Musicologica Olomucensia 6 (2001)

Mikuláš Bek


In dem Artikel wird ein Versuch unternommen, die Vorgeschichte des sozialistischen Realismus in der tschechischen Musikkultur zu skizzieren. Obwohl man oft den sozialistischen Realismus als einen Import aus Russland ansieht, man kann in dem Diskurs über die moderne tschechische Musik seit 1918 mehrere Faden identifizieren, die die spätere Rezeption der sowjetischen Doktrin erleichterten. Kurz nach der Entstehung der selbständigen Tschechoslowakischen Republik kann man in diesem Diskurs eine Welle des Isolationismus beobachten, in der Smetanas Werke (wie später um 1950) zu einem Paradigma der tschechischen Musik erhoben wurden und die zeitgenössische deutsche oder französische Musik als ein Dekadenzsymptom verurteilt wurde (Josef Bartoš). In den 30er Jahren wurde dann die neu formulierte Doktrin des sozialistischen Realismus schrittweise von den linksorientierten tschechischen Komponisten adoptiert (Schulhoff, Hába, Stanislav, Vít Nejedlý). Das geschah jedoch noch immer in einer gemilderter Form, weil die neue Ästhetik des Massenliedes und der Massenkantate für ein taktisches Manöver gehalten wurde, das letzten Endes eines Tages das breite Publikum zu der Musik der Avantgarde (z. B. zu der Vierteltonmusik von A. Hába) verführen sollte. Diese utopische avantgardistische Perspektive wurde erst nach 1948 zugunsten des Ideals der Volkstümlichkeit geopfert. Noch in dem Jahr 1945 wollte die Komponisten, „dass das Volk mit den Komponisten gehe“. In dem Jahr 1950 fand jedoch eine Sitzung des Komponistenverbandes statt – unter dem Motto: „Die Komponisten gehen mit dem Volk“.

Alena Burešová


The modern progress of children´s choirs in the 20th century has demonstrated the ability of children to present the most highly artistically demanding compositions. The Czech choral literature is represented by more than 300 authors of this genre, about 80 of whom are considered to be prestigious.

The cantata has a special place in the rich repertoire. Small cantatas with chamber orchestra or a capella (without accompaniment by musical instruments) are representative for interpretation by children´s choirs. These cantatas are highly challenging both in terms of content and technical demands and therefore serve as good examples od the maximum that children have been thus far capable od achieving. Common humanitarian thoughts are found especially in the a capella cantatas (for example: Petr Řezníček, Evžen Zámečník), the contents of which are comprehensible to children both mentally and psychologically, while nevertheless satisfying also the adult public through their poetics.

The centric hierarchy of the musical shape from diatonic to broadened tonality, modality and modern chordality dominates in the majority od these compositions. Polyphony is amalgamated with folkloric themes and also with the new compositional techniques of the 20th century: athematic style, dodecaphony, rule-aleatoric, assembly, stratophony, etc. At the same time, a characteristic tendency to synthetize both traditional and modern progressive styles is also manifested here. The combination of the timbre and aleatoric, exact construction with a multi-dimensional span of harmonic, rhythmic and melodic textural layers are observable in these compositions (for example: Ctirad Kohoutek, Ivo Jirásek, Miroslav Raichl).

Jiří Fukač – Stanislav Tesař


The author´s contribution takes a look at these metamorphoses based on a background of more than seventy years of the development of Czechoslovakian musical pedagogy and tries to find a connection with the evolution of European musical pedagogy as well as other processes of innovation. Analysis arising from Kuhn´s category of the paradigm defining the tendency of these transformations in the Czechoslovak environment and emphasising the specifics of domestic development going on in the deformed and nonstandard social and political climate of the postwar period, characterized, among others, by isolation from events in foreign musical pedagogy and the undying effort to establish dignifies conditions for musical education in schools (the so-called battle for music education). Especial attention is paid to the stimulus of music education in other countries and reactions thereto in Czech-slovak musical pedagogical thinking and stimuli, which were enriched on the Czechoslovak side by several European musical pedagogical concepts. In this connection, we should recall the Czech version of Orff´s Schulwerk or Kodaly´s vocal concept. It is certainly not without interest for the reader from abroad to discover that the Czechoslovak version of activities based on a theory of musical education and polyaesthetic training, which, in the nineteen sixties, reacted to the problematics of the sudden growth of mass culture brought to us, was not only theoretically, but also practically, at a level comparable with foreign answers to these questions.

