs of objects, using associations (for example, the singing of birds to convey a picture of the woods), analogies (a broad sweep in the melody to suggest spaciousness), and synesthesia, or ties between auditory and visual sensations or tactile sensations and sensations of weight.
The content of music may be epic, dramatic, or lyrical. However, because it is nongraphic, music is best suited to the lyrical. In general, positive images have prevailed in musical content. For a long time, however, especially since the romantic period, negative images, as well as irony, caricature, and the grotesque, have also been part of music. Even so, not negation or castigation, but affirmation—“singing in praise of someone or something”—continues to be the most important aspect of musical content. Music’s organic tendency to disclose and emphasize the best in man adds to its importance as a means for expressing the principles of humanism and as an agent of moral and educational functions.
Musical form—the system of musical sounds in which emotions, thoughts, and the composer’s images are realized—serves as the material embodiment or means of existence for the content of music. Even individual musical sounds possess primary expressive potentialities. Each can arouse the physiological sensations of satisfaction or displeasure, excitement or tranquillity, and tension or relaxation, as well as various synesthetic sensations (for example, heaviness or lightness, warmth or cold, and darkness or light) and the simplest spatial associations. These possibilities may be used in any work of music, but they are usually secondary to the various resources for psychological and aesthetic effect, which are part of the deeper strata of musical form, where sounds are elements of entire structures.
In every period the music of every nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense) is characterized by a definite “set” of stable sound combinations (inflections), as well as rules (norms) for their use. Such a set may be called the musical “language” of a given nation and period. Using the concrete elements and general rules of extant musical languages, altering them, and creating new ones, the composer develops his own, to some degree unique, musical language, which is necessary for the realization of his original musical ideas.
Although the musical languages of various periods, nations, and composers are extraordinarily diverse, they share some principles concerning pitch and the temporal, or rhythmic, organization of tones. In the majority of musical languages, pitch is organized on the basis of a mode, or tonality, and temporal relationships rest on meter. The coherent, meaningful unfolding (in one voice) of the pitch and temporal relationships of musical sounds, based on mode and meter, gives rise to melody, the most important of the expressive means of music, its “soul.”
As the separate elements of a composition’s form are united and coordinated, a general structure made up of several substructures evolves. Among the basic structural units are melody, rhythm, mode or tonality, texture, timbre, dynamics, and tempo. Of special importance is the thematic structure, which consists of themes and the various types and stages of their variation and development. In the majority of musical styles, themes are the material repositories of musical images.
All of the substructures are joined and coordinated by a syntactical structure, which unites motifs, phrases, statements, and periods, and by a compositional structure, which unites parts, sections, and movements. Syntactical and compositional structures make up musical form in the narrow sense of the term (that is, the composition of a musical work). Because of the relative independence of form in music, stable, long-standing types of compositional structures have evolved—standard musical forms (in the narrow sense of the term) capable of embodying a broad range of images. Among the standard forms that have prevailed in European music for several centuries are the binary and ternary forms, including variations, the rondo, the sonata-allegro, and the fugue. Standard forms have also developed in Oriental music. Each standard form reflects the characteristic, or the most prevalent types of movement in nature, society, and human consciousness (the origin or birth of phenomena, their repetition, their development, and conflicts between them).
There are three basic varieties of musical activity: composing, performing, and perception. Correspondingly, each musical work goes through three stages: creation, reproduction, and hearing. At each stage, musical activity is creative, but to varying degrees. The composer creates the music, the performer reproduces and re-creates it in a personal manner, and the listener perceives it in a more or less personal way.
The musical culture of a society is made up of composing, performing, and perception, as well as other forms of musical activity—the dissemination and propagandizing of music, scholarly research, criticism, and the training of specialists. Each of these basic activities has its own structure. Thus, in a developed musical culture there are many varieties of composition, which can be classified under a number of rubrics: content, means of performance, synthesis with other art forms or with speech, function, setting of performance, type of composition, and style. In terms of content, a composition may be lyric, epic, dramatic, heroic, tragic, or humorous. From another perspective, music may be classified as serious or light. If the means of performance is considered, music may be described as vocal or instrumental, solo, ensemble, orchestral, choral, or mixed. (It is also possible to classify works using more precise definitions of the makeup of the performance group—for example, works for symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, or jazz ensemble.)
Syntheses of music with other art forms and with speech include theater music, music for the dance, program music, recitations set to music, and vocal music with words. Vocalises (singing without words) and absolute instrumental music (non-programmatic) are not syntheses. In terms of function, music is classified as applied or pure.
Setting of performance may be considered in classifying a work. Some music is designated for performance in a special setting, in which the audience is separated from the performers. Other works are intended for mass performance or for listening in an everyday setting. Works to be performed in special settings may be subdivided into theater music and concert music, and works for everyday settings and mass performance, into mass-everyday and ritual music. Each of these four subdivisions, or genre groups, can be further subdivided. Theater music breaks down into works for the musical theater, the dramatic theater, and motion pictures; concert music, into symphonic music, chamber music, and variety stage music; mass-everyday music, into music for singing and movement; and ritual music, into music for sacred and secular rituals. Finally, the subdivisions of mass-everyday music are further classified, according to their function, as songs (hymn, lullaby, serenade, and barcarole, for example), dances (for example, the gopak, waltz, and polonaise), and marches (drill marches and funeral marches, for example).
Musical works may be classified according to the type of composition and the musical language of the means of performance. Within the genre groups, various one-movement or cyclical genres are distinguished, according to the setting of the performance. For example, theater music includes opera, ballet, and operetta; concert music includes the symphony, suite, overture, tone poem, instrumental concerto, oratorio, cantata, solo sonata, trio, quartet, and art song; and ritual music includes the psalm, mystery and miracle play, chorale, Mass, and requiem. In turn, the genres may be divided into smaller units according to the same criteria, but on a more precise level. Thus, the opera, operetta, oratorio, and cantata include the aria, ensemble, and chorus; the ballet comprises the adagio and solo variation; and the symphony, sonata, and chamber instrumental ensemble include the andante and the scherzo. Every period and national music culture has its own characteristic set of genres.
In terms of style, musical works may be considered from the perspective of history, region, nation, group, or individual composer. In the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th various hypotheses claimed that the sources of music were the inflections of emotionally excited speech (H. Spencer), the singing of birds and the love calls of animals (C. Darwin), rhythms from the labor of primitive man (K. Bücher), human sound signals (C. Stumpf), and magical incantations (J. Combarieu). On the basis of archaeological and ethnologic data, contemporary materialist scholars believe that in primitive society music “ripened” gradually as part of people’s everyday activity and as a primitive syncretic complex not yet differentiated from ordinary activity—a proto-art containing the seeds of music, dance, poetry, and other art forms and important for communication, organization of joint labor and rituals, and the emotional influence necessary to inculcate in individuals the spiritual qualities demanded by the group. Sequences of numerous sounds of indefinite pitch (imitation of the singing of birds, animal sounds), which were originally chaotic and diverse, gave way to melodies and folk tunes consisting of only a few tones differentiated logically into tones of rest and movement. Frequent repetition of melodic and rhythmic formulas that had become part of a society’s everyday life led to the gradual realization and mastery of the possibilities for the organization of sounds. The simplest systems of musical sounds, in the establishment of which musical instruments played a major role, took shape, as did elementary forms of meter and harmony. This contributed to the initial recognition of the expressive possibilities of tones and combinations of tones.
In the period of the disintegration of the primitive communal (tribal) system, when artistic activity gradually became distinct from practical activity and the syncretic complex of proto-art gradually broke down, music as an independent art form was born. Ingrained in the myths of various peoples is the idea that music is a powerful force, capable of affecting nature and curing diseases, for example. With the emergence of classes, musical culture, which had once belonged to all of society, disintegrated in terms of its content and the social bearers of its traditions into the culture of the ruling classes and that of the oppressed (the people). Musical activity was classified as professional and nonprofessional, or amateur. The independent existence of music folklore as the nonprofessional art of the people dates from this time. The musical creativity of the popular masses became the foundation for the musical culture of society as a whole, the richest source of images and expressive means for professional creativity.
History. ANTIQUITY. Characteristic of musical culture of the slaveholding and early feudal states of antiquity (Egypt, Sumer, Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, Palestine, India, China, Greece, Rome, and the Transcaucasian and Middle Asian states) was the existence of professional musicians, most of whom were both composers and performers, who worked at the temples and at the courts of rulers and of the aristocracy and who participated in mass rituals and public festivals. The functions of music continued to be predominantly material and spiritual. However, even in antiquity the aesthetic aspect of music emerged, and the first works intended only for listening were created (for example, psalms and instrumental pieces performed in Greece at musical competitions). Various genres of songs and dances developed. In many of them the original unity of poetry, singing, and dancing was preserved. Music played an important role in theater presentations, particularly in Greek tragedy. Musical instruments such as the harp and the lyre, as well as ancient wind and percussion instruments, were perfected, acquiring stable shape and pitch. Although the first systems of notation (cuneiform, hieroglyphics, or letters) appeared in antiquity, for the most part, music continued to be preserved and communicated orally. Gradually the teaching of music and systems of music aesthetics and theory emerged. In theory and in practice, music was considered an activity closely related to science, handicrafts, and religious worship—that is, it was viewed as a “model” of the world that contributed to the knowledge of its laws and as a very powerful means for affecting nature and man (a form of magic). Consequently, rigid social (and in some countries, state) regulations were established concerning the use of music of various types and even the use of the various modes.
THE MIDDLE AGES. In Europe during the Middle Ages, a new feudal musical culture developed, combining professional art, amateur music-making, and folklore. Because the church dominated all aspects of intellectual life, the work of musicians in churches and monasteries was the foundation of professional musical art. Secular professional music was at first left only to singers who created and performed epic tales at court, in the homes of the nobility, or among warriors (bards and skalds, for example). Amateur and semiprofessional forms of music-making gradually developed among the knights: in France, the art of the troubadours and trouvéres, and in Germany, that of the minnesingers and urban craftsmen. All conceivable types, genres, and forms of songs were cultivated. New musical instruments, including some that had originated in the Orient (for example, the viol and the lute), came into use, and ensembles of various instruments emerged.
Among the peasantry, folklore flourished. Professional folk musicians, including story tellers and wandering performers who represented several art forms at once (jongleurs, mimes, minstrels, Spielleute, and skomorokhí), were also popular. But music was still limited almost entirely to practical and religious functions. Composing was united with performance (in the person of the composer-performer), as well as with perception. In its content and its form music was dominated by the collective principle. The particular was subordinated to the general and was not differentiated from it. The master musician was simply the best musical representative of the community. Rigid traditionalism and adherence to canons prevailed. The establishment, preservation, and spread of traditions and standards, and concurrently their gradual renewal with fresh material, were curtailed by the shift from neumes, which only indicated the approximate character of melodic movement, to linear notation (Guido d’Arezzo, 11th century), which made possible the precise designation of pitch.
