This article argues that there is one issue that can be useful in expounding the “Berlioz problem”, namely our obliviousness to how the musical work is not only constituted by, but also continuously caught in, a meander of acts. We might call this the “acticity” of the musical work. The acticity of Berlioz’s music is defined by his use of the guitar as a composing tool.
The article follows how acts of playing and composing on the guitar are inscribed in the score and how the physicality of these acts is still present and creates the specificity of the orchestral writing, and further, how this “impure” materiality demands new modes of development. The acts do not simply condition the orchestral writing, they are present in, and constitute the particularity of, the score; but more importantly, they may even illuminate an ontological character of every musical work, its acticity.
Percy Grainger’s assistance to composers he deemed worthy is well-known but irregularly documented. Grainger and Sparre Olsen undertook several projects together, the most ambitious being a translation and international publication of the Olav Aukrust song Fjell-Norig (“Mountain-Norway”) for choir and orchestra, which was to be published through a major international publisher.
The project began in 1929, and the years up to 1934 were focused on getting the translation and music ready. After Grainger’s tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1935, where the work was performed frequently, work to find a publisher began. Schott decided to take on the project in 1936, but owing to a number of setbacks the paperwork necessary for publication was not in order when the Second World War began; afterwards the project faded into oblivion.
Olsen did not fully disclose these events in his monograph Percy Grainger (1969). Instead, he presented a narrative where a smaller choral publication appeared to have been the goal, which fitted with a translated arrangement he had published a decade prior. In both sources he omitted any mention of Grainger having made his own arrangement, as well as the last verse Grainger translated, the latter possibly because it was never fully sanctioned by Aukrust’s widow Gudrun Aukrust.
This article focuses on references to the piano in 19th-century Norwegian fiction. Using the Norwegian National Library’s digitized collections, I have located nearly 11.000 books published in the 19th century, and in these, I searched for the keywords “piano,” “pianoforte” and “klaver”. There are more than 1700 books containing at least one of these words: I then categorized the findings, according to the context or situations in which the words were applied in the literature. The findings testify to the diverse and fascinating role the piano played in the late 1800s: both as part of discourses concerning good breeding and as a means to get a marriage proposal, but also as a tool for expressing one's (unaccepted) emotions and sexuality. This article highlights perspectives on the social and gendered dimensions of music that are largely overlooked by other approaches, and thereby contributes to an increased understanding of gendered notions related to the piano.
The late Sheila Whiteley examined how different styles of psychedelic rock in the 1960s and early 1970s shared a common musical rhetoric (or “codes”) that, together with the socio-cultural context in which the music was presented and heard, conveyed elements of the psychedelic experience. In this essay, the author probes further the ways in which some types of popular music serve to represent the psychedelic experience, not so much through semantically stable stylistic codes but through the affordances these sound-shapes and their context provide. To illustrate the application of this expanded notion of psychedelic musical rhetoric, he examines the psychedelic aspects of some of the music of contemporary Norwegian pop band, Highasakite, whose work provides a good example of the post-millennial evolution of the musical vision of psychedelia’s earliest proponents.
Nikolay Myaskovsky (1881–1950) was highly esteemed as a Soviet composer, only surpassed by Prokofiev and Shostakovich among his contemporaries, and in the West famous conductors like Stokowski and Furtwängler performed his symphonies. Interest in Myaskovsky’s music waned after his death, but thanks to recordings of all his twenty-seven symphonies and to his first extensive biography in English (2014), new listeners have become aware of this composer.
The author offers a consideration of Myaskovsky’s development as a symphonist, focusing on style and sources of influence, and the way his symphonies reflect the ideological climate in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and during the Stalinist regime. The composer reached a peak in his symphonic oeuvre with his monumental Sixth Symphony (1921–23), which reflects the suffering of the Russian people as a consequence of the Russian Revolution. While Myaskovsky tried out different formal solutions and styles in his symphonies dating from the 1920s, he tried to satisfy the doctrine of Socialist realism in symphony numbers 14 to 27 (1933–49), and the idiom becomes quite retrospective, harking back to the style of Russian composers from the nineteenth century. Myaskovsky’s music lacks the irony and grotesque humour that distinguish several of Prokofiev’s and Shostakovich’s works, but at his best he grips us with a focused and distinctive voice.
1-2019, årgang 45
Studia Musicologica Norvegica (etablert 1968) er et fagfellebasert tidsskrift for musikkvitenskap. Det fungerer som bindeledd mellom musikkforskere og musikkinteresserte i Norge, samtidig som det er norsk musikkforsknings ansikt utad. Tidsskriftet inneholder artikler, bokanmeldelser og essays av musikkvitenskapelig karakter. Innholdet spenner fra musikkhistorie til etnomusikologi, musikksosiologi og musikkteori. Studia Musicologica Norvegica leses av musikkforskere og ‑studenter, høyskolelektorer, musikkpedagoger og allment musikkinteresserte.
Kai Arne Hansen, førsteamanuensis, Institutt for kunstfag og kulturstudier, Høgskolen i Innlandet
Hilde Synnøve Blix (Universitetet i Tromsø)
Petter Dyndahl (Høgskolen i Innlandet)
Jørgen Langdalen (Høyskolen Kristiania)
Sats: Tekstflyt AS
Design omslag: Erlend Askhov
ISSN online: 1504-2960
Tidsskriftet utgis av Universitetsforlaget på vegne av Norsk musikkforskerlag og med støtte fra Norges forskningsråd.
© Universitetsforlaget 2019 / Scandinavian University Press