Vol. 17 No. 17-18 (2018): ARTES. JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY
Issues 17-18, integrated in the current volume of the scientific periodical Artes. Journal of Musicology, dwell on two fundamental fields of musical research, namely byzantine studies and academic creation musicology, which, due to the depth of their specialization, belong to two distinct and parallel areas. This time, the themes suggested for the two sections initiate a communication process. Byzantinologists were challenged to evaluate the achievements of byzantine musicology by focusing on the most important creations, on renowned theoreticians and on the main investigation directions. Generalist musicologists took note of the integration of the field, of the historiographic methods, of the semiographic and semiotic analysis of byzantine studies or discovered connections between the sacred and the profane in contemporary writings.
Whereas the first study on the Byzantine church music research theme, entitled The “Spirit” of the Old Communion Chants and written by Adrian Sîrbu (PhD student at the “Aristotle” University of Thessaloniki, Greece, under the guidance of Professor Maria Alexandru), is a true monograph of the genre, as the scientific references belong to byzantine contemporaneousness, the following study – The Amomos in the Byzantine chant: a diachronic approach with emphasis on musical settings of the 19th and 20th centuries, written by Dimos Papatzalakis (PhD student with at same university and with the same thesis supervisor) is developed as a ample historical and analytical research of a particular type of byzantine communion chant. The following papers pay homage to the greatest figures in the Romanian psalmic world. Codruț-Dumitru Scurtu (with a PhD degree at the National University of Music Bucharest) brings new data emphasizing the importance of the psalm creation work of the metropolitan Iosif Naniescu, in the wake of the coryphaei Macarie Ieromonahul, Anton Pann, Dimitrie Suceveanu. Professor PhD Elena Chircev (“Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music, Cluj-Napoca and Associate Prof. PhD Irina Zamfira Dănilă (“George Enescu” National University of the Arts, Iași) – who are well-established byzantinologists – pay homage to two emblematic figures of Romanian psalmic music creation and research: Sebastian Barbu- Bucur and Constantin Catrina.
The studies grouped under the title Contemporary creation, musicology and musical interpretation stimulate the interest of the scientific community for the knowledge of the new musical hermeneutics directions and techniques. The section opens on a fundamental study on this thematic area – Aspects of Musical Semantics from the perspective of Structuralism, Semiotics and Narratology of Assistant Prof. PhD Mihaela-Georgiana Balan (“George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași), and continues with papers suggesting specific applications, tackling either the actual composition process – Interpretative and Compositional Connotations from a Musicological Perspective (Professor PhD Nelida Nedelcuț and Lecturer PhD Lucian Ghișa of “Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music, Cluj-Napoca), or the linguistic implications of semantic interpretation – Decoding the Musical Message via the Structural Analogy between Verbal and Musical Language (Lecturer PhD. Rosina Caterina Filimon – “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași). The analysis of modern creation is represented by the study The Subject – A Key Element of the Fugue Form during the 20th Century, thoroughly elaborated by Lecturer PhD Gabriela Vlahopol (“George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași), and topical issues related to music performance are dwelt on in the paper Performing Practice – Comparative Analysis signed by Professor PhD Petruța-Maria Coroiu and her PhD student, Alexandra Belibou (“Transilvania” University of Brașov).
The themes of the volume are extended by truly valuable papers for the Romanian and even worldwide music specialists. Whereas the study entitled Romanian National Anthems, Historical, Stylistic and Aesthetic Considerations (Professor PhD Carmen Chelaru – “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași) has a genuine cultural value and is in line with the current trend encouraging the reconsideration of the information and judgments of history, the papers Critical Reception of late 19th Century Iași-based Music. Alexandru Flechtenmacher (Dalia Rusu-Persic – PhD student at “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași, under the guidance of Professor PhD Laura Otilia Vasiliu) and Ioan Pavalache – Polyptic Coordinates of a Musicianʼs Life (a study conducted by Lecturer PhD Consuela Radu-Țaga of the same university) are true contributions to the enrichment of knowledge on the musical culture of Iași City.
The musical book is still at the core of our preoccupations in the current volume. The encyclopedic monograph Patru secole de lied [Four Centuries of Lied] by Grigore Constantinescu, the book of studies Prin labirintul muzicii contemporane [Through the Labyrinth of Contemporary Music], elaborated with rigor and science by Luminița Duțică and O istorie filocalică a muzicii [A Philocalic History of Music] by Petruța-Maria Coroiu, on unprecedented connections between orthodox religious texts and classical music masterpieces, are commented and promoted by insightful reviews.
Whereas in the world of musicology, the science of music is hoping for support from its system disciplines, from linguistics to perception psychology, from historiography to political sociology, from computer science to mass media, thus exhibiting a worrying centrifugal tendency, the analysis of the connections between byzantine music studies and academic sound art studies may contribute to the spiritualization of the musical research act and to a more nuanced insight into the artistic expression specific to creators from South-Eastern Europe.
Prof. Laura Vasiliu, PhD