Gradually, the content of music, its genres, its forms, and its expressive resources became richer. In the sixth and seventh centuries a rigidly regulated system of monophonic (monodic) church music based on the diatonic modes (Gregorian chant) and combining recitative (psalm tones) and singing (hymns) developed in Western Europe. Polyphonic music emerged around the early 11th century. New vocal (choral) and vocal-instrumental (choir and organ) genres were developed, including the organum, the motet, the conductus, and, later, the Mass. In 12th-century France the first school of composition took shape at the Cathedral of Notre Dame (Léonin and Pérotin). Just before the Renaissance, professional musicians began to prefer polyphonic to monophonic music (the ars nova in 14th-century France and Italy). Secular genres, including songs, became more important (G. de Machaut).
In Eastern Europe and Transcaucasia original musical cultures with their own systems of modes, genres, and forms developed. The sacred znamennyi chant (basic melodic formulas of the Orthodox Church) flourished in Byzantium, Bulgaria, Kievan Rus’, and later, Novgorod. Although it was based on the diatonic modes (the system of glasy), the zhamennyi chant was limited exclusively to vocal genres, such as anthems, canticles, and hymns, and it used a special system of notation (kriuki, “hooks”).
During the same period a new feudal musical culture developed in the East (the Arab caliphates, the countries of Central Asia, Iran, India, China, and Japan). Secular professionalism, which attained a virtuoso level, prevailed. Music was restricted to oral tradition and to monodic forms which, however, became highly refined in melody and rhythm. In the Orient stable national and international systems of musical thought developed, combining certain modes, genres, and inflectional and compositional structures (for example, the mugam, the magam, and the raga).
THE RENAISSANCE. In Western and Central Europe music began to make the transition from feudal to bourgeois culture during the Renaissance (14th to 16th centuries). Secular art flourished on the foundation of the ideology of humanism. To a significant degree, music was freed of the regulations assigning it an exclusively practical function. Its aesthetic and cognitive functions and its capacity to reflect man’s inner world and his environment were developed. Individualism achieved prominence in music, which was, to a great degree, liberated from the authority of traditional, prescribed formulas. The perception of music gradually became separate from composing and performance, and the public emerged as an independent part of musical culture. Amateur instrumental music flourished. The lute was especially popular. In everyday life, singing became more important. Simple polyphonic songs, including villanellas and frottolas (Italy) and chansons (France), were created, as well as four- and five-part madrigals (Luca Marenzio, Carlo Gesualdo di Venosa), which were more complex from the standpoint of refinement of style and difficulty of performance. Many of the madrigals featured chromatic harmony. In Germany semiprofessional music associations of townsmen and craftsmen (the guilds of the Meistersingers) created many songs. (One of the most famous Meistersingers was Hans Sachs.) Hymns were written for mass social, national, and religious movements—for example, the Hussite hymn (Bohemia), the Huguenot psalm (France), and the Lutheran chorale, which originated during the Reformation and the 16th-century Peasant War in Germany.
In professional music, a cappella, polyphonic, diatonic choral music (strict counterpoint) achieved full development in the Mass and the motet, or secular polyphonic song. Complex forms of imitation, such as canon, were used. The chief schools of composition were the Franco-Flemish, or Netherlands school (Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Ockeghem, Jacob Obrecht, Josquin des Prez, and Orlandus Lassus), the Roman school (Palestrina), and the Venetian school (Andrea Gabrieli and Giovanni Gabrieli). Masters of choral composition achieved prominence in Poland and Bohemia. Instrumental music, in which imitative polyphony also developed, became independent of vocal music. Musical scholarship flourished, and treatises on music theory were written (Glarean of Switzerland and G. Zarlino and V. Galilei of Italy).
After the liberation of Russia from the Mongol-Tatar yoke, folk music flourished, and in professional music the znamenny chant was revived. The creative work of composers and singers such as Fedor Khristianin developed, an original polyphony (strochnoe chant) emerged, and large music groups were formed (the Choir of Patriarchal Singing Clerks, 16th century).
THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURIES. European music continued to make the transition from feudal to bourgeois culture during the 17th century and the first half of the 18th. Secular music achieved dominance, although religious music continued to be very important in Germany and a number of other countries. In content, music embraced a broad range of themes and images, including philosophical, historical, and contemporary civic ones. The musical activity of the public developed rapidly, centering on permanent public music institutions, including opera houses and philharmonic (concert) societies. Stringed instruments played with a bow (the violin and cello, for example) acquired their present shape, and the first pianoforte was built (1709, B. Cristofori, Italy). The printing of music became more sophisticated. Music education expanded, and conservatories were established in Italy. Music criticism became separate from music scholarship (J. Mattheson, Germany, early 18th century).
In the development of composition, the 17th and 18th centuries were characterized by the combined influences of artistic styles such as the baroque (Italian and German instrumental and choral music), classicism (Italian and French opera), and rococo (French instrumental music), and by the gradual shift from previous genres, styles, and forms to new ones that still dominate European music. As the Passion (H. Schütz and J. S. Bach in Germany) and the Mass continued to develop, new vocal-instrumental genres emerged and quickly gained a leading position. Among them were the opera (C. Monteverdi and A. Scarlatti in Italy; J. B. Lully and J. P. Rameau in France; and H. Purcell in England), the oratorio (G. Carissimi in Italy; G. F. Handel in Germany and England), and the cantata (Bach). New instrumental genres were created, including the orchestral and solo concerto (A. Corelli, A. Vivaldi, G. Tartini, Bach, and Handel), the chamber ensemble and the solo sonata (G. Vitali, Corelli, and D. Scarlatti). Organ music was developed by G. Frescobaldi, D. Buxtehude, Bach, and Handel, and harpsichord music, by W. Byrd, J. Bull, and Purcell (England) and F. Couperin and Rameau (France). The suite took on a new form that combined contemporary popular dances.
At the end of the 18th century the modern symphony and sonata emerged, as did the ballet as an independent genre. Like all the music of the baroque period, free imitative polyphony reached its high point and the culmination of its development in the works of Bach. However, at the same time, homophonic (harmonic) music, which had begun to develop earlier within polyphony and popular dances, emerged on the foundation of the same modes (major and minor) used in polyphonic music. Harmonic functions and the new melodies founded on them crystallized. A number of homophonic forms, including the rondo and the sonata, took shape at the same time as polyphonic forms such as the passacaglia, chaconne, and fugue.
Where the formation of unified nations was evolving or drawing to a close (Italy, France, England and, to some extent, Germany), a new bourgeois musical culture began to develop. Italian music retained its leading position in Europe.
In Russia polyphonic church music (in the late 17th century, part-singing and choral concerti) went through a period of revival and flowering. During the time of the Petrine reforms, secular professional music (the “panegyric” kanty) and urban everyday music (lyrical kanty and psalms) emerged.
From the mid-18th century to the beginning of the 19th the development of European music was influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment and later, of the French Revolution, which gave rise to new mass everyday music (marches, heroic songs such as the “Marseillaise,” and music for mass festivals and revolutionary ceremonies) and were echoed in other musical genres. Bourgeois (Enlightenment) classicism, which affirmed the ideas of reason, the equality of the people, service to society, and lofty moral ideals, dominated music. In French music, these aspirations received their highest expression in C. W. Gluck’s operas. In Austro-German music, they were reflected in the symphonic, operatic, and chamber works of representatives of the Viennese classical school—Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, of whom the last most completely and profoundly embodied the heroic spirit of the struggle for the freedom and brotherhood of peoples.
Significant advances were made in all fields of professional music. Gluck and Mozart reformed the opera, endeavoring to overcome the ossified conventionality of the aristocratic serious opera (opera seria). National varieties of the democratic genre of comic opera (opera buffa) developed rapidly (G. Pergolesi in Italy; J. J. Rousseau, P. Monsigny, and A. Grétry in France; Haydn and Mozart in Austria; and V. A. Pashkevich and E. I. Fomin in Russia). The ballet became a distinct, independent genre (Gluck, Beethoven). In the compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven the modern symphony (a four-movement cycle) was consolidated and received its classical embodiment; the classical grand sonata and chamber-instrumental ensemble took shape; the sonata-allegro form was worked out; and a new dialectical method of musical thought, the symphonic style, which achieved its highest flowering in the works of Beethoven, emerged.
In the music of the Slavic peoples of Russia, Poland, and Bohemia, vocal genres continued to develop (the everyday art song, and in Russia, the choral concerto, as represented by the works of M. S. Berezovskii and D. S. Bortnianskii). The first Slavic operas were composed, and the foundation was laid for the creation of the classics of national music.
In professional music throughout Europe, the polyphonic styles gave way completely to homophonic (harmonic) styles, and the functional system of harmony became fully developed.
THE 19TH CENTURY In most European countries and in North America the formation of the classical bourgeois musical culture was completed in the 19th century. It developed under the influence of the active democratization of society and of music and the surmounting of barriers between the various estates (social classes). Music, which had been confined to aristocratic salons, court theaters and chapels, and small concert halls designed for a closed circle of the privileged public, moved out into larger halls and squares to which a democratic audience had access. Many new musical theaters, concert halls, musical organizations, music publishing houses, and music education institutions, including conservatories, were established, as were music journals and newspapers. Performance finally became an independent aspect of musical activity represented by many groups and soloists. The rapid development of performance and professional composition was promoted by their becoming independent forms of music and by the tendency of 19th-century musicians to direct their work at a mass audience. At the same time, music became increasingly commercialized, despite the opposition of progressive musicians. Music played an increasing role in society and in politics. The popular democratic song and later, the workers’ revolutionary song developed. The best examples of the latter (The “Internationale,” “The Red Flag,” and “Varshavianka” [“Warszawianka”]) acquired international significance.
Young national schools of composition flourished, including the Russian school (founded by M. I. Glinka), the Polish school (F. Chopin, S. Moniuszko), the Czech school (B. Smetana, A. Dvorak), the Hungarian school (F. Erkel, F. Liszt), the Norwegian school (E. Grieg), and the Spanish school (I. Albéniz, E. Granados).
In the first half of the 19th century, romanticism was affirmed in the works of composers from a number of European countries (E. T. A. Hoffmann, C. M. von Weber, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Schumann in Germany and Austria, Berlioz in France, Liszt in Hungary, and Chopin in Poland). The romantics individualized and dramatized lyrics. Drawing on the songs of various peoples, they embodied national features more concretely than ever before in musical composition. They placed more emphasis on vocal music and on singing, as well as on color in harmony and orchestration, and they gave a freer treatment to traditional genres and forms and created new ones, such as the tone poem. Romantic music strove for a synthesis of music and other art forms. Program music was inspired by plots and themes from folk epos, literature, and painting. Other new forms included the instrumental miniature (prelude, musical moment, and impromptu), the programmatic cycle of miniatures, the art song and chamber-vocal cycles, and picturesque, entertaining grand operas on legendary and historical themes (the French composer G. Meyerbeer). In Italy, comic opera (G. Rossini), lyric opera (V. Bellini, G. Donizetti), and heroic opera (early works by G. Verdi) reached the peak of their development. Russian composers created national music classics that gained international importance, and original types of national historical and epic operas, as well as symphonic music based on folk themes (Glinka), took shape. The art song, which came to express features of psychological and everyday realism, flourished (A. S. Dargomyzhskii).
