Our study investigates madrigal settings of sestinas, sonnets and ballata with highly structured forms. They are, to a varying degree, unambiguously attributed to fixed poetic forms (formes fixes). In particular, the study explores the correspondence of the musical form to a specific fixed poetic form (rather than text-music correspondences of the most general nature, as is the case with the analysis of musico-poetic lines). A number of publications focusing on madrigal settings of texts in certain poetic forms (most often ballads) show that “the poetry precedes and influences the music” (Anthony Newcomb). This understanding is somewhat different from our observations, which have revealed two complementary descriptions. The first affirms the idea of precedence of the poetic form and its influence on the musical form; the key word for the second is “reformatting”: it describes the transformation of sestina stanzas, sonnets and ballata as they are set to music. Thus, we witness a certain tectonic shift: • the displacement of boundaries of the poetic form, • a change in the number of structural elements, • the violation of original proportions, • the replacement of the equality of poetic constructions with the equality of musical constructions, etc. These and other similar signs of the refusal to simply follow the structure of the text are also the signs of a symmetrical metrotectonic construction produced exclusively by musical means. This occurs beyond the direct interaction of music with the word—in the sphere where the beauty of the numerical structure of the musical form becomes manifest (Georgi Conus, Alexey Losev).

1. Gerver article 2022-2

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ГЕРВЕР Лариса Львовна – доктор искусствоведения, профессор кафедры аналитического музыкознания Российской академии музыки имени Гнесиных.
Larissa L. GERVER is a Doctor in Art Studies, professor of Analytical Musicology Department at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music.

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