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M. Katunyan

Musical form in the aspect of anthropology

The history of musical forms in European music represents a change in the principles of structuring the temporal process, and, accordingly, this change reflects the evolution of artistic thinking. The structure of time changes from epoch to epoch: time as an endless flow and closed time between the beginning and the end, teleological and non-teleological time, linear and circular, time-state and time-process, static and dynamic... What affects the change of forms of the passage of time and drives the musical thought of artists to reformatting the temporal process? One way to cognize it requires addressing the primary structural matrixes, structural archetypes, with the help of which one perceives the world and forms knowledge about it. The article attempts to draw on the experience of structural anthropology, which considers archetypes as mechanisms of how human processes the information about the world. According to Carl Gustav Jung’s theory, the archetype is an element beyond content, which has a primary core meaning, filled with the material of conscious experience. The article shows structural archetypes in the primary ritual forms, where they are presented in their original shape. These are the structures of row (identity), opposition (binarity, agon) and circle (kolo, round dance). The row is the simplest structure, while the other two are its more complex variants. The structuring influence of these primary models on musical forms in their evolution is described in the article as a change of different stages of musical history. Psalm tones and motet of the Middle Ages, motet of Renaissance, baroque refrain forms, classical sonata, tendencies of further forms evolution in the 19th and 20th centuries are considered. Forms of each epoch demonstrate the reliance on this or that dominant structural archetype, which not only influences the forms, but also determines aesthetic tastes and through them reveals the philosophical basis of each epoch, which forms its own world view.

Key words

structural anthropology, Carl Gustav Jung, Olga Freidenberg, rite, structural archetypes, forms of the Middle Ages, forms of Modernity.

For citation

Katunyan M. Musical form in the aspect of anthropology // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 4. Pp. 57–65.