MUSIC IS AN ARCHITECTURE REVIVED: A GOTHIC CATHEDRAL AS A MODEL FOR A PERFECT MUSICAL COMPOSITION AS SEEN BY VINCENT D’INDY

Abstract:

Vincent d’Indy developed his own understanding of the ideal algorithm of constructing musical forms. In support of his concept, he took a general artistic perspective. His aim, apparently, was to confirm the special status of the suggested compositional strategies as universal for different kinds of art. These strategies are grounded in such categories as rhythm, order, proportionality, and symmetry inherent to any kind of spatial/temporal art with architecture and music representing the extremes of the spatial/temporal continuum. D’Indy established the correlations between the spatial/temporal arts by embracing the ideas of Hegel, Ruskin, and Lévesque. To explore these ideas, the article resorts to the cultural and historical analysis.

D’Indy argues that the “cyclic principle” is the most mature historically and the most perfect constructively. The principle applied exclusively to multi-movement compositions has its basis in the translational symmetry of the initial pattern-cell together with its variant renewal. The “cyclic principle” finds its supreme realization in the “cyclic sonata” and the Gothic cathedral.

The article is the first attempt to analyse how the “cyclic principle” is used per se, while its particular implementation in music has repeatedly been discussed. The latter was initiated by d’Indy himself in his Cours de Composition Musicale. A step-by-step method of putting the cyclic principle into practice, regardless of the artistic material, is derived by applying the comparative analysis, which helps to develop universal models for working with repetitive patterns in spatial and temporal arts.

The analysis revealed the following: first, a “cyclic element” is represented by a syntactically articulated structure which may function as an initial compositional unit (from musical cells to sculptural details); second, the elaboration on the artistic material in music and architecture is done through rhythmic transformations of patterns resulting in the new internal structure with the core preserved. The latter ensures the implementation of the aesthetic maxim “unity in diversity”, seen by d’Indy as crucial in constructing the artistic whole.

Rovenko-article 2021-3-fin.

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РОВЕНКО Елена Владимировна – кандидат искусствоведения, доцент кафедры истории зарубежной музыки, междисциплинарной кафедры гуманитарных наук Московской государственной консерватории имени П.И. Чайковского, старший научный сотрудник Научно-исследовательского центра методологии исторического музыкознания

Elena V. ROVENKO is a PhD, Associate professor, Foreign Music History Department, Department of the Humanities, Moscow State P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Senior researcher, Scientific Research Center of Historical Musicology

E-mail: rovenko-lena@mail.ru

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