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Rybintseva G.

To the problem of ”civic consciousness“ in musical classicism

The most significant quality of the works of Classicism is their “civic representation” ensured by the prevalence of the idea of a man’s responsibility to the society and state as well as an emphasis on the social status of artistic images. Works of literature, fine art, and architecture of the 17th–18th centuries are fully compliant with this requirement. At the same time, the question arises: how is such civic representation ensured as for the generalized images of non-programmic instrumental works in West European musical Classicism?

A recognised means in solving this problem is the genre nature of musical thematism, that is, the use of typical features of a certain everyday (or national) genre to characterize the image. Being a social phenomenon in its nature in the public mind, the genre has strong associative connections with the conditions and means of its performance, and, therefore, is a storage medium of the time and place of its existence. The genre characterizes a specific social community of people and has the ability to unite people, to contribute to their unity in a team. Therefore, the genre nature of thematism typical of Viennese Classicism “raises” the protagonist of a musical work and his/her “deeds” to a social level. Such a protagonist is not guided by his personal interests but acts for the benefit of the society, state, or humanity as a whole.

The tradition of using everyday genres and their characteristic features in professional music originates in the art of Classicism, and this, by time, corresponds to the emergence of sociopolitical doctrines explaining the origin, nature and functions of the state. Yet again does such an analogy specify the genre as a means of socializing the image, event, situation, and this means can give a highly civic representation to the images of musical Classicism.

Key words

music, classicism, civic consciousness, society, musical genre, genre thematism.

For citation

Rybintseva G. To the problem of ”civic consciousness“ in musical Classicism // South-Russian musical anthology. 2020. No 1. Pp. 5–11.