Res Musica 7 (2015)

Nowadays, the latter view seems to have a continuously increasing impact on the understanding of the musical form which is often treated as a deformational phenomenon. In other words, the expressive content of the form or its ability to speak to listeners, lies in its potential to play with the expectations generated by the referential set of ordered musical ideas and its capability for dialog. The deformational behavior of form is also one of the main topics of the first essay of this volume “Turning Inward – Turning Outward – Turning Around: Strong Subordinate Themes in Romantic Overtures” by Steven Vande Moortele. Vande Moortele focuses on the subordinate themes that show an unusual formal design. In traditional Formenlehre, the subordinate theme is not defined in absolute terms, but rather in relation to the main theme. The subordinate themes discussed by Moortele, not only exceed the main theme in their prominence, but sometimes takes over the formal functions associated with the main theme.

The ambivalent articulation of the subordinate theme in exposition and its formal consequences is a topic of the second essay. In her article “Mahlerian Quotations, Thematic Dramaturgy, and Sonata Form in the First Movement of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony,” Charity Lofthouse demonstrates how the initial “failure” of the subordinate theme results in a rhetoric drama which is built by the constant thwarting of rotational expectations and eventually leads to an almost-militarized telos, a Mahlerian, recapitulatory eclipse of both the main theme and the subordinate theme fragment’s melodic hegemony.

Aare Tool focuses on the multi-dimensional form, in which constituent parts and the structure as a whole cannot be discussed in terms of a single formal schema in his study “One-Movement Form in the Chamber Music of Heino Eller, Eduard Tubin, and Eduard Oja.” Often such a design articulates the one-movement form of extended instrumental compositions usually combining two different formal dimensions – the dimensions of sonata form and sonata cycle. Tool shows how the formal strategy which was gradually losing its importance in the music of Central and Western Europe played a crucial role in the rise of musical modernism in Estonia between the two world wars.

The next three studies concentrate on the different aspects that shape musical form. Michael Oravitz applies the concept of a metrical profile, i.e. a formal section displaying an individualized metrical structure, to show the impact of meter to the musical form in his article “Meter as a Formal Delineator in Two Debussy Préludes.” Ildar Khannanov describes those aspects that result in the formal deformation in his essay “Function and Deformation in Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s Etudes-Tableaux Op. 39, Nos. 5 and 6.” These aspects include ancient Russian chant (знаменное пение), the manifestation of late-Romantic poetics, but also more modern devices such as theatrical dramaturgy (with its entanglement-conflict-dénouement strategy), morphology of a fairy tale, cinematic montage and aspects of literary form reflecting dialogical consciousness. In her study “The Role of Secondary Parameters in Musical Shaping: Examining Formal Boundaries in Mendelssohn’s C minor Piano Trio from the Performer’s Point of View,” Cecilia Oinas emphasizes the role of the parameters often considered insignificant in traditional Formenlehre. Oinas demonstrates how the sensitivity to these parameters often help performer to find “working” solutions for the formally ambivalent passages.

The collection concludes with two essays on the 18th century music with emphasis on harmonic and contrapuntal structure and their impact to musical form. In his study “Marpurg’s Galant Cadence in Mozart: Theoretical Perspectives, Formal Implications and Voice Leading,” David Lodewyckx discusses a specific cadential formula extensively used in the galant style of the 18th century. He also underlines how consciously composers used this type of cadence in their music. Stephen Slottow’s essay “Sequences in Mozart’s Piano Sonata, K. 280/I” is an analytical case study, which’s results are used to put into question some theoretical positions expressed by Heinrich Schenker in his “The Masterwork in Music.”

Due to the specificity of their topics, the main articles in this issue of Res Musica are in English, but provided with extended summaries in Estonian. Like those of the previous issues, articles published here are reviewed anonymously by the experts of the field, to whom belong my sincere gratitude.

The Seventh International Conference on Music Theory in Tallinn and Pärnu was held in the framework of the institutional grant project “Performative Aspects of Music” (IUT12-1) and was funded by Estonian Research Council, Embassy of the United States of America in Tallinn, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and Estonian Arnold Schoenberg Society.