From the mid-19th century through the turn of the century, some European composers carried on the romantic trend in opera (Wagner), the symphony (A. Bruckner, Dvoȓáak), program music (Liszt, Grieg), and the art song (H. Wolf). Others, including Brahms, endeavored to combine the stylistic principles of romanticism and classicism. Although they all retained links with the romantic tradition, Italian opera, which reached its peak in Verdi, French opera (C. Gounod, G. Bizet, and J. Massenet) and ballet (L. Delibes), and Polish and Czech opera (Moniuszko and Smetana) began to develop styles of their own.
In the works of a number of Western European composers, including Verdi, Bizet, and Wolf, realistic tendencies became more important. They were manifested with particular clarity and on a particularly large scale in Russian music of the period, which was ideologically associated with the democratic social movement and progressive literature (later works by Dargomyzhskii; compositions by the Russian Five—M. A. Balakirev, A. P. Borodin, M. P. Mussorgsky, N. A. Rimsky- Korsakov, and C. A. Cui; and the works of P. I. Tchaikovsky). Inspired by the Russian folk song, as well as by the folk music of the Orient, Russian composers such as Mussorgsky, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov developed new melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic means that significantly enriched the European modal system.
At the turn of the century, European music again went through a transitional period, corresponding to the rise of imperialism. The period was marked by crises in a number of ideological and stylistic currents of the preceding epoch, by tendencies toward both a revival of classical traditions and a break with them, by the loss of great social themes, and by the growth of individualism and aestheticism (modernism). In Germany and Austria the romantic symphonic style reached its culmination in the works of G. Mahler and R. Strauss, and musical expressionism was born (A. Schönberg). Other new tendencies developed, including impressionism in France (C. Debussy and M. Ravel) and verismo in Italy (the operas of P. Mascagni and R. Leoncavallo and some of G. Puccini’s). In Russia the tradition of the members of the Russian Five and Tchaikovsky were carried on and, to some degree, developed by S. I. Taneev, A. K. Glazunov, A. K. Liadov, and S. V. Rachmaninoff. At the same time, new phenomena emerged, including symbolism (A. N. Scriabin), the modernization of folk tales and of “barbarous” antiquity (early works of I. F. Stravinsky and S. S. Prokofiev). The foundations for the classics of national music were laid in the Ukraine (N. V. Lysenko, N. D. Leontovich), Georgia (Z. P. Paliashvili), Armenia (Komitas, A. A. Spendiarov), Azerbaijan (U. Gadzhi-bekov), Estonia (A. Kapp), Latvia (J. Viols), Lithuania (M. Ciurlionis), and Finland (J. Sibelius).
Classical European musical thought, which was based on major-minor harmony, underwent profound changes in the works of a number of composers. Some of them retained the principle of tonal music but expanded its base with natural (diatonic) and artificial modes (Debussy, Stravinsky) or saturated it with accidentals (Scriabin). Others completely abandoned the tonal principle and wrote atonal music (Schönberg and C. Ives, an American composer). The weakening of harmonic ties stimulated a revival of interest in polyphonic theory and composition (Taneev in Russia, M. Reger in Germany).
In mid-19th-century Western Europe a new musical theater genre, the operetta, began to develop (Hervé, J. Offenbach, C. Lecocq, R. Planquette in France; F. von Suppé, K. Mil-locker, and J. Strauss the Younger in Austria; and the Hungarians F. Lehár and I. Küálmán—all of whom were representatives of the Viennese school of operetta). In professional composing, light (everyday, or dance) music became an independent line of music. Variety stage music emerged as a separate branch of music.
THE 20TH CENTURY. At the end of the first decade of the 20th century bourgeois musical culture entered a new period of its history. Its development was strongly influenced by social factors, such as the involvement of the masses in political and social life, the growth of mass liberation movements, and the emergence of the socialist system. Scientific and technological progress—the invention of new means of communication, including motion pictures, the radio, the television, and the phonograph—also had an important effect on the development of music, the global dissemination of which became possible. In the developed capitalist countries musical activity was outwardly turbulent and often feverish, characterized by rapidly changing fashions, a kaleidoscope of artificially created sensations, and publicity.
Musical culture in the developed capitalist countries split even more clearly than ever before into two cultures: a bourgeois, elitist, pseudomass culture and a democratic one that included socialist elements. An “industry” based entirely on light music developed and earned enormous profits for its owners. Music acquired a new function, advertising. Democratic musical culture was reflected in the works of many progressive musicians who struggled for music with content and affirmed the ideas of humanism and nationality (in the sense of close ties with the people). In addition to musical theater and concert works, many songs of the revolutionary movement and antifascist struggle of the 1920’s through 1940’s (H. Eisler, the German composer), as well as the contemporary political protest song, are representative of democratic culture.
In the 20th century, composition in the capitalist countries has been distinguished by the unprecedented diversity and blending of stylistic currents. Among them are expressionism (the Viennese school of Schönberg and his pupils A. Berg and A. von Webern and the Italian L. Dallapiccola, who developed a rigidly prescribed system of atonal music, or dodecaphony) and neoclas-sicism (Stravinsky, works of the 1920’s through 1950’s; the German composer P. Hindemith; and the Italians O. Respighi, G. F. Malipiero, and A. Casella). Although other composers were influenced by these currents, they were also able to overcome their limitations because of their ties with democratic and realistic tendencies of the period and with folk creativity. (Among these composers were B. Bartók and Z. Kodály of Hungary; A. Honegger, F. Poulenc, and D. Milhaud of France; C. Orff of Germany; K. Szymanowski of Poland; L. Janček and B. Martinü of Czechoslovakia; G. Enesco of Rumania; and B. Britten of Great Britain.)
Various currents known as the avant-garde emerged in the 1950’s. Among the most representative avant-garde composers are K. Stockhausen of the Federal Republic of Germany, P. Boulez and I. Xenakis of France, J. Cage of the USA, and L. Nono and L. Berio of Italy.) Breaking completely with classical traditions, they concentrated on the development of musique concrte (tape recordings of noises), electronic music (tape recordings of artificially produced nonmusical sounds), sound music (tape recordings of uncoordinated musical sounds of unusual timbres), and chance music, or indeterminacy (the haphazard or chance combination of individual sounds or of sections of a musical form). Avant-gardism, as a rule, expresses the mood of petit bourgeois individualism, anarchism, or political indifference.
Internationally, 20th-century music has been characterized by the revival and intensive growth of the musical cultures of the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and their interaction and rapprochement with European cultures. On the one hand, these trends have been accompanied by an intense struggle of progressive musicians against the leveling influences of the Western European and North American elitist and pseudomass music, which is infected with cosmopolitanism. On the other hand, progressives have had to fight reactionary tendencies favoring the preservation of national cultures in an unshakeable form. For the cultures of the developing countries the socialist countries serve as an example of how to solve the problem of combining the national and the international in music.
After the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution a new musical culture—a socialist one, different in principle from its predecessor—developed in Russia. Socialist musical culture took shape after World War II in several other countries that had embarked on socialist construction. A consistently democratic, popular character distinguishes socialist musical culture from other musical cultures. In the socialist countries an extensive network of music institutions and opera and concert groups accessible to everyone has been established. In interaction with professional art, composing and performing have developed on a mass scale in the form of folk amateur activity. All nations and peoples, including those who once had no written musical culture, have been given the opportunity to discover and develop completely the original features of their folk music and, at the same time, to share the finest achievements of international professional art and to master genres such as the opera, ballet, symphony, and oratorio. National musical cultures have interacted, exchanging personnel as well as creative ideas and achievements. This has promoted closer relations between various cultures.
Soviet music has played a leading role in 20th-century music, producing many outstanding composers, including the Russians N. Ia. Miaskovskii, Iu. A. Shaporin, S. S. Prokofiev, V. Ia. Shebalin, D. B. Kabalevsky, D. D. Shostakovich, T. N. Khrennikov, G. V. Sviridov, and R. K. Shchedrin; the Tatar N. Zhiganov; the Dagestanis G. Gasanov and Sh. Chalaev; the Ukrainians L. N. Revutskii and B. N. Liatoshinskii; and the Byelorussians E. K. Tikotskii and A. V. Bogatyrev. Other distinguished Soviet composers are the Georgians Sh. M. Mshvelidze, A. M. Balanchivadze, A. D. Machavariani, and O. V. Taktakishvili; the Armenians A. I. Khachaturian, A. G. Arutiunian, A. A. Babadzhanian, and E. M. Mirzoian; the Azerbaijanis K. Karaev and F. Amirov; the Kazakhs E. G. Brusilovskii and M. Tulebaev; the Uzbek M. Burkhanov; and the Turkmen V. Mukhatov. The Estonians E. Kapp, G. Ernesaks, and E. Tamberg, the Latvians J. Ivanovs and M. Zarin, and the Lithuanians B. Dvarionas and E. Balsis are outstanding contemporary Soviet composers. Soviet music has produced great performers, including E. A. Mravinskii, E. F. Svetlanov, G. N. Rozhdestvenskii, A. V. Sveshnikov, A. A. Iurlov, K. N. Igumnov, V. V. Sofronitskii, S. T. Rikhter, E. G. Gilel’s, D. F. Oistrakh, L. B. Kogan, M. L. Rostropovich, L. V. Sobinov, A. V. Nezhdanova, N. A. Obukhova, A. S. Pirogov, I. S. Kozlovskii, S. Ia. Lemeshev, and Z. A. Dolukhanova. B. V. Asaf’-ev, A. V. Ossovskii, and I. I. Sollertinskii are among the Soviet Union’s most distinguished musicologists.
The principles of partiinost’ (party spirit) and narodnost’ (close ties with the people) and the method of socialist realism are the ideological and aesthetic foundation of Soviet music. Many traditional musical genres have been revitalized. Opera, the ballet, and the symphony have retained their classic, grand, monumental form, which, to a large extent, has been lost in the West. Internally, however, they have been reconstructed under the influence of the themes inspired by the revolution and contemporary life. Choral and vocal-symphonic music (oratorios, cantatas, and poems) based on historical revolutionary and popular patriotic themes have flourished. Soviet poetry, as well as classical and folk poetry, has contributed to the enrichment of the art song. Mass and everyday songs have become a new genre for professional composers, including A. V. Aleksandrov, A. G. Novikov, A. A. Davidenko, Dm. Ia. Pokrass, I. O. Dunaevskii, V. G. Zakharov, M. I. Blanter, V. P. Solov’ev-Sedoi, V. I. Muradeli, B. A. Mokrousov, A. I. Ostrovskii, A. N. Pakh-mutova, and A. P. Petrov. Songs have played a major role in the life and struggle of the popular masses and have exerted a very powerful influence on other genres of music. The folklore traditions of all peoples of the USSR have been reconstructed and developed. At the same time, socialist content has made it possible to enrich and transform national music styles with many new inflections and other expressive means.
