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V. Kukhta

Towards the problem of musical objects study in the history of academic music

The article is about the phenomenon of using household and other non-musical objects in academic music. Practice of performing on objects has been known since ancient times, it began to penetrate into professional composers’ art in the 19th century. The aesthetics of the noise of the 20th century gave a powerful impulse to enhance the role of such objects in music, to the point that composers began compose only for such objects. Today they are serious rivals of musical instruments and computer technologies, put forward by modern composers as a solo or leading instrument, they can have their own special performing techniques and expressive means. Organologists and musicologists usually attribute these objects to the sphere of musical instruments – usually noise percussion, for their unusual, non-classical features, they see them as a manifestation of folk self-expression, or even the embodiment of a «musical circus». This article proposes a new view at the issue of «odd» objects in music, as a phenomenon, separated into an independent instrumental group called «musical objects». The author offers a new definition of what is a musical object, highlights the terminological aspect of this notion, identifies disciplines and key works related to this topic, and provides a history of the usage of musical objects in artistic practice from ancient times to the present day, identifying their status within different eras, styles or within the framework of the art of an individual composer (P. Schaeffer, J. Cage, D. Ligeti, M. Kagel, M. Mayerhoff, H. Goebbels, D. Kurlyandsky, G. Dorokhov and others).

Key words

musical instruments of the 20th century, «concrete» music, set of noise instruments, musical objects, instrumental theatre.

For citation

Kukhta V. Towards the problem of musical objects study in the history of academic music // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 3. Pp. 55-63.