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A. Danilova

Images of China in the mirror of Western and Russian music art

The article is devoted to historical overview of the works by European and Russian composers with the Chinese theme, which became the part of the dialogue between musical cultures of East and West in general. The Far Eastern region and, in particular, China has long remained the ‘terra incognita’ for musical orientalism. Translating images of China in Western European and Russian music originates from the works of the XVIII – the middle of the ХIХ century, which are subordinated and to somewhat decorative aesthetics of “chinoiserie” style and create an utopian picture of the ideal China. The tradition of musical orientalism was developed by composers-classics of the ХIХ century. The turning point becomes the turn of the ХIХ and ХХ centuries, when the emergence of innovative trends, the process of “de-europeanization” of Western music leads to the formation of new approaches in the interpretation of images of China. A special role was played by the works by G. Puccini, I. Stravinsky, B. Bartok, C. Debussy. The following period of rekindled interest in Eastern and, in particular, the Chinese musical culture and philosophy becomes the mid-twentieth century. Feeling the insufficiency of traditional artistic concepts, the exhaustion of the possibilities of tonal and serial harmony, traditional compositional means, genres and forms of Western music, avant-garde artists borrow artistic principles of non-European cultures of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Far East. By the beginning of the 21st century, in the artistic tradition one can find a gradual rejection of the ideological orientations of Eurocentrism and the recognition of the identity and value of each individual culture.

Key words

the dialogue of musical cultures, musical оrientalism, music about the East, the style of “chinoiserie”.