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R. Potapkina

Musical Cryptography: History and Contemporaneity

The article investigates musical cryptophony as a technique of musical composition. In order to differentiate the principles of cryptophony, the author gives a brief overview of the two-way interaction of music, cryptography and steganography in different historical periods. Besides describing cryptophonic techniques, the author proposes a new terminology system, since the existing terms contradict the same cryptographic expressions and thus introduce an element of ambiguity. In the conclusion of the article, a series of short piano pieces called “Velikiye slova” [“Great Words”] by Maxim Babintsev is considered. It has been shown that in this work the composer presented the possibilities of using cryptophonic ideas in different styles, genres and harmonic systems. The author comes to a conclusion that cryptophonic works inherit specific features of the conceptual art, such as the tendency to a synthesis of arts and intertextuality.

Key words

cryptophony, conceptual art, Maxim Babintsev, steganography in music, musical cryptography.