Considerable success in creating a new musical culture has also been achieved in the other socialist countries, whose outstanding composers include H. Eisler and P. Dessau (the German Democratic Republic), W. Lutoslawski (Poland), P. Vladigerov and L. Pipkov (Bulgaria), Z. Kodály and F. Szabó (Hungary), and V. Dobiáŝ and E. Sucho (Czechoslovakia).
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A. N. SOKHOR
Soviet music, which is distinguished by a diversity of forms, genres, and expressive means, has in its development drawn on the rich heritage of folk music and the musical classics of the peoples of the USSR. Many types of folk music preserved in the Soviet Union have deep roots. With the passage of time, folk music developed and underwent changes as new historical conditions emerged. Many of the ritual, work, and epic songs of such peoples as the Russians, Armenians, Georgians, and Uzbeks are ancient. The music of the peoples of the USSR is performed on an unusually rich variety of instruments.
In the musical culture of each people, a distinctive national folk music gradually developed. For all the diversity of its forms and types, however, the multinational art of the USSR is unified in certain respects owing to the common history of the peoples of the USSR, whose prolonged struggle for independence and against foreign oppression found reflection in heroic epics and historical songs that were imbued with patriotic ardor and a yearning for liberty.
The professional music of many peoples of the USSR also has very old traditions. In Georgia and Armenia various forms of liturgical singing originated in the fourth century, for which a special system of notation was developed in the eighth and ninth centuries. Information on the forms of secular music-making is provided in the Armenian epic David of Sasun (tenth century) and in the narrative poem The Man in the Panther’s Skin (12th century), by the Georgian poet S. Rustaveli. Musical art attained a high level of development in Kievan Rus’ (ninth to 12th centuries), which gave birth to the cultures of three fraternal Slavic peoples—Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians. Also dating from this period are the earliest examples of Russian musical notation, the znamennyi notation, which made use of neumes (znamena, or kruiki) to record liturgical melodies.
The bearers of the secular musical tradition in Rus’ were, in addition to the singer-storytellers, the skomorokhi (itinerant performers), whose art enjoyed great popularity and was loved by the people, despite persecution by the church. As late as the October Revolution of 1917, many peoples of the USSR had no written music; the development of their musical art was entirely dependent on oral tradition. In the professional music of some peoples, which was transmitted orally, vocal and instrumental works in several movements were created; the makom (maqam) among the Tadzhiks and Uzbeks and the mugam among the Azerbaijanis. In the 16th century emerged the Middle Asian shashmakom, a cycle comprising six makoms. At the turn of the 18th century there was an upsurge in the art of professional folk musicians—ashugis—in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Russian national school of composition began forming in the last third of the 18th century, when classical music was freed from the authority of the church and attained great social importance. The creative work of such composers as M. S. Berezovskii, D. S. Bortnianskii, E. I. Fomin, I. E.Khandoshkin, and V. A. Pashkevich developed in tandem with the progressive Russian culture of the period. In their operas, instrumental compositions, and choral works these composers drew their subject matter from the life of the people to present a truthful picture of reality; they made use of folk song melodies, which they adapted.
A major role in cultural life was played by the serf theaters of such families as the Sheremetevs and Vorontsovs, where operas and ballets were staged. In 1776, Prince P. V. Urusov and the impresario M. G. Medoks organized the company of the Russian Theater, which in 1780 took up residence at the Petrovskii Theater; dramas, operas, and ballets were all performed by the same company. From these beginnings evolved the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR. In St. Petersburg, musical productions were first staged in 1783 in the Kamennyi (Bol’shoi) Theater, which eventually became the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet.
Russian music of the 19th century, which reflected the growth of the country’s emancipation movement, was characterized by a clear democratic orientation, by a profound realism, by a multivarious content, by images and a musical idiom that were rooted in the life of the people, and by formal perfection. The founder of classical Russian music, M. I. Glinka, composed operas, symphonies, and vocal chamber works that are at once unmistakably national and among the crowning achievements of world music. Such works as the operas Ivan Susanin and Ruslan and Liudmila and the orchestral fantasy Kamarinskaia are outstanding in their realism, profundity of content, and artistic mastery. In his opera Rusalka (The Mermaid; after Pushkin), A. S. Dargomyzhskii dealt with the topic of social inequality in a drama of the common people.
In the second half of the 19th century Russian music attained depth and power in the depiction of reality, as well as richness of form and expressive means, in the work of P. I. Tchaikovsky and the members of the Russian Five, notably M. P. Mussorgsky, A. P. Borodin, and N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. Their works sounded an impassioned protest against the oppression of the people, the violence done to the human personality, and the lack of rights in tsarist Russia and expressed faith in the strength of the people and in a shining future. The Russian people’s love of liberty is reflected in such historical operas as Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Borodin’s Prince Igor. The poetry of Russian fairy tales was skillfully conveyed in Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Snow Maiden. Tchaikovsky, in his opera The Queen of Spades and his Symphony No. 6, scaled new dramatic heights in the depiction of man’s spiritual life. The early 20th-century composers A. N. Scriabin and S. V. Rachmaninoff vividly communicated the turbulent atmosphere of the prerevolutionary years.
At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, national schools of music, whose formation and development were influenced by the Russian musical classics, arose among a number of peoples. Common to all the national schools was a desire to depict truthfully the life of the people and to develop its distinctive musical principles. In Ukrainian music, a major role was played by N. V. Lysenko, whose compositions included operas, notably Taras Bulba (after Gogol), and choral works; Lysenko was a brilliant researcher and propagandist of folk music, a teacher, and a public figure in the music world.
M. A. Balanchivadze and Z. P. Paliashvili composed the first Georgian operas, turning to national historical legends for their subject matter; they made extensive use of the expressive means and the forms of Georgian folk music. Paliashvili’s opera Abesalom and Eteri attained the status of a classic. In Armenia, Komitas (S. G. Sogomonian) laid the foundations for the Armenian school of composition with his arrangements of folk songs; A. T. Tigranian composed the first Armenian opera, Anush. In Azerbaijan, the first Azerbaijani operas, by U. Gadzhibekov, were staged; they were based on the traditional forms of folk music. A group of prominent composers who contributed to the formation of national schools of composition advanced the musical art of Latvia (J. Juriānu, J. Vītols, and E. Dārziņš), Estonia (R. Tobias and A. Kapp), and Lithuania (M. Petrauskas and M. Čiurlionis). Many of these composers were the students, and subsequently the friends and colleagues, of the outstanding masters of Russian music.
The great Russian composers, for their part, turned to the musical folklore of the fraternal peoples, thereby enriching their own creative work. They drew on subject matter from the life of the various peoples and made use of the melodies, rhythms, and expressive means of folk music. The images of Ukrainian folk art were transcribed with great artistry and truthfulness in the works of Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Glinka, M. A. Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, and A. G. Rubinstein carefully studied the music of the Transcaucasian and Middle Asian peoples, whose elements they developed in their operas and symphonies. Also important were the practical activities of prominent progressive Russian musical figures in non-Russian cultural centers. M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov, for example, who was in Tbilisi from 1882 to 1893, contributed to the development of the musical culture of Georgia and to the strengthening of friendly ties between Russian and Georgian musical figures.
The art of musical performance flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries. International recognition was gained by the Russian school of piano, represented by such pianists as Rubinstein, A. N. Esipova, and Rachmaninoff; the Russian school of cello playing, represented by such cellists as K. Iu. Davydov, A. A. Brandukov, and A. V. Verzhbilovich; the Russian school of the violin, represented by such violinists as N. D. Dmitriev-Svechin, L. S. Auer, I. V. Grzhimali, and V. V. Bezekirskii; and the Russian school of voice, represented by such singers as O. A. Petrov, F. I. Stravinskii, F. I. Chaliapin, L. V. Sobinov, and A. V. Nezhdanova. Because the political structure of prerevolutionary Russia imposed a heavy yoke on the various nationalities of the Russian Empire, however, the musical art of most peoples could not develop freely.
The October Revolution of 1917, which established equal rights for all nations (natsii, nations in the historical sense), opened up to all peoples of the USSR the opportunity to express themselves in all forms of art. Soviet musical art is a qualitatively new stage in the development of world music and the music of the peoples of the USSR. It is the direct successor of the classical tradition, yet it is essentially different from all previous stages in the history of music. Soviet music continues and develops the most progressive features of the heritage of the past: democratism, humanism, civic-mindedness, truth to life, and a distinctly national character, as well as a recognition of and respect for the cultures of other peoples. At the same time, it is inspired by new ideas: the conscious revolutionary transformation of the world and the building of a communist society. Soviet music is guided by the aesthetic principles of socialist realism, partiinost’ (party spirit), narodnost’ (close ties with the people), and internationalism.
Soviet music plays an active role in the spiritual life of society, in the formation of the ideological convictions, moral traits, and artistic taste of the Soviet people, and in the education of the new man. Soviet music is multinational: all the Soviet republics, nations, and nationalities contribute to its development. The national cultures that it embraces are able to realize more fully their own capacities, to interact with and enrich one another, and to draw closer together on the basis of the shared ideological and aesthetic principles that underlie a unified socialist musical culture.
The active role of the state in music is a major precondition for the successful formation of a socialist musical culture. This thesis was first set forth in a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars on the Moscow and Petrograd conservatories, signed by V. I. Lenin on July 12, 1918. The major music institutions—such as the conservatories, the Bolshoi Theater and the former Mariinskii Theater, the music publishing houses, and musical instrument factories—were placed under government jurisdiction. New concert and music education organizations were established, notably the Russian Folk Orchestra in 1919 (renamed the N. P. Osipov Russian Folk Orchestra in 1946) and the Petrograd Philharmonic Society in 1921, as well as music education institutions.
In the years immediately after the revolution, the task of providing a music education for the working people and extending to them the benefits of musical culture was for the most part completed. With the participation of skilled musicians, numerous popular concerts and lectures were given, and amateur choruses, orchestras, and teaching studios were established throughout the country and in units of the Red Army. An important role in preserving and disseminating the musical classics was played by such figures as A. K. Glazunov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, and R. M. Glière, who headed the Petrograd, Moscow, and Kiev conservatories, respectively, and by A. D. Kastal’skii, director of the People’s Choral Academy in Moscow.
