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Ballad of the lost tonality
Keywords: balada; narativnost; potraga; parametarska poliasocijativnost; tonalnost
Ballad for Strings by Serbian composer Berislav Popović is an elusive piece for an analyst in several respects: formally, as it cannot be subsumed under any standard formal type; syntactically; and with respect to pitch organization which is heteronomous including clusters, diatonic segments, and even hints of tonality. The analytically most fruitful approach would not look for an underlying pitch structure, nor follow the thematic development, but examine the activities of musical parameters which are capable of dissociating from the material in which they initially play a part and associating anew with other parameters, while retaining a certain level of recognizability. Another aspect of the composition that the paper tries to illuminate refers to its title. Granted that the music follows its own logic, it none the less employs certain narrative strategies that approach the literary genre of the ballad. Starting from the system of narrative mythoi as propounded by Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye, we can conclude that both Popović's composition and the literary ballad manifest ample characteristics of Frye's tragic mythos. Inasmuch as the ballad often makes use of the motive of quest, the object of that quest in the composition might be tonality.
Almen, B. (2003) Narrative archetypes: A critique, theory, and method of narrative analysis. Journal of Music Theory, No. 47/1, 1-39
Daiches, D. (1969) A critical history of English literature. London: Seeker&Warburg, 88
Frye, N. (1979) Arhetipska kritika - teorija mitova. in: Anatomija kritike, Zagreb: Naprijed, 151-172
Nattiez, J. (1990) Can one speak of narrativity in music?. Royal Musical Association Journal, 115:2
Tarasti, E. (1994) A theory of musical semiotics. Bloomington, itd: Indiana University Press
Veselinović, M. (1985) Difrakcije - skica za muzičku poetiku Berislava Popovića. Zvuk, No. 2, 8
Zakrzewska, D. (1999) Alienation and powerlessness: Adam Mickiewicz's Ballady' and Chopin's Ballades. Polish Music Journal, vol. 2, Nos. 1-2, ISSN 1521-6039,


article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published in SCIndeks: 22/09/2009

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