František Havelka


This contribution observes the mutual influences and intermingling od the spheres of serious classical music with jazz with a particular emphasis on the area of music od the so-called “third stream”. The first wave of mutual interaction took place between the first and second world wars. A further, markedly qualitatively different intermingling took place after the second world war in the form of the third stream. It was a result of the development of postwar jazz styles and kinds and programmatically searched for a path for the possible further evolution of music by blending the two spheres together, in particular jazz styles with those of the compositional techniques of New Music of the second half of the 20th century. The third stream is considered today to be one of the closed and independent chapters of music history. Among others, also several Czech composers were involved in its formation during the sixties and seventies, including Pavel Blatný, Alexej Fried and Karel Velebný. Their composition of “third stream music” as seen in both a European as well as a world-wide context is reflected upon in this study.

Jaroslav Jiránek


The term “melodrama” has come, in the current sense of the word, to have the established meaning of a syncretic joining of the recited word with instrumental music, which respects the relative independence and separateness of both parallel layers as opposed to the interconnection implied by the term synthetic (as used with regard to songs, choruses, cantatas, oratoria, operas and the like) in which music engulfs or swallows up the spoken word, changing it to a suitable “deformation” as an inseparable part of its own specific form. From the historical perspective, the term “melodrama” has gone through certain changes, homonymic (this term was used when referring to original Italian opera) as well as synonymic (in ancient Greece, the term “paracaralogue”, that is “words or speech added to music” and, in the era of Benda, the words “monodrama” or “duodrama” were used to mean a monologue of one or two dramatic figures).

  1. J. Rousseau and J. A. Benda are considered to be the founders of modern European melodrama. Both express a distaste for “recitativo secco” and the non-dramatic conventions of old Italian and French court opera and attempt, via singspiel, to effect a dramatic reform analogous to what Gluck accomplished with opera. Their departure points, however, differ from one another. Rousseau, who himself was a composer as well, was above all a writer, who endeavoured to musically lyricize the dramatic word (he rejected the supposed lack of musicality of the French language in particular). At the same time, he had an enlightened spirit with regard to the priority of the word over music and became the founder of a literary line of the development of melodrama and its conciliation with other dramatic forms (ballet, “mimodram”). Benda, on the other hand, was a composer who hung on to, in that syncretic artistic form, a primary respect for music and became a pioneer of the musical form of melodrama and the evolutionary line arising therefrom.

The tectonic priority of this or that component unfolded in accordance with historical transformations of styles and genres. Classic style placed the main emphasis on the word, in the spirit of enlightened rationalism, and so it was no accident that the 18th century was the very time in which there was a great interest in the new syncretic artistic form on the part of writers themselves. After the Great French Revolution, in that strange period of the rebirth of preromantic aesthetics, “folkiness” or popular character, the so-called popular melodrama was born, aimed on purpose at a broad range of classes of society. This discredited the term melodrama, making it a surrogate for kitsch and kitchiness (a source of the pejorative naming of literature, film and the like as being “melodramatic”). Benda´s sometime endeavour to create a melodramatic musical form finally found its application in romanticism, which placed music on an aesthetic pedestal above all other forms of art. A new form, concert melodrama, was formed and, in neoromanticism, a modern scenic melodrama as well, based upon dialogue. The peak thereof is represented by the Shakespearean dramatic trilogy Hippodamie by Z. Fibich based on the original stage play by J. Vrchlický. Expressionism continued further down the path of romantic dominance of music over the spoken text by heavy usage of so-called “bound” melodrama (by this it is meant that the words are tied to the music). The spoken elements were regulated rhythmically as well as in terms of the direction and shape of the melodic line, in some cases both and did not even hesitate to float freely between recitative and singing or vice versa. Neoclassicism, on the other hand, developed a so-called mixed melodrama (with both choral and solo singing, with ballet, mimodrama and the like), the ancestors of which we have seen from the very beginning (as in Rousseau´s Pygmalion). If, in the mutual proportions of utilitarian types of music, melodrama plays only a limited role (as in a whole series of operas in which recitatives were replaced by melodrama, as well as in the great oratory, cantata and dramatic compositions), it is better to speak of utilitarian melodramatic technique rather than of melodrama itself. This is also true for contemporary postmodernism, which places various historic styles, kinds and genres side by side, synchronistically.