During the Civil War of 1918–20 the first Soviet musical works appeared—primarily songs, including songs by amateur composers and songs by composers associated with the Red Army. Examples of the former are “Through the Valleys and Over the Hills,” an original melody set to the words of the Red Army political worker P. S. Parfenov, and two songs set to adaptations of folk and popular melodies: “Chapaev the Hero Roamed the Urals” and “Let’s Go Boldly Into Battle.” Examples of the latter are D. S. Vasil’ev-Buglai’s “March of the Communards” and “The Send-off,” which is based on the melody of a Ukrainian folk song and set to new words written by Dem’ian Bednyi; A. S. Mitiushin’s “The Song of the Commune”; D. Ia. Pokrass’ “Budennyi’s March”; S. Ia. Pokrass’ “The Red Army Is the Most Powerful of All”; and Iu. A. Khait’s “Ever Higher.” Works in other genres include N. Ia. Miaskovskii’s Symphony No. 5 (1918), Kastal’skii’s choral works, and choral works by the Ukrainian masters N. D. Leontovich, Ia. S. Stepovoi, and K. G. Stetsenko.
With the end of the Civil War and the transition to peaceful construction, music entered a new phase of development. In the 1920’s and the early 1930’s profound changes occurred in musical life and in the activities of all music institutions and organizations. Thousands of amateur circles and groups were organized, notably choruses and folk orchestras. Amateur song writing underwent development, especially in the Komsomol; it is represented by “Our Steam Locomotive” and “Far Beyond the River,” set to melodies of foreign and Russian songs. The theater and concert repertoires were revamped to include numerous works by Soviet and foreign composers. An active propaganda campaign was carried on to promote classical operas whose subjects were drawn from the national liberation struggle. For the first time, Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov was staged in the composer’s own version (1928, Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet). New music theaters and conservatories opened their doors, notably in Azerbaijan in 1921 and Armenia in 1923.
Important contributions to musical art and music education were made by the composers U. Gadzhibekov in Azerbaijan, A. A. Spendiarov in Armenia, and D. I. Arakishvili, Balanchivadze, and Paliashvili in Georgia. Paliashvili’s opera Daisi (1923) and Spendiarov’s opera Almast (1928) were especially valuable additions to musical culture. Soviet musical figures helped considerably in the development of the musical culture of the peoples of the USSR, notably Glière in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, A. V. Zataevich in Kazakhstan, and V. A. Uspenskii in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan; in the 1930’s such figures included E. G. Brusilovskii in Kazakhstan, S. N. Vasilenko in Uzbekistan, V. A. Vlasov and V. G. Fere in Kirghizia; and V. Zolotarev in Byelorussia.
Masters of the older generation continued to do valuable work, notably the operatic and symphonic conductors N. A. Mal’ko, K. S. Saradzhev, and V. I. Suk, the choral directors P. G. Chesnokov, N. M. Danilin, and M. G. Klimov, the pianists F. M. Blumenfel’d, A. B. Gol’denveizer, K. N. Igumnov, and L. V. Nikolaev, and the singers P. Z. Andreev, I. V. Ershov, Nezhdanova, and Sobinov.
They were joined by performers and teachers who had come to the fore after the October Revolution. In addition to the operatic and symphonic conductors V. A. Dranishnikov, A. V. Gauk, N. S. Golovanov, A. M. Pazovskii, and S. A. Samosud and the choral director A. V. Sveshnikov, this group included the pianists S. E. Feinberg, M. V. Iudina, G. G. Neigauz, L. N. Oborin, and V. V. Sofronitskii, the violinists A. I. Iampol’skii, K. G. Mostras, M. B. Poliakin, and L. M. Tseitlin, the cellists S. M. Kozolupov and A. Ia. Shtrimer, and the harpists N. I. Amosov and K. A. Erdeli. Notable singers in the group were V. V. Barsova, Biul’-Biul’ (Mamedov), A. B. Danielian, K. G. Derzhinskaia, Z. M. Gaidai, E. K. Katul’skaia, I. S. Kozlovskii, S. Ia. Lemeshev, M. I. Litvinenko-Vol’gemut, M. P. Maksakova, Sh. G. Mamedova, S. I. Migai, N. A. Obukhova, I. S. Patorzhinskii, O. A. Petrusenko, A. S. Pirogov, G. S. Pirogov, S. P. Preobrazhenskaia, M. O. Reizen, and E. A. Stepanova.
Also active were various ensembles founded during the years of Soviet power: Persimfans (First Symphony Ensemble), an orchestra without a conductor; the Dumka Ukrainian Chorus; and the Glazunov, Beethoven, Komitas, Vuillaume, and Stradivarius string quartets.
By the 1920’s and early 1930’s Soviet music had accumulated valuable experience in a number of genres. In the first years after the revolution it achieved some success—in works that included words and action—toward carrying out the major task of reflecting the spirit of the revolutionary age in music. Although still lacking psychological specificity, musical images of the new collective heroes—the revolutionary masses—were created through the use of the expressive means and the genres of folk, soldiers’, peasants’, and proletarian songs. Such images were presented in the choral scenes and “frescoes” of A. A. Davidenko (The Seething Street, The Sea Raged, and At the Tenth Verst From the Capital) and in the songs of Davidenko (“Budennyi’s Cavalry,” “The First Cavalry,” and “They Wanted to Beat Us Down”), V. A. Belyi (“Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!”), M. V. Koval’ (“Youth”), and B. S. Shekhter (“The Iron Reserve Units”).
In musical theater, the first works dealing with contemporary subjects were written; they represented a noteworthy advance despite their uneven quality and, in some cases, the obvious weakness of the music. Important compositions were A. P. Gladkovskii and E. V. Prussak’s opera For a Red Petrograd (1925), V. M. Deshevov’s ballet The Red Whirlwind (The Bolsheviks; 1924), and I. O. Dunaevskii’s operettas The Wooers (1927) and The Knives (1928). At the same time, works in this area exhibited contradictory artistic tendencies. Some composers sought to move away from familiar forms and in so doing sometimes left the public behind. Specifically, Deshevov’s opera Ice and Steel (1930) and L. K. Knipper’s opera North Wind (1930), both of which dealt with the Civil War, did not remain in the theatrical repertoire, nor did D. D. Shostakovich’s ballets The Golden Age (1930) and Bolt (1931), which were based on contemporary subject matter. Notable among the works of this group was Shostakovich’s satiric opera The Nose (after Gogol; 1930), which was revived on the Soviet stage in the 1970’s.
Other works on historical-revolutionary and contemporary subjects, however, relied (for the most part, passively) on the old techniques of opera and ballet dramaturgy and the old musical idiom; such works were consequently easier to understand, but their traditionalism often was at odds with the new content. Compositions of this type were A. F. Pashchenko’s opera about the Pugachev Rebellion, Eagles’ Revolt (1925), and S. I. Pototskii’s opera The Breach (1930), which dealt with the Civil War. In 1927, Glière wrote the ballet The Red Poppy (second version, 1949; known as The Red Flower since 1957); the first work of Soviet ballet, it long remained in the repertoire of many theaters. N. M. Strel’nikov’s operetta The Peasant Girl (1929), which combined the traditions of Russian popular music and the new Viennese operetta, also achieved popularity.
The process of coming more closely to grips with contemporary life was clearly reflected in the symphony. The dramatic events and conflicts of the revolutionary years were given profound expression in Miaskovskii’s tragic Symphony No. 6 (1923). The spirit that went into building a new life is communicated in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 (1925). Both works achieved renown by the end of the decade.
The first attempts were made to compose programmatic symphonic works dealing with the revolution and contemporary life: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 2 (October Symphony, 1927) and Symphony No. 3 (First of May Symphony, 1929), both scored for chorus and orchestra, and M. F. Gnesin’s Symphonic Monument, 1905–1917 (1925). Notable works devoted to Lenin were A. A. Krein’s Funeral Ode (1927) and V. Ia. Shebalin’s Lenin Symphony (after Mayakovsky; 1931). The dramatic and epic lyricism that had characterized the prerevolutionary symphony was continued, to a degree, in V. V. Shcherbachev’s Symphony No. 2 (Blok Symphony, 1925) and L. N Revutskii’s Symphony No. 2 (1927).
In the 1920’s performances were given of many new compositions by S. S. Prokofiev, who lived abroad from 1918 to 1932 and gave concerts in the USSR in 1927 and 1929; among the new compositions were the opera Love for Three Oranges (1919; Leningrad, 1926, and Moscow, 1927), the Piano Concerto No. 2 (1921), and the ballet The Buffoon (1920; Kiev, 1928). During this period Prokofiev also composed such works as the opera The Flaming Angel (1927), Symphony No. 2 (1924), Symphony No. 3 (1928), and Symphony No. 4 (1930).
The music of the 1920’s and early 1930’s reflected an active search for methods that would make it possible to reflect the new reality, to transform the expressive structure and other aspects of the musical idiom, and to rejuvenate musical genres and forms by assimilating and reworking a wide variety of styles drawn from diverse sources, including revolutionary songs, Soviet songs, and the music of Russian and foreign composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The novelty of Soviet musical content caused several composers to develop a heightened, at times obsessive, interest in experimentation and unusual, nontraditional means of expression. On the whole, however, continuity in the development of Soviet musical culture was maintained, owing in large part to the pedagogic and creative work of the composers of the older generation—A. F. Gedike, Glière, Gnesin, Ippolitov-Ivanov, A. A. Kas’-ianov, Riazanov, M. O. Shteinberg, V. N. Trambitskii, and Vasilenko—and of Miaskovskii and Shcherbachev, who founded schools of composition.
Various groups clashed in debates on the tasks and the proper paths of development of Soviet music. In 1925 the Association of Revolutionary Composers and Musical Figures was formed. Its members, who included M. I. Krasev, K. A. Korchmarev, G. G. Lobachev, and D. S. Vasil’ev-Buglai, tended to use contemporary subject matter for agitational purposes but, as a rule, failed to transcend epigonism.
In 1924 the Association for Contemporary Music was founded in Moscow, with a branch in Leningrad. Its members included, in addition to A. N. Aleksandrov, Asaf’ev, Feinberg, Miaskovskii, L. A. Polovinkin, Shcherbachev, and Iu. A. Shaporin, various composers of the younger generation, notably A. V. Mosolov, G. N. Popov, Shebalin, and Shostakovich. The organization lacked a well-defined aesthetic program. Many of its members were dissatisfied with its apolitical stance and lack of ideological commitment, and in 1931 the organization disbanded in all but name.
In 1925 the Production Collective of Students of the Moscow Conservatory, or Prokoll, was formed. Headed by Davidenko, the group included Belyi, N. K. Chemberdzhi, Koval’, and Shekhter, who were subsequently joined by D. B. Kabalevskii and A. I. Khachaturian. Prokoll sought, for the most part, to create a mass music with revolutionary content by drawing on the expressive means of Russian folk songs and proletarian anthems. The Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians was founded in 1923 (similar organizations were established in several other republics, notably the Ukraine); from 1929 its artistic nucleus consisted of the Prokoll composers. The association struggled for an ideological restructuring of Soviet music; however, it was responsible for gross oversimplifications and distortions similar to those perpetrated by Proletkul’t. The sectarian narrowness of the associations of proletarian musicians became an obstacle to the further growth of musical culture.