Kerri Kotta

Res Musica 6 (2014)

To a large extent, the selection of authors in this collection of articles was determined by the status of research projects currently carried on in Estonian music-historical research field. At the same time this volume documents the many and various lines of thought of today’s more active writers in Estonian historical musicology. To offer a wider methodological context to their accounts, for this issue’s opening act we were fortunate to get an interview with one of today’s most prominent music historians, Hermann Danuser, Professor of Historical Musicology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. In Estonia, for a considerable time now the music historians have taken Carl Dahlhaus’s ideas as a basis of their own thinking. Since Herman Danuser, a close colleague and comrade-in-arms of Dahlhaus, has not only meticulously documented Dahlhaus’s ideas but also extensively elaborated on these, the questions asked in our interview concerned, first and foremost, the status of Theodor Adorno’s and Carl Dahlhaus’s ideas in contemporary musicology.

It is somewhat exceptional that the introductory article to this issue’s music-historical studies is an Estonian translation of a discussion, recently published in Swedish, of Johann Valentin Meder’s opera Die beständige Argenia by Professor Emeritus of Lund University and honorary member of Estonian Musicological Society, Folke Bohlin. His article continues the work of several German and Estonian music historians in researching one of the main events in music theatre history in Estonia, and it excitingly links with Anu Schaper’s study published in the previous issue of Res Musica.[1] Among other issues, Bohlin’s article raises a question on the national-cultural affiliation of such a calibre major opus as Meder’s Argenia, and although the time of national music histories is largely over, the question itself is not redundant even today. Rather, the controversial fate of that opera, that is undoubtedly of art value and holds a remarkable position in cultural history, eloquently demonstrates how problematic cultural studies approach can be to a text that is shared by several cultures (in Argenia’s case: German, Swedish and Estonian). The next article by Anu Schaper on mobility of musicians in the Baltic Sea region offers a wider viewpoint on this particular subject and, by applying elements of cultural exchange theory (Kulturtransfertheorie), Schaper aims to provide a wider methodological framework for examining the problematic questions concerning this era’s and region’s music life.

Contemporary historiography has started to pay more and more attention to so-called microhistories, i.e. to previously neglected and unresearched processes in common people’s everyday life that, trivial as they may seem at first glance, considerably widen the ground essential for larger generalisations.

Both Aleksandra Dolgopolova in her study of music of family rituals in Narva during the late era of Swedish rule, and Heidi Heinmaa who researches the living and working conditions of musicians employed by the city or the church in the 18th-century Tallinn (Reval) by examining their written bequests (Nachlassverzeichnis), hold in scrutiny archival documents previously considered insignificant. Anu Kõlar’s exhaustive study of the church musicians’ life of Tallinn St. Olaf’s Church during the early Soviet Era, based on those musicians’ written memoirs, also definitely belongs to the group of microhistories. In her study, Kõlar discusses different aspects of cultural memory, and deals with methodological issues that arise from using memoirs of members of clearly delineated communities as reflections of cultural memory and as sources for writing music history. Kristel Pappel and Toomas Siitan have co-written an article that investigates the reception of substantial works by J. S. Bach and Wagner in the late 19th-century Russian Empire. However, even this study can be included to the group of microhistories: in studying the early performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and the performance tradition of selected operas by Wagnerin 1883 Tallinn and St. Petersburg, the authors’ aim is to disclose the general national-ideological background of particular musical events and proceed from there to construct their wider socio-political context.

The last two articles in this collection are not directly connected to issues of music historiography. However, their authors manage to offer new visions on the classical subjects of the European music history. For an extensive period of time now, classical philologist Ave Teesalu has investigated the texts of Boethius, one of the pillars of Western thinking about music. For musicologists who tend to be familiar only with this late Roman philosopher’s treatise “Fundamentals of Music“ (De institutione musica), Teesalu’s philological take on Boethius’s “The Consolation of Philosophy“ (De consolatione Philosophiae) adds aspects to understanding this philosopher’s views on music in particular, as well as those of European Middle Ages in general. Eerik Jõks, in his thorough research into a complex topic of contemporary reception of medieval sacred Latin monody (i.e. the musical style of Gregorian chant), carefully disentangles the problems of performance and notation of that musical style and supports his arguments with substantial originally devised perception experiments.

The editor of this issue sincerely thanks this collection’s anonymous reviewers for their willingness to collaborate and ability to offer constructive suggestions: their selfless help played an important role in the final polishing of the texts in this collection. Finally, I am sure that all contributors to this edition will join me in expressing heartfelt gratitude to the technical editor Anu Schaper for her meticulous and patient attention in preparing this volume.

Toomas Siitan

[1] Schaper, Anu 2013. Poliitiline Argenia: Johann Valentin Mederi ooper “Kindlameelne Argenia” omaaegsete sündmuste taustal. [The political Argenia: the opera Die beständige Argenia by Johann Valentin Meder against the background of the political events of its time]. – Res Musica 5, pp. 12–23.