Marek Keprt


My work deals with synesthetic tendencies in the art around 1900, with emphasis given to the theoretical and practical application of searching for analogies between tones and colours. I focus on the idea of Alexander Nikolajevic Skrjabin to combine music with the play of colour lights, which was first put into practice in the symphonic piece Prometheus, op. 60, written between 1908 and 1910.

Also the several functions of the so called light part for two voices, which is to be realised on a colour piano and is found in the store of the above mentioned piece, are briefly discussed. Skrjabin´s correspondences between tones and colours are analysed on the background of authentic witnesses by Skrjabin´s contemporaries Leonid Sabaneev and Charles Myers. These demonstrate Skrjabin´s synesthetic disposition and his liking for combining colour associations with both the chords of his tone centers and the scales of the traditional major-minor system, and also his preference of the quint circle model.

In his synesthetic disposition Skrjabin felt to be encouraged by his study of the work of Helena Petrovna Blavacka, the founder of the teosophic society, who in her major work The Secret Doctrine presented her own system of colour and tone analogies based on the diatonic keynote. Another source of inspiration for Skrjabin were the contacts with Russian symbolist poets in whose work synesthecy played a vital role. Through his symbolist friends he also got acquainted with the work of the French symbolist René Ghil whose attempt at verbal instrumentation may be regarded as the most extreme example of synesthetic tendencies in the literature of his time.

Whereas the synesthetic experiments of René Ghil are – as far as I know – not mentioned in the secondary literature about Skrjabin, it is, on the other hand, generally known that Skrjabin used to compare his synesthetic experiences to synesthetic experiences of Nikolaj Rimskij Korsakov. Therefore I compared also Rimskij Korsakov´s analogies with Skrjabins´s analogies and I came to the conclusion that despite many similarities Skrjabin is in his combining tones with colours much more systematic than his older fellow artist. Shortly after Skrjabin´s death it was Joseph Mathias Hauer who tried to work out an extensive and complex system of analogies between colours and tones. The results of his analysis are presented in his works The Colour of the Tones (Über die Klangfarbe) from 1918 and The Heart of Musicality (Vom Wesen des Musikalischen) from 1920. Hauer attributes the primary role to the correspondence between the colours and music intervals. In his concept the correspondences between the colours and keynotes are based on the interval between the basic tone of the given keynote and the C-tone regarded by him as a kind of centre and compared to the white colour.

Later in my work I deal briefly with the attempts as the synesthecy of tones and colours in plastic arts during Skrjabin´s lifetime. I focused on concrete analogies and nor on the general attempt to achieve a certain musicality of the visual expression. As far as concrete analogies are concerned, I mention the experiments of Vasilij Kandinsky and Johannes Itten. In this work I do not give much attention to the experiments with colour music produced on colour pianos: first, because it is not known that Skrjabin and other artists discussed here were acquainted with the development and history of colour music and second, because the colour music itself will be the topic of a special study.

The aim of my work was to show that Skrjabin was not the only one in his time to experiment with the colour and tone synesthecy; on contrary it is exactly this tendency in his work, which makes him a typical representative of his period – a period characterised in music by the release of the traditional tonality and a change toward the atonality and by a parallel change towards the abstract painting in the plastic arts.