The general changes ushered in by the decisive victories of socialism demanded new organizational forms for creative work in literature and art. On Apr. 23, 1932, the Central Committee of the ACP(B) adopted the decree On the Restructuring of Literary and Artistic Organizations. In order to unite all workers in the arts who sought to take part in communist construction, unions of such workers were established to replace the disparate associations that had existed thitherto; between 1932 and 1940, unions were founded in Moscow and Leningrad and in such republics as Byelorussia, Georgia, Armenia, and the Ukraine.
The establishment of Soviet composers’ unions made it possible to consolidate the creative forces of Soviet music on the principles of socialist realism. New horizons were opened up for musical content, which came to encompass—in addition to contemporary themes and historical subjects dealing with revolution—patriotic subjects drawn from the history of the Soviet Union’s various nationalities. The principal creative trends were consolidated, and national schools and individual styles crystallized. Innovation by Soviet composers became more diverse and purposeful. The links between compositional activity and classical and folk music became closer and more extensive. As a result, outstanding realistic works—the first Soviet musical classics—were written: the Symphony No. 5 and other works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and cantata Alexander Nevsky, and A. I. Khachaturian’s piano concerto and violin concerto. Greater interaction between national cultures took place. Operas, ballets, and symphonic works were written in republics that had previously lacked a written professional music, such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Bashkiria, and Tataria.
In the 1930’s, Soviet musical culture made notable advances. Its restructuring was essentially completed. National musical theaters functioned in all the Union republics and in some autonomous republics. Symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles were formed for the first time in many republics. The Symphony Orchestra of the USSR was created in 1936, and the Folk Dance Ensemble of the USSR in 1937. Conservatories were opened in Minsk (1932), Sverdlovsk (1934), Tashkent (1936), and Kishinev (1940), and numerous primary and secondary music schools were established. At the same time, the collection and popularization of folk music assumed an even broader scope. Ten-day art festivals that took place in the Soviet republics beginning in 1936 fostered the exchange of achievements among the national cultures.
In 1933 the first all-Union competitions for performing artists were held. Many musicians trained in the Soviet school of performance who subsequently attained international recognition first made their mark at these competitions; notable examples are the conductors Iu. F. Faier, K. K. Ivanov, B. E. Khaikin, A. S. Melik-Pashaev, E. A. Mravinskii, and N. G. Rakhlin, the pianists Ia. V. Flier, Emil G. Gilel’s, P. A. Serebriakov, R. V. Tamarkina, and Ia. I. Zak, the organist I. A. Braudo, the violinists G. V. Barinova, M. I. Fikhtengol’ts, Elizaveta G. Gilel’s, and D. F. Oistrakh, the cellists S. N. Knushevitskii and D. B. Shafran, and the harpist V. G. Dulova. Leading opera singers of this period were L. P. Aleksandrovskaia, P. V. Amiranashvili, K. Baiseitova, Danielian, Gaidai, N. S. Khanaev, M. D. Mikhailov, Kh. Nasyrova, G. M. Nelepp, N. K. Pechkovskii, and T. T. Sazandarian.
The Soviet song became a genuinely mass genre; national in content and accessible in form, it embraced an extremely wide range of democratic expressive material, from the old Russian peasant song and the chastushka to the revolutionary workers’ song, the art song dealing with everyday life, variety-stage music, and the Soviet song. The new qualities were manifested most completely and strikingly in the anthems and marching songs written by Dunaevskii to lyrics by V. I. Lebedev-Kumach, which communicated love for the motherland and the optimism of Soviet youth: “Song of the Homeland,” from the motion picture The Circus; “March of the Jolly Fellows,” from the motion picture The Jolly Fellows; and “Sports March,” from the motion picture The Goalkeeper.
A. V. Aleksandrov’s songs about the motherland, the party, labor, and the Red Army, as well as his lyric songs, gained widespread popularity, especially “The Anthem of the Bolshevik Party,” whose melody was used for the national anthem of the USSR. Also popular were M. I. Blanter’s “The Partisan Zhelezniak,” “Song of Shchors,” and “Katiusha,” V. G. Zakharov’s “Through the Village,” “Seeing Him Off,” and “And Who Knows Why?,” Knipper’s “Poliushko,” K. Ia. Listov’s “The Machinegun Cart,” Dmitrii Ia. Pokrass’ and Daniil Ia. Pokrass’ “Moscow In May,” “The Farewell,” and “The Three Tank Crewmen,” and Shostakovich’s “Song of the Counterplan.” The Soviet song, which considerably influenced other musical genres in this period, notably the opera, operetta, symphony, and art song, earned a permanent place in the life of the people.
A major role in disseminating the Soviet song was played by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army (founded 1928), under the direction of A. V. Aleksandrov; the M. E. Piatnitskii Russian Folk Chorus (founded 1910); L. O. Utesov’s variety-stage orchestra (founded 1929); and individual performers, notably K. I. Shul’zhenko. The performances of such groups and individuals were broadcast over the radio and recorded on discs. Many songs were written for motion pictures. Contributions to motion-picture music were made not only by songwriters but also by such symphonic composers as Kabalevskii, Khachaturian, B. N. Liatoshinskii, Prokofiev, Shcherbachev, and Shostakovich.
A turning point occurred in Soviet opera: for the first time, composers succeeded in creating palpable, realistic images of individual, as well as collective, heroes; works appeared that drew on tradition yet embodied new content and reflected a quest for new forms. In addition, opera exhibited diverse creative trends that fruitfully influenced one another. One trend was represented by operas that used the idiom of contemporary symphonic music, well-developed musical forms, and diverse means of musical dramaturgy, including recitatives and ensembles. Among them were outstanding works that became Soviet operatic classics: Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Katerina Izmailova; 1932; 2nd revised version, 1962), Kabalevskii’s Colas Breugnon (1938; 2nd revised version, 1968), Liatoshinskii’s Shchors (1938), and Prokofiev’s Semen Kotko (1939).
A second trend is represented by the song opera, which drew on the expressive means and the forms of Soviet popular songs. One of the first and most striking examples of the genre was I. I. Dzerzhinskii’s The Quiet Don (1935). The strengths of the song opera—melodic richness and the democratic quality of the language—and its weaknesses—the fragmentary quality of the musical dramaturgy and the frequent naturalism of the recitative—were manifested in such subsequent works as Dzerzhinskii’s Virgin Soil Upturned (1937), O. S. Chishko’s Battleship “Potemkin” (1937), and V. V. Zhelobinskii’s Mother (1938). The song opera achieved its greatest success with T. N. Khrennikov’s Into the Storm (1939).
In several republics, primarily in Middle Asia, popularity was gained by the distinctive genre of musical performance known as the music drama, which is a dramatic play containing a large number of songs and dances based on folklore material. Important music dramas were Kyz-Zhibek (1934, Kazakhstan), by Brusilovskii; Farkhad and Shirin (1937, Uzbekistan), by V. A. Uspenskii and G. A. Mushel’; Giul’sara (1937, Uzbekistan), by Glière and T. Sadykov; and Altyn kyz (The Golden Girl; 1937, Kirghizia), by Vlasov and Fere. In the republics, diverse types of operatic works were composed on the basis of folklore material, in part by reworking music dramas. Among such works were U. Gadzhibekov’s Ker-ogly (1937) in Azerbaijan, Brusilovskii’s Er-Targyn (Targyn the Valiant, 1936) in Kazakhstan, A. V. Bogatyrev’s In the Woods of Poles’e (1939) and E. K. Tikotskii’s Mikhas’ Podgornyi (1939) in Byelorussia, A. L. Stepanian’s Lusabatsin (1938) in Armenia, Vlasov, Fere, and A. Maldybaev’s Aichurek (The Lunar Beauty, 1939) in Kirghizia, S. A. Balasanian’s The Vose Uprising (1939) in Tadzhikistan, Glière’s and Sadykov’s Leili and Medzhun (1940) in Uzbekistan, and N. G. Zhiganov’s Altynchach (The Golden-haired Girl, 1940) in Tataria.
In ballet music, the realistic method achieved major successes: ideas, images, and plots were drawn from history and literature; characters and situations were given greater social, historical, and national specificity; and the score communicated a unified dramatic line. Asaf ev, a key figure in the rejuvenation of the genre, composed the music for such ballets as The Flames of Paris (1932), The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (after the narrative poem by Pushkin, 1934), and Partisan Days (1937), which dealt with the Civil War. Landmarks in the same line of development were the ballets The Heart of the Hills (1936), by A. M. Balanchivadze, and Laurencia (after the play by Lope de Vega, 1939), by Krein. A pinnacle of realism in Soviet and world ballet music was Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (after Shakespeare, 1936; staged 1940). With Dunaevskii’s The Golden Valley and B. A. Aleksandrov’s Wedding in Malinovka, both staged in 1937, the operetta based on folk songs and Soviet mass songs began to flourish.
The oratorios and cantatas of this period, which were monumental in scale, dealt with a topic of special relevance to the prewar era—the Russian people’s struggle against foreign invaders—and marked the emergence of the heroic-epic trend in Soviet vocal-symphonic music. Notable works were Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky (1939), based on his score for the film of the same name, and Iu. A. Shaporin’s symphony-cantata On the Field of Kulikovo (after A. A. Blok, 1939). The oratorio Emel’ian Pugachev (1939), by Koval’, continued the tradition of large-scale vocal works devoted to revolutionary-historical subject matter; it resembled an opera in its dramaturgy, and in 1942, Koval’ did in fact write an opera based on the oratorio. An original experiment in giving musical expression to the revolution was Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution (1937), which used original texts from K. Marx, F. Engels, and Lenin.
Soviet symphonic composers, after a brief flirtation with the “song symphony” (a mixed genre combining the symphony and vocal genres, usually the song), resumed the composition of symphonies with serious philosophic content and a well-developed musical dramaturgy of a heroic, dramatic, or lyric-dramatic character. A major achievement of Soviet music was Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 (1937). Other outstanding symphonic works were Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 (1939) and Miaskovskii’s Symphony No. 16 (1936) and Symphony No. 21 (1940). In Georgia the symphonic poem was developed successfully by G. V. Kiladze and Sh. M. Mshvelidze. The concerto reached new heights with such works as A. I. Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto (1936) and Violin Concerto (1940) and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2(1935).
The respect for classical traditions that characterized Soviet music of the 1930’s beneficially influenced chamber music, as evidenced by Shostakovich’s Sonata for Cello and Piano (1934), String Quartet No. 1 (1938), and Piano Quintet (1940) and by such works as Miaskovskii’s String Quartet No. 5 (1939) and String Quartet No. 6 (1940) and A. I. Khachaturian’s Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1932). Brilliant successes were achieved in the art song, such as the song cycles set to poems by Pushkin composed by Shaporin (1935), G. V. Sviridov (1935), and Iu. V. Kochurov (1938), as well as Shaporin’s song cycle Distant Youth, set to words by Blok (1940).