Res Musica 5 (2013)

This issue of Res Musica yearbook is special in several ways. To begin with, it is the first Estonian language publication of articles that all are dedicated to aspects of studying music theatre. Within this collection one finds historical approaches (Anu Schaper’s research on the 1680 performance of Johann Valentin Meder’s opera Die beständige Argenia in Tallinn, covering the background of that work as well as Meder’s own ambitions; Agnes Toomla’s overview of the opera and operetta productions at the Estonia Theatre during the German occupation in 1941–44), analyses of Estonian and international stage productions or performances (Christian Schaper studies the relations between music, libretto and stage directing in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier; Maarja Kindel writes about Estonian first professional opera director Hanno Kompus’s renditions of operas by Wagner and Tchaikovsky; Maris Pajuste about Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera Wallenberg as a musical work and as director Dmitri Bertman’s stage production; Kristel Pappel and Anneli Saro about Jüri Reinvere’s opera Puhdistus (Purge) and its 2012 stage production at the Finnish National Opera) and, last but not least, a reception study (Hedi-Liis Toome’s research on the audience’s attendance and reception of performances of operas and musicals in Tartu Vanemuine theatre). The authors look for a common research ground between music and theatre studies, as well as for the methodology that would yield results relevant for the objects under analysis. In many cases, integrating the analysis of musical work with the analysis of its stage production is considered the key aspect. This is exactly what Erika Fischer-Lichte, one of the luminaries of contemporary theatre studies, emphasizes in the introductory interview to this issue: music theatre studies have been thriving for some decades already, yet its greatest potential for future lies in the collaboration between music(ological) studies and theatre research.

Hence the second idiosyncratic aspect of the present issue of Res Musica: it has been produced in collaboration with the Department of Literature and Theatre Research, University of Tartu. I owe greatly, first and foremost, to Professor Anneli Saro for our inspiring and educational conversations and for her ever-affirmative attitude towards our working together, and to Luule Epner, Madli Pesti and Riina Oruaas who always kindly provided their expert help. I very much hope that our discussions will continue.

Thirdly, this collection of articles can be seen as a work in progress – in the sense that among its authors one can also find doctoral students, young MA graduates and even one master student.

Two disquisitions by German theatre researchers frame the articles in this collection. In music theatre studies, German scholars have been in the front for the last couple of decades. As in theatre research, there are four eminent towers of music theatre studies in Germany: Freie Universität Berlin, University of Munich, University of Bayreuth with its unique research institute for the study of opera and music theatre in Thurnau (Forschungsinstitut für Musiktheater), and University of Vienna. Particularly innovative and influential among these seems to be the Berlin circle of scholars gathered around Erika Fischer-Lichte. One of its most active members, Clemens Risi, has taught in British and American universities, and he has been efficient in mediating the newest trends in German theatre studies to the Anglo-American (music) theatre research. One proof of this success is Risi’s English-language article, here translated into Estonian, on the perspectives of new analytical approaches to music theatre that was originally published in the Oxford University Press journal The Opera Quarterly. In the future we could definitely publish in Estonia also a multilingual collection of articles dedicated to music theatre; for the time being, however, the providing of the basics of this research field in Estonian language was considered of utmost importance.

And now the expressions of gratitude are in order. Anu Schaper was not only precise and thorough an editor, but also able and willing to creatively think along. Maite-Margit Kotta, a layout designer of Res Musica, agreed to an innovative approach in designing this particular issue. Toomas Siitan helped with questions concerning the contents as well as those of organisatory nature. Kaire Maimets, Madli Pesti and Mart Jaanson were excellent supporters and helpers, and so was Kirsten Simmo, the Head of the Theatre Section of Estonian Theatre and Music Museum. Useful observations came from Andres Laasik and Mart Humal. Thanks go to the Estonian Music Council for supporting the printing of this publication. The theatre researchers in Tartu, especially Anneli Saro, I have already mentioned. And, last but not least – for the critical-inspiring conversations about Estonian music theatre in general I am most grateful to art scholar and opera reviewer Harry Liivrand.

Since childhood I have admired Lea Tormis’s engaging ways of thinking and writing about both drama and music theatre. May this issue of Res Musica be dedicated to her and to everyone who consider music theatre as part of their life!

