Valentina Kholopova

The Aspects of Teaching of Form in Contemporary Russia

Russian theorists prefer to focus on meaning-bearing aspects of musical form. Thus Victor Tsukkerman interpreted the content of Chopin’s forms by means of genre. New directions in analysis rely on the fundamental role of the meaning-bearing prototypes and various kinds of dramaturgy. The latest trend is the search for psychological logic of musical form.
Analyses of Russian music are rooted in aesthetics of Znamennyi chant. It is characterized by outer-worldly non-eventual qualities. Melodies of chants are non-climactic, lacking the energy of directionality and gradual. There is a ban on. Znamennyi chant lacks motoric aspect and rhymed verse; there is no ostinato principle and no conventionally parsed structures.
The prototypes of Classical musical form are the elements of ancient oratory disposition (as suggested by Mattheson and others). Russian theorists analyze Beethoven’s sonatas in terms of ‘exordium’, ‘narratio’, ‘propositio’, ‘partitio’, (‘argumentatio’), ‘confutatio’, ‘confirmatio’, ‘digressio’, ‘peroratio’.
The prototype for the Romantic form is a literary ballade (as in Chopin’s Ballades no. 1 and 4). The ‘exordium’ (a call for attention) is replaced by the prologue; ‘argumentatio’ (persuasion) in the development—by thematic transformation; reaffirmation of the main theme—by a catastrophic coda.

Russian theorists use four types of stage dramaturgy: conflict (as between Primary and Subsidiary themes in Romantic music), contrast (song theme and a dance theme in Glinka’s Kamarinskaya), parallel (24 scenes on stage in Soldiers of Zimmerman) and monodramaturgy (in music of the minimalists). Russian theorists also introduced the term ‘dramaturgic form’.

The ‘psychological form’produced by the impulses (moments of drawing the attention) during the most important stages: in the beginning, the middle and the end (according to Aristotle) or ‘initium-motus-terminus’ in Asafiev’s terms. This new term is applied to the musical works of the 21st century.