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Soviet musical figures, like those in the other arts, took part in the struggle against the enemy. Many musicians joined the army or the home guard. Composers and performers engaged in constant creative activity in the army. The most important musical institutions continued to function, and new performing groups were established: the State Russian Chorus of the USSR (later, the State Chorus of Russian Song of the USSR), under the direction of A. V. Sveshnikov, was formed in 1942, and the Novosibirsk Theater of Opera and Ballet in 1945. The work of a number of Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian composers in the republics of the Northern Caucasus, Transcaucasia, and Middle Asia helped bring the musical cultures of the peoples of the USSR closer together.
Music was dominated by the theme of the motherland and the common struggle against the enemy, a theme that for the first time was expressed primarily through documentary material of the period, often of a specific nature. Heroic images moved to the fore. Increasing interest was shown in the country’s history and in the patriotic traditions of its peoples. Music sought to reveal the philosophic and ethical meaning of the war as a titanic confrontation between light and darkness, between humanity and fascist barbarism, and to assert the lofty ideals of socialist humanism.
Along with the dramatic and epic strains, lyricism also underwent development, especially in the song. The song maintained its preeminent position in the people’s daily life; of all the genres, it was the most relevant and responded the most quickly to events. “The Holy War,” written by A. V. Aleksandrov in the first days of the war, became a symbol, a musical emblem, of the country’s struggle. Other songs also assumed a patriotic importance: military anthems and marches (A. V. Aleksandrov’s “The Sacred Leninist Banner,” Fradkin’s “Song of the Dnieper,” and Khrennikov’s “Song of the Artillerymen”), narrative songs about war heroes (Zakharov’s “O, the Mists,” S. A. Kats’ “The Briansk Forest Fiercely Roared,” and B. A. Mokrousov’s “The Sacred Stone”), and numerous lyric and comic songs (Blanter’s “In the Frontline Forest” and “My Loved One,” N. V. Bogoslovskii’s “Dark Night,” Listov’s “In a Dugout,” and A. G. Novikov’s “Dark Girl”). National recognition was gained by V. P. Solov’ev-Sedoi’s songs “Evening on the Roadstead,” “Play, My Baian,” “Nightingales,” and “In a Sunny Glade.”
Numerous composers turned to the symphony. As early as July 1941, Shostakovich had begun work on his Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad Symphony) in Leningrad, a composition that became an immortal monument of the period. Its performance during the war in cities throughout the USSR—notably Leningrad in August 1942—and abroad, in Great Britain and the USA, served as an impressive demonstration of the Soviet people’s patriotism and courage, as well as the solidarity of the antifascist forces. Several memorable works embodied a profound philosophic content: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 (1943), A. I. Khachaturian’s epic Symphony No. 2 (Bell Symphony, 1943), G. N. Popov’s Symphony No. 2 (Motherland Symphony, 1943), and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 (1944), which the composer envisioned as a “symphony of the greatness of the human spirit.” The first Georgian symphonies were composed by Mshvelidze (1943) and A. M. Balanchivadze (1944).
The events of the war provided the subject matter of the heroic opera Veten (The Motherland, 1945), by D. Gadzhiev and K. A. Karaev. A. I. Khachaturian’s music for the ballet Gayane (1942) expressed in a colorful manner the Soviet people’s patriotism and love of life. Prokofiev embodied the noble moral ideas of a literary classic in his ballet Cinderella (1941). The epic tradition of Russian music was continued with brilliant success in Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace (1944), his music to the motion picture Ivan the Terrible, part 1 (1942), and his Piano Sonata No. 7 (1942). The epic tendencies characteristic of the period were also evident in Shaporin’s oratorio The Tale of the Battle for the Russian Land and A. Ia. Shtogarenko’s cantata-symphony My Ukraine.
A growing interest in the music of the peoples of the USSR and the fraternal Slavic countries yielded important creative results in such works as Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 2, on Kabarda and Balkar themes (1941), Shebalin’s String Quartet No. 5, on Slavic Themes (1942), and Liatoshinskii’s Ukrainian Quintet (1942; 2nd revised version, 1945).
Other important chamber works were the strikingly dramatic piano trios of Shostakovich (1944) and Sviridov (1945), Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 2 (1944) and Piano Sonata No. 2 (1942), and Miaskovskii’s String Quartet No. 9 (1943). Numerous works for wind instruments were written, notably the marches of S. A. Chernetskii, N. P. Ivanov-Radkevich, Khachaturian, Khait, V. I. Muradeli, V. S. Runov, Shostakovich, and M. L. Starokadomskii.
In the first decade after the war, the prewar network of music theaters, concert halls, and educational institutions was rebuilt and expanded. In 1950 the ten-day art festival was revived in Moscow. Great successes were achieved in the area of musical performance. The creative work of the choral directors G. R. Shirma and G. G. Ernesaks moved forward. A new generation of talented performing artists emerged, including the conductors K. P. Kondrashin, Niiazi, G. N. Rozhdestvenskii, and E. F. Svetlanov, the choral director V. G. Sokolov, the pianists S. T. Rikhter and T. P. Nikolaeva, and the violinists I. S. Bezrodnyi, L. B. Kogan, and Iu. G. Sitkovetskii. The leading young singers were I. K. Arkhipova, E. I. Chavdar, Z. A. Dolukhanova, A. Frinberg (A. Frīnbergs), G. M. Gasparian, Zh. Geine-Vagner (Ž. Heine-Vāgnere), B. R. Gmyria, T. Kuuzik (T. Kuusik), L. L. Linkhovoin, P. G. Lisitsian, A. P. Ognivtsev, G. K. Ots, I. I. Petrov, and L. A. Rudenko.
Important compositions dealing with relevant contemporary topics were written, among them such works devoted to the Soviet motherland as A. G. Arutiunian’s Cantata of the Homeland (1948), A. I. Chimakadze’s cantata The Heart of Kartli (1952), and Ia. Ivanov’s Symphony No. 6 (Latgales Symphony, 1949). The events of wartime were depicted in such operas as Kabalevskii’s Taras’ Family (1950), Iu. S. Meitus’ The Young Guard (1950), and E. A. Kapp’s Freedom Singer (1950). Scenes of labor were presented in Shostakovich’s oratorio Song of the Forests (1949), V. A. Makarov’s choral suite The River-Hero (1950), Iu. S. Miliutin’s operetta The Trembita (1949), Solov’ev-Sedoi’s operetta The Dearest Thing (1951), and Dunaevskii’s operetta White Acacia (1955). The struggle for peace provided the subject matter for Prokofiev’s oratorio Guarding the Peace (1950), D. Gadzhiev’s symphonic poem For Peace! (1951), Dunaevskii’s operetta Free Wind (1947), and numerous songs, including A. G. Novikov’s “Hymn of the Democratic Youth of the World” (1947).
As before, composers were drawn to the literary classics for their subject matter, as evidenced by Shebalin’s opera The Taming of the Shrew (1955), Glière’s ballet The Bronze Horseman (1949), K. A. Karaev’s ballet The Seven Beauties (1952), Mshvelidze’s symphonic poem Mindiia (1950), and Sviridov’s song cycle Songs to Words by Robert Burns (1955). Historical-revolutionary themes were embodied in Shostakovich’s Ten Narrative Poems for A Cappella Chorus (1951), Muradeli’s opera A Great Friendship (1947), Shaporin’s opera The Decembrists (1953), F. M. Amirov’s opera Seville (1953), and A. I. Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus (1955).
Patriotic subjects drawn from history were treated in Mshvelidze’s opera The Legend of Tariel’ (1946), K. F. Dan’kevich’s opera Bogdan Khmel’nitskii (1953), and Shcherbachev’s Symphony No. 5 (Russian Heroic Symphony, 1948). Subjects from folk epics and fairy tales were used in M. Tulebaev’s opera Birzhan and Sara (1946), Ernesaks’ opera Stormy Coast (1949), E. A. Kapp’s ballet Kalevipoeg (1948), Prokofiev’s ballet The Stone Flower (1950), and A. P. Skulte’s ballet The Brooch of Freedom (1950).
Notable symphonies by Soviet composers included Miaskovskii’s Symphony No. 27 (1949), Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 (1946) and Symphony No. 7 (1952), and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 (1945) and Symphony No. 10 (1953). In the Ukraine, Liatoshinskii composed his Symphony No. 3 (1951; revised version, 1954), and in Georgia, O. V. Taktakishvili wrote his Symphony No. 1 (1949) and Symphony No. 2 (1953). Outstanding concerti of this period were B. D. Dvarionas’ Violin Concerto (1948), Kabalevskii’s Violin Concerto (1948), G. A. Gasanov’s Piano Concerto (1948), A. A. Babadzhanian’s Heroic Ballade for Piano and Orchestra (1950), O. V. Taktakishvili’s Piano Concerto (1951), and Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra (1952).
Orchestral poems on folk themes were composed, notably G. G. Galynin’s Epic Poem (1950) and the symphonic mugams of F. M. Amirov (1948) and Niiazi (1949). Important chamber works of this period included Miaskovskii’s String Quartet No. 13 (1949), Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 5 (1952), and S. F. Tsintsadze’s String Quartet No. 2 and Miniature String Quartets (1950). Works for the piano included Shostakovich’s Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues (1951). Important works for a cappella chorus were written by M. Burkhanov, Ernesaks, Koval’, Popov, and Shebalin. Songs were written by Russian composers and by the Azerbaijani composers T. A. Kuliev and S. A. Rustamov, the Georgian composers R. K. Gabichvadze and R. I. Lagidze, the Tatar composer S. Z. Saidashev, and the Ukrainian composers A. I. Kos-Anatol’skii and P. I. Maiboroda. Music for children was composed by Prokofiev (the suite Winter Bonfire, 1949), A. N. Aleksandrov, A. D. Filippenko, Kabalevskii, Krasev, N. N. Levi, Z. A. Levina, M. R. Raukhverger, and Starokadomskii.
Notable works composed in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s but not performed until later included Prokofiev’s opera The Story of a Real Man (1948), Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (1948) and song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry (1948), and Sviridov’s vocal poem Land of Our Fathers (1950), set to words by A. S. Isaakian.
In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s simplified and constricted notions of realism, narodnost’, and innovation gained a certain currency. Some works, especially among cantatas, oratorios, and program symphonies, suffered from a superficial reflection of reality and schematic images and means of expression. Subjectivist errors made in evaluating the creative art of several composers were subsequently corrected in a decree issued on May 28, 1958, by the Central Committee of the CPSU. The decree—On Correcting Mistakes in the Evaluation of the Operas A Great Friendship, Bogdan Khmel’nitskii, and With All My Heart—affirmed the inviolability of the principles of ideinost’ (ideological commitment), partiinost’, and narodnost’ in Soviet art. A formulation of the principles had been provided in a decree issued on Feb. 10, 1948, by the Central Committee of the ACP(B): On the Opera A Great Friendship by V. Muradeli. The new decree helped Soviet musical figures overcome narrow concepts pertaining to a number of aesthetic problems and avoid false ideas about realism, narodnost’, and innovation.