Kristel Pappel

Res Musica 4 (2012)

In this issue there is no one pervading theme, however, some common ground can be found between the articles. One common theme is the nature of contemporary traditional music. This may be determined by the concept of ‘revival’, the very important cultural process which took place in the late 20th and early 21st century in many countries of the world. Thus the Lithuanian ethnomusicologist Daiva Račiūnaitė-Vyčinienė writes about the revival of sutartinės, the ancient polyphonic song style, now again popular and practised in many different forms. Research by Latvian scholar Anda Beitāne is dedicated to contemporary developments in the multipart song tradition of Northern Latgale. Nailya Almeeva examines the performance of songs of the Volga-Ural Tatars on the concert stage. Also on the revival theme is the article by Janika Oras and Žanna Pärtlas describing the attempt by students from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre to imitate the traditional Seto singing style. In this article, original recordings of Seto songs and their imitations are analysed by means of acoustic measurements. Acoustic methods are also applied by Taive Särg, who investigates the relationships between the torrõ and killõ parts in Seto multipart songs. Research by Sandra Kalmann also deals with the Seto song tradition; she analyses the tune types used in improvised songs by the famous Seto singer Hilana Taarka. One more piece of research on the Seto theme is the article by Liisi Laanemets, who examines the question of identity in the activities of the Seto choir living beyond the borders of Setomaa. The article by Urve Lippus extends the usual boundaries of the object of ethnomusicological research, being dedicated to the Estonian domestic piano culture in the second half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

The editors express their gratitude to reviewers, whose diligence ensures the academic quality of the present issue.

Žanna Pärtlas

Res Musica 3 (2011)

As we know, any hierarchical analysis is impossible without clear priorities. However, those of Schenkerian analysis are by no means uniquely comprehensible. Is it primarily a science or an art or an ideology? Which aspect – counterpoint, harmony, melody, rhythm (meter) or form (design) – is given priority by generating its main outcome: voice-leading graphs? Is there only one kind of Schenkerian analysis, or are there several, each with different priorities? Is it possible to develop the deep insights of Schenkerian analysis in the context of a logically non-contradictory and historically well-founded theory?

Most of the articles in this issue attempt to give, in one way or another, an answer to these questions. The answers, depending on the standpoints of authors, can be divided into three large groups: 1) It is possible to develop Schenkerian analysis into an acceptable scientific method, in the context of music theory, without giving up the main premises formulated by Schenker. 2) It is impossible to develop it into an acceptable scientific method without giving up at least some of its main premises. 3) The main merit of Schenker’s method is not its scientific quality but rather its capacity for interpretation; therefore an attempt to reform it on scientific grounds may only damage it.

The articles by David Neumeyer and Olli Väisälä belong to the first group. According to Neumeyer, an undue ideological emphasis and subjectivity attributed to Schenker’s method can be overcome in a pluralistic practice where Schenkerian analysis constitutes but one of many possible types of hierarchic analyses. An example of such a practice can be seen in the system of structural determinants proposed by Väisälä, which – in combination with harmony and the norms of voice-leading – can result in more coherent analyses. Hidden priorities of the various methods are demonstrated through a comparison of different analytical traditions (as another possible application of Neumeyer’s pluralistic practice) in Patrick McCreless’s article.

The articles by Mart Humal and Ildar Khannanov belong to the second group. Whereas Schenkerian analysis can be developed into a non-contradictory theory by substituting, according to Humal, a five-part voice-leading matrix for the Ursatz and its constituent parts (the Urlinie and Baßbrechung), the same is possible, according to Khannanov, by replacing the pseudo-hierarchy typical of Schenkerian analysis with the “real” hierarchy where each structural level is determined by features uniquely inherent in it.
The articles by Poundie Burstein and Stephen Slottow belong to the third group. According to Burstein, Schenkerian analysis, in its best manifestations, is not an empirical but rather a hermeneutic process that endeavours to describe how a composition might be heard most effectively. To insist that the features cited in the analysis should be empirically verified as inhering in the composition itself, would disqualify many of the most substantive examples of Schenkerian analysis. According to Slottow, analysis is not only a theory but also a practice; like performance, it is interpretive, characterised by a great deal of subjectivity. Both authors emphasize the pedagogical aspect of Schenkerian analysis, its thought-stimulating power.

In addition to the aforementioned articles, this issue contains two more essays by the authors whose aim is not to polemize about methodologies but rather to demonstrate their applicability. Cecilia Oinas shows how Schenkerian analysis can be combined with the performance of a composition. Avo Sõmer demonstrates how a context of the visual could be fruitful in discovering some aspects of a musical composition.

