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T. Frantova

Latent Canon (Real and Virtual Forms)

The article raises the problem of the way of canon existence unusual for classical music, expressed in the absence of distinguishability for polyphonic imitation hearing, the latter, as is known, is the norm of the sonic appearance of the polyphonic canon. The purpose of this article is to outline the range of phenomena, in which the canon is present in a hidden form. A principled position is declared: the latent (that is, the hidden) canon is not a specific kind of technique. With respect to an imitative multi-voiced musical writing, latency is a property of canonical technique, which can concern different aspects – forms of written fixation of a canon, sound realization of a polyphonic pattern, recording and sounding simultaneously. Latent (hidden) canons, which attract attention in the writings of composers of the twentieth century, are not, however, the prerogative of the time mentioned. The property of the canon latency refers to such diverse events in the history of European polyphonic music that it is impossible to ‘bundle’ them into a certain classification with a single criterion. The following phenomena are singled out and characterized: 1. Partial fixation of the canon in the musical notation. 2. Some new methods of composition of the twentieth century. 3. Some special varieties of canonical imitation. 4. Virtual canonical preform (the ‘basic’ canonical connection).

Key words

single-line canon, micro-polyphonic, serial, latency as a property of canonical writing, virtual canonical pre-form.