Since the late 1950’s Soviet music has developed on the basis of intensive creative quests, which had led to the use of a multiplicity of styles, genres, and forms; at the same time, it has maintained a unified ideological stance and has applied a single artistic method—socialist realism. The pulse of musical life has quickened. The musical cultures of the various nationalities have increasingly enriched one another and have drawn closer together. Exchanges in which Soviet and foreign musicians tour one another’s countries have become more frequent. Soviet performers have gained a considerable international reputation.
Among the conductors achieving prominence since the late 1950’s are the operatic and symphonic conductors V. I. Fedoseev, Iu. I. Simonov, and Iu. Kh. Temirankov and the choral conductor A. A. Iurlov. Notable instrumentalists include the pianists D. A. Bashkirov, V. V. Krainev, E. T. Mogilevskii, N. A. Petrov, and E. K. Virsaladze, the violinists B. L. Gutnikov, V. A. Klimov, G. M. Kremer, I. D. Oistrakh, V. A. Pikaizen, V. T. Spivakov, V. V. Tret’iakov and M. I. Vaiman, and the cellists K. A. Georgian, N. G. Gutman, and N. N. Shakhovskaia. Singers coming to the fore in this period include V. A. Atlantov, M. L. Bieshu, A. A. Eizen, Iu. A. Guliaev, G. A. Kovaleva, Iu. A. Mazurok, L. V. Miasnikova, T. A. Milashkina, E. E. Nesterenko, T. N. Nizhnikova, V. Noreika, E. V. Obraztsova, B. A. Rudenko, E. V. Serkebaev, A. B. Solov’ianenko, and A. F. Vedernikov.
The task of embodying the Lenin theme has been carried out successfully in various genres; important works dealing with Lenin include Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 (1917 Symphony, 1961), D. Gadzhiev’s Symphony No. 4 (1956) and Symphony No. 5 (1971), A. Ia. Eshpai’s cantata Lenin Is With Us (1969), Ia. A. Ivanov’s Symphony No. 13 (1969), and R. K. Shchedrin’s oratorio Lenin In the Heart of the People (1970).
The revolution and Civil War have been treated in an original manner in numerous operas: Khrennikov’s Mother (1957), Muradeli’s October (1964), A. N. Kholminov’s Optimistic Tragedy (1965), S. M. Slonimskii’s Virineia (1967), V. S. Gubarenko’s The Destruction of the Squadron (1967), A. R. Terterian’s Ring of Fire (1967), and V. Mukhatov’s Bloody Watershed (1967). The events of the Great Patriotic War have been reflected in various ways in diverse types of operas that often take a highly original approach to the genre. Among them are Zhiganov’s Dzhalil’ (1956), Trambitskii’s Nastia the Lacemaker (1963), A. A. Nikolaev’s At the Price of Life (1964), V. I. Rubin’s opera-oratorio A Sunday in July (1969), and K. V. Molchanov’s The Unknown Soldier (1967) and The Dawns Here Are Quiet (1975).
Various operas have been composed that deal with heroic revolutionary, heroic romantic, lyric-epic, lyric, dramatic, and other subject matter, such as A. E. Spadavecchia’s The Gadfly (1957), A. G. Styrcha’s Domnika’s Heart (1960; 3rd revised version, entitled Heroic Ballad, 1970), Shchedrin’s Not For Love Alone (1961), O. V. Taktakishvili’s Mindiia (1960) and Abduction of the Moon (1974), V. Laurušas’ The Wandering Birds (1967), and E. Rakhmadiev’s Alpamys (1972). Traditions have been rejuvenated in ballet music as well. On the one hand, ballets such as N. I. Peiko’s Joan of Arc (1956) and K. A. Karaev’s The Path of Thunder (1958) continue the tradition of ballets based on heroic subjects from folklore, and ballets such as A. D. Machavariani’s Othello (1957), A. D. Melikov’s The Legend of Love (1961), Balasanian’s Shakuntala (1963), and Shchedrin’s Anna Karenina (1972) are in the tradition of ballets based on literary works. On the other hand, ballets in nontraditional forms have been composed, notably A. P. Petrov’s Shore of Hope (1959), E. S. Oganesian’s Eternal Idol (1966), G. A. Zhubanova’s Legend of the White Bird (1966), Slonimskii’s Icarus (1969), and B. I. Tishchenko’s Yaroslavna (1974).
Most Soviet operettas since the late 1950’s have been written on contemporary themes; leading composers in the genre are A. P. Dolukhanian, Miliutin, Muradeli, A. G. Novikov, and Solov’ev-Sedoi. Outstanding operettas have also been written by composers primarily known for their work in opera, symphonic music, and chamber music, such as Kabalevskii’s Song of Spring (1957), Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheremushki (1959), V. E. Basner’s The North Star (1966), R. S. Gadzhiev’s Cuba, My Love (1963), A. P. Petrov’s We Want to Dance (1967), Khrennikov’s One Hundred Devils and One Girl (1962), and A. Ia. Eshpai’s Hold Still for the Snapshot (1969). The contributions of such composers have helped put the operetta on a more professional level.
Vocal-symphonic works dealing with epic or philosophicepic subject matter have come to occupy an honored place in Soviet music. Two works by Sviridov initiated a new phase in the development of this genre: Poem in Memory of Sergei Esenin (1956) and Oratorio Pathétique (to words by Mayakovsky, 1959). Subsequent works were V. N. Salmanov’s oratorio-poem The Twelve (1957), Kabalevskii’s Requiem (1963), and Shostakovich’s symphonic poem for voice and orchestra The Execution of Stepan Razin (1964). Notable oratorios include Rubin’s Dreams of Revolution (1963), O. V. Taktakishvili’s In Rustaveli’s Footsteps (1964), Mahogany (1965) by M. Zariņš (M. O. Zarin’), L. A. Prigozhin’s The Tale of Igor’s Campaign (1966), and E. Balsis’ Do Not Touch the Blue Globe (1970).
Numerous works based on folk songs have been composed. The “folklore cantata” is represented by Sviridov’s Kursk Songs, Iu. M. Butsko’s Wedding Songs, A. V. Bogatyrev’s Byelorussian Songs, and O. V. Taktakishvili’s Gurian Songs. The “folklore choral concerto” is represented by Salmanov’s The Swan. V. Tormis’ cycle Men’s Songs is also based on folk songs. A similar trend has been manifested in vocal chamber music, such as V. A. Gavrilin’s Russian Notebook, Slonimskii’s Songs of the Freemen, S. R. Chalaev’s Lak Songs, and P. Dambis’ Courland Songs. Other works in the genre, in addition to new song cycles by Sviridov to words by Esenin and Blok and by Shostakovich to words by Blok, include compositions by N. K. Gabuniia, T. E. Mansurian, A. A. Nikolaeva, and V. F. Veselov.
The human voice and poetry play an important role in a number of symphonies, which, as a result, resemble the oratorio or the song cycle for chamber ensemble. Examples of the former are Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 (1962), M. S. Vainberg’s Symphony No. 8 (The Flowers of Poland Symphony, 1964), and J. Juzeliūnas’ A Man’s Lyre. The most notable example of the latter is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 (1969). Shostakovich produced a new and remarkable program symphony in the Symphony No. 11 (1905 Symphony, 1957). Many composers have written symphonies that exhibit features of the concerto or chamber music, notably B. A. Chaikovskii, G. A. Kancheli, K. A. Karaev, E. M. Mirzoian, A. Part, Tishchenko, and Vainberg. This phenomenon reflects a trend characteristic of the contemporary period, in which the various genres have tended to converge and take on one another’s traits. At the same time, the traditional symphony has been given a fresh interpretation, as in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 (1971).
In the concerto, the approaches to genre and style have exhibited a similar diversity. General recognition has been accorded to the piano concerti of Khrennikov (the Piano Concerto No. 2, 1971), B. A. Kvernadze, and Tishchenko, the violin concerti of Shchedrin, K. A. Karaev, and M. M. Skorik, the cello concerti of Part and Chaikovskii, the rhapsodies for solo instrument and orchestra of A. I. Khachaturian, and the concerti for orchestra of B. A. Arapov, A. Ia. Eshpai, S. Gadzhibekov, and Shchedrin (Mischievous Ditties, 1963). Composers have devoted considerable attention to works for chamber orchestra, notably R. S. Bunin, J. Rääts, and Sviridov. Important chamber works include string quartets by Shostakovich (Nos. 1–15), Vainberg, Chaikovskii, and Shebalin (No. 8), violin sonatas by K. S. Khachaturian and Prigozhin, and a rhapsody by V. G. Zagorskii.
Great strides have been made in music for the solo variety-stage singer and in the popular song with a civic or lyric content. Notable works have been composed by experienced masters who gained renown in earlier periods, such as Fradkin’s “The Volga Flows” and “For That Lad,” Muradeli’s “Buchenwald Tocsin,” A. G. Novikov’s “March of the Communist Brigades,” A. I. Ostrovskii’s “Let There Always Be Sunshine,” Solov’ev-Sedoi’s “Moscow Nights” (“Midnight in Moscow”), “Should the Lads of the World,” and Tulikov’s “The Motherland.” These composers have been joined by a new generation of artists that includes L. V. Afanas’ev, Babadzhanian, V. E. Basner, A. Ia. Eshpai, O. B. Fel’tsman, A. G. Fliarkovskii, Gavrilin, M. M. Kazhlaev, E. S. Kolmanovskii, I. M. Luchenok, A. N. Pakhmutova, Petrov, G. Ramans, M. L. Tariverdiev, and O. Zul’fugarov.
Many ensembles from the theaters of the USSR, groups, and soloists have performed abroad, and the finest foreign ensembles have toured the USSR. Composers, singers, and instrumentalists are trained at the conservatories, arts institutes, and music schools of the Union and autonomous republics. Soviet composers and musicologists are united in the Composers’ Union of the USSR. In 1975 the USSR had 42 theaters of opera and ballet, 29 theaters of musical comedy and miniatures, 135 philharmonic societies, 44 symphony orchestras, 61 chamber orchestras and ensembles, 20 conservatories, six arts institutes, three institutes of music pedagogy, 48 music departments in pedagogical institutes, 243 music schools and arts schools, and approximately 5,500 children’s music schools.
IU. V. KELDYSH (to 1917) and A. N. SOKHOR (after 1917)
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What does it mean when you dream about music?
To hear music or to be composing music indicates emotional expression. It can also indicate playing with one’s emotions, or playing off of the emotions of another. Celestial music is like food for the soul, and a very special spiritual gift may be given to the dreamer of this symbol.
["An Acoustical Compiler for Music and Psychological Stimuli", M.V. Mathews, Bell Sys Tech J 40 (1961)].