Due to the specificity of their topics, the main articles in this issue of Res Musica are in English. In order to make the readers of Estonian acquainted with their content, the articles are provided with extended summaries in Estonian. Since these, to a high degree, consist of commentaries on musical examples, they should give the reader an idea of an article even without following discussions leading to their conclusion. Like those of the previous issues, articles published here are reviewed by two anonymous readers. I would like to express my gratitude to them, as well as to Mart Humal, who, in addition to being one of the initiators of the conference, helped me in editing the texts and translating the summaries.

The 6th International Conference on music theory in Tallinn, held in the framework of the project “The Functional Aspects of Music”, was funded by the grant of Estonian Science Foundation (ETF 8497).

Kerri Kotta
(translated by Mart Humal)

Res Musica 2 (2010)

Kaire Maimets-Volt submitted her doctoral thesis in spring 2009 at the Department of Musicology, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn. Its subject was the use of pre-existing music by Arvo Pärt in cinema. The thesis was supervised by the author of these lines. Anu Kõlar defended her PhD dissertation a year later at the same institution, its subject being the life and oeuvre of the well-known Estonian composer, Cyrillus Kreek. The thesis was supervised by Professor Urve Lippus. A little earlier, Eerik Jõks successfully completed his doctoral thesis on plainchant at the University of York in Great Britain, supervised by Dr. Nicky Loseff. Gerhard Lock and Marju Raju are currently doctoral students at the Department of Musicology, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and are supervised respectively by Dr. Kerri Kotta and by the author of these lines. The work of Gerhard Lock is interdisciplinary in its nature and overlaps with the theory as well as with the psychology of music. Marju Raju obtained MA degrees both in psychology and in musicology. She now continues her research into the musical abilities of people from a variety of age groups and cultural backgrounds, within the framework of an ambitious international project. Tiiu Ernits is working on her PhD thesis at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Institute of Music Education, its subject being the song books employed in Baltic German schools in Estonia between 1800 and 1940, and their possible influence on Estonian music education. This thesis is supervised by Professor Airi Liimets and Dr. Maris Kirme. Brigitta Davidjants is writing her PhD thesis on cultural studies at the Estonian Institute of Humanities of the Tallinn University under the supervision of Dr. Katrin Dean. The thesis focuses on the self-determination of Armenian music culture as well as on the factors which influence it.

All contributions to this volume have been peer-reviewed by two recognized scholars working in their respective fields. The whole process has been carried out as independently and as anonymously as is possible in such a small country like Estonia. On behalf of the editorial board of Res Musica, I would like to use this opportunity to thank all reviewers for their work. I am convinced that it has ensured the high scholarly standards in this volume. I hope that a relatively wide scope of contributions in this yearbook will not deter readers but instead, will represent the breadth of issues currently under examination in contemporary Estonian musicology.

Jaan Ross

Res Musica 1 (2009)

The yearbook Res Musica aims to become the widest forum of Estonian musicology publishing articles in all the areas of musicological research written by most international circle of scholars. One of the goals of the journal is to develop musicological discourse in Estonian, relating it at the same time to the central problems and discourses in different languages that are often based on quite different traditions of thinking and writing about music. Thus, another goal of the journal might be to synthesize the currently dominating English-language discourse with German that was the language of academic life in the Baltic states earlier in the 20th century, and Russian musicological thought that defined much of the communication in the field during the Soviet decades. First of all, we plan to publish single articles and thematic numbers of the journal in Estonian, but also in English and German. In any case, articles will be provided with extensive summaries translated into Estonian or, in case of Estonian articles, into English or German (depending on the theme). In addition to the articles based on musicological research, each number of the journal will include a section of reviews and an overview of the last year in Estonian musicological life.

The yearbook will be published by the Musicological Department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Estonian Musicological Society. All articles will be peer-reviewed before accepting them for publishing by scholars active in similar areas of academic research. In finding potential contributors and reviewers the editors are assisted by the international editorial board. In recent decades, the number of scholars with at least reading knowledge of Estonian has rapidly increased both in our neighbouring countries and in the English-speaking world enabling us to get backfeed for works in Estonian from outside of our own small community. At the same time, the editors plan to use the possibility of translating all the contents of one volume into one language if the selection of articles forms a thematically homogeneous whole addressing some specific circle of potential readers (e.g. Estonian readers interested in history and culture outside musicology; or international scholars in some specific field like contemporary analysis of music).

Urve Lippus