DOI: https://doi.org/10.31318/2522-4190.2018.123.152430

Potpourri as a special type of musical composition

Kateryna Pidporinova

Abstract


Relevance of the study. Potpourri has its own history, a constant structure, and the corresponding functions. However, it remains a poorly studied aspect of musicology. These factors determine the relevance of the study.

Main objective of the study.The main objectives are the definition of the genre identity of potpourri, its specific aspects and the reasons for its actuality in the modern culture.

Methodology of the study. The following issues appear in the focus of scientific attention: the genre genesis, classification, authorship, citation principles, etc. The methodology is based on the complex study and historical, genre-style, functional-compositional methods.

Results and conclusions. The genesis of the potpourri genre is based on a carnival-laughing tradition. The author of the study emphasizes the dominance of the compensatory function of potpourri, which is aimed at overcoming the crisis markers of the worldview through the prism of laughter. The artistic features of the genre include an organization by a suite principle, a multicolored performance, the absence of cause and effect principles, simplicity and availability, foundation on the typical musical formulas. At the present day, this genre is enriched with the techniques of editing, collage, mixing, and clipmaking. We cannot talk about any citations in potpourri since the dialog between a citation and the author’s text is absent, as well as the “one’s own – somebody else’s” concept. There is no authorship (in the usual sense) in this music. The main idea of potpourri is not focused on showing an individual composer’s style. The principles of compilation relate potpourri to the inventory ideas of the Baroque as the art of combination. Potpourri balances between the art of a composer and the skill of a “writing artisan musician” (by M. Nieukerk).

The author suggests the genre classification, which it based on the following three criteria: a selection of a material (a conditionally author’s potpourri and an editor-compiler’s one), the presentation peculiarities (instrumental or synthetic), the content specifics (laughing-burlesque and reminiscently-reflexive). We conclude that potpourri is an open type of a musical-artistic work and it may appear as a genre, a form, or a technique. On the one side, it fulfills social demands of an audience; from the other side, it reflects the manifestations of collective consciousness. Potpourri can be called a unique artistic mirror. This determines the value-based position of potpourri in the genre hierarchy of the music art.


Keywords


potpourri; a composition; a technique; a carnival-laughing tradition; an authorship as a phenomenon; “easy” music

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