Lenka Křupková


One of the dominant features of musical compositional thinking in the second half of the 19th century is the composing of one-movement compositions. Composers who work with an extremely brief motivic thought as the basic constituent of a given work, are faced with a difficult chore when they want to create a monumental formal configuration. In order to avoid the danger of monotony, the miniscule motivic shapes are subjected to variation, most frequently by using the “Brahms” technique of a developing variation or the “Liszt” technique of motivic transformation.

  1. Novák in conceiving his Trio in d minor op. 27 takes advantage of Liszt´s trailblazing piano sonata c minor as a model. In one uninterrupted stream, the composition goes through a cyclic form of four parts with passages unambiguously defined by their content. At the same time, Novak thoroughly makes use of the “Brahms” variation technique, which allows him to create a highly complicated, ample whole from the fabric of rudimentary motifs which are connected among themselves genealogically.

Novák´s further one-movement chamber work also is based on the Liszt compositional conception – the sonata for violoncello and piano op. 67 was created nearly forty years later as an intentional analogy to Novák´s earlier composition.

The motivic unity of a work, however, does not suffice to fulfil the Brahms motivic method of development nor the Liszt-style transformation of a theme, as we have seen in the case of the first one-movement composition by Novák. The recapitulation of the violoncello sonata is made up of a so-called variational fugue and the fugue thematic principle penetrates at the same time also to the nonfugal parts of the work. From the complex of main and secondary subjects a fugue theme is created, specifically by “internal” motivic work based on division and supplementation of motives. Novák therefore finds a solution as to how to create motivic relationship between remote formal sections and this is to become typical for music of the 20th century.

Antonín Matzner


Die erste Welle der Reaktion auf den Jazz und auf die damit beeinflusste moderne l´opmusik in der tschechischen Presse entwickelte sich (im Vergleich zum übrigen Westeuropa mit Verspätung) erst im Zeitraum nach dem 1. Weltkrieg und im Verlaufe der zwanziger Jahre. Zu dieser Zeit erschienen Broschüren mit Beschreibungen von neuen Gesellschaftstänzen und Werberflugblätter, herausgegeben von verschiedenen Verlagen. Die Jazzmusik wurde mit besonderer Begeisterung in den Kreisen der progressiven tschechischen künstlerischen Avantgarde aufgenommen (Kunstverein „Devětsil“). Aus diesem Bereich stammte auch der Autor des ersten tschechischen Buches über den Jazz E. F. Burian (1928), der um Unterschied zu Autoren von ähnlichen Büchern in Frankreich, Großbritannien oder in Deutschland ein professioneller Komponist und aktiver Mitbeteiligter an damaligen kulturellen Aktivitäten war. Komischerweise, und zwar mit Rücksicht auf die quantitative Entwicklung des tschechischen Jazzlebens im Verlaufe der dreißiger Jahre (Orchester des Theaters „Osvobozené divadlo“ von Ježek, Gramoklub-Orchester, Anfänge der Swing-Bigband von Karel Vlach) erschien in diesem Zeitraum kleine ähnliche spezialisierte Buchpublikation. Sehr bedeutend war zu dieser Zeit die reiche publizistische Tätigkeit des Schaltplattensammlers und Organisators Emanuel Uggé, orientiert – in ähnlicher Weise wie Bestrebungen von Charles Delaunay* oder Hughes Panassié in Frankreich oder Robert Goffin in Belgien – vor allem auf die Werte des authentischen Negro-Hot-Jazz.* Nach der unfreiwilligen Unterbrechung der natürlichen Entwicklung des tschechischen Jazz im Verlaufe der deutschen Okkupation folgte die neue Welle der spezialisierten Jazz-Publizistik in den ersten Jahren nach dem 2. Weltkrieg (unabhängige Zeitschrift „Jazz“, redigiert von Uggé), die nach dem kommunistischen Putsch im Februar 1948 mit Bestrebungen der Machtadministrative, diese Entwicklung zu liquidieren, gewechselt wurde.

