[Smt-talk] Theory of "Intercultural" Composition

matralab matralab at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 02:12:27 PDT 2009

Thanks Ildar
very interesting.

I just want to point out that Fyodor seems likely as critical of what you
call the "refined stance" as you are.
He just explained to my why it is still so dominant - and the political
forces at play in maintaining this situation.
And he certainly never even suggested that relevant musicology happens only
at Moscow and St. Petersburg.
I am sorry if my rendering of our very interesting conversation somehow
suggested that to you.
He explicitly referred me to a festival in Kazan and research done in
I just will have to learn Russian first to even read the texts this in this
field... or would I ?
Do you, being out of the country, know of anything that is translated into
German, English, Italian or French ?

Is e.g. your journal "Music Scholarship/Problemy Muzykal;noi Nauki"
published in Russian and English (as your title suggests) ?
And could you perhaps even give me names of interesting composers in these
centres (and how to get their music ?) ?


2009/4/24 Ildar Khannanov <solfeggio7 at yahoo.com>

> Dear Collective Wisdom,
> the comment by Fyodor, my schoolmate, is interesting. However, there is a
> different side to this story. In addition to a very refined, and I would
> say, elitist approach to musicology, maintained by some figures at the
> Moscow Conservatory, there have been dozens of other institutions of higher
> musical education in the USSR with their local traditions in musicology. The
> level at these schools was somewhat lower than the the MGK, but there were
> talented composers and musicologists in Novosibirsk, Petrozavodsk, Dushanbe,
> Ufa, and other places. The journal Music Scholarship/Problemy Muzykal;noi
> Nauki which I edit is the first one published by 12 provincial
> conservatories. So, the view of Russian musicology as only  developing in
> Moscow and Lenindgrad and oriented toward the West and western modernism is
> not very adequate. There were hundreds of large-scale compositions written
> for dutar, kurai and other national instruments, and many interesting
> musicological dissertations on intercultural topics. They were habitually
> underestimated, but now, in the recent decade, there has been a rise of the
> local traditions. Something new for a change.
> Best,
> Ildar Khannanov, Ph.D.
> Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
> solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
> --- On *Thu, 4/23/09, matralab <matralab at gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: matralab <matralab at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Theory of "Intercultural" Composition
> To: "smt-talk Talk" <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
> Date: Thursday, April 23, 2009, 11:59 AM
> Dear all who have answered on and offline - what an overwhelming and
> positive response.
> And there were indeed some suggestions about books that I did not know
> existed.
> As one respondent suggested, I will share my reading list either with the
> smttalklist,
> or, if that is against the list netiquette, I would post them on my
> academia profile.
> (http://concordia.academia.edu/SandeepBhagwati).
> Thank you all again, and those who have sent me personal mails  - I will
> respond asap.
> One nugget of information:
> I am on tour in Russia right now, and in discussions about this suject (and
> composers like Faradzh Karaev or Franghis Ali-Zadeh etc.)  with musicologist
> Fjodor Sofronov from Tchaikovsky Conservatorium Moscow he explained to me
> that Soviet and Russian musicology have major problems dealing with any form
> of interculturalism in contemporary composition, because interest in new
> music is perceived as being equivalent with a liberal attitude that is
> pro-western - already a difficult position in an increasingly nationalist
> intellectual environment. To compound that with the, as he said, "official,
> but unfulfilled" multiculturalism of Russia, also a hot seat issue, would be
> too much to take on - and so Russian musicology, despite the fact that it
> got off to a good start with Asafiev's Intonation theory, did not look at
> this subject much over the past 80 years. Does any one have any corrections
> or comments to this statement ? Does anyone know of important Russian
> theories of multicultural composition...?
> Best yours
> Sandeep
> 2009/4/22 matralab <matralab at gmail.com<http://us.mc450.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=matralab@gmail.com>
> >
>> Dear Collective Wisdom
>> could you help me with references to any (comprehensive / seminal /
>> detailed) (theoretical/ aesthetical/ analytical/ overview) publications in
>> English or French
>> about contemporary (trans-/cross-/inter-/poly-/cultural) composition that
>> one must not be unaware of if thinking about the subject...
>> I mean western art music composers such as Tan Dun, Frank Denyer,
>> Takahashi Yuji, Isang Yun, Liza Lim, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Jean-Claude Eloy,
>> Mochizuki Misato , Hosokawa Toshio, Guo Wenjing, Xu Shuya, Jin Hi Kim, Chen
>> Xiaoyong, Younghi-Pagh Paan, Claude Vivier, Klaus Huber, Karlheinz
>> Stockhausen, etc. - a wide selection but I hope you get the drift.
>> Publications after 2000 are preferred.
>> I will give some lectures and analysis seminars this summer, and I already
>> have a small reading list, but as I am not a theoretician myself, and not
>> really well versed in the anglophone discourse (being more of German
>> extraction) I may have overlooked some essential reading.
>> Thankful for any hint. Names of composer you consider seminal and who do
>> not appear in the list above are also welcome, if possible with contacts or
>> publishers.
>> Best
>> Sandeep Bhagwati
>> Composer
>> Canada Research Chair Inter-X Art
>> Concordia University Montreal
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