Conditions of Music by Alan Durant (auth.)

By Alan Durant (auth.)

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But this broader disturbance is only glimpsed in these early works of Schoenberg. Even within them, material can be noticed to be significantly organised in ways which maintain and consolidate earlier aesthetic conventions of the concert. As in Wagner's chromatic antecedent Tristan and Isolde, Schoenberg's explorations of new formal properties of atonal polyphony take place, in these early pieces, mostly within a dramatic framework. InErwartung, for example, and in Pierrot Lunaire (1912), a new technique of Sprechstimme, or speech-singing, evokes a scene or state implied by Marie Pappenheim's words.

Nor is the point simply the minor one of alternatives in genre, since the kinds of interest and enjoyment musical works precipitate are importantly modified by existence or lack of accompanying descriptive text. 2. Even the apparently complementary relationship of 'performing' and 'listening' has to be disentangled through its history. Considered closely, this complementarity appears an asymmetrical combination of relations: expression and consumption between performer and audience (though only on condition that consumption is understood in the widest implications of active response, work on material heard); mutual expression, or dialogue, between collaborative performers (though with the whole question of execution as against improvisation requiring still further definition and divisionprescription and interpretation between composer and conductor/executants, more active collaboration in forms of Music and its Language 27 extemporisation and improvisation).

Onwards. But the main developments which distinguish Mousike occur with the rise of Athens in the sixth and fifth centuries (Pericles himself, for example, is thought to have been responsible for combining competitions in singing, flute-playing and lyre-playing with the athletic contests and processions to the Acropolis). These developments are in turn related to the growth of the theatre, with its chorus of monodic chant, sometimes accompanied on the aulos. The Muses themselves each supported a specialised activity with its own dedicated instrument: Clio for history with the cithara, Euterpe for the lyric with the aulos, and so on-with all the Muses presided over by Apollo, who held special responsibility for the lyre and for the voice.

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