The notion of Derivation in Theoretical Concepts Concerning the Formation of Musical Text

Oleksandr Korchev


The relevance and scientific novelty consist in considering a new concept of derivation in the context of musicological researches. They concern the issues of the procedural formation of the composition of a musical work, as well as the comparison of M. Aranovsky's term with the idea of “metamorphosis”. It is this notion that has become widespread in the composing practice of the 20th–21st centuries.

Research methods: systemic — consideration of general positions in works of musicologists about the problem of procedural formation of the composition, their classification, which allows to determine the basic mechanisms how to form the musical text, and gives the opportunity to determine the place of “derivation” in this area. Functional — analytical study of the revelation of this principle with the help of deterministic means of expression on the example of “symphonic metamorphosis” by T. Conroy. Comparative — a comparison of the compositional entire of the original play by K. M. Weber and the orchestral suite of the American composer, it permits to identify the characteristics of the principle of derivation, for its further correlation with the concept of metamorphosis presented in the title of the work.

Conclusions of the study demonstrate that the essence of the derivation principle best reflects the mobile nature of the deployment of musical text. It is natural that this term is in line with the procedural concepts of theoretical musical research, which are focused on the study of the fundamental principles of the formation of the composition of a musical work. According to the content of M. Aranovsky's term, we consider this phenomenon from the standpoint of the universal category of change, proposed by N. Goryukhina. In the presented context, this concept can be correlated, as a kind of generalizing principle, with a number of terms for the development of musical material, in particular the composer's concept of “metamorphosis”, since in this phenomenon the principle of derivation, in our opinion, gets the clearest expression. This is evidenced by the results of a holistic analysis of “Symphonic Metamorphoses on the Theme of K. M. Weber” (2006) by the American composer T. Conroy. The musical text of the orchestral work embodies its main idea — the idea of change, through thematic and structural changes that lead to the transformation of the borrowed piano duet, as the initial seed, into a symphonic suite consisting of six parts (change of genre, structure of composition), modification of its original sounds (thematic, modal changes). This expresses, on the one hand, the idea of the composer, indicated in the title of the work — “Metamorphoses”, and on the other hand, the fundamental principle of M. Aranovsky's derivation is manifested. The universal nature of its functioning makes it possible to use this concept to designate multilevel changes of the borrowed original source of K. M. Weber in the musical text of T. Conroy's symphonic suite, which reveals the fundamental meaning of this term when considering the phenomenon of “metamorphosis” as the embodiment of the idea of modification corresponding to the variable, the procedural nature of the musical art. This indicates the prospect of further research.

The scientific novelty of the article lies in the consideration of new, actual phenomena of musical art (metamorphosis, derivation), comparison of the characteristic features of their functioning in the composition of a musical work


derivation; metamorphosis; category of change; processuality; formation


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