Unfinished Work as Aesthetic and Musical Phenomenon: about Interrelation of Genre, form and Technique of Composition





Incompleteness, non finitо, musical genre, musical form, composition technique, open form, open work


The relevance of the study is dictated by the interest of contemporary creators and researchers in various fields of science to the problem of unfinished works. The appearance of the latter is associated with the historical situation and philosophical and aesthetic ideas of the time, with the psychological characteristics of the Creator's personality and the peculiarities of his thinking, as well as with the originality of the individual design of the work. In musical art, a productive direction in substantiating the specifics of unfinished works is their consideration both through the “prism” of the philosophical and aesthetic ideas of the time, cultural and historical context surrounding the composer, and based on fundamental theoretical teachings.

The aim of the research is to establish and substantiate the “zones” of action and mutual influence of categories that are important and system-forming for theoretical musicology — musical genre, musical form and composition technique within the boundaries of unfinished works.

The scientific novelty of the research is reported by: 1) the definition of the artistic and aesthetic phenomenon of “incompleteness”, which is universal for works of art, formulated and proposed for the first time; 2) the classification of unfinished works presented in relation to musical art; 3) analytical observations of the process of interaction of genre, form and technique of composition in conditions of various degrees of manifestation of incompleteness of musical works.

The research methodology is based on the works of various fields of scientific knowledge — philosophical and aesthetic research (U. Eco, J. Gartner, etc.), works on the history and theory of art (S. Stupin, E. Abramovskikh, etc.), research in the field of theoretical and historical musicology (Y. Kholopov, E. Ruchevskaya, M. Pereverzeva). The main research methods are the general scientific observation method and the comparative method, as well as various methods of analyzing a piece of music.

The results of the study reflect the following conclusion. A progressive tendency is clearly visible from work to work, which in music belongs to the category of “unfinished”: from a ghostly “hint” expressed through the genre, through a meaningful idea “underlying” the form, to the assertion of the principles of an “open work” through total interdependence genre, form and technique of composition.

The study is undoubtedly of practical value. It significantly supplements and expands knowledge about some new genres that are little studied in music (fragment, sketch, etc.) and their compositional originality.

Author Biography

Lyudmila Zapevalova, Belarusian State Academy of Music

Candidate of Art Criticism, Assistant Professor at the Department of Theory of Music


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