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G. Rybintseva

Baroque and classicism: nature and history

In the book “The Decline of the West” Oswald Spengler named two ways of exploring the world by man: these are Nature and History. Nature is the image of the world in a state of static, whereas History presents the world as a process of continuous coming into being. Two main European styles – baroque and classicism – can be used as an artistic confirmation of Spengler’s thesis.

Methods for the development of musical material characteristic of baroque music excluded the possibility of transforming the original thematism which led to the “natural” statics of the images of Baroque music. In architecture, fine arts, in the literature of the Baroque style one can see a tendency to recreate the diversity of nature, where a human is a part of natural phenomena. For the above mentioned purposes the music used nature sound imitation techniques and word-painting; a new musical language has appeared which made it possible to embody the natural manifestations of a person: his affects, emotions and feelings.

The art of Classicism, on the contrary, tends to convey the dynamics of History. In the music of Classicism this purpose is facilitated by the methods of intensive figurative and intonation development, as well as the genre nature of thematism, which makes it possible to reproduce the emotional atmosphere of a particular period of history. The forms of art that are static in their nature embody the theme of History due to the appeal to the traditions of Antiquity. The architectural structures of Classicism resemble the monuments of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome; masters of fine art and authors of dramatic works give preference to subjects and images of Ancient history and mythology.

Key words

nature, history, art, art style, Baroque, Classicism.

For citation

Rybintseva G. Baroque and classicism: nature and history // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 4. Pp. 51–56.