Erst nach dem XX. Parteitag der Kommunistischen Partei der Sowjetunion kam es zu neuen Versuchen um die Emanzipation der Jazzmusik im tschechischen Milieu. Damit einher vollzog sich auch die Theorieentwicklung. Um Rahmen der theoretischen Reflexionen gab im Jahre 1959 Jan Rychlík, ein weiterer Komponist aus dem Bereich der klassischen Musik, der ursprünglich als professioneller Jazzmusiker tätig war, ein polemisch zugespitztes Buch Pověry a problémy jazzu [Aberglauben und Probleme im Jazz] heraus, in dem viele Irrtümer und Legenden aus der laufenden ausländischen Jazzpublizistik korrigiert wurden. Das Beispiel von Rychlík brachte einen neuen Anlass für die neue Generation von professionell ausgebildeten Musikwissenschaftlern (Jiří Fukač, Josef Kotek, Ivan Poledňák, usw.), die sich auf den Jazz kontinuierlich konzentrierten, und die sich mit ihren fachkundigen Ansichten in bedeutendem Maße an der Überwindung der Dogmen der stalinistischen Kulturpolitik beteiligten. Als führende Kraft dieser Prozesse war am Anfang der sechziger Jahre insbesondere Ivan Poledňák tätig. Mit seinen zahlreichen Referaten und Studien zur Thema „Jazz und sein Spezifikum“ wurde die Emanzipation des Jazz im tschechischen musikalischen Leben vollendet und neue Ausgangspunkte für weitere Nachfolger angedeutet.

Jan Vičar


Das Referat, vorgelesen während der Konferenz „Czech and Slovak America: Quo Vadis?“, veranstaltet von 24. Bis 26. April 1999 mit der Gesellschaft für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, beschäftig sich mit dem Einfluss der tschechischen Musikkultur auf die Kultur der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika. Es werden hier Einflüsse, reichend bis zu Liedern der sogenannten „Moravians“ [Mährische Brüder], angesprochen und der grundsätzliche Beitrag von Antonín Dvořák für die Entwicklung der neuzeitigen amerikanischen Musik erwähnt. Das Referat informiert gleichzeitig über die heutigen Aktivitäten der amerikanischen Musikwissenschaftler und Organisatoren, wie zum Beispiel Michael Beckerman. Es werden hier die Richtungen einer weiteren Forschung im Bereich der tschechisch-amerikanischen musikalischen Verhältnisse nicht nur auf dem Gebiet der Komposition, sondern auch im Rahmen der Konzertkunst, der Zuhörerrezeption und des Musikschulwesens angedeutet.

Jaroslav Volek


Der bedeutende tschechische Musikwissenschaftler Jaroslav Volek (geboren am 15. Juli 1923 in Trenčín, gestorben am 22. Februar 1989 in Prag) formulierte seine Theorie der Mediante als vierter Basisfunktion in der traditionellen Harmonielehre erstmals im Jahre 1952. In sich abgeschlossener Form publizierte er sie in dem Buch Struktura a osobnosti hudby [Struktur und Persönlichkeiten der Musik], Praha, Panton 1988, S. 70–102. Seine Konzeption, die Medianten nulten Grades, ersten und zweiten Grades unterscheidet, knüpft an die traditionelle europäische Theorie der Linie Zarlino – Rameau – Riemann an, und reagiert auch auf die theoretischen Beträge der tschechischen Theoretiker Otakar Šín, Karel Janeček und Karel Risinger. Die harmonische Erscheinung der Mediante als eigenständiger „tonikalen“ Funktion löst Jaroslav Volek auf originelle, überzeugende und durch zahlreiche Beispiele aus der Musik des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts dokumentierte Weise. Die Studie wurde im Jahre 2001 von der amerikanischen Musikwissenschaftlerin und Angestellten der Library of Congress, Washington DC, Judith Marie Fiehler übersetzt.

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