Published in journal "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal", 2014-2 in rubric "Hermeneutics, Semantics and Musical Meaning", pages 238-251.
Resume: The object of research in this article is musical content, examined in light of one of the new Russian theories of musical content and in light of analysis of the musical practice itself under the angle of this theory. The examined theory reveals the presence in music of three categories of content, named here as emotion, depiction and symbolism. The examined practice covers the main historical periods of the Early Modern and Contemporary Era – the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century periods. The object of attention in them consists only of the so-called “serious” academic classical music – operas, symphonies, concertos, oratorios and chamber music – but not folk or popular songs. The methodology of research is connected with semiotics or, to be precise, with the triad of signs developed by Charles Peirce – the icon, index and symbol, – which are interpreted by the author of the article as emotion, depiction and symbol. The conclusions arrived at in the research are as follows: in each historical time period there exists a distinct, individual correlation of the three sides of musical content – in the Baroque period all three of them stand on an equally high level, in Classicism emotions prevail, whereas depiction and symbolism are of secondary importance, in Romanticism emotions reach an apogee, depiction is activated to a greater level in the second half of the 19th century, whereas symbolism is of minor importance, while in the 20th century symbolism takes a primary position, emotions are brought to their extreme stages, while depiction is of minor importance. The novelty of the research consists in laying out a sturdy semiotic foundation for the method of the “three sides (categories) of musical content” and in bringing out conclusions about the comparative correlation of the most important musical historical time periods according to their content.
Keywords: musical content, Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, 20th century, icon, index, symbol, emotion, depiction
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