The “Dispersed Theme”: the Paths of Russian Musical Scholarship in the Mirror Reflection of the History of One Concept

Vera B. Valkova

Abstract


The concept of the “dispersed theme” relects the important turns in
the development of Russian musical scholarship. The demand for it
appeared in the 1960s and 1970s in connection with analysis of new
music and ancient folklore. The concept was irst introduced by A.
G. Yusin (1971). The theoretical base of the renewed concept was
elaborated on by V. P. Bobrovsky. The functional approach made
it possible to expand a set of music theory concepts, including that
of the musical theme. In 20th century music the functions of the
musical theme may be carried out not only by integral constructions,
but also by other type of structures. The dispersed theme, according
to Bobrovsky, presents a chain of motives (phrases) atomized in
musical space, which bear separate attributes of the musical image.
Relections of scholars about new forms of thematicism
exposed two most crucial problems: the necessity of creating
“musical universals” and the possibility of using old terms for
their identiication. Musical universals presumed the development
of a single terminological apparatus for analyzing various musical
specimens in terms of their historical and ethnical origins (Jay
Rahn, V. V. Medushevsky). The question of expediency of use
of the old terminological apparatus for ixation of such universal
concepts has been decided in various ways. New terms have been
suggested for new structures carrying out thematic functions (for
instance E. I, Chigareva’s “generating intonation”). The article also
examines the correlation of the concepts of “disperse theme” and
“micro-theme.”

Keywords: musical theme, dispersed theme, function and
structure in music, micro-theme

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17674/1997-0854.2015.2.19.016-021

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