Musical Sphere of Contemporary Culture: Measurements and Configurations




intonation practice, genre, chaotically intonationally polypatternity


Relevance of the study. Global tectonic shifts have taken place in the world and domestic cultural space in recent decades. Processes common to the whole culture in the musical sphere are subject to significant correction due to several specific factors. Firstly, it is a radical change in communication channels, which has led to the autonomy of music from its creators and consumers. Secondly, it is an unprecedented expansion and multiplication of the range of sounds, which creates new configurations of the entire musical sphere. Thirdly, these are the processes of capital migration that transform former value hierarchies. All this requires a panoramic view of the musical sphere of contemporary culture. Musicology needs to analyze and understand those dimensions of the music sphere that have been formed in research and are relevant to the current state of the music sphere. We also need to study the configurations it acquires in the various coordinate systems of the research. Based on this, we can give a generalized description of its essence, which is an urgent task of modern musicology.

The purpose of the study is to characterize the essence of the musical sphere of modern culture, based on the generalization of its dimensions and configurations, reflected in the humanities.

The results and conclusions. The first conclusion concerns the limits of the phenomenon under consideration. The clarifying questions that correct it are existential questions: what manifestations of human culture today should be attributed to its musical sphere? The answer can be formulated as follows: the system belongs to the musical sphere as long as it remains audible; as long as the information carrier in it is a certain way of organized sound and as long as this organized sound corresponds to the principles of intonation — in particular, it is an expressive-semantic unity, which functions with the participation of musical and non-musical associations.

The second conclusion, which follows from the above considerations, is also obvious: the system is intonationally polypatternal. The pattern here is understood as an order that has been established or formed by tradition. Different intonation patterns — mentioned above and those that have not been named, exist in the tonosphere of modernity on an equal footing. As a result of the technological revolution, changes in the ways of fixing music and its communication channels, the paradoxical combination of centripetal and centrifugal processes of culture, globalization and autonomy, the inclusion of extraartistic factors, the former hierarchies of intonation practices have been destroyed. Every pattern, every intonation practice is now self-sufficient and claims (in one way or another) hegemony, a central place in the overall hierarchy. However, these claims, being realized, immediately stimulate other patterns / intonation practices, activate them — and hegemony turns out to be a delusion, a dream. Styles, genres, fashion trends, technical innovations, financial grants or government quotas, creative decisions and extraordinary personalities, happy coincidences or ideological or cultural taboos — anything can be a factor that will destroy the newly established hierarchy. All these features are clear analogies with the structure of chaotic systems, which are known to be characterized by two cardinal properties. The first is feedback, that is, the ability to interact with environment. Secondly, iteration, in other words, numerous repetitions of a certain operation or action. This leads to the third conclusion: the system is chaotic.

Thus, the following description of the musical sphere of modern culture can be considered a generalizing conclusion: it is chaotically intonationally polypatternal.

Author Biography

Yurii Chekan, Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine

Doctor of Art Criticism, Associate Professor, Professor at the Department of World Music History


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