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Muzikologija  2006 

The stages of modernism in Serbian music

DOI: 10.2298/muz0606093m

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In order to consider this topic, it was first necessary to discuss certain problems of terminology and periodisation relating to musical modernism in general. It is already familiar the extent to which the terms "new music", "modernist", "contemporary" and "avant-garde" music have been used interchangeably, as synonyms. For this reason, it was first important to outline the period of musical modernism as almost generally accepted, which is regarded as an epoch comprising three different periods: (I) period of early modernism (1890–1918), announced by a break with later romanticism and a turn towards French Impressionism, Austro-German Expressionism and Russian "folkloric Expressionism"; (II) period of "classical modernism"(1919–1945) that witnessed a diffusion of neo-classicism and serialism; (III) period of "high modernism" (1946–1972) characterized by highly experimental compositional techniques such as integral serialism and aleatoricism. In relation to this, avant-garde movements are seen as radically innovative and subversive tendencies within this modernist epoch, and while certain postmodernist ideas can be recognized as early as the 1950s, postmodernism as a movement hadn’t gained its full potency until the 1970s. Since then, it has assumed different forms of existence as well as having assimilated a continued form of ‘modernist project’. The second part of the article proposes a periodisation of Serbian musical modernism, which is divided into four stages. The first stage (1908–1945) was a period where elements of Impressionism and German expressionism were creatively introduced into the works of several leading composers (Petar Konjovi , Stevan Hristi , Miloje Milojevi , Josip Slavenski, Marko Taj evi ). The second stage (1929–1945) was marked by a group of composers who studied in Prague and assimilated certain progressive compositional techniques such as free tonality, atonality dodecaphony, microtonality and athematicism (Mihovil Logar, Predrag Milo evi , Dragutin oli , Ljubica Mari , Vojislav Vu kovi , Milan Risti ). The third stage (1951–1970) followed immediately after the era of Socialist Realism, which involved the rediscovery of the pre- World War II Western modernism and prepared the ground for contemporary avant-garde developments almost non-existent before 1961 (Milan Risti , Du an Radi , Dejan Despi Vladan Radovanovi , Enriko Josif, Stanojlo Raji i , Vasilije Mokranjac Aleksandar Obradovi , Ljubica Mari , Rajko Maksimovi ). The fourth stage (1956–1980) was the period during which the post-World War II avant-garde developments fo


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