Do we need a concept of “musical substance”?

Zemtsovsky, Izaly (Articol)

“The article is aimed at introduction of a new concept that should be topical for both musicology and ethnomusicology – the concept of “musical substance.” Author suggests making a distinction between timbre and substance. Many different timbres could exist together in the element of a single musical substance. Music requires considering and understanding of the existential mode of musical substance. Musicians constantly dwell in substance, exist in it. Musical substance possesses a certain kind of syncretic power, which is realized in performance. Oral tradition knows only melody that is fused with substance and emerges from substance in a mode of syncretic articulation. Musical substance and ethnohearing are like communicating vessels in which a given substance constitutes the materialization of a given ethnic hearing. A change in substance leads to re-intoning. Hence the law of coexistence of musical substances in ethnic tradition. Dropping substance from the chain of “music-making—intoning—musical substance—articulating” leads to irreversible losses in the life of an oral tradition.”

Cuvinte cheie: auditory existence, ethnic sound-ideal, ethnohearing, ethnomusicology, existential mode, musical civilization, musical substance, musicology, oral tradition, syncretic articulation, timbre, and voice

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2018, nr. 1-2, p. 163-189