Marina Karaseva

Perceiving music theory by music ear: Innovations and traditions in the approach to the intensive ear training

A sensitive and well trained ear for music is one of the most important professional skills for music performers and theorists. Good ear for music is a professional tool which helps to analyze music language components (harmony, modes etc.) and some stylistic features (allusions, quotation etc.). Courses of ear training (Solfeggio in Russian terms) are aimed to implement such a goal. Today one of the main methodological problems in the field of ear training consists in the dissonance between challenges of real music practice and traditional courses of solfeggio: the latter often cannot prepare the music ear for listening modern music. College ear training courses are focusing mainly on classical music language, not on modern. Therefore, the new intensive methodology must be elaborated to reach good practical results in perceiving contemporary music by ear. There are different approaches to this problem in Russia and Europe. In contrast to European ear training principles, Russian specifics of solfeggio has 3 principal points: it lasts about 15 years; it has a hierarchical model of ear training ‐ from classical music (in college) to contemporary (in higher educational degree); the main accents focus not only on sight singing skills but, to a great extent, on the development of music memory as well as on tonal‐functional harmony ear‐scanning. European courses are as a rule shorter and more flexible in its content.

The main aim of my paper is to disclose the most effective models in ear training ‐ both from Europe and from Russia ‐ which may be used as a basis for intensive ear learning elements of the 20th century music language. My own researches on ear training (including my monograph Solfeggio Psychotechnique of Ear Training and Course of Modern Solfeggio) are used as a methodological